eye tv on imac core 2 duo: will it work for my needs?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gregjp48, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. gregjp48 macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    ok, so i'm planning on buying a core 2 duo iMac with a 20" screen (2gb ram, and a 256 x1600). I want to watch hd tv on the imac, as well as use my xbox 360 on it.

    Which model of eyetv will work. Is hybrid the only hd model, or can I get away with less?

    Will the game module w/ zero latency run at 720p, or will it be standard def? How's the quality? How does it connect, component, or if it needs an adapter, is it included?

    Also, I'm not interested in recording (though i may get into it in the future), I just want to watch live HD broadcasts over the air. Is this possible with the hybrid (or any other model)?
    How would I check what over the air HD stations are available in my area?

    Thanks a bunch :)

    If I think I'll get into recording later on, I should prob spring for the 500GB hard drive, no? or can i get away with the 250 (maybe with externals?)

    Thanks again in advance
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    you need the 24" to be native HD i think...
    but yes the hybrid will display over the air HD
  3. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    i don't mind the lack of full res 1080i/p.
    I'm more concerned with the fact that's it better quality than standard def. esp. considering we aren't talking about a 50 inch screen. However, I will be sitting up closer than I would a regular tv, so I don't know.

    my xbox doesn't do more than 720P anyway though, and I don't know if 1080p would be that much more quality in tv than 720P on that size of a screen. plus, couldn't the 1080p just be downsized to fit the screen? (like i could get the full rez of the imac full screen, which I couldn't do if I used 720P with the 1600ish x whatever screen)

    i would love a 24 inch imac but i'd rather have power over screen size, though i guess i could always upgrade ram later, but screen size is forever (on an all in one)
    it's still a 500 dollar difference though, and on a tight buddget, that's money i just don't have, unless I waited longer to get it than i already am.

    but enough about the imac
    how will the eyetv work with the gaming, in quality, latency (it's says no latency, but i just want to be sure), and resolution?
    not to mention how i'll find what over the air hd channels are available in my area.

    How would I go about hooking up the eyetv to an external atenna on my roof? Would it be something I'd have to run up through the ceiling/attic? Or can the eyeTV read the signal without an external atenna?

    Thanks I know some of my questions are kind of extensive.
  4. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    Depends on your signal strength, and proximity to the transmitter. You have to be real close for a good signal with the included aerial. Be prepared to hook it up to your attic aerial, but you could certainly try a decent indoor antenna first.
  5. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    1. does the eyetv it come with required cables and such, or do i have to buy them (and how much would they generally go for)?
    2. how much would a decent indoor antenna set me back?

    On another note, wouldn't it be better for my 720p xbox output to have the 20" imac instead of the 24" so it wouldn't have to scale up as much to become full screen? not to mention the fact that not getting the 20 inch will allow a bit of money for the eyetv etc. however, i guess the 24" pic at 1080p would look beautiful as it is nearly native. I'm worried about the 720p though.

    just wondering, could I hook my standard def cable up tothe eye tv w/ an extension from my living room? (would this be able to be on a separate channel, too?) for those channels that aren't available over hd broadcast?
  6. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    EyeTV won't support games in HD because there are no HD inputs other than antenna/cable. No HDMI, no component. You will be limited to 480i over s-video with any model EyeTV.

    Yes, the Hybrid or any model that supports HD.

    Depends on how much you are going to record and keep on disk. Max-bandwidth HD runs about 8.5GB/hour. For stations that broadcast in SD, it's usually more like 3GB/hour.
    I don't think it would, but check the Elgato website. They are just standard coax, s-video, and RCA cables. Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, whatever would carry them.
    Silver Sensors have the best reputation of indoor antennas and you can get them for under $25. I'm not sure if it would include a coax cable to connect to the EyeTV - you would have to check. Google "silver sensor" or search on eBay.
    Yes, you can watch whatever channels are not part of your "digital cable" package. Digital cable = cable that requires a cable box to view. The EyeTV Hybrid will be able to receive any cable channels that an ordinary TV or VCR would be able to receive without a cable box. In order to watch digital cable channels, you would have to get a second cable box, hook it up to the EyeTV's composite/s-video input, and change channels with the box.

    P.S. don't worry about upscaling on the 24". The EyeTV software has a great scaler. 720p will be absolutely beautiful on the 24".
  7. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    i don't think this is a good option for me though, since i'd be limited to 420p for games. I might be better off with an external display/vga adapter and speakers

    which brings me to: if i plug in the xbox via the little port thingy on the eyetv with the included cable, will I be able to hear sound through the imac's speakers?

    and would the 480p look good scaled on the 20"/24" display, or is that asking too much?

    Also, if the gaming doesn't work above 480p, then how does the HD programming work? What a let down, they should really mention on the website if the resolution is limited for games, especially with the new era of HD gaming. The main reason I was redirected to eyetv is because someone had asked if they could use thier xbox 360 with the imac's display (sans use of actual imac), and the people said no, but eyetv would work.
  8. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    i was just thinking...
    would i be better off with a dell 22"ish display along with the 360, and wait a bit longer for the imac

    i do still have my ibook, but i will be putting off my photography and i won't have the cool hd tv stuff

    but the 480p limitations of the eyetv for gaming is really not helping me look toward it
  9. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    It would be 480i, not 480p, and you'd have to define "good" - sit far away and it will look fine, sit close and it will look like dogshit compared to HD. It will also not be widescreen.
    Just my opinion but I'd say if you want your 360 in HD - yes, get the Dell display instead. If you still want HDTV, get an HD set-top box and hook it up to the Dell.

    Currently the box with the best HD reception is this:
  10. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    would i be able to hook such a box up to my imac for recording? not a top priority, but I would like the ability.
  11. gregjp48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2006
    i looked on teh website, and apparently it supports composite, as well as s video input. How do they differ?
  12. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Nope - just viewing. It's got an HDMI output which you would connect to the HDMI input on the Dell.
    They're both 480i - s-video is sharper and clearer than composite although still nowhere near HD.

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