DirecTV to Mac viewing question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mmomega, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #1
    This may or may not have been beaten up in the past but I've been trying to accomplish this for some time and I still haven't found the device to do it.

    Well I take that back a little, I am sure a SlingBox HD Pro box will do this and if this would be the only device to use then that is fine but I am wondering if there are other options.

    The problem I am coming across is that most devices only allow for "open air" channels or basic cable non digital or pay channel type channels.

    Are there any devices out that allow the use of a DirecTV "cable card" to unlock the channels to be viewed over the mac?

    Also how good is the quality for the SlingBox HD or how would you compare it to anything else on the market if any?

    Appreciate any info guys.
     
  2. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    I wasn't aware that DirecTV had a cable card available.

    What I did years ago was use a Dazzle firewire capture device, it was a Windows package but any firewire device that's DV compliant should work with a Mac. Plugged the DirecTV tuner box into that and played the firewire video through a freeware DV player application (don't remember what it was called but I'm sure there's still options out there).

    And since it was a standard DV device it easily interfaced with Darwin Streaming Server for broadcsting over the home network.
     
  3. mmomega thread starter macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #3
    I'll take a look at what you mentioned in a bit a report back if I find anything further.
    As with regards to the "cable card" as I mentioned, I do remember seeing some device out although for the life of me I can not remember where I saw it but it was supposedly able to use the cards that are in the DirecTV boxes to decypher the digital channels without actually having to use the DirecTV top box itself.

    I am wanting something with WiFi support or just one that does not need to have my Mac and the set top box located side by side and without running a 50+ft cable across the home. If it can connect via a router that would work also as I have an Airport Extreme as an extender near my entertainment center that I current connect my DirecTV, Xbox and AppleTV through ethernet rather than WiFi.
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    Slingbox would definitely work. Other products you might want to investigate ... Vulkano Monsoon and the Hauppage Broadway. They work similarly to Slingbox.

    Otherwise, you're really looking at wired solutions.

    I'm not really up on DirecTV's offerings. Do they offer apps that allow for viewing live TV via a subscription. Lots of cable companies offer this, albeit a few limited channels.
     
  5. mmomega thread starter macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #5
    The Vulkano Monsoon I believe is what I came across before.
    I'll probably end up leaning towards the SlingBox Pro HD unless I can find something else that does the same for less at the same quality but it seems like the $250-300 is the price for what I want.

    DirecTV does offer an app for the iPhone and iPad and they now have this DirecTV anywhere via their website but it is very very limited on which channels you can watch live on a device other than the TV.

    I do have a extra DirecTV HD box in a guest room that hardly gets used so anything I bought that would control the channels would probably be set up in that room so that if I am in my office working and wanted to watch TV it would not change the channel that my wife was watching in the living room but from what I have been reading the Slingbox Pro allows for multiple channel viewing.

    I just do not have any experience with it so I am just trying to gather as much info as possible before dropping the cash.

    I am just really one for a very simplified interface as I don't like having to explain over and over to other people that may come over to the house and end up using it.... or my wife that isn't a huge techy, it needs to be simple to use or it doesn't get used then why buy it ? :)
     
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #6
    I use the Slingbox HD and it's great, but with some limitations. First, my wife would never.. ever learn to use it.

    Second, it takes a decent amount of bandwidth and there's some latency involved with controls and such. Still, it lets me watch the occasional hockey game or similar when I'm no the road.
     
  7. mmomega thread starter macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #7
    So it isn't as easy as opening an app and being able to pick a channel easy huh?

    Another quick question, are you connected via ethernet from the SlingBox to your computer or WiFi?
     
  8. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #8
    It's WiFi, but that's the least of my worries b/c I'm always watching it when on a business trip or something out of state.

    It is that simple, really.. but at the same time it's more fiddly than that. It's hard to explain. If you're on a real PC or Mac then you can use an onscreen remote that looks just like your one at home. Of course the control lag is several seconds per operation. On the mobile clients I think they forego the on-screen remotes for a more basic representation but I haven't done that in a while.
     

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