imac 24" as tv?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alaibubu, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. alaibubu macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2006
    I just saw the 24" iMac for the first time this morning. Is it possible to use the imac to view television programmes? If yes, how? Do I need to buy any hardware or software? Can I just connect the imac with my cable tv decoder using S-video? Is the viewing quality great?
  2. Jasonbot macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    You can't input TV signal into an iMac but the best option for TV on a mac is EyeTV
  3. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Yes, the most inexpensive option would be the iMiglia TV Micro which costs $99 but only takes a coaxial cable as input:

    The next step up is the ElGato EyeTV Hybrid, which will also accepts Composite or S-Video inputs from your cable box, which should result in better picture quality, but costs $150:

    There are other products out there, but these are the 2 that I would recommend for connecting your cable box to your iMac.

    Note: as a bonus, with both of these products you can pause/rewind the TV you are watching as you would with a Tivo.
  4. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    The full EyeTV product I think is overkill, though - its intended use is to set up your Mac as a Digital Video Recorder device. To just watch TV on the Mac, all you need is the iMiglia TV micro or the EyeTV Hybrid.

    Plus using EyeTV as a DVR has a serious limitation: the EyeTV can't change the channel on your cable box. Which makes it largely impractical to act as a real DVR, since the whole point is to record shows when you are not there to change the channel.
  5. alaibubu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2006

    But can I change the channel through the cable box? That is all I really need.

    Can I view the tv programme full screen or is it limited to a certain size?

    Is the video quality the same as tv or worst?
  6. mongoos150 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2005
    Neither of these products will actually allow you to use your monitor as a HD panel (which is what it is - a full 1080p monitor). I believe ElGato makes a product to accept component/DVI signals which is what you want if you plan to game/upscale DVD watch on your panel.
  7. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    The quality, technically, is exactly the same, but what you'll find is that it will be blocky and grainy when viewed full-screen if you sit too close. This is because the monitor has a good 6-7 times the number of pixels of a typical television.

    You'll still be able to use your cable box remote as you ordinarily would. Strictly speaking, you don't need a TV tuner product at all with a cable box; unfortunately, for Macs, there aren't many video input products left to choose from.

    Unless s/he's using it for an Xbox 360, there's currently nothing worth the expense of that option. Using a display running through a computer for video games is really not a good setup, either, even the best products suffer a slight delay unless they offer a direct passthrough mode for gaming.
  8. lorductape macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2006
    t3h usa
    I've heard that the next gen of macs will have tv tuners.
  9. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    from who? lol, noone knows this, infact with the itv intro and the itunes tv show deals i think its even LESS likely that macs will have tv integrated, i think at most we can hope that apple opens up for eyetv / alchemy tv etc into frontrow etc
  10. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I use my iMac with the Hybrid. You can view full screen. I was a bit dissapointed with the quality, but it´s due to the screen on the imac (to good for SD TV) not the Hybrid.

    Image is ok as long as its bright scenes, night time shots tend to get "muddy"

    Still, I use it every day and it´s ok to watch
  11. alaibubu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2006

    What's it for? Can it be used to connect my cable box or dvd player to the iMac to watch movies or is it used for watching movies from the iMac on tv.

    If it lets me watch/record movies on the mac, wouldn't it be better for me to wait for it then buying Eyetv now.
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Curious as to where you heard this.

    Although, Apple has had a couple of Macs with built in tuners so it is possible they may be considering this again.

    Personally, I would like to see built in tuners.

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