TV Tuner Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 70chip, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. 70chip macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2005
    Need a bit help here.

    I have a Pac Pro coming. One of the thing I hope to do is to get a TV tuner and set up my mac pro has my DVR & editing solution. Now I have read through several threads and have done some google research. Most seem to point to EYE TV products. But which one. I find myself a bit confused with all the different variation of analog/digital, QAM, DTT and the like so I hope you all can point me in the right direction. Here is my home setup currently.

    Cox Cable as my TV signal provider.
    HD/Digital Cable box (I've been told it's required for digital/HD channels though from my understanding not all channels are digital many still are analog)

    So which EYE TV is for me?
    When I last looked into this, I though it was the EyeTV 500, but seeing as I didn't have a computer able to process HD(ol Sawtooth) I held off. Now the 500 doesn't seem to be an option on their product page. theres the 410/600 and the new USB hybrid.

    Also if I'm correct that the cable box is required for the HD channels does that mean that I will be unable to use EYE TV here? Or I will, but will need an aditional cable box hooked up with the EYE TV?

  2. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004
    I am going to make an attempt at clearing this up...

    First off, lets start with what country are you in, US, UK, etc? (I am assuming US since I know Cox is in the US, if thats the case 410/600 will not be useable.)

    DTT is digital terrestrial television found in the UK.

    Clear-QAM is unencrypted high definition video signal sent by digital cable. This is rather dependent on your content provider in your area. You are going to need to ask Cox which channels are unencrypted vs. encrypted.

    Digital cable is a way the cable companies get more programming to you. It includes the analog channels as well as hdtv channels. It does require a cable box to view it.

    You can use the elgato products (250 or hybrid), you have to connect those devices to the cable box. But when you want to change channels, you have to change the channel from the cable box. To record, you have to ensure that the cable box is on the correct channel. At this point, there is no way for the elgato device to communicate with the cable box to change channels. It also will only record the non-hdtv channels.

    hybrid can also get free over the air hdtv.

    More info:

    Another product to look at is by Miglia.

    My advice: The mac side of things are still severely limited when using digital cable/cable boxes. If you are set to recording HD and using digital cable, use the cable companies dvr device.

    Hope that helps a bit. Feel free to ask more and to everyone else, correct me if I said anything wrong please!
  3. imnotatfault macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2004
    Do you really have to change the channel via cable box? All types of signal or just digital?
  4. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004

    The cable is going into the cable box. The elgato device is just seeing what the cable box puts out (it is not actually doing the tuning in this situation). So all channels (analog or digital) must be changed through the cable box.

    The other option is to lose the cable box, have the elgato device tune the analog cables and change channels using eyetv.

    Good read on mac media center:
  5. regan2 macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2005
    hyde park, ny
    The FCC mandated several years ago that cable companies give you a cable-box with firewire output.
  6. 70chip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2005
    Thanks for the help khisayruou. Your links and thoughts on the topic have been most helpful.


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