Best Option for Watching TV on an iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alansmallen, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. alansmallen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #1
    Hey guys. I just got a nice new 20 inch iMac and I want to watch TV on it. I don't have cable in the room that the iMac is in, so I'll have to go antenna. I can't decide between the Elgato Hybrid or the Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick. I'm leaning towards the Pinnacle because it comes with the antenna, and I wouldn't know which antenna to buy if I bought the Elgato.

    Any suggestions on other tuners or what antenna to use for the Elgato?
    Thanks

    http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSi...V+Digital+PVR+(DVB-S_DVB-T)/Mac+HD+mini+Stick
    http://elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu/home.en.html
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    I've heard quite a bit about Eve TV, so I'd recommend that. As far as antennae go, you can pick them up for under $5 at a Radio Shack or whatever electronics store you have near you. Although, there might be one included, so you might want to double check.

    EDIT: It appears both use Eglato's eyetv, so it won't matter software-wise
     
  3. umbilical macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #3
    I hear better things of el gato, Iam waiting for a new version for buy it! and by the way I think that apple tv need record from tv!
     
  4. E-Tech macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    I love my Elgato EyeTV Hybrid. The EyeTV software and TV remote is so rad. Seriously, its so great.
    EDIT: The Pinnacle looks pretty similar but it runs the EyeTV Lite software. Knowing that I'd say definitely go with the Elgato cause you get the full software package (I don't know what the difference is).
     
  6. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Every Elgato ships with that mini antenna!
    And on the pinacle the eyetv is LITE version.
    I would go with the Elgato :)
     
  7. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #7
    The international versions might. But the US ones don't.

    Can someone point me to a link of an antenna that would work with the hybrid for under 5 bucks? (Radio Shack preferred)

    Thanks!
     
  8. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #8
    So I'm thinking about going with the Elgato Hybrid.

    Now two questions:

    What's the difference between the 2007 and 2008 models? (I can get the 2007 refurbished for about half the price)

    AND

    What antenna is used in the Hybrid? (Links please?)

    Thanks in advance

    Alan
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #9
    Make sure that whatever you buy includes a digital tuner - remember analog tuners will not work after Feb 2009.
     
  10. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #10
    So I bought the Hybrid, but I can't get it to work with the antenna. I'm returning it.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    Hold the phone here.

    What do you mean you "can't get it to work with the antenna"? Is your antenna omni or directional? Where are your source signals? Did you check TVFool.com for signal strength and azimuth? I am more than 50 miles from most of my sources and my Eye TV Hybrid with an $80 Radio Shack omnidirectional picks up more than a dozen stations.
     
  12. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #12
    I don't really know. I just got a crappy little GE antenna. Could that be my problem? I wasn't looking to spend more than 30 on the antenna.
     
  13. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #13
    Ok. So I went on to tvfool.com and did the analysis. It says I should be able to get signal on the major networks, yet I'm only getting jerky signal for NBC.

    I'm kind of confused.
     

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  14. Gentile macrumors regular

    Gentile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    The 2008 version can get Clear Qam channels from cable. That is your local channel company might have local hdtv channels. So you would not need an antenna to get these hd channels. Not all cable companies do, so you need to check in your area. Mine carries abc, nbc, cbs, fox, pbs, the CW and a few others.

    I think they are just the same otherwise. They both can get HD channels over the air.
     
  15. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #15
    The thing is that I need to use the antenna because I don't have cable output in my room.

    Just trying to figure out what's the best antenna for my price.
     
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    It's likely the problem is your antenna; is your antenna designed for picking up digital signals? All those stations that are 8.8 miles away are broadcasting from the same transmitter and have excellent signal strength for your distance. I don't think obstructions (e.g., buildings in the line of sight) would have much of an impact. You ought to consider purchasing a powered directional antenna. I have an HTDVa on one of my TVs and it is does a great job. Unfortunately, NewEgg cannot seem to keep them in stock. I also have roof-top antennas for my Eye TV (omnidirectional) and 40" LCD (directional), both from Radio Shack.
     
  17. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #17
    I have this antenna:
    http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0200484

    I'm gonna go to radioshack today and pick something up. What should I be looking for? (UHF, VHF, Directional, etc)

    Thanks for all the help
     
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #18
    That antenna is pretty much worthless. What you want is a powered antenna and considering your distance (8.8 miles) an omnidirectional should work great, but a directional will work better for those in that direction.
     
  19. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #19
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #20
    I really couldn't say. The antenna should be designed for digital (sometimes called, incorrectly, HDTV antenna). I suspect the last won't work, but the other two might - you'll just have to try both and take one or both back if they're unsatisfactory.

    There's a reason why NewEgg cannot keep that Terk antenna in stock. ;)
     
  21. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #21
    The second one seems to be the same or similar to the one I already have. I'll probably end up going for the first one.
     
  22. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #22
    So I ended up finding an antenna that seems to be working but I don't know how to position it perfectly. Any tips?
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    You need a compass. If you don't have one, turn on your digital receivers signal strength indicator and slowly turn the antenna until you get a good signal.
     
  24. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #24
    Now my only issue is that the signal quality goes from 98 to 10 and back to 98 within a couple of seconds.
     
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #25
    If 100 is perfect, then you have an excellent signal. Is this a directional or omni antenna? Give your tuner a few seconds to try to lock on. Once the antenna's in place, leave it there. One problem with directionals at that distance is there's a very narrow angle of tolerance, but it should be easy to get that signal even if you're off.
     

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