re-create DVR set-up

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cuestakid, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    I just moved and i was able to have my Mac and TV right next to each other, making using my EyeTV HD painless. Now, The two are in separate rooms, but only separated by a short hallway.

    Here is my question-what do you think would be the easiest solution to this problem?

    I have looked at a Tivo(very pricy and not reliable) a second Mac(could be pricy) and even getting a Windows PC (least practical and not really cheaper at the end of the day).

    Anyone have other thoughts? I am open to getting a different tuner, provided it is Mac compatible and works with US Digital and Premium channels. I looked at silicondust and their only Mac capable tunners work with non digital over the air channels.
  2. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    You've already got the setup you like, I wouldn't mess with the hardware. Honestly, I'd look at just getting some long cables and doing what I could to hide them inside the walls, behind the baseboards, under the carpeting, or something similar.
  3. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Can you not have EyeTV dump recorded content into iTunes? If so, you can add an APple TV to your TV, and view recorded content that way.
  4. ftaok, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

    ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    If you want to record premium channels, then you have no Mac options, short of recording the component output of a cable provided set top box. Macs are not certified for use with CableCards, so there are no tuners that can record premium channels and most "basic" cable channels are encrypted these days.

    So, what are your options?

    1. Get a Tivo (which you've indicated that you don't really like) and leave the Mac out of the equation. Or if you want the Mac used, you can transfer Tivo recordings to the Mac and back.

    2. Keep your same set-up and introduce an aTV (or other streamer). Connect your eyeTV to an open coax connection in your Mac room. Convert the recording to an iTunes friendly format (or set the eyeTV to record in that format). Add the recording to your iTunes library and Home Share to your aTV. Downside is that your recordings won't be in HD, except for the digital-HD channels, which is limited to the local OTA stations for most people.

    3. Get a Windows PC and a multi-tuner card or USB box. Lease a Cable Card from your provider. Use Windows Home Media Center edition and put Xboxes at your other TVs if needed.

    There are other options, such as using the cable company DVR and such, but there's no magic bullet, yet.

    EDIT - I'm an idiot. I missed the part where the OP said he had an eyeTV HD. This changes things. I presume that the OP has a cable company STB already and needs to figure out a way to connect the STB to the eyeTV in the other room.

    I see two ways, presuming you're OK with running a wire across the hallway. Put the eyeTV next to the STB/TV and run a long USB cable to the Mac. OR run a long set of component cables from the STB/TV to the other room and connect to the eyeTV.

    You could probably find long component cables easier than long USB cables.

    Watching the recordings would just be a matter of getting an aTV to stream from your Mac's iTunes Home Share.
  5. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    Silicondust: the HDHR3 -Dual is for OTA or clear QAM (unencrypted cable) channels only, but it handles DIGITAL AND ANALOG. (I own one.)

    But the HD Homerun Prime (HDHR3-CC) uses cable-card technology. So it should work (assuming you have cable service that works with cable-card). EyeTV does not officially support HD Homerun Prime, but according to the forums over at silcondust, it still works with it. Only downside I've seen mentioned is that EyeTV treats the Prime like an HDHR3-Dual, so you only get two tuners available to EyeTV instead of the three that are actually available from the prime.

    If I were you, I'd check and see if your cable provider is compatible with cable-card. If so, consider getting a Prime. However, note that SiliconDust is coming out with a new generation of tuners (HDHR4) this year, probably before Christmas.

    Alternately, just get an apple TV and mirror your mac's screen to your TV. Use an app on your phone to control the mac from the couch via wifi.
  6. cuestakid thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Speaking with Tivo today made me realize I had not accounted for the cablecard- which would likely be an additional cost. I am starting to lean towards long component cables, as I don't want to spend 1k to do a 25 ft run and instead invest a bit more in good quality cable management.

    Thanks all!
  7. an-other, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    an-other macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2011
    Some random thoughts...

    Assuming you have a cable box, the EyeTV can record premium channels. It does require use of the IR blaster to the cable box (which I'm not a fan.) You would basically be setting the eyetv to channel 3, and having the IR blaster switch the channels. You can set the eyetv software to automatically copy the recording to iTunes (which you can stream from an appletv or take with you.)

    I will also say Tivo is a great option. I'm a big fan. I've stayed with the Tivo Series 3 models, and they're solid. The Elite models fell butter-sided down. Painfully slow, and they were released too early (imho.) I find the software to be solid now, but that wasn't always the case. One multi-stream card for me costs $1.99 per month. The other down-side is the cable system I have is <insert unkind adjective> contentious about someone not using their dvr. Any time I have a cable issue it is a step past painful.

    Tivo cost? The initial outlay is more. However, I've paid off the machine and the life time service multi-times. My oldest "in use" machine is 11 years old now.

    I'll also add a comment that I view (my opinion - others have different, and that's ok) the Tivo software as vastly superior to EyeTV (which is ok) and my cable company dvr (awful.) AppleTV is good, but not inspiring. I'd also say the AppleTV (alone) isn't the solution you want if you're a sports fan and paying for premium cable channels.

    As someone who uses the Tivo, EyeTv, and Apple TV (and other stuff), I'd go for the new Tivo (Roamio) if you can swing it. If not, consider e-bay for a used Tivo Series 3 (which includes the XL) with lifetime service. That'll save you about half price of a new one with lifetime service. The big problems with Tivo Series 3 is hard drive age (they all fail eventually, but you can buy a replacement for them through a company like Weakknees for about 1.5X the hd cost of a regular hd OR do it yourself if you wanto to learn how to Tivo bless a drive.); the power supply (i've never had an issue); and the HDMI connector. They can break if you put pressure on top of the cord pushing downward (but the component video will still work.)

    Consumer electronics are tough You have to balance premium experience versus cash outlay. A greater cost doesn't necessarily mean a better solution. I regularly fiddle with my set-up, and truth be told I'm not sure the effort justifies the difference. I guess that's why they call it a hobby.

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