Mac Mini as a dedicated EyeTV3 & iTunes server.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by blueroom, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I'd like to use a pair of HDHomeRuns as ATSC tuners and a Mac Mini as a dedicated DVR connected to a LCD TV and controlled with an Apple remote.

    As a bonus if it could transcode TV shows to ATV2 (I think the EyeTV3 software can do this automatically) and add them to iTunes so they can be watched on an ATV2 connected to the TV in the den.

    Anyone doing this sort of thing?
  2. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    I run an AppleTV2 connected to two TV's via an HDMI Matrix switcher connected to an iMac running EyeTV3, AirVideo and iTunes with all the data stored on a QNAP running 6TB RAID5 array.

    AFter some thought I moved to using the AppleTV (I used to have the mini directly attached to the TV's) but the need for a keyboard and mouse annoyed me.

    With these three applications you can stream video to your AppleTV2 or transcode to another iOS device (like an iPad) then using the iPad you then AirVideo the transcoding video the AppleTV2.

    It is a bit crazy sounding but it removes the need for keyboards and mice which I find annoying.

    Having the mini direct will work fine just make sure you have a good wireless keyboard and mouse as it is a bit more effort to use.


  3. blueroom thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks, I don't mind a headless PVR. How do you get the program guide?
  4. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I just got out of a setup similar to this... If you're convinced this is the way you want to go, here is what my advice would be...

    Windows MCE. EyeTV makes such a poor "dedicated" tv watching experience. Buy yourself a refurbished X360 for the other room. Use it solely as an extender.

    Now, I don't really expect you to follow this advice. You seem pretty set on using EyeTV. IMO, this is like buying a Civic, Focus or (insert whatever your favorite mid-range sedan is here) and hauling around your 50' pontoon boat. I just want you to file this off in the back of your mind and when you start to get frustrated at EyeTV, just keep the alternative in mind...
  5. blueroom thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Problem with Windows MCE is the guide data for Canada is spotty at best and all I want is the guide and TV recording. I've used SageTV and love it (uses the Zap2it guide) but it was bought by Google and is no longer supported.

    I've not used EyeTV3 but I have used Beyond TV (hasn't been updated in years and as is the norm spotty Canadian support) and MCE seems to have only US interests at heart and MythTV feels like it'll never be finished.

    What I want is.
    Working OTA TV guide for Canada & US.
    Dual Dual Tuners (two for US antenna, two for Canada)
    One PC as a server that double duties as the main Live TV / DVR and possibly iTunes server plus able to transcode the OTA video to .m4v for the ATV2(s).
    IR remote compatible
    Sage does all this quite well, building a second PC with the same specs + Windows7 MCE would cost about as much if not more than a new Mac Mini.

    ATV2 as remote playback units but not for live TV.
  6. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    As a counter-point, my family has been using EyeTV as our exclusive TV conduit (a mini with an etvHybrid and a 2 tuner HDHomeRun all connected straight to the TV) for over two years and love it. I initially also set it up with Window Media Center 7 to do a back to back comparison, in the end I went with EyeTV, I just preferred it. WMC is a good product, but I just preferred EyeTV for our needs.

    Our TV needs aren't much, we just use ClearQAM to get the locals (we used OTA before I figured out that the unused cable line in our apartment was live). I mostly use it as a DVR, my wife watches some stuff live. I don't bother exporting anything, and we only have the one TV. I set up comskip so we don't even need to bother with fast forwarding through the commercials. The interface is fine. Not a Tivo level experience, but perfectly functional. No worse than most cable DVRs (in fact I prefer it to most DVR interfaces). The biggest annoyance is when the cable company moves a channel, which happens about every 8-9 months, I have to do a re-scan to find it. That's not EyeTVs fault though, and a non-issue if you're using OTA. It has crashed on me a handful of times, maybe 3 or 4, in the years its been running. Not a big deal. I think my old Directv box crashed about the same amount in the couple years I had it.
  7. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    You don't need a keyboard and mouse to use the mini most of the time. You can use Rowmote Pro, Mobile Mouse or one of the other remote apps to control it. I have a mini with HDMI output to two rooms, so I mainly do all of the setup at a desk and use it with the remote apps in the living room.

    Try Kylo if you go with this setup. It is pretty easy to navigate on a bigger screen.
  8. blueroom thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Well I'm going to order an Elago HDHomerun from Apple and give it a whirl using my MBP as a test bed (I don't have a Mac Mini at the moment). I'll post my observations here.
  9. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I'm not sure he's interested in using EyeTV as a dedicated tv watching experience (i agree, it is poor for this).

    I believe he's going to be using the mini and eyetv to record tv (like a tivo) from OTA or QAM and then play back later using an apple tv 2.

    I've been using this set up for 3 years and it works like a charm.

    However, i still would not use eyetv to directly watch tv on a computer. I'll just use the tv tuner for that.
  10. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Maybe I'm reading this wrong but what's the problem with EyeTV on the Mini? I've been using it on my late 2009 Mini with a Hybrid and my 40" HDTV and it's awesome! What deficiencies are being mentioned?

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