Best TV Tuning solution for Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by LincolnsiPod, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. LincolnsiPod macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking to get a Mac Mini for my parents and need a solution that can closely mimic the Windows Media Center experience on a Mac, since they often watch and record programs on the computer rather than on TV.

    The Apple Store sells the Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus which seems to have mixed reviews. Is this the most viable alternative to Media Center or is there something better out there I could look into?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    Elgato is a good choice. As an alternative/complement, look at Plex. You can watch shows online without 12 commercials for every 3 minutes of show.
     
  3. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #3
    You say they watch TV on their computer instead of TV. With WMC the only content to watch without an external device is internet TV and I don't think you can record that content in WMC. You would need a PVR of some sort.
    Unless they are connecting a cable box to the computer. Which I doubt since that too requires an external device.

    iTunes rents tv shows etc.
    Also theres Netflix, Hulu, and for the tech savvy. PLEX media Center.

    Any product Elgato has requires a cable,satellite or other type of over-the-air or coax connection.

    If they want to record HD video from a Cable box I'd suggest looking into Hauppauge stuff

    http://hauppauge.com/site/products/prods.html

    As an addendum the stuff Elgato sells is made by Hauppauge.
     
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I use EyeTV with the Silicon HD Home Run Dual Tuner devices. Works like a charm OTA or with cable.
     
  5. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #5
    Yes the old computer is hooked up via a Verizon cable box, which Windows Media Center controls. Works well for them which is why I'm hoping a Mac solution will be just as good, at least for their needs.

    Hauppauge bundled products are Windows only, I'd have to get the Elgato software to get it to work on a Mac, which adds unnecessary complications. I might as well just get Elgato since they're more geared for Apple use as far as I know. Good to know it relies on Hauppauge hardware though since I use that on my desktop as well.

    WinTV Extend is also a possibility and could be fun to use since I have an iPad at home, but I hear it's pretty buggy.

    ----------

    Thanks for the recs, I'll look into Plex and the Silicon HD Home Run Dual Tuner as well. It will probably come down to ease of use, the simpler the better, so a basic PVR software will probably more than suffice for them, as long as the TV tuner itself is rock solid. :D
     
  6. Peace, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

    Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #6
    I use the Hauppauge HD PVR along with EyeTV Software. The reason I use the HD PVR is because you can get 5.1 audio in to it via the Optical Toslink port. Elgato doesn't have a product that utilizes the optical port.

    Then again I just do that because I record video then transcode it using Handbrake which can do AC-3 5.1 audio. This way I can play it back over my Apple TV 2 in 5.1 audio.

    The Mac won't play 5.1 natively unless it has an optical out port like the Mac Pro.


    I will say though. The best software for TV viewing/recording on the Mac is EyeTV.

    imho
     
  7. ToothTooth macrumors member

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    North Carolina, USA
  8. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  9. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

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    Aug 24, 2011
    #10
    If you are comfortable with the Linux side of OSX, then MythTV with Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime will work for CableCARD channel list. The only limitation is copy once content. All copy freely will be viewable. This is dependent on your cable provider, YMMV.
     
  11. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #11
    How about a good capture card recommendation for recording video games?
     
  12. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #12
    Thanks, don't think I'll need anything fancy, just basic TV viewing and recording for now. :D
     

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