Mac TV Tuner Recommendations

Solar

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Messages
228
Ok, heres the deal: I have an Ati Theater 550 Card kicking out to a 20" LG 204WT (the new hotness) along with 5.1 surround. This is all brought together with the beauty that is MCE 2005. I show my friends and they're wow'ed.

My friend who owns a mac wants to do the same thing for her mac laptop. Being a straight PC guy, I'm fresh out of suggestions as to what tuner to use or software to recommend. I took looksy around this forum and found recommendations for the eyeTV hybrid as well as Hauppauge's Eskape Labs myTV.PVR. Are there any other suggestions for complete Mac solutions (hardware and software) that measure up to the ease and functionality of MCE along with the relatively simple learning curve involved in using the app? I'm thinking she might want to have the ability to record shows as well.

To my knowledge she has a powerbook G4 and an iBook (I know she has two laptops). Somewhere, I remember seeing a screen shot of an Apple 10 foot UI app but I don't know how close that is to completion. Help me out here I'm trying to save the day!
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
Solar said:
Are there any other suggestions for complete Mac solutions (hardware and software) that measure up to the ease and functionality of MCE along with the relatively simple learning curve involved in using the app?
No, not really. And Apple does have a 10 ft UI, it's Frontrow and only for Intel Macs.

SageTV is currently in beta for a Mac version but I believe that one only works with the Mactels as well. You're not going to find a good solution for the old G4/G5 era Macs. Most of the ones out there are designed for a 2ft UI experience (apps on the desktop) rather then a 10ft UI.

Her best bet would be to pick up a Mactel Mini on the cheap and wait for SageTV to either go open beta or something and pick up a USB Hauppauge tuner. In the meantime she can use the Frontrow app or Bootcamp into MCE.
 

Solar

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Messages
228
sorry, for those trying to look at the two cards for comparison, I corrected the links. It seems like I have slim pickings on the tv tuner front...

PC: "Im a PC"
Mac: "I'm a Mac"

Mac: "PC what are you doing?"
PC: "I'm watching tv in Windows Media Center with an old friend of mine, Pentium 3. Don't you watch tv with your old firends like iBook and Powerbook?"
Mac: "Well... ummm not to well. You see first I need a translator to understand their language and next I have to find a program that (I can't believe I'm saying this) does all that you can do in one package with Media Canter."
PC: *Stops watching TV "Wait you're saying I can do something easier than you?"
Mac: *sighs* "Pretty much... but I'd rather not talk about it."
PC: "Here I'll make you feel better, Pentium 3 will record and convert the show and you can make the DVD."
Mac: "Hmmph..."
 

shocksyde

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 24, 2001
Messages
2,355
Apple really missed the boat in terms of Media Center integration. They're still playing catch-up, and the iTV looks pretty worthless to me.
 

qfour20

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
314
This most likely is NOT going to be the answer that she wants to hear, but it is definitely a possiblity.

mythfrontend runs *just fine* on a mac. I don't think that the backend has been ported yet, so you'd be looking at having to set up a backend box, but it can be tucked away somewhere else to control noise and such.

Basically, if she could get her hands on an old PC (anything around 1ghz should be just fine... drive space will be your biggest concern... go pick up a 500gb drive or some such). Get a PVR150 in there and toss mythdora on it. Also, you might want to plan on putting a linux compatible NIC in the system, as not all onboard NICs will play nice with linux. All you have to do from there on out is to set the server with a static IP address and enable remote access to the Mysql database and install the frontend box and off you go. This would also make it so that she wouldn't have to worry about whether her laptop was plugged in to record her shows.

The learning curve may be a bit uncomfortable for her, but it's a HELL of a lot easier using mythdora than building from scratch. If she's savvy enough to post her questions here (or in an IRC channel, etc.) then there's a fair number of people who could help her out.

Good luck!

-q
 

Solar

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Messages
228
qfour20 - It's definitely a possibility, but it would then be one that I would have to support when anything goes wrong (not exactly my cup of tea)

It's funny I just thought of something else. There's no profit in Apple making a tv tuner program for the mac. If they did so then their whole iTunes store would be for naught. Like the products out there now, if you watch the shows you can record the shows. If Apple were to fully develop iTV, I would assume a natural feature to be expected would be the ability to record and store shows. Now, if the ability to record is supported then I would venture a guess that quite a few individuals would want the ability to transfer those recorded files, should they so chose, to various other media capable devices (read: iPod). One thing Apple does so well is product integration and interoperability. Which means that if Apple were to make a tv tuner without recording capabilities then it would loose out on a growing share of home entertainment, time shifted viewing of shows (Media Center/TiVo domain) and well as get slammed for not allowing all of their devices to work nice together. And If Apple were to support recording natively then people who own macs and watch tv (I bet there'll be quite a few) would have no compelling reason to buy tv shows from the iTunes store because they have the same capability at home. And even if Apple doesn't support transcoding, I gurantee a program like handbrake will definitely rise to the occasion.
 

shocksyde

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 24, 2001
Messages
2,355
That's a great point about Apple selling TV shows on iTunes. However, many networks are now starting to let you watch their shows online (such as Lost), so I'm unsure how long Apple little TV downloading utopia will last.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
shocksyde said:
That's a great point about Apple selling TV shows on iTunes. However, many networks are now starting to let you watch their shows online (such as Lost), so I'm unsure how long Apple little TV downloading utopia will last.
Just so you know Apple owns part of, or all of, the company that makes Mac compatible TV Tuners; the EyeTV.

Anyways, these guys make Mac tuners but I'm unsure of the software choices for them. I mean the lack of a decent 10ft UI app.
 
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