Using Imac as a TV

Ted A

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 28, 2010
Does anyone know how I could use my Imac as a TV? The input from cable or satellite TV comes into my DVD recorder. The recorder takes care of changing channels. Its video outputs include regular video (RCA jack), S-video (or "component video"), and digital video (coaxial). This is the reverse of what I understand the AppleTV does, since it takes what is on the computer (say a downloaded movie) and allows you to show it on a TV. It should not be too difficult to engineer the reverse. I can record something off the cable on a DVD and put the DVD in my Imac and it plays perfectly. But I want to be able to use the Imac as a TV in real time, without the saving to DVD. Any suggestions? Is such a gizmo available somewhere? Some kind of software that would allow it?? I don't need sound as the audio out on the DVD recorder go to an amplifier and to external speakers. So I only need video.

spice weasel

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2003
You need a TV tuner, something like the EyeTV from Elgato. There are a few different models depending on your needs. Some rely on your computer's processing power for encoding, while others have built-in hardware encoders (and are therefore more expensive).

Mr. Savage

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2010
re: iMac as tv

I highly recommend Elgato's eyetv (available in apple online store). I've had one for a couple years now and it is pretty much a perfect solution for me. It is also a PVR so you can not only watch, but also record live tv on your (intel) Mac. It can also stream live tv or recordings over wi-fi to your iphone, ipod touch or ipad. It has every input you could need aside from hdmi. I have mine hooked up to a dvd recorder's S-video and RCA audio output so I use the recorders tv tuner for changing channels as it (the dvd recorder) has a stronger tuner than the built in one on eyetv unit. They actually have a couple different devices, one of which should suit your needs to a T as long as you have the right system requirements on your Mac.
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