Directv HD signal via component into 24" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by illiniwin, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. illiniwin macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2008

    PC user here who is attempting to convert to Mac. I currently have a Dell 17" Media Monitor and an XPS tower. I have both an office and home theater in my basement. So I ran a component cable from my Directv reciever 30' or so into my Dell monitor via component in. This allows me to watch an HD Directv signal in picture in picture while I work on my home office PC. I also have a VGA cable going out of the Dell Monitor about 40' or so to my Marantz projector so that I can watch my PC source on my 10' home theater fixed screen.

    Now to my problem. I need to use some Mac apps for work, prefer the OS and want to switch to Mac in my home office. I am very interested in buying the 24" iMac. After a discussion with Mac Sales it seems clear that I can use an Apple mini DVI to VGA adapter to send the iMac source via VGA cable to my home theater projecter. What is unclear to me is how in the world to convert my Directv signal via component cable into the iMac for display? Mind you I don't want to edit the video or store it or burn it or send it to friends or pirate it in any way - so I don't think I need a video capture card. I just want to be able to view the signal and turn the iMac into a dumb monitor in this instance.

    Second question. If I can somehow display an HD Directv signal on the iMac ( I know there is a solution for standard def and terrestrial HD signals) via component, surely the video card that comes standard in the iMac - the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 memory will allow me to view not just the iMac desktop, but any Directv signal that is now viewable on the iMac (presumably in a window or picture in picture)???

    I spoke with sales reps at both AJA and Black Majic. they both offer costly solutions or cheaper video card solutions that would allow component in, but only cards that would install in a tower such as the Mac Pro. I would strongly prefer an iMac based solution as it is the perfect Mac for my home office needs and the Mac Pro is overkill.

    Any and all suggestions are welcome.


  2. Rickeo macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2008
    In short, no, there is no way to bypass the computer part of the iMac and just plug into it's display. I know, i have looked into this extensively as an owner of a first gen Core Duo 20" iMac. I DO however have the mini-DVI to DVI adapter that I connected to a DVI to HDMI adapter that goes to my Pioneer 1080p Kuro, and THAT works great. :D

    Anyway, your only real option would be for some type of external tuner/capture break-out box that has component in. And that just wasnt worth it for me. Is buying a Mac Mini plus another LCD monitor an option for you? Dell/Gateway make some nice 24" LCD's that have component in. Only way i could see a Mac Mini not working is if you really need the dedicated GPU on the iMac. Hope that helps a bit.

  3. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    You're outta luck. iMacs have NO video inputs of any kind. There are some
    external USB TV-tuner/video-capture boxes, but they're not HD-capable.

    Not on an iMac -- and I don't think you could do that on a Mac Pro either.
    I'm no expert on the subject, but I'm not aware of any mainstream video
    cards with video input connectors.

    The usual approach is to plug the video sources directly into the monitor
    (as you're currently doing with your DirectTV and Dell monitor). Of course,
    you could do that with a Mac Pro, too (unless you were silly enough to pay
    a premium price for a brain-dead Apple monitor with only one video input.)

  4. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    Actually, two of the EyeTV tuners are HD capable. Pinnacle also sells a Mac HD-capable TV tuner USB stick.
  5. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    Hauppauge just announced a USB tuner with component-in this quarter. Not for Mac, but it's only a matter of time before Elgato does the same thing - they're practically the same company. An eyetv with component-in would allow you to watch component sources in the eyetv software (HD obviously).
  6. Sped macrumors regular

    May 30, 2003
    I understand the thread started asking about satellite, but you can run firewire from your cable box and get hd on your imac.
  7. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    How about a Mac mini (or MacBook) and a nice new 24" Dell monitor with component inputs?

    Can you live with composite? There are quite a few cheap composite to FireWire converters.
  8. slylabs13 macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2009
    The new 27" iMac

    The newest iMac 27" model DOES have video in via the mini displayport. The trouble is, no one makes an HDMI to mini displayport adapter. They make them for going the other way, and the one tech guy I talked to said their cable is one way.

    As someone who has an EyeTV device, let me just say that the quality does suffer. It's somewhere between DVD and VHS quality. Had I known that I would not have gotten one. But it makes sense. USB bandwidth is not quite enough to pass full HD video.
  9. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    I wanted to use my iMac as an HDTV, too. Not being able to do so, I mounted a 40 inch, 1080P LCD on the wall next to my iMac. Problem solved. :D

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