57 channels and nothing (on my G4)
September 7, 2006 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I want to watch cable television using my old G4/500 and new 21-inch flatscreen monitor. How?

All I want to do is plug the cable into the back of my G4 (OSX 10.3) and have the video appear on the screen -- preferably full-screen. What card or box do I need? I don't want to record the video, so most of the boxes I've found (and this askMeFi answer) are (over-priced) overkill.
posted by docgonzo to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If you want full screen only, you might as well get a cheapo box that will take coax and turn it into VGA. No computer necessary.

Something like this (Compusa link)

Either that or find a Mac compatible TV tuner card (if they exist) or external usb tuner. (which are more expensive, looks like you've seen elgato.com already)
posted by mphuie at 4:36 PM on September 7, 2006

You need a Mac OSX compatible TV tuner card. Chances are you're looking at spending at least $100 Canadian (I noticed you're in Van) and probably closer to $200 or more depending on what you need (analog only or digital). unfortunately it looks like the only available products are the ones listed the thread you linked to as a google search turned up the same ones for me.
posted by ChazB at 4:40 PM on September 7, 2006

What you want is to replace your monitor with one that has a composite video input, then hook up a busted VCR to it to act as a tuner.
posted by kindall at 4:40 PM on September 7, 2006

Why do you need the G4? You could just get one of these that connect directly to the monitor.

If the signal is going through the G4, it doesn't take any less equipment to just view it rather than record it, so the recommendations in that other thread still apply.
posted by cillit bang at 4:44 PM on September 7, 2006

Something like this would do it, if you have USB 2.0 ports, which I'm skeptical that your G4/500 does.

That said, there are plenty of similar (older) firewire and USB 1.0 devices on eBay that would do just what you're after. Search for Miglia or Elgato.
posted by armoured-ant at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2006

Take a look at elgato's website - maybe they have a product that will work for you.
posted by drstein at 8:30 PM on September 7, 2006

As of now, you won't be able to have the line coming straight from the wall to your input if you want a digital cable feed with all of your neatly encrypted premium services. Best bet is to get a cheapass analog input device for as cheap as possible, and depending on your STB, either an IRBlaster or a simple serial cable to control channel changes. Plenty of info here about that. I had a cheapass ATI video card that worked fairly well in my G4 until I blew it up in an unfortunate xbox modding accident. You may want to look here for reviews.

Now, you CAN do things like stream from the firewire port on some boxes (moto's hidef boxes) and it streams all pretty-like, but that may be overkill for what you're trying to do.
posted by onedarkride at 9:19 AM on September 8, 2006

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