Using Mac as XFINITY box without extra hardware

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by moonman239, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. moonman239 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #1
    So, I have a TV and an XFINITY subscription, but I don't have a cable box or card, and I'm not too keen on buying or renting either device. The problem is Comcast, to the best of my knowledge, won't let me get TV by running a coaxial cable from the wall to the TV. However, Comcast will let me stream TV content over the Internet for free using my regular computer, and I can hook up the computer to the TV to use the TV as a second display.

    What I'm looking for is a way to emulate the cable set-top box experience as closely as reasonably possible. At the very least, I want my computer to show a channel guide, and I want to be able to use the remote that came with my TV to control the computer in the same way one would use the remote to control a cable/satellite set-top box.

    If someone will please help me find a solution, that would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I had the same wont as you did last year, and I gave up. I have Business Class Internet and residential TV (I'm a college football addict...). The mile-high speedbump is that Comcast encrypts most-to-all of its transmitted content now, so you'd need one of their solutions (cable box or cablecard) to view any of their content - including local channels - and AFAIK in my market they started the encryption a little over a year ago. Your market may not yet be encrypted (we have offices in Seattle and Portland).

    With BCI, we didn't qualify for any packages or the X1, so we're using TIVO Roamio Basic DVRs (with cablecards) with a Comcast cablecard. It's the signal encryption that will kill your dreams.

    I'm going to use one account's credentials for the other location using an AppleTV, plus the Basic Roamio's OTA features so I can cut Comcrap loose for one of my locations. Check the DSLReports forums site for more help. Good luck.
     
  3. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #3
    Why they don't give you the cable box?

    Can't you simply run an HDMI cable from your Mac to the TV input?

    Maybe you can use AirPlay with an AppleTV?
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    Comcast is not known for its great deals and best customer service. That being said, Apple is not known for supporting anything other than its own store. ATV is simply there to get people to get music, movies and tv shows (rent or buy) from Apple.

    There are several ways to go about a fix for the problem but none of them really engage Apple. You can load certain Window OS and get an external box that will house a Comcast (rented) cable card. Next, you pay Comcast for what channels you get. Alternatively, you might get a new or used TiVo that has life time subscription. The list of ways other than renting a Comcast DVR/tuner box are many and again, Apple is not really one of them.

    As for Internet based shows, there are quite a few methods you can go to get those shows and some do work with OSX. You might also want to check on applications like Kodi (XBMC) and its beefier counterpart (based on XBMC) - PLEX. They offer applications that may be a good option for what you want if I am understanding your post correctly.
     
  5. moonman239 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #5
    Yes, they will give me a cable box, but they charge a monthly fee ($2-3 a month)
    I'm the kind of guy who prefers free stuff. Besides, if you pay for TV, you should be allowed to enjoy it on whatever TV you want without paying extra for the privilege.
     
  6. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #6
    Call them and ask them to give you the box, "without it you can't get their service". Ask for the supervisor/manager when needed, just be kind.
     
  7. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #7
    Dude, it's $36/year.
     
  8. moonman239 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #8
    Which is $3/month.
     

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