TV Tuner

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by rajs, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. rajs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    #1
    Hello -- My new PowerMac G5 should be arriving any day and I want to get a TV tuner for it that has Tivo like capablities. FM would be nice also but not necessary.

    What would you all recommend is the best one to get at this point ?

    a) AlchemyTV Tuner (PCI Card) - not sure if Tivo like software included and if included is of any quality at all.

    b) ElGato E-EyeTV (USB Device) - Tivo like software included

    c) Formac Studio DVR (Firewire Device) -- Apparently real good Tivo like software is included

    d) Or something else ?

    Thanks.

    - rajs
     
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #2
    I have not heard good things about USB based TV tuners, like the EyeTV, simply because USB does not have the bandwidth to handle video. I would suggest either a FireWire or PCI solution, because of the greater bandwidth.
     
  3. Toppa G's macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    The exurbs, MN
    #3
    eyeTV is pretty easy to use, but the quality is definitely sub-par. Not having used anything besides eyeTV, I'd recommend you try out the FireWire Formac.
     
  4. Java macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Location:
    Marin County (where else?)
    #4
    formac is great, but a bit $$

    I use my Formac Studio DV and it is great. I mostly use it to transfer old movies for clients, but also use it for the TiVo aspect.

    I really like it, but it is a bit pricey for just using it as a TV Tuner.

    It records full DV 740x480 so if you are looking to burn TV shows to DVD, it is a great asset.

    That is my 2 cents:)
     
  5. Douglas _Allan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #5
    ElGato just released an updated EyeTV based on Firewire with much better quality. It offers TIVO like capabilities with no monthly charge through www.titantv.com

    ElGato also has a complimentary device called EyeHome that streams content to your tv.

    www.elgato.com
     
  6. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #6
    I'd go with the EyeTV200 (Firewire EyeTV, about the same price as the Formac Studio TVR)
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #7
    Re: formac is great, but a bit $$

    I'll take it!




    don't you love selective quoting?
     
  8. skywise macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    details?

    may i ask why? I am in the market to buy one or the other and I don't know which one to get at the moment....

    Scott
     
  9. greenleaf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Location:
    Eugene,OR
    #9
    i have eyetv200 and it works really well for TV...i was wondering if anyone would know why my xbox lags so much through it though...like when you press a button it takes like 1second for it to take effect???has anyone else tried this?sorry if i kinda highjacked the thread but its kinda the same subject :D
     
  10. mgescuro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #10

    I use the EyeTV200 extensively. It's a great little box. Essentially, just plug and play.
    Make sure you get a spearate drive to record your TV shows. So you don't unnecessarily start fragmenting your main drive.

    EyeTV 200 allows you to edit and export to Toast or iMovie or iDVD or QT or MOV or MP4. And it's veyr easy to use. So essentially... you're looking at integration into iLife. And that's very helpful.
     
  11. mgescuro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #11

    Oh... that's easy.
    EyeTV actually runs on a 5 second delay buffer. Watch TV on EyeTV and on regular TV at the same time. You'll notice the lag.
    EyeTV needs to process the TV signals to send to the computer and then write it to disc. So, it needs those extra seconds. Definitely not good to play video games thru it.
     
  12. aussie_geek macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #12
    As the CPU does all the math regarding the conversion from TV input to Mac display, you'd think Elgato could bring out a product to take advantage of the G5 processor and firewire 800 :confused:. This would be perfect for gamers! :) A dual processor G5 would have enough processing power and bandwidth to process input in real time and throw it onto a Cinema Display don't you say? Or, could it be a combination of the graphics card as well?

    Oh well, maybe for the next version of the EyeTv range... :rolleyes:

    aussie_geek
     
  13. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #13
    ElGato makes some nice products. Prior to the release of EyeTV 200 I used the EyeTV USB and enjoyed it. However, at the time I had small complaints about less than wonderful video quality. Now that I have used EyeTV 200, I now see that the video quality from the EyeTV USB was bad.

    The advantages of the EyeTV USB over the Formac Studio TVR is that it compresses to mpeg-2 (which makes file sizes a little smaller), and it actually has a bit higher quality too because the full DV format that the Studio TVR records in leaves artifacts, because TV signals aren't naturally DV format anyway.
     
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #14
    It's not the case that the CPU does all the math. (Why do you think the units are so expensive.) The TV input has to be digitized and compressed before it goes through the firewire link. Then the CPU has to decompress and display it. All TV tuners based on USB and Firewire suffer such a delay, but I read somewhere that someone where able to play XBox games normally with a PCI based TV-tuner. A PCI card could reduce the delay by transfering the picture without much compression I guess because it has at least twice as high bandwidth as Firewire 400.

    But I wonder about a couple of things myself. For PC you can get MPEG-2 USB(2.0) TV Tuners at a price anywhere between $100 and $300. Does the price and the quality always match? And why is the cheapest tuner I can find for Mac (ElGate USB 1.1) almost $200 and has just MPEG-1 and USB 1.1?
     

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