[TV Solution] iMac - Preferred choices

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
Hi guys/gals,

Whenever a TV solution for the iMac is mentioned, everybody assumes Elgato EyeTV is the first and last choice... the only choice.

1] Are they really the best vendor for watching TV on your iMac?
2] What other options do we have (personal experience would be great!)
3] A solution that works in Windows would be great too, as I would be boot camping Windows very often
4] My PC struggles with browsing and using the TV card at the same time, if you scroll a web page, the TV stutters (sound and image) due to the CPU lacking 'hyper threading' technology (HT) - am I safe to assume this wouldn't happen with the new 21.5" iMac?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions,

Best Regards,
 

MTI

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2009
1,107
6
Scottsdale, AZ
This is one of the weaker parts of 3rd party hardware support for Apple, although on the PC side it's not much better.

I would venture that it's not so much the hardware, as it is the software, that drives the decision; Elgato's software seems to be the best for features and stability.
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,393
8
San Francisco
The Elgato EyeTV is the best. The software is phenomenal, the performance does not stutter at all (at least on my 2008 24" iMac), and it overall is a solid package.

EDIT: Speaking of which, I just bought a TV and don't need my EyeTV anymore. Interested in buying it from me?
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
This is one of the weaker parts of 3rd party hardware support for Apple, although on the PC side it's not much better.

I would venture that it's not so much the hardware, as it is the software, that drives the decision; Elgato's software seems to be the best for features and stability.
Some solutions on the PC are surprisingly better than expected (my current AverMedia unit) surpassed my expectations. In the same way, I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised with Elgato's software, or indeed any alternatives I should consider...?

The Elgato EyeTV is the best. The software is phenomenal, the performance does not stutter at all (at least on my 2008 24" iMac), and it overall is a solid package.
The reason why I voice caution over the Elgato solution is the fact that it is USB based. My current (PC) solution is via PCI Card. But maybe this interface concern doesn't matter one bit.

EDIT: Speaking of which, I just bought a TV and don't need my EyeTV anymore. Interested in buying it from me?
Well, first I need my iMac to arrive (21.5" one coming soon I hope). Secondly as you may have noticed from my username, I am based in the UK whilst you are in the States?
Anyhow, which version do you have?
 

synth3tik

macrumors 68040
Oct 11, 2006
3,951
2
Minneapolis, MN
There are others out there, but you really are hearing about them because eyeTV has smoked them. There are a plethora of video options for the Mac, however most are commercial video production and would not be suitable as means to watch TV on ones computer.
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
I read somewhere that the eyeTV box is really running hot even after a short use...
I've read that too.
I've also seen that in a review I caught of an Elgato unit on a YouTube review. Worrying...

There are others out there, but you really are hearing about them because eyeTV has smoked them. There are a plethora of video options for the Mac,
So I should not consider the other 'plethora' of options at all?

however most are commercial video production and would not be suitable as means to watch TV on ones computer.
Sorry - may I request you explain that statement in some detail? I don't quite follow... :eek:
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
:confused:

from personal experience with my EyeTV its perfect! i wish it was HD & dual tuner but its perfect.

i donno what all the fuss is about, its a no brainer for me.
 

fruitpunch.ben

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
588
160
Surrey, BC
:confused:

from personal experience with my EyeTV its perfect! i wish it was HD & dual tuner but its perfect.

i donno what all the fuss is about, its a no brainer for me.
What sort of antenna do you have to use in a city area to get decent free to air HD reception?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
What sort of antenna do you have to use in a city area to get decent free to air HD reception?
im in australia, so it might be a tad different.

we have a house antenna, which connects to the EyeTV via coax cable which then plugs into either my MBP or hackintosh (depending what computer is available).
 

fruitpunch.ben

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
588
160
Surrey, BC
im in australia, so it might be a tad different.

we have a house antenna, which connects to the EyeTV via coax cable which then plugs into either my MBP or hackintosh (depending what computer is available).
Ok I'm in a basement apartment so a house antenna is a bit hard...
I guess I could plug it into my cable, hopefully that has decent channels...

Also, in case the displayport in on the 27"ers never works, have you ever tried plugging a game console such as a wii into the eyetv?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
Ok I'm in a basement apartment so a house antenna is a bit hard...
I guess I could plug it into my cable, hopefully that has decent channels...

Also, in case the displayport in on the 27"ers never works, have you ever tried plugging a game console such as a wii into the eyetv?
worth a try i guess!

apparently the 360 works. cant remember where i read that.
 

fruitpunch.ben

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
588
160
Surrey, BC
worth a try i guess!

apparently the 360 works. cant remember where i read that.
googled the question and found that it does work however it only accepts 480i which i believe is a resolution of 640 × 480, thats probably going to look quite bad on a screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels on the iMac :(
I wish the displayport in would work! :mad:
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
googled the question and found that it does work however it only accepts 480i which i believe is a resolution of 640 × 480, thats probably going to look quite bad on a screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels on the iMac :(
I wish the displayport in would work! :mad:
that cant be right! surely it would accept the right resolutions! its not like the display is being pushed at 720p (360 does 720p). thats just silly.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
with the eyetv input it only accepts composite RCA and S-Video input, which apparently is only 480i.
Haha oh my, please forgive my complete idiocy. I thought the post was referring to the DP resolution.

But yes you're correct, my EyeTV only displays at 480i as well.
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
Any other solutions worth considering?

As predicted, when "tv solution" is mentioned, only EyeTV pops up.

...keeping in mind I shall be bootcamping Windows very often and thus a solution that is iMac compatible but definitely works in Windows is ideal (and yes I have heard Elgato works in Windows but is recognised as Happague (sp!))
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,393
8
San Francisco
The reason why I voice caution over the Elgato solution is the fact that it is USB based. My current (PC) solution is via PCI Card. But maybe this interface concern doesn't matter one bit.
Your caution is that it will stutter? Well, the EyeTV Hybrid doesn't stutter (maybe a little while Parallels is starting up).

Well, first I need my iMac to arrive (21.5" one coming soon I hope). Secondly as you may have noticed from my username, I am based in the UK whilst you are in the States?
Anyhow, which version do you have?
Very true, you're name does indicate you live in the UK. I bought my Hybrid back in early 2008 and according to this site I have the 2008 North American Version, which I assume will not work in the UK. Oh well, guess I'll keep my sale domestic. I still very much recommend the Hybrid.
 

BelowTheBelt

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2009
137
0
No new hardware solution

If you have digital cable in your home already, there is a very simple solution available for you.
<Providing you have a digital cable box with a FireWire port>

Check out this video, it's a quick tutorial on how to draw live SD/HD TV into any mac with a FireWire 400/800 port.

Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKacgqxqH-Q
You can search for the software package at the Apple Developer Connection site or I posted it here for connivence.

Code:
http://rapidshare.com/files/298852518/firewiresdk26.dmg
I use this with several Mac's in the house, it works like a charm 100%
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
Thanks for the replies gents!

If you have digital cable in your home already, there is a very simple solution available for you.
<Providing you have a digital cable box with a FireWire port>
Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately, we do not have cable, just Sky. boo :( Unless this is something I can buy from places like Mapin? But I'm pretty sure you mean I need a cable lining into my house.
 

knmlee

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2008
27
0
Another option is Slingbox. I switched from a dedicated TV device (EyeTV) to Slingbox and have been very happy with it. I have the Slingbox connected to a HD DVR and can use all of that box's functions from all of my Mac's. It even works well on a low-end MacBook over wifi.
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,251
3
dont have a imac but using a pctv nano usb stick (dvb-t) to watch digital tv on my eMac and i find elagato`s eye tv works perfect , before i had a haupage dvbt stick and used equinux's The Tube
but eye tv is definitly better even the light version which comes free with the pc tv stick gets a better picture and more channels (might also be the stick itself is better on the hardware side)
 

Goldie009

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2009
72
0
Hi guys/gals,

Whenever a TV solution for the iMac is mentioned, everybody assumes Elgato EyeTV is the first and last choice... the only choice.

1] Are they really the best vendor for watching TV on your iMac?
2] What other options do we have (personal experience would be great!)
3] A solution that works in Windows would be great too, as I would be boot camping Windows very often
4] My PC struggles with browsing and using the TV card at the same time, if you scroll a web page, the TV stutters (sound and image) due to the CPU lacking 'hyper threading' technology (HT) - am I safe to assume this wouldn't happen with the new 21.5" iMac?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions,

Best Regards,
I have used an EyeTV Hybrid tuner for a long time now, with my macbook laptop. In areas with good signal it works well with the provided ariel but most of the time its my house arial extention that I use.

I would imagine the hardware would work with windows, it would be a case of installing appropriate drivers / software to use it. With regards to your PC struggling with multi tasking: The new iMac goes one better than multi threading in as much as it's dual core. One core for eyetv, the other core for browsing to your hearts content. I regularly run my macbook with a second screen, one with TV on it, the other with presentations / web browsing etc. The computer still runs fine and that's with over half my RAM dedicated to the eyetv buffer.

For anyone who wants a comparison it's a Black Macbook 2.2Ghz processor.

@Fruitpunch.ben - I have used my macbook along with Eyetv and RCA cables to project a Wii games console onto the wall of our youth club. It works absolutely perfectly. This is a good proof that there is no lag either as the remotes co-ordinate with the screen image when in use, if there was too much lag you would see it when moving the wii remotes. The only limitation here is that the signal is not HD, so as you stretch it to fill the new mighty 27" screens, it will loose quality a tad....
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
I have used an EyeTV Hybrid tuner for a long time now, with my macbook laptop. In areas with good signal it works well with the provided ariel but most of the time its my house arial extention that I use.

I would imagine the hardware would work with windows, it would be a case of installing appropriate drivers / software to use it. With regards to your PC struggling with multi tasking: The new iMac goes one better than multi threading in as much as it's dual core. One core for eyetv, the other core for browsing to your hearts content. I regularly run my macbook with a second screen, one with TV on it, the other with presentations / web browsing etc. The computer still runs fine and that's with over half my RAM dedicated to the eyetv buffer.

For anyone who wants a comparison it's a Black Macbook 2.2Ghz processor.
Fantastic, its great to hear of first hand experiences - thank you. Definitely sounds like what I want. It working in Windows is vital though...
 

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