How to watch HD cable TV on my iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Qwerty11, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Qwerty11 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #1
    What are my options for getting my HD cable TV signal into my iMac? I'm guessing I need some kind of tuner or something?
     
  2. MisterMe, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

    MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    For viewers in the USA, the primary option is the eyetv hybrid tuner stick and eyeTV 3 software. The combination will get you all broadcast TV and unscrambled cable. For scrambled cable, you will need your cable provider's set top box and eyetv HD with eyeTV 3.

    If you have a favorite TV tuner from a manufacturer other than elgato, you will still need eyeTV. However, many tuner manufacturers that target the Mac also bundles eyeTV with their tuners.

    For users outside the USA, elgato has an international product line.
     
  3. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #3
    I am in the US. Will I be able to get all the HD channels I subscribe to with the EYETV? I also head about about HDHomeRun. is that an option?
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    I was very careful in the language of my previous post. The HDHomeRun is eyeTV-compatible. That is the good thing. In my previous post, I made it very clear that the tuner dongle can tune broadcast TV and free cable. Broadcast TV in the US is ATSC. Free cable is NTSC for analog and ClearQAM for digital. A few cable-exclusive channels are ClearQAM. If your provider has a local news channel, then the digital version is probably ClearQAM. On my system, WGN America and TBS are also unscrambled. However, the vast majority are scrambled. The HDHomeRun web page backs-up the point. If you want to record scrambled cable, then you will need your cable provider's set top box to decode the signals before sending them to your computer recorder.
     
  5. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #5
    Would I be better to run the tv on the OSX side of my computer or in Windows8 running in Parallels?
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Everything that I have recommended to you, including my endorsement of HDHomeRun, is Mac-compatible and of the highest reputation. The only thing that my recommendations won't do is to decrypt scrambled digital content. There may be some Windows software that will do this. However, decoding scrambled content is software piracy and is frowned-upon on this forum.

    If software piracy is not what you are looking for, then you must be clear about what you are looking for.
     
  7. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #7
    I'm looking for a way to watch channels I subscribe to through my cable company on my computer. Also the potentiality of distributing this throughout my house is interesting to me as well.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    I wish that you had stated this up front. You need a Slingbox. Your Slingbox will allow you to access your TV or cable STB from anywhere in your home or from anywhere on Earth over the Internet. You may access your Slingbox using Windows, OS X, your iPad, or iPhone.

    Understand this: Slingbox extends access to your cable STB. It will not extend functionality. My cable STB is a DVR. It allows me to record one program while watching another or to record two programs at a time. It does not allow me to watch two programs at a time. For that, I need two STBs. Direct TV's Genie STB allow up to five HD programs to be recorded simultaneously; the Dish Network's The Hopper, six HD programs. However, subscribers need additional STBs to take advantage of whole home HD-DVRs.

    In your case, if you want to watch the ball game or The X Factor wherever you go, then one Slingbox will do the trick. If you want each member of your family to watch his/her choice of programming whenever he/she wants, then each will each need his/her own Slingbox connected to separate STBs.
     
  9. len5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Elgato Hybrid

    I wanted to get the local tv stations that come in HD for free on TW basic cable like ABC, NBC, Fox, WB, ect. There are like 8 of them in my area. So I ordered the Elgato Hybrid. When I was unable to get these unencrypted HD channels in HD on my computer with the Hybrid I called Elgato. They said the Hybrid CANNOT display HD on a computer via cable. The only way the Hybrid can display HD resolution is via an antenna. So the hybrid can view unencrypted HD channels but in standard resolution.

    I returned the Hybrid and told them they should make it clear that the Hybrid cannot display HD channels in HD.
     

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