Mac 'n' TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ghostee, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. ghostee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    Villa Park, IL
    #1
    Does anyone here use a Cinema display as their main display for television and dvd's as well as the computer? I'm interested to know the options for using a Cinema Display with Analog and/or Digital Cable, either through my TiVo, a new set-top PVR (probably high def), or through a solution on the Mac. The "solution" would need to support guide listings, recording to the HD, and preferably high def. I have an iBook G4 800 (12") right now, and need to expand my screen space as well as wanting to replace my TV with a HD ready widescreen, and was thinking of killing 2 birds with one stone. I don't have a firm budget yet, so I can entertain all ideas. I'm not set in stone on whether I am in the market for a Cinema Display in particular, or whether I am willing to purchase a new Mac to accompany the display.

    Any insight would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    -T
     
  2. joshjohnson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    #2
    if you want a Cinema Display, you will have to get a new mac, or buy an expensive converter. The iBook has no DVI port which the Cinema Display needs. I have the same iBook as you and also own the EyeTV 500. Trust me when I say you need a beefier computer. The EyeTV is currently the only complete HDTV solution for the mac. If the Apple store will let you, I would recommend auditioning the iMac G5 20 inch with a DVD known to support progressive scan and wide screen. While hardly HD, it will tell you weather the screen is big enough for your needs by standing as far from it as you would be sitting at home. That one seems to be the best deal vs. buying a separate powermac and cinema display. Be sure you CTO the biggest hard disk possible for recordings. Also, the EyeTV 500 only supports HDTV sent over-the-air and a thing called Clear QAM aka unencrypted digital cable, in other words, if you want to watch standard def programming like the "expanded basic" package most cable companies provide, you will need a 2nd tuner, like the EyeTV 200 or Studio TVR or eyeTV Wonder USB. I have an EyeTV USB (the original and first EyeTV unit released) which is cheap compared to the other items, but it's quality is also too low for most people. I recently got an iMac G5 17 inch and I will say, It works great with EyeTV 500. be sure to shop around, EyeTV 500s can be had for as little as $329 or as much as $400 or even cheaper used (if there is such a thing). I hope this helps you.

    Web sites that can help:

    http://www.elgato.com

    http://www.formac.com/p_bin/?cid=solutions_converters_studiodvtv
     
  3. ghostee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    Villa Park, IL
    #3
    Thanks for the insight. The big downside is having to buy a new Mac. I was looking a bit at LCD tv displays that might have good enough resolution to function as a computer monitor as well as having built in tuner and inputs. I need to search more and try and audition some in person, because I'm not sure how good the quality would be. I know the price is much better for larger ones, especially a 30", considering the Apple 30" is $2699 edu plus the cost of a Powermac.

    Anyone with experience using an LCD tv as a monitor?
     
  4. ghostee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    Villa Park, IL
    #4
    Sorry, I don't mean to bump my thread, but I just wanted to post some observations I've found whilst searching and ask for opinions...

    I started to see a lot of reports of people using their computers on their LCD tv's and saying they had good results. What I realized hours later is that most of these are PC gaming kiddies who are just using it to play games. I dont play many games, I need a clear picture for apps, with readable text.

    So.... it looks like an LCD probably can't handle a computer well, probably due to the refresh rate or the lower resolution. And for some reason I doubt a Cinema Display would provide a great TV picture (fullscreen) as it's resolution is sooooo nice and normal TV is crap. If I'm wrong, by all means tell me. I really wanted to have 1 screen to rule both inputs.
     
  5. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #5
    Well, check out the Dell UltraSharp displays. They come with DVI, VGA and depending on the model, S-Video/Component/Composite. You can then buy a dirty cheap VCR, and hook it up to the S-Video or Composite ports. BOOM! TV!
     

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