How to use iMac as a TV?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by willed, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. willed macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2007
    Hi all,

    I'm about to move to New York, and given the size of New York apartments I'm not going to have my 27" Retina iMac sitting right next to a 32" TV. The TV's got to go. Still, it would be nice to be able to watch stuff live off the air, rather than relying solely on Netflix, HBO Now etc.

    Is there therefore a way of watching 'real' TV on the Mac? Elgato seem to specialise in this but most of their hardware seems only to work outside the US, even if their software is for sale here. How do I get video in either from free to air TV or from a cable box?

    (Sidenote: back in around 1996 my family bought a black Macintosh Performa 5400/180 with a TV tuner. Ironically I could watch TV then, something I can't do now!)

    Thanks for your help,

  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    O-o-o-oh Kay! You don't need "most of their hardware." You just need the hardware that does what you want to do. What exactly do you want computer TV hardware to do? What do you want that you believe Elgato's US hardware can't do?
  3. willed, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

    willed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2007
    Sorry if I've misunderstood... I'm assuming that you can't just plug the standard output (HDMI?) from a cable box or an aerial into the Mac and use it as a monitor/TV...

    So I'll need some sort of hardware to either
    A) convert the TV output from a cable box or other source into a video signal that can be sent to the Mac, probably via USB, or
    B) pick up and convert free-to-air TV directly into the Mac (what many of Elgato's products are designed for, but with European/Australian standards)

    Maybe I'm missing something.. but that's why I'm here asking! :)


  4. willed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2007
    That's really useful, thanks.

    I wonder why it's so difficult in the US compared to everywhere else? I expect it's to do with the cable companies wanting to hold on to their dying monopoly. Seriously, HBO Now took long enough to arrive, how long before I can just watch everything online?

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4 June 8, 2015