Anyone tried a Miglia Alchemy DVR card in a Mac Pro?

grovertdog

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Sep 14, 2006
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I used one of these in a pre-PCI-X G5 and loved it. Would like to use it with my Mac Pro, but can't determine if it is compatible. Miglia's www site is depressingly out of date...

Any help would be appreciated!

GTD
 

mustard

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2005
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NJ
grovertdog said:
I used one of these in a pre-PCI-X G5 and loved it. Would like to use it with my Mac Pro, but can't determine if it is compatible. Miglia's www site is depressingly out of date...

Any help would be appreciated!

GTD
The card you have sounds like a standard PCI card which will not fit or function in the Mac Pro in any fashion. If you are looking for a similar solution to the Miglia offerings I suggest turning to Elgato.
 

grovertdog

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Sep 14, 2006
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mustard said:
The card you have sounds like a standard PCI card which will not fit or function in the Mac Pro in any fashion. If you are looking for a similar solution to the Miglia offerings I suggest turning to Elgato.

Yes, you are correct. I wonder if Elgato has a PCI-E solution, or will I be forced into a seperate box/USBorFW option? I'll have to check it out. I hate adding more boxes and crap to my otherwise elegant MP/ACD.

Thanks,
Robert
 

sirnh

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Aug 16, 2006
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grovertdog said:
Yes, you are correct. I wonder if Elgato has a PCI-E solution, or will I be forced into a seperate box/USBorFW option? I'll have to check it out. I hate adding more boxes and crap to my otherwise elegant MP/ACD.

Thanks,
Robert
There are a few different tuners that are compatible with mac intels, but they are either USB2 or Firewire. You don't really need PCI to view tv these days.

I just bought a TVMini HD a few days ago and I am really happy with it. It only allows you to tune digital streams either through Over The Air or via cable through Clear QAM. I am using Clear QAM and I am even able to receive all of the area HD stations, not to mention dozens of other SD channels. The TVMini HD does not work with analog channels at all.

Elgato has a couple of different tuners which do work with analog signals, though.

What sort of stations do you want to tune (free, pay, HD)? Do you want to do time shifting and recording? Are you using cable, over the air, satellite, etc?
 

grovertdog

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Sep 14, 2006
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sirnh said:
There are a few different tuners that are compatible with mac intels, but they are either USB2 or Firewire. You don't really need PCI to view tv these days.

What sort of stations do you want to tune (free, pay, HD)? Do you want to do time shifting and recording? Are you using cable, over the air, satellite, etc?
Well, I already have a couple of Comcast HD-DVR's, so my needs are not that expansive. I used a Miglia PCI card in my g5 and liked it, but SD has its limitations, and now that I've stepped up to a 30" ACD, the screen will be ever so tiny.. As far as I can tell, I can get nowhere with Comcast for HD without their intermediate box. Free HD would be great; premium would be wonderful. My situation isn't the best for OTA HD as well. I really don't mind at all sacrificing a PCI-E slot for a tuner, but apparently these guys are few and far between.

Thanks,
Robert
 

damado

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Aug 8, 2006
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Sagetv is about to start beta testing their mac version. They were about to let me into the beta, but you need to have a Haupaugge WinTV USB2 to participate :(

They will support more tuners in the future too.

You might consider going that route for PVRs. I use SageTV on my windows HTPC and love it.
 

sirnh

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Aug 16, 2006
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grovertdog said:
Well, I already have a couple of Comcast HD-DVR's, so my needs are not that expansive. I used a Miglia PCI card in my g5 and liked it, but SD has its limitations, and now that I've stepped up to a 30" ACD, the screen will be ever so tiny.. As far as I can tell, I can get nowhere with Comcast for HD without their intermediate box. Free HD would be great; premium would be wonderful. My situation isn't the best for OTA HD as well. I really don't mind at all sacrificing a PCI-E slot for a tuner, but apparently these guys are few and far between.

Thanks,
Robert
Robert,

I have comcast, as well. The TVMini HD will capture the normally free channels that come over the cable. That includes the the main HD OTA networks, as well. The bad part is, because it's a purely a digital capture device, you can never use it to capture premium channels.

You can learn more about the product here:
http://www.miglia.com/products/video/tvminihd/index.html
 

grovertdog

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Sep 14, 2006
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sirnh said:
Robert,

I have comcast, as well. The TVMini HD will capture the normally free channels that come over the cable. That includes the the main HD OTA networks, as well. The bad part is, because it's a purely a digital capture device, you can never use it to capture premium channels.

Thanks for the link.. I may be a little (lot?) dense. When you say "main HD OTA" channels that come over cable, what does that mean? I understand OTA to mean over the air, e.g. use antenna to receive. Perhaps you are saying Comcast has to bring in the HD feeds of the channels I technically should be able to receive via antenna?

Thanks,
Robert
 

Fredou51

macrumors regular
May 23, 2006
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Kingston, Ontario, Canada
bossass said:
It would be nice to have an internal DVR to cut down on desk clutter.
I think the exact same thing. Why have an extra external box when we already have this huge mac pro with three free pci-express slot. I have been hoping since I got my MP that Elgato or someone else will release a Mac compatible pci-e dvr.
EDIT: We also don't need hardware encoding because we have these four cores waiting for that.
 

sirnh

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Aug 16, 2006
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grovertdog said:
sirnh said:
Perhaps you are saying Comcast has to bring in the HD feeds of the channels I technically should be able to receive via antenna?

Thanks,
Robert
Robert,

They don't have to, but they do anyway, heh. The main reason is that most people live outside of the range of most HD towers, and unless you live in a major metropolitan area, you may have to change the angle on your antenna to receive a signal from one station to the next.

In the New Hampshire area, Comcast carries two local ABC, two NBC and one CBS affiliate, as well as the new CW channel and Fox.

Again, I wouldn't recommend this device if you want to watch any premium cable stations.
 

sirnh

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Aug 16, 2006
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Fredou51 said:
I think the exact same thing. Why have an extra external box when we already have this huge mac pro with three free pci-express slot. I have been hoping since I got my MP that Elgato or someone else will release a Mac compatible pci-e dvr.
EDIT: We also don't need hardware encoding because we have these four cores waiting for that.
Why do you want a PCI-E tuner? They already have USB 2.0 tuners that work well enough.

By the way, you can't really capture HD without it already being encoded. HD is always broadcast in a digitally encoded format. It takes 40-50% of all 4 CPUs to decode a 1080i stream from my Miglia TVMini HD (which comes with the El Gato software).

The only PCI-E tuner technology out there that I think is worth having on the mac is ATI's rage theater chip. Too bad they don't have Eye TV drivers for it. It has superb filtering of SD signals.
 

grovertdog

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Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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Sirnh-

Are there any Mac solutions using that ATI chip?

As for using a PCI-E card- I think the reason is simply to reduce clutter. Kind of sad to muck up the Apple hardware with more wires, dongles, and little boxes in my opinion, but it may be my only option.

Robert
 

sirnh

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2006
105
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grovertdog said:
Sirnh-

Are there any Mac solutions using that ATI chip?

As for using a PCI-E card- I think the reason is simply to reduce clutter. Kind of sad to muck up the Apple hardware with more wires, dongles, and little boxes in my opinion, but it may be my only option.

Robert
Grover,

There are no Mac tuners that use this chipset, yet. I don't know if ATI has provided source for a linux driver, but if they have, it should be possible for Elgato to create a driver for the board. Too my knowledge, Elgato hasn't made their driver API public.
 

grovertdog

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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Sirnh-

I am close to taking a flyer on an Miglia TVMini HD. Seems like a lot of Comcast folks use them successfully, just none I can find locally. If I fail, well, I suppose Ebay is my friend..

I got sidetracked for a bit when I discovered I can connect to my Comcast Motorola HD receiver/DVR via Firewire, but if I follow that concept correctly, all that lets me do is concurrently record (or record from non protected DVR recordings at real time) SD and even HD material. Nice, but not the "TV in my Mac" solution I am looking for.

Robert