TV Tuner USB Sticks

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kruddler, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Kruddler macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2009
    I've never had a mac but would like to buy a Mac Mini to use as my media center. I hear that it comes with FrontRow which is a media viewing application. Firstly, I'd like to confirm that I can watch TV from within FrontRow. Secondly, I would like to confirm that I can record TV etc. from within FrontRow. But, most importantly, I would like to find out which USB tuner sticks are recommended. Bare in mind that I do not wish to use the software which comes with the tuner stick. I want to use FrontRow only. Does FrontRow support all tuner sticks?
  2. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    I don't believe FrontRow is meant to be used with TV Tuners. It's just for movies, pics, songs you already have. Maybe internet radio streams too. It's not Windows Media Center for Mac I should say.

    As for tuner sticks, I have a Hauppage WinTV usb stick. I had to buy the Elgato EyeTV tuner software separately to watch though. Elgato has it's own branded usb stick (which is the same hardware as the WinTV) and it comes their software.

    While you said you don't want to use the tuner software, I will say that the Elgato EyeTV software is truley exceptional. I do all my tv show recordings on my Mac because EyeTV is so much better than what I have on the windows side.
  3. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I would get the eyetv 250 because it has built in hardware allowing your computer to do other things if wanted. Mine came with a remote but you can use the apple remote (at least the org. white one) to scroll through the menu in the elgato software
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Any stick compatible with EyeTV is what you should be aiming for, doesn't have to be Hauppauge/Elgato as some sticks from Miglia, Terratec, Pinnacle and Freecom also work. EyeTV can integrate into Front Row, but you will still need to install EyeTV as neither OSX nor the Front comes with any of the necessary drivers.
  5. Balooba macrumors member

    May 27, 2003

    I aso have a Mac mini as a media center hooked up to the TV. We use a Miglia Micro USB tuner stick and EyeTV software and it works great. Here is an advise, don't bother with Front Row for other things than iTunes media and photo browsing. Boxee and Plex are two great apps that will let you watch all sorts of content from your sofa such as Hulu, Netflix etc. I would also recommend that you get a wireless keyboard, but if you have an iPhone the app Touchpad will let you type and control the mouse directly from the phone. Fantastic!
  6. Gentile macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    I use Elgato's hybrid tv with the Eyetv software. There is a plugin available to start tv from within Eyetv. I have used it and it generally works well. However, when upgrading to any updates in Eyetv it may not work initially. I ended up not using it due to this.
  7. Kruddler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2009
    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    It really does seem like my best option is to buy an EyeTV stick and software. Sounds like a good option but I was really hoping that there was one piece of software on the mac that did everything: watch Mp4s, watch DVDs, listen to internet radio all in a 10' UI.

    Is EyeTV a 10' UI? As in can you stand 10' back and still read the print?


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