tv tuners/recorders

Discussion in 'hardware' started by rarebeast, May 5, 2008.

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  1. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    I was going to buy a tv tuner for my mac, are they any good, Is the software easy to use, whats the image quality like and are they worth the money o_O
     
  2. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    I think most people here use this with windows PC computers.
     
  3. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    are they worth buying because they can can be very expensive
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    I have a Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert. The software is fairly easy, image quality is ok, and its was fairly cheap.

    BTW I dont it works for Macs though.
     
  5. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    I only have PCs here as well but have been using ATI's TV Wonder tuners for years (the 550 and 650 PCI versions).

    ATI does make a TV Wonder 650 USB TV tuner for Macs (the VisionTek branded product is identical) which, I believe, runs anywhere from $120 ~ $150. No idea about the quality, though.

    You might also want to look at Hauppauge's WinTV-HVR-950 for Macs. It's pretty much the same as the Elgato USB tuner for the Mac and can be purchased for less than $100.
     
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Whatever you get, make sure you get a TV tuner card that have a built-in hardware mpeg encoders. Especially if you want to record/timeshift. This will provide you with the best quality and keep your cpu usage to the minimun.
     
  7. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Yeah, that's a pretty good point. The TV Wonder HD 650 Combo USB for Mac does, in fact, have hardware MPEG-2.
     
  8. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    And dont forget the most important point-have access to a high gain aerial (except if you have cable).
    The signal needs to be at least as good as the one your TV recieves.

    In my case the signal from the main aerial is split, so the main cable can be branched off and then plugged into the TV card.

    Most cards are pretty delicate in that they need a strong signal-if you are not able to recieve that-forget it.
     
  9. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    i dont know an awful lot about these but i saw one that you just plugged a little ariel into the mac instead of plugging it into an ariel that you use for your tv o_O
     
  10. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Will only work if you are in an area which has great reception-you will have to work that one out,otherwise the picture will useless.
     
  11. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    ok so the other ones you just plug into your computer and into an ariel, then you can just look at tv or record a show, is that correct ?
     
  12. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Correct. We're talking about TV tuners/PVRs for your *computer*. You attach the device (USB in this case) to your computer, attach a coaxial cable to the device (from an antenna or a cable jack), and, voila!......hopefully. As has been mentioned, if you don't have cable, you will need to be in an area where you can get a good (very good, in fact) signal.

    The device you referred to in an earlier post sounds more like one for "streaming" a signal (obtained elsewhere, from yet another device) wirelessly to your computer. I really don't think that's what you're after (even more expensive than the regular tuner solution) but, yes, that can be done as well.
     
  13. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    they're pretty expensive so are they worth buying?
     
  14. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    I suspect that only you can answer that question since none of us can determine precisely how you will use the device and how often you will use it (i.e. if you feel it would be 'nice to have' but will only rarely use it, then of course it's not worth buying).

    Having said that, I, for one, am not sure what you're looking at because most of the tuners I've seen are really not all that expensive, at least not in comparison to other components.
     
  15. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    i was looking at the elgato eyetv hybrid (which will work with the mac)elgato eyetv hybrid
    and its $150 / €100 just for something just like a usb flash drive o_O
     
  16. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Yes, but these products are a bit more complex than USB devices that contain nothing more than flash memory. Also, IIRC, there are cheaper solutions available from Hauppauge and Pinnacle; you're looking at pretty much the high end in that Elgato product.

    Regardless, as I mentioned previously, if you plan to use it extensively and *do* use it frequently, then even $150/€100 isn't all that bad, IMHO.
     
  17. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    How much do you think i should spend on one, I'd be using it every day to record shows and sometimes I'd be watching it while its on, oh ye and i want to be able to timeshift.

    thanks for your help :)
    rarebeast
     
  18. jfd15

    jfd15 Registered Member

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    im interested in one of these also for my laptop computer for local over the air TV stations...is that do-able without any extenral antenna? if i buy one
    of these now will it be obsolete when the stations go to digital next year or does that matter?

    would like something that i just plug in like a flash drive without extra cables and such if possible..
     
  19. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    I recommend the Hauppage Nova-T 500 and also if you building a HTPC. It about the best compatible card with less issues. It lets you record one while watching another.
     
  20. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Nice card, that Nova-T 500 appears to be.........dual digital tuners, an IR remote, and some decent-looking software.

    Might be problematic for rarebeast and jfd15 since the former has a Mac and the latter has a laptop. For them, I'd have to say they would probably need to look for a compatible USB-based solution. Perhaps an Elgato product for rarebeast and something from Hauppauge or AVerMedia for jfd15.
     
  21. rarebeast

    rarebeast Registered Member

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    thanks
    I'll get one of the elgatos

    rarebeast
     
  22. jfd15

    jfd15 Registered Member

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    Thanks Prius04,

    ill check those out...
     
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