Best option to turn a Mac into a DVR?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mellofello, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #1
    Hello

    I am currently making a man cave out of my back patio. I have a PS3, and 360 hooked up to a New Sony flatscreen, and a budget stereo setup. I finally got around to doing a coax run this weekend. I have just basic cable going down that run, and don't want to pay for a digital box back there.

    I have a 2008 Macbook pro with a fried keyboard that I want to stick back there next to a 2 TB drive of movies, download movies, and to stream Hulu etc. I see that there are a few companies that make a coax converter for Mac. Does anyone have experience with the Elgato EyeTV, or HD homerun?

    If I were to have the signal go to my mac, and then go out DVI to my TV would I experience a noticeable signal quality degradation? I like the idea of streaming TV to my phone, and other macs in the house but my main goal is to get the best quality DVR experience on the TV.

    Open to any suggestions.
     
  2. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #2
    Assuming you're only wanting to record television with the device (some want to record their gaming, too, which would change the suggestions), most devices (especially those listed on the eyetv 3 software page) would work just fine.

    However, since you're not using a digital box to convert the coax input to composite nor component outputs, you're going to be a little more limited in your options simply because not all devices offer the ability to capture from a straight coax signal (the EyeTV HD, for example).

    Personally, I'd recommend going with an Elgato product that comes bundled with the EyeTV 3 software. Choosing a third party device and then purchasing the software for it (I'm not sure how many devices out there have bundled mac software) tends to be just as, if not more, expensive than buying everything in one shot. Also, since you seem to be interested in just running the signal from one cable to one computer, the HDHome Run seems to be a little much, since that device caters to a household feeding multiple computers from the same cable connection. I'd recommend either the EyeTV Hybrid of EyeTV 250 Plus. If you're just capturing over-the-air channels, then you could even just use the EyeTV One instead of the hybrid (the hybrid can decrypt other channels while the One cannot). I like the EyeTV 250 Plus because it has more hardware to assist in recording content than the other two devices.
     
  3. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #3
    Does the video on the EyeTV boxes look as good after being decoded for the mac, as it does plugged directly into a TV?

    Does anyone here still use Tivo? If so has anyone ever compared a Tivo DVR to a EyeTV?
     
  4. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #4
    The image quality partly depends on the guts of your computer hosting the EyeTV device. That being said, your 2008 MBP should be able to handle video just fine and playback the video on your TV as though the cable were hooked straight into the TV.
     
  5. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #5
    I havent used Tivo in a very long time, but back when I transfered shows from the DVR to my PC, the quality was so-so.

    the EyeTV HD on my mac mini is really pretty good. if it captured in true HD, it would be better, but 720P isnt bad.


    when I export the shows to ATV2 format with the turbo H.264, the quality on my 55 inch samsung is really quite good. not much difference than the cable box itself.
     

Share This Page