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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
I recently left DirecTV as a customer and I am missing the Whole Home DVR (but not the cost). I am back with my local cable provider and have DVR's with them however they are extremely antiquated. I currently have ATV's on all of the TV's in my house, and I would like to see if I can use them for my goal.

IDEALY: I would like an interface that would allow me to hook a cablecard/ cable box to my Imac and it would allow me to DVR multiple shows and access them using the ATV's that I have around my house. I also would like this to happen automatically (so the wife can use without thinking about it) I have a new iMac and I have over 5 TB of accesible storage space, and wireless N network.

I am not afraid to go to a different interface if the ATV cant do it (Roku, etc). Anyone have any ideas. In a perfect world I would be able to rid myself the $40 a month I pay for DVR boxes.

Thanks for anyhelp!


macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2004
To save yourself the $40 a month, couldn't you just purchase the DVR's from your cable company instead of renting them? I'm in Canada, so I'm not sure how it works for you, but here we can either rent or purchase a DVR from our satellite and cable companies. They don't charge an extra fee for having a DVR.

Back to your question though, you could hook one of your cable boxes up to your Mac via an EyeTV product which will automatically record your programmed shows and automatically send them to iTunes (according to their website, I haven't tried that myself yet).

It looks like a pretty decent set up. You'd only need the one cable box, everything is automatically sent to iTunes, and you can watch the recordings on any TV in your house. The only downside is not being able to pause live TV for the first few minutes of a show to allow you to skip through all of the commercials.


macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
If they are anything like ours the company wanted right at $400 to purchase an HD DVR box, or rent them for $6/month per box.
So every 2-3 years there are ways to force the companies to send you the newest DVR HD hardware box, if you're renting, and try to stay up on the latest and greatest.
If you own it, you buy a new box when you want to upgrade like when our older TiVo boxes started becoming very slow I just called and started renting the boxes again.

From what I have read and people I have talked to, Most if not all of the Elgato boxes will only receive a Clear unencrypted signal, like OTA HD, they won't play DirecTV or any HD cable stations due to you needing a set top box from the provider with a card inside that basically says this box can output the signal.
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