EyeTV 500 at college

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cwright, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I posted about HDTV tuners on the mac late last year, and to this date haven't received a single reply. Hopefully I'll have better luck now...

    I'm going to college in the fall at SMSU (now called Missouri State University).

    I want an HDTV tuner to use with my G5 that can tune into the channels I watch regularly: TBS, WB, FX, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, etc. I'm not sure if these channels are available as digital broadcasts or not. The problem is that it appears that the EyeTV 500 only supports Digital signals from an antennae or cable, but not NTSC signals. Well, SMSU provides cable TV hookups in their dorms, but how do I know if those provide NTSC or digital broadcasts?

    Will there ever be a Mac-compatible turner that supports both ATSC and NTSC both over-the-air and cable? Or is there already?

    If not, will the EyeTV work in my situation?

  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    If you're going to live in the dorms, in my experience you got no choice of what TV service you get. I highly doubt the university provides HD on the cable channels. You will only be able to receive HD from the broadcast channels (Fox, WB, etc), and only at certain times and shows - rare in my experience.

    So even if you get the HD TV tuner, it will still be SD. You're better off getting the eyeTV 200.
  3. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa

    Anyway, I don't know what cable Mizzou uses, but here at Truman we only get the local channels. But who knows? Maybe you'll be like me and loose your scholarship the first year and decide to live off campus. Then you can subscribe to whatever you please. :)

    Looks like the 500 supports standard def, which I assume is regular tv :dunno: In that case I'd go with the 500 model, that is if you have the money.
  4. Celsior macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2004
    The EyeTV 500 gets the HDTV signals over the air, I believe. I think this could make a difference whether any of the Springfield TV stations air any programs in HD. With that FCC's new broadcast flag decision's effective date looming (July 1st), you might as well get the EyeTV 500 now, or else it may be discontinued. Anyone more familiar with the broadcast flag's impact on HDTV tuners or products like the EyeTV 500?
  5. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Last time I checked, the EyeTV 500 did only take over-the-air signals like you said, but i think they may have a modified version now: Their website says that it can take cable inputs, but only digital cable signals–still no NTSC tuner. From their website:
    "You can receive unencrypted HDTV programs over antenna or cable with EyeTV 500, but not satellite TV"

    I don't really mind getting an NTSC-only tuner, but having HDTV also would be really nice, as more and more channels will be switching to HD soon, and it would be good to buy one now even if its not as useful at the moment since it could be discontinued soon. Plus watching 24 in HD would be awesome on one of the new Dell 24" screens :cool:

    Anyway, both have their ups and downs, which is why I really wanted one product that has both ATSC and NTSC tuners. I can't justify spending the money on both an EyeTV 500 and 200. If I decide to go the NTSC-only route, I may buy the Alchemy TV DVR since its cheaper and is in PCI format to save space.

    This looks like exactly what I want: ATI HDTV Wonder. It's a PCI card that has both Analog NTSC and digital ATSC tuners, a remote, and what seems to be pretty good software. However, they do not make a mac version. Any news on whether or not a mac version will ever be made, or a company like Elgato or Miglia making a similar product for the mac?
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Man this is getting confusing for an old timer like myself (remembers BW TV).

    So if I understand it, if I have an HDTV and the 500 I won't get the SD transmissions. Does this hold true of the HD antennas for the inside? I am moving into an apartment and want to cut the cable ties maybe.
  7. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I doubt you'd want to cut the cable for a while. Go to AntennaWeb and enter your Zip code to find which digital broadcasts are available in your area (make sure you check "show digital broadcasts only" from within your search results).

    I looked up the zip code for SMSU, and it shows that only the following stations are broadcast digitally: NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, CBS... that's missing alot of channels that I want. My understanding is that If I buy an ATSC-only tuner with an antenna, that those 5 channels are all I'd be able to get, correct? Seems really expensive for what you get.

    Since the school provides an "expanded basic cable" (which is what I have right now... we've never had digital cable) I should be able to get all 70-or so channels piped into the EyeTV 200 or AlchemyTV for alot less money than the EyeTV 500.

    But then there's the FCC broadcast flag... which is why I really want both. This is really frustrating...
  8. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    What is your setup? Laptop, iMac or Powermac/mac mini.
    Basically, if you want to play console games, doing so through the reciever of the eyetv will be useless, as there is a 2 second delay between the sigal and the picture.
    If you have an external monitor however, you could just get a converter box to transfer TV etc onto your monitor. In which case this kind of tuner/converter arrangement will be faster/cheaper!

    Hope this has helped :)
  9. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I'll be using a G5, but plan to have a Dell 2405fpw before I go to college, and that will have direct inputs for the console games :)

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