Watch Cable TV on a MacBook?
January 10, 2007 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Can I watch and record Cable TV on a Mac?

I am a PC user and have decided that I'm going to buy a Mac right when Leopard--the new OS--is released. But here's my question:

I once saw a device for P.C.'s that connects to your cable television connection and will actually transmit the signal to your computer (by WiFi? Bluetooth?). You can set your computer to record the signal and I guess it basically makes the PC a TiVo. Is there something similar for a Mac? I think the new AppleTV is different because you transmit content from your computer to the TV. I want something that does the opposite.

By the way, I have DSL.

ALSO, I know that you can get a TV tuner for your desktop or laptop PC, so that you can watch live non-cable TV. Is there something similar for a MacBook? Thanks, MeFites!
posted by HotPatatta to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can. (I think.. IANAMac Person. Just happened to have a coworker rave on about this thing today at the office.)
posted by trip and a half at 8:01 PM on January 10, 2007

check out this setup
posted by apple at 8:32 PM on January 10, 2007

I am a Mac person, and I can confirm trip and a half's link. We have the EyeTV hybrid thingy there plugged into our Mac Mini and it essentially turns the Mini into a TiVo.

The one thing it doesn't seem to have is the "season pass" feature I've heard that TiVos have. But you can log into their online tv guide from any internet-capable computer and set it to record shows - the computer the eyetv thing is plugged into will check the online guide every hour or so and record any new shows that have been requested.

It's quite neat and not that expensive - only about $150.

(caveat: We do not have cable, so I don't know how much of a difference that makes in the whole setup thing)
posted by Lucinda at 10:40 PM on January 10, 2007

I've got the Elgato (EyeTV) TwinHan Alpha, and it works wonders for when I have time to watch TV. Unfortunately, the Australian TV guide is the only one that ISNT working with EyeTV at the moment.

There are plenty of new versions that are out by now, hope you find the right one.
posted by psyward at 12:18 AM on January 11, 2007

sorry, forgot to add.

EyeTV allows recording, and scheduling in coordination with the online TV guide. Make sure you have alot of hard drive space, because it fills up pretty fast with HD recordings.
posted by psyward at 12:21 AM on January 11, 2007

I think the device mentioned by the OP is the Slingbox, and the Sling Player runs on OS X just fine.
posted by genghis at 1:49 AM on January 11, 2007

I use an elGato EyeTV, and while it's no MythTV or Tivo, it does do scheduled recordings just fine. (Major missing features are season pass recording and automatic commercial removal; if you can live without those, you'll be fine.)

You might want to check out the Mac Home Theater Forum on AVS Forum. Some very knowledgeable people hang out there.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:13 AM on January 11, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, you guys! I am so excited about getting a Mac and I really appreciate your help.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:18 AM on January 11, 2007

There's also TVMax from Miglia. I've been considering getting it but wasn't sure if I could hook up satellite to it.
posted by eatcake at 9:50 AM on January 11, 2007

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