watch tv on imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Papajz, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Papajz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #1
    I'm very curious if you can watch live cable tv on an imac. My 27 is big enough to run a game and watch a hockey game same time. If so what equiptment would i need?
     
  2. spyderracer393 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    #3
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
  4. BelowTheBelt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    #5
    This method will work with any and all cable boxes providing they have a firewire port 400 or 800 and you have the proper cables.

    *** It makes zero difference weather the port is locked by your provider or not, the SDK will discover the unit and pull HD/SD TV feed, the SDK even has a built in application for recording and scheduling recordings.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKacgqxqH-Q


    This is the software SDK kit from Apple Developer Connection, I listed it here only for convenience as it's a little bit hard to locate, however it's free there if you choose to get it yourself.
    Code:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/298852518/firewiresdk26.dmg
     
  5. manthony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #6
    OMG! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I would have never found this if it were not for you. I gave up because Rogers encrypts the QAM feeds. So the EyeTV wouldn't work unless I connected my cable box via composite or s-video but that would just degrade the picture.

    Time to get an HD box!
     
  6. jerewhon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Location:
    CT, USA
    #7
    Watch TV on iMac

    I've been using an Elgato Eye TV and love it.
    It basically not only allows me to watch TV on my Mac G5, but acts like a TiVo for your Mac.

    You can program to record shows etc as well as watch live tv in a scalable format small, medium to full screen.

    They retail for about $149, but you can search out a better deal.

    The 2009 models, can get certain HD broadcasts, but not premium channels if you subscribe to digital cable.

    The unit isn't much larger than a pack of gum and plugs into any USB port by simply plugging in your cable.
    The only extra you may need is a splittler (so you can slit your cable from the wall input) and piece of cable to run to where you have the computer.

    It's a simple, easy way to do what you want and it's reasonable priced.
    In essence, you have a beautiful flat screen TV that works well.
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #8
    Most of the channels on the FireWire link will be 5c encrypted too, sorry to say.
     
  8. BelowTheBelt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    #9
    Yes they are encrypted, however the feed is being processed by the cable box it's self, so it makes no difference encrypted or not.
     
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #10
    No. The data coming across the FW port is still encrypted. The cable box decrypts after sending the feed down FW.

    EDIT: actually I should say copy-protected since 5c is a copy protection flag and not an encryption really. As with most Canadian cable providers, the FW port's behaviour is nearly random with respect to 5c.
     
  10. carlbs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #11
    The process works up to a point

    The procedure and software suggested by below the belt gives me an absolutely great HD picture on my new IMac 27" i7. I had some difficulty getting it setup and working. It does appear to have some problem with some channels and locks things up for a period of time. I am using Verizon Fios. Any suggestions for avoiding the lockups.

    I am surprised that nobody has developed some commercial software to do this and smooth out the few kinks. None of the devices appear to handle digital output from a FIOS PVR.

    In the meantime Football looks Great!
     
  11. excommie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #12
    Another vote for eye tv hybrid from elgato. It wasn't mentioned, but it supports free QAM. Basically you'll get free local HD channels from your standard cable. Picture quality is very good.
     
  12. BelowTheBelt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    #13
    The picture is amazing, I have not encountered any problems with HD feed as of yet.

    I did have some problems while trying to record from a few channels, however I assume this is a buffer problem as the sound and picture were not synced properly.

    Other than that, it's a wonderful free solution providing you have the equipment on hand.
     
  13. Paulyboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    #14
    I have a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD STB and a late 2006 24" iMac (with Firewire 400 and 800 ports) and I'd like to connect them via Firewire so I can watch and record TV. I think I need a 9-pin connector for the iMac end but I'm not certain what the other end should be. I think it needs a 6 pin but it's really hard to tell. This would be the Firewire cable I think I need:

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...d=10301&cs_id=1030105&p_id=331&seq=1&format=2

    Can anybody please verify this? Thanks.

    -PN
     
  14. manthony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #15
    @ Paulyboy your link doesn't work. I think your iMac has both Firewire 400 and 800.

    If you want to use your Firewire 800 port then you could use this cable http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10301&cs_id=1030105&p_id=3542&seq=1&format=2

    Or this http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10301&cs_id=1030103&p_id=30&seq=1&format=2 if you're going to use your Firewire 400 port.
     
  15. Paulyboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    #16
    Thanks for the information. Link above fixed. :)

    -PN
     
  16. manthony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #17
    LOL, I was not paying attention when I read your post and restated the obvious. You found the right cable.

    I can't wait for it to be in stock. Then again it would be useless without my 27" iMac. Apple please ship my iMac!
     
  17. grapejoos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #18
    I'm very interested in trying this on my new iMac once it arrives. One question, though - would I need a Firewire 800 hub/repeater to avoid throttling all of my connected Firewire 800 devices in the chain down to 400 when the cable box is connected? I presume the answer is yes, but any confirmation would be helpful. Those hubs are not easy to find, apparently.
     
  18. manthony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #19
    So I got a Rogers Explorer 4250HD and it doesn't work. I don't think my firewire ports are enabled.

    Is there another box that will work? or Can I get the 4250HD modified somewhere?
     
  19. Paulyboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    #20
    Call your cable company (or visit one of their service centers) and ask them if the firewire ports on your box are enabled. If not, ask them to give you one that has firewire enabled ports. They are mandated by law to provide you with one upon request.

    Then try using a six-pin to nine-pin firewire cable (for the firewire 800 port on your Mac) or 6 pin to six pin cable (for a firewire 400 port on your Mac). I got it to work using the latter type cable with my Explorer 4250 and late 2006 24" imac.

    Here's a decent tutorial:

    http://www.blyon.com/blog/index.php/2009/07/01/watch-cable-tv-with-your-mac-via-firewire/

    Good luck! :)

    -PN
     
  20. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #21
    I have the EyeTV and it WAS spectacular. Now, with Comcast encrypting all but a handful of local channels, you'll need the box they send out free. The problem there is that a lot of the functionality of the EyeTV is lost forever and apparently there is no fix any time soon. With the box you'll need to change channels there, BUT it will not record any channel unless it's set to that channel on the Comcast box. No way to record two different channels unless there is intervention by you. Not a great solution, but it's all there is with the current cable service. Bastards.
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #22

    Maybe American law but Rogers is a Canadian cable co and AFAIK they can do whatever they want.
     
  22. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #23
    for the price and hassle of setting all this up why not just get an Atom PC with ION 9400 chipset and use WMC...?

    'works out of the box' ;)
     
  23. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #24
    A vote for a Hauppage WinTV product here.

    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR900 Digital & Analogue TV Stick Mac & PC This beastie worked for me, used the RF out of my IPTV box and The Tube from Equinux (comes with the stick) and it did the trick perfectly.

    Long term hang on for a HDMI-MDP active converter... Belkin and Apogee are working on them..
     
  24. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #25
    I have comcast here in Millis, Ma and I have and use EyeTV. Yes, Comcast last October switched off the Analog stations and we have only digital stations now. I have a very old tv and before I didn't have the black box but now I have it.

    EyeTV - still works but Comcast switched all the stations around. My spliter to my EyeTV is before the signal enters the black box (ie the raw cable as it comes out of my wall). I had to go and map my stations again and rename them but all the cable stations are there and my eyetv even gets some I cannot get with my old tv. Such as all the local stations are 1080p.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page