Free Alternatives to TiVo-esque service?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Verto, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Verto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2005
    Denton, TX
    I've got my iMac and would love to be able to use it like a TiVo machine, but 1.) programs like Freevo, MythTV do not have Mac versions accessible and 2.) require a TV tuner card that I don't have.

    Is there any program out there that can do this? I've heard reference to Elgato/EyeTV, but don't want to spend any money at all - this is more idle curiosity that might come in handy, I don't watch enough TV to spend the money on TiVo or Elgato.
  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Well, you'll have to buy a TV tuner card to do this, and therefore you might as well get one that comes with EyeTV. MythTV, GB-PVR, and the other free software requires that you have compatible hardware installed. The reason they're free is that they're community projects that people want to contribute to and further, largely in response to Tivo's subscription fee and increasingly limited service.

    People want to build their own Tivo machines, and they want to do it affordably, so the Macintosh platform has not been the first choice for developers. Even a Mac mini, quite affordable though it may be, is too expensive and too limited for a project like MythTV. Now that it's off the ground, though, it's possible to get it running on a Mac running Linux. So in the future, you might see simple Myth distributions for Mac. Until then, you're stuck pretty much with EyeTV, and in either case you'll have to pay for the hardware.

    Hope this helps!
  3. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Your cable provider may provide the cheapest alternative. Since you are Mac you will have difficulty getting a decent Tivo alternative system up and running. There just isn't the demand for it. The new iMacs come close but, again, miss the mark on this one ... no T.V. Go ahead and get a good book or watch a dvd. You can always build a PC but if all you want is DVR capabilities, a Tivo will work just fine.

    I went through SageTV and Beyond TV/Beyond Media before finally settling on Media Center OS for my stand alone DVR PC. There are a number of other free alternatives on the Linux platform that work really well but that was too much headache for me in the end. I picked up a legit copy of Media Center OS and tuner card for under $100. I installed it on a cheap machine I had lying around the house and it works like a charm. It works like a dog and I don't really care if it dies at some point because I can always swap parts in and out. So far, it has been running constantly for about 5 months with only an occasional reboot for updates. It hasn't failed me yet:^)

    Don't waste your perfectly good Mac on television. That's the best reason for not doing this with Macs. PCs are like toasters, you can just buy another one.

Share This Page