Apple TV as a DVR?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Ubundows, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Ubundows macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #1
    Does Apple TV have the functionality, before or after installing boxee that will allow it to record shows from other devices plugged in to my TV set or rewind and pause them?

    Or will I need to purchase a seperate device for this?
     
  2. Grey Mouser macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #2
    AppleTV currently has no DVR/PVR functionality. Sorry.
     
  3. Ubundows thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2008
    #3
    Okay. Will the mac mini connected to my TV plus an eyetv device to plug in my satellite device or consoles work as a DVI? If so, which is the best to buy, as I've heard bad things about the eyetv hybrid, like it stops working as a USB 2 device eventually but also bad things about the eyetv 250's picture quality when converting videos to dvds.
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    Yes, you can use the Elgato Hybrid or 250 to do what you want. The big difference between the two is that the 250 has a hardware encoder built in, freeing up your mini's processor. I don't have either, so I can't comment on picture quality of recorded shows, but I've read that SD looks pretty bad.
     
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    With the right signal, I've heard that HD looks excellent though.
     
  6. belvdr macrumors 601

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    Apple's offering in this arena are really suffering. I would buy the Apple TV if it had DVR/PVR capability, but I don't think they'll ever get there. With all things hardware, Apple always seems to be a bit behind the curve.

    If your list of requirements has DVR above the standard Apple TV features, I'd look at a TiVO. There are some models from www.weaknees.com and you can purchase unlimited service. It is a bit pricey, but they are good units.
     
  7. Ubundows thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2008
    #7
    I'm based in the UK, and have been for around 6 years now, so unless tivo do a box over here, not possible.

    I could purchase sky +, which is the main DVR here, but since it needs an expert to come and install it, I really don't want to go down that route.
     
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #8
    I agree that PVR capabilities in the Apple TV would be great. That said, it's not like other similar devices have PVRs in them. Popcorn Hour, Roku, Vudu, Western Digital TV, even the XBox 360 or the PS3 - none record television. I don't really think it's fair to say that Apple is "a bit behind the curve" on this.
     
  9. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #9
    From what I've read, the Western Digital TV can record TV shows. Also, Windows Media Center, Eye TV, Tivo, and almost every Cable and Satellite company offer DVR recording devices and have now for years. So to say "Apple is 'a bit behind the curve' on this" is entirely accurate.
     
  10. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #10
    The Western Digital TV is just a media player, not recorder. Windows Media Center is for full-blown computers, more or less. The others you mention are specifically designed to record television broadcasts. To say that the Apple TV is behind the curve is to say that your refrigerator is behind the curve because it can't cook your food as well.

    I'm not disagreeing that PVR in an Apple TV would be great. I'm saying that there are essentially two classes of products: those that stream your media to your TV, and those that record television shows. There are some that come close to doing a bit of both, but really, unless you roll your own you have to go with two separate devices.
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #11
    The examples spice weasel gave were "media extenders", and generally devices in that category don't record.

    Windows Media Center, a Mac + EyeTV, TiVo, and cable/satellite DVRs are not in the same category as media extenders.
     
  12. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #12


    I thought I read in a review that the Western Digital was a PVR, but after checking the WD website, I realize I was mistaken. Apologies.

    I don't believe, however, comparing the Apple TV to DVR boxes, Windows Media Center, etc. is an "apples to oranges" comparison. All these types of devices are built to connect with your video and audio equipment to playback digital files. The feature set in the Apple TV or other similar devices should not exclude them from being compared to other devices built with the same end goal.

    The iPhone is an audio and video player, an internet browser, and a cell phone. Yet it is placed solely in the mobile phone category, and as such it is compared to other mobile phones.

    The Apple TV is meant to connect with your TV and Audio system. It should be compared to other devices which do the same. I'm not saying one device is better than other, just that they each have their strengths and weaknesses and that comparisons are legitimate.
     
  13. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #13
    I don't fully agree with this statement, but that's not really important. I think we are all on the same page in wanting to see the capabilities of the Apple TV extended. Apple is going to be forced to do so in the very near future if it hopes to compete in that market. I don't see a PVR coming to the Apple TV anytime soon, but I do see Apple doing something to compete with the quickly building onslaught of internet-streamed media. Netflix is aggressively moving into this market, having recently added Macs and XBox 360s to the list of supported devices, with more on the way. Hulu is awesome, and even the once-horrible CBS web media player has gotten much better. And both run pretty well on Boxee, and that is still only in alpha.

    For television shows, Apple also has to compete with cable providers and DVRs. This, to me, is where Apple can really shine (no pun intended). Many people HATE their cable providers and want to drop them. I know I do. But I don't get clear OTA signals where I live. Give me a reasonably-priced alternative to cable for prime-time shows that doesn't require me to buy the shows and I'm all over it. Right now, for me, there is almost no incentive to buy television shows from Apple - as a Netflix subscriber and a frequent user of Hulu and CBS.com, I just use those sources instead.

    As long as cable providers continue to gouge customers and keep stalling against the pressure to go a la carte, Apple has a great opportunity. Networks and other content creators/providers/owners just need to get on board.
     
  14. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Carolina Beach, NC
    #14
    Right on. How many devices should we have to plug into our TV's to watch various shows? I've been praying for a fully functional device from Apple which lets me watch TV from whatever source I chose, and I hope my prayers will be answered come January. We'll see, I guess.

    I, too, hate my cable provider and as soon as a viable alternative comes along, I'm buying it. I just can't justify purchasing any device out there right now as none is the "swiss army" box to plug in to the television. Some record TV, some stream from the internet, some are for movie rentals... How about one device that does it all? I know Mac-Mini fans will say this is the route to go, but I can't get one with the knowledge that an update or a discontinuation is emminent. Either way, I'm wating to til January to decide which way to go.
     
  15. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #15
    Here's my version of "AppleTV DVR":

    Back end:
    - TVRSS subscriptions to various TV shows (I use Vuze torrent client)
    - RSS torrents auto-download daily to an SMB share on my iMac

    Front end:
    - 3 x AppleTVs around my house
    - Each running latest Perian (to enable Xvid playback)
    - ATVFiles mapping to TVRSS network share on iMac

    ... and guess what? Every day my AppleTVs are automatically updated with fresh TV shows, accessible at a click of a remote. Oh, and none of this involves spending money on iTunes Store :)
     
  16. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #16
    That's pretty much what I have been doing for the last year.

    The only problems I've run into are that not all of the shows I watched on cable have torrents, and I haven't had any luck with the AppleTV natively playing back the 720P mkv torrents.
     
  17. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    I have both the EyeTV Hybrid and the 250. Both are great. SD only looks bad because you're looking at it on a near HD screen. I played it through a TV out and it looks the same as TV quality. Can't really expect more.

    Awesome idea! Where do you find these TVRSS subscriptions? I'm looking to do something very similar. Maybe get rid of all those pesky cable bills!
     
  18. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #18
    tvrss.net would be a good place to start..
     
  19. bergmef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast of Baltimore, USA
    #19
    I use a program called 'TV Shows' on my macbook with transmission as my bittorrent client. It's only version 0.3 but it works pretty darn well, no issues so far. You can pick the resolution you want for the shows you subscribe to and when they are available, the download starts. I open the macbook before work, all the new shows are asking to be added to transmission. I add them and go to work. I get home, dump all of them to visualhub, they are converted and visualhub automatically send them to itunes. I watch at my leisure and delete them when I'm done. It's basically painless.

    Heck, I would gladly rent (half price) the series I want to watch from itunes but it's not an option. I don't want to start a collection, I just want to be entertained. OK, I want to get rid of a 150 dollar a month cable bill too.

    I think the program is dead now but it still works.
     

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