Ditching my TV for a mac, can i play my consoles?

7084

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
46
0
Ok, so my aim is to only have one screen in my room, as my piddly little 14" TV will not be able to compete with the hopeful purchase of one of these 24" beasts.

Now, digital tv is pretty straight forward it seems, as I'm only after the freeview channels and there seem to be lots of options available for that purpose. Consoles on the other hand... I'm not so sure about...

I'm in the UK by the way...

With no video-in capabilities whatsoever on the mac i almost gave up hope, until i spotted this USB TV tuner for mac, as well as supporting digital TV, it claims to also support all current and next gen consoles with minimal latency via analogue.

Not ever having tried one of these devices before, I wonder if anyone a bit more tech savvy might know something about them?

Ok, so it seems S-video is the best connection i can get. Obviously i'm not going for HD quality here, but will this look awful on my monitor? Worse than on my 14" screen, RGB connected consoles? Will no PAL 60hz option be shooting myself in the foot for future releases (Aim to get at least a Wii, if not a PS3 at a later stage, and already own a GC and PS2)?

Also the claim of no latency is a big one, will i be mis-timing jumps and so forth as I wait for the picture on my screen to catch up with the game?

Anyway, I know theres a lot of questions there, and i'd be grateful to anyone who could shed a little light onto the subject.

Cheers

7084
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,265
0
Bookshop!
Looks like you have already researched, and have found a good product.

Elgato seem to make good video/TV solutions for the mac. If they claim it works with low latency, i would believe them. Maybe go into a shop and ask if you can have one demoed. Sounds like it might be a popular topic, so report back with results! :)
 

asphalt-proof

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2003
584
0
Magrathea
This seems like an excellent solution. They made a similar device but it looks like has been discontinued. Anyway, the other device also worked very well and had good reviews from those that used it. Good luck and let us know how it works for you. I'm curious because this is the same setup I will do in my home: 24" of iMac goodness, xbox and TV in my bedroom. Can't wait!!
 

Mac Rules

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2006
489
332
Switzerland
I'm liking this... FYI, S-video is capable of resolutions up to 1080i, so HD gaming is fully p[ossible, and the iMac should have no probs showing it, so roll on the PS3!!

Cheers
 

i.Feature

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2005
273
0
Montreal, Canada
Mac Rules said:
S-video is capable of resolutions up to 1080i, so HD gaming is fully p[ossible
I'm not quite sure this is true. S Video is an analog video cable and is only capable of 480i or 576i resolution. Great quality analog, but still analog.

Please someone correct me if i'm wrong. Don't want to be giving out false info.
 

7084

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
46
0
Thanks for the replies guys, it seems that you all think this will be a reasonable solution, even though it does seem like the ONLY solution out there lol.

Won't be able to test this out for quite a while, as I've still not quite got enough money to buy the system, but thought there'd be no harm in aksing a few questions.

Being in the PAL europe territory, we get an option on a lot of our games for 50 or 60hz TVs, with 60hz being the equivalent of a US tv, and 50hz being somewhat slower and less clear, the hybrid eyetv says it does not support 60Hz pal. Any idea what the implications for this would be? Any workarounds? Also i've never used S-video once, whats the picture quality like?
 

Mac Rules

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2006
489
332
Switzerland
If it doesn't support it, then its unlikely you'll find a way around that.

About PAL and NTSC, the only difference is that PAL runs at 50Hz compared to 60Hz, but also has more pixels on screen, so essentially theres more of an image, but NTSC runs smoother, producing a better picture...

S-video is basically one of the best analogue signals you can use, as it splits the audio signal from the video so that theres no distortion in either. Other than that, you need to start looking at digital sources, HDMI for exmaple.

Cheers
 

TBi

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2005
2,582
0
Ireland
You'd be better off with a Mac Mini and a 24" dell if you want to use it as a TV. The dell has all the necessary inputs to use it as a tv, S-Video, composite and RGB component. Plus you can do picture in picture and watch tv while you are using the mac. It's one of the reasons i won't buy the 24" iMac. Would have been nice if apple had included a (proprietary if needed) video in connection which would run out into a break out box that you could plug in all those.
 

7084

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
46
0
The mac mini and LCD tv was an option I did consider, but there are reasons I crossed that solution off my list, namely that a mac mini is not quite powerful enough for my needs.

Wanting to dual boot windows and play PC games that i've missed out on for years, the intergrated graphics chip in the mini will probably not quite cut it. And as for watching HD content online etc, part of me wants the iMac as it can easily run 1080i movies.

Hmmm, if apple released a similarly powered iMac without the screen, then hooking it up to an LCD tv would be the obvious choice, but I don't really see this happening, and getting a Pro would not only be out of my price range, but a bit over the top...

Hmmm, its defiantely a difficult situation...
 

TBi

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2005
2,582
0
Ireland
It's a right pain in the <insert colourful words here>. That's exactly what i want, a headless iMac so i can get a better screen with more inputs. I was going to get a 17" iMac and run it with my 20" dell but i found that when you up the spec of the 17" the 20" is only 100 euro more and you get 256MB graphics memory. The 500 you save on getting the 24" could go towards that lovely 24" dell :D. Otherwise you'll be keeping your little monitor.
 

Woody56292

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2006
18
0
TBi said:
It's a right pain in the <insert colourful words here>. That's exactly what i want, a headless iMac so i can get a better screen with more inputs. I was going to get a 17" iMac and run it with my 20" dell but i found that when you up the spec of the 17" the 20" is only 100 euro more and you get 256MB graphics memory. The 500 you save on getting the 24" could go towards that lovely 24" dell :D. Otherwise you'll be keeping your little monitor.
wait doesn't 24" imac come with dvi connector? just go buy a pc monitor cables.
I have some for my 360 and they work great. ( HD quality )
 

7084

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
46
0
Unfortunately, the iMac only has a DVI-out line, and no socket for a DVI-input, if it did, then this would be an easy problem to solve... well for the next gen consoles at least, what with HD being on the rise...