APPLE COMPATIBLE COMPUTER TV TUNERS FOR MAC
WATCH TV ON A MAC : CAPTURE : CONVERT FOR iPAD : BURN : SHAREWatching and recording television on a Mac has never been easier. An ever growing range of Digital-Ready Apple computer TV tuner cards are available for Macintosh OSX. ElGato dominates the Mac DVR-PVR Video Recorder tuner market with it's EyeTV software and hardware; its video recording software has matured into a world-class Mac DVR application. Integration with iTunes, Toast CD Burning software, Apple's FrontRow, and Apple Remote support solidify EyeTV and the Mac's place as a great computer TV and mini home media center solution.
PAUSE : RECORD TV : REWIND -- TAME YOUR APPLE TV VIEWINGWith DVR time-shifting software features, the ablity to watch, pause, rewind or schedule your favorite programs is simpler than ever. PVR-DVR Personal Digital Video Recorders have been reduced to mini USB TV tuner sticks barely larger than a USB flash drive. The most affordable HD television receivers for Apple computers are USB 2.0 Digital-Only HD Tuners. With modern, fast Intel Macs, they deliver sharp 720p and 1080i HDTV at your desk or on the road. For more serious videophiles, HYBRID Digital + Analog Tuners with multiple Analog capture connectors are the smart choice. These Apple compatible tuners offer both QAM Digital + Analog cable reception and options to connect older Analog devices such as camcorders, VCR's, DVD players and game systems via Composite RCA or S-Video connections.
CHOOSE THE BEST TV TUNER STICK FOR YOUR MAC:
#1 CHOICE: ElGato's Current Hybrid Tuner: Elgato EyeTV Hybrid - This revised Analog Capture + Digital QAM-ATSC model features a new slimmer form-factor. The best-selling Mac compatible TV tuner model just gets better. Also works with Windows Media Center PC's for cross-platform use.
Antenna-ONLY users might want to explore the more affordable $99 MSRP Elgato EyeTV One for antenna use (ATSC reception ONLY) model from ElGato. Frankly, The Hybrid ATSC-QAM EyeTV Hybrid models may be a better long-term purchase unless you know you will NEVER subscribe to Cable-Satellite reception and strictly want free Over-The-Air Digital television.
BEST OVERALL: Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus Digital/Analog TV Receiver and Video Converter Hybrid Digital and Analog TV reception with turbo HARDWARE COMPRESSION which reduces the CPU load on your computer when watching and capturing Analog video. Includes a Remote and Toast Basic disc burning software. This 'Plus' model supports unencrypted Clear QAM Digital cable and ATSC Digital signals as well.
FINALLY: For Cable and Satellite DVR Functions - Elgato EyeTV HD DVR for HD Cable and Satellite TV. This long-awaited home theater device sits between your Set-Top Box, HDTV and computer to intercept signals via Component or Composite connectors. Technically it's NOT a TV tuner, but interfaces with your television's tuner and Macintosh to provide computer DVR functions using EyeTV software.
Silicon Dust HD HomeRun
MUST BUY EYETV SOFTWARE SEPARATELY!!!
With ElGato discontinuing it's bundled version (linked below), Mac users should consider this dual ATSC/QAM digital tuner box and purchase a liscence for EyeTV3 separately from ElGato's website.
ElGato HDHomeRun Network Dual Tuner - HDTV for Mac or PC This ETHERNET-based strictly Digital HDTV receiver with TWO tuners connects to your Wi-Fi Router and allows multiple Mac's on a home/office network to watch, record and share ATSC antenna reception or Clear QAM digital cable. Reintroduced by ElGato, the HD HomeRun has been redesigned and is bundled with EyeTV verison 3 for Mac.
Lower Price: The Equinux TubeStick Hybrid Tuner for Mac and PC with TheTube Version 2.9.x software in the U.S. Supports Analog and ATSC & HD Clear QAM Digital via Antenna/Cable. Bundled with BOTH Mac software & Windows XP-Vista Media Center PC drivers, it's a good choice for cross-platform Mac owners running Dual-OS Mac environments. The Tube Stick's availability has been problematic of late, but can be ordered directly from Equinux USA website.
NEW: DIRT CHEAP MAC DIGITAL TV TUNER: The AVerMedia AVerTVHD Volar MAX REQUIRES an Intel Mac and features Digital ATSC and QAM cable reception for around $60. Includes AverTV television recording software for Mac OSX.
COMPACT ALL DIGITAL MAC TUNER : An Ultra Tiny QAM USB Digital-ONLY Tuner Pinnacle TV for Mac HD Mini Stick is noted for it's ultra-compact size and signal-boosting technology for better ATSC & QAM reception. Comes bundled with remote control, EyeTV Lite 1.1 - and one of the better portable antennae - a high-gain telescopic antenna that extends up taller for better reception. For mobile Over-The-Air television with a laptop Mac, this is one of the better choices. Also includes TVCenter Pro 5 and VideoSpin software for PC.
MIGLIA'S PURE DIGITAL TUNER: The Miglia TVmini HD Express - Model TVM-02 with Remote control and bundled with The Tube PVR software from Equinux. May be hard to find in the USA since Miglia is kind of phasing out of the US tuner market, but strong in Europe.
IF AND ONLY IF you already own EyeTV 3 software - the Clear QAM version of the Hauppauge HVR-950-"Q" Model 1191 WinTV HD TV Hybrid Tuner Stick with Clear QAM and Remote Control is a very viable option for Digital Cable users needing QAM support in the $75 price range.
For those without EyeTV3, the 950Q version of a Mac-compatible retail boxed tuner was recently announced: specifically the Model 1120 WinTV-HVR-950Q for Mac's and PC in North America. Bundled with Elgato EyeTV Lite for Mac's and Win-TV v6 for Windows. This updated 'Q' bundle may be available at Amazon or Apple Accessories at Newegg.com
Video is very demanding and requires USB 2.0 ports. Late model G5 Macs and Core Duo Intel CPU's are best able to keep up with full-screen viewing and HD TV content. Models like the 250+ that support hardware compression of Analog signals may be a smarter buy for now obsolete G4/G5 Macs on 10.4.x - the minimum system reqirements for most tuners. Power-users wanting to speed up compression and export speeds for iPod/Touch/iPhone should opt for the Elgato Turbo.H264 - Video Encoder Hardware
to try to crunch a 90 minute movie down to size ALOT faster.
MAC TV TUNERS ON AN OLD SYSTEM
ELEGANT DVR-PVR SOFTWARE MAKES TV CAPTURE EASY!EyeTV 3 Software Continues To Lead The Pack
El Gato's fabulous EyeTV Software is now at version 3.4.2 - With ever more iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad TV integration. Existing Eye TV 2 owners can upgrade to v3 for $39.95. 3rd-Party units, such as from Hauppauge that shipped with EyeTV Light 1.1x can upgrade for $49.95. This pricing poses a bit of a challenge, the money you might save on a 3rd party tuner may be overridden if you want the latest full version of EyeTV instead.
There are a few viable Mac tuner options other than ElGato's EyeTV line. This page at ElGato hints at the broad range of supported tuners here in the US and abroad. Many of these 'Mac' tuners are based on OEM hardware using common chipsets that both ElGato and others use - and Eye TV sofware is either bundled or may possibly work with. So if you're not happy with the bundled apps that ATI Miglia, Pinnacle or Equinux provide, you _might_ be able to 'upgrade' your tuner by upgrading to El Gato's latest software. Do your research on very specific model support first.
THETUBE 2.9.X UPDATES: EQUINUX FOCUSES ON RELIABILITY/BUG FIXES
Adds More 3rd Party Tuner Support + "Live TV" iPhone Features
Equinux USA is working hard to improve their The Tube software and give EyeTV serious competition. TheTube has some very innovative and collabrative features to share your favorite content with others online. The latest 2.9.X update adds support for a broader range of tuners both for North America NTSC and other DVB-T broadcast standards abroad. If you own one of the 20 or so supported 3rd-party HD tuner sticks, you can purchase TheTube software direct for $39.95 and give it a test drive. The recent addition of an EPG Program Guide for US TV stations filled a critical gap.
FYI: TheTube currently supports the following devices: Equinux TubeStick (DVB-T/DTT), Equinox Tube Stick Hybrid (ATSC/QAM/analog), Miglia TVMini, Miglia TVMini HD, Miglia TV Mini & TVMini2 Express Tuners, Miglia TVBook Pro Express, Miglia TVMicro & Express, Terratec Cinergy T2, Twinhan DTV Alpha, EyeTV for DTT, Digitus DVB-T Digital USB, Freecom DVBT USB Stick, MSI Digivox Mini, Hauppauge WinTV-Nova-T-Stick, WinTV HVR-900, Elgato's 2008 Non-QAM EyeTV Hybrid, Digittrade DVB-T USB, Pinnacle PCTV nanostick DVB-T.
APPLE MAC HOME THEATRE SPEAKER OPTIONS
Many Apple desktops and laptop computers have inadequate built-in speakers making TV enjoyment difficult in all but the quietest of settings. For your desktop and often available for $50 Or Less - The Logitech AudioHub Soundbar Speaker is an absolute bargain combo device with high-fidelity 2.1 stereo speakers, a AC powered 3-port USB 2.0 speed USB hub to plug your television tuner into, smart cable wrap-management at the back, and an optional clip-on riser bracket to hold a webcam. It's a GREAT PRODUCT to consolidate some of your AV gizmos into a single sleek box, give movie soundtracks thunder and volume - and minimize a rats-nest of wires. Highly recommended!
TV ANTENNAS FOR HDTV TUNERSThe tiny antennas that often come bundled with a computer tuner are simply inadeqate for receving signals at maximum strength. The bigger the antenna, the better the reception. Check out some of these options for improving your TV on a Mac experience:
TV TUNERS FOR MAC : AN OVERVIEWA Mac compatible TV tuner for your Apple computer enables you to watch TV on your Macintosh by letting it receive television signals. You can watch - and optionally record - television programs to your computer's hard drive. TV tuner cards enhance your computer capabilities and can provide all the luxuries of a TiVo Digital Video Recorder (DVR) at an affordable price and with simple installation. Simply plug the tuner into your Mac, install the software and connect your coax signal source whether it be Antenna, Cable or Satellite.
Dual-Tuner Hybrid TV tuners support BOTH standard-definition (SD) Analog and high-definition (HD) Digital TV signals - and they also work as video capture cards. Hybrid tuners allow not just the recording of television programs in either format, but the Analog portion can be used to capture content from DVD players, VHS decks, Gaming systems and other S-Video or Composite Analog video sources.
Most Apple friendly TV tuners are an external USB TV tuner stick or box that connects to the Mac via a high-speed USB 2.0 port - which is required to provide for smooth, fast video. USB stick HDTV tuners are a compact, portable solution for MacBook or iBook TV viewing. Some tuners come bundled with a small portable antenna or a remote control to complete the package. Add a good set of stereo computer speakers and give your Macintosh laptop or desktop the audio rumble of a mini home theatre system.
The top Mac compatible TV tuner manufacturers include ElGato, Miglia, Equinux, Pinnacle Sys and Hauppauge, and AverMedia. They offer tuners in the $50 to $200 price range. At the higher end, Hybrid TV tuners include Hardware Encoding of Analog signals to speed compression and lessen the load on your computer's CPU. For Digital content, the TV signal is already compressed and encoded - but it's higher 720p or 1080i resolution demands more computing horsepower which is why a DUAL CORE Intel Mac computer is recommended.
Processing video has always been a demanding challenge for personal computers. So system requirements for enjoying television on a Macintosh lean towards fast, modern computers - with plenty of memory to Time-Shift shows you're watching, and ample disk space to save recorded programs. Realistically, a G5 processor Mac is the bare minimum, and ideally your Macintosh would have a modern Core2 Duo Intel CPU to handle the demands of Analog compression and displaying full-screen high-resoltuion HD video.
Two of the most popular PVR - Personal Video Recorder apps for OSX include ElGato's EyeTV and Equinux Software's TheTube to manage viewing, channel changing and recording and video export functions. Both provide EPG - Electronic Program Guides for current program linueps, and easy export options to burn TV shows to disc or view programming on a personal video player, iPod or iPhone.
See what you're missing! Enjoy HD television on your Mac with any of the above tuners - and take your Apple media experience to the next level. You'll love having TV on your Mac!