How to watch HD from a cable or satellite receiver on your Mac
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

How to watch HD from a cable or satellite receiver on your Mac


It's long perturbed me that I can't watch HD from a cable or satellite receiver on my Mac. Well, actually I (and you) can, though it's a bit of a kludge to make it happen. But, doggone it, I have a 27-inch iMac, and I was determined to find a solution.

If, like me, that's a goal of yours, here's how to to do it. My hardware/software brand of choice for viewing TV on my Mac is EyeTV from Elgato (http://www.elgato.com). Unfortunately, no EyeTV device can receive HD from a cable or satellite receiver. The only device that can do this is the third-party Hauppauge HD PVR (http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html). The unit comes with Windows software, but can also be used on the Mac (Intel systems only; PowerPC Macs need not apply) with EyeTV 3.1 or later.

The HD PVR captures video in the H.264 video format, using SD and HD resolutions. Audio can be AAC or AC3 (Dolby), depending on the source. That's good. But there are lots of gotchas to using it on the Mac.

The HD PVR doesn't have a tuner input for antenna or cable. The infrared remote receiver isn't supported, and the infrared remote blaster can't legally be supported on the Mac. The minimum firmware supported is 1.15, and the HD PVR must be "flashed" on a Windows machine using Hauppauge’s driver software before you can use it with EyeTV on your Mac.

In other words, you have to hook up the HD PVR to a PC and install the drivers before you can use it with a Mac. If you don't have a PC, you can use Boot Camp, install Windows and do it with your Mac. Or, better yet, get a friend with a PC to "flash" the Hauppauge device for you if, like me, you don't really want Windows on your Mac.

Once you've done all this, you can indeed receive HD from a cable or satellite receiver. As for me, I can now watch my Comcast line-up on my iMac. However, I'm unable to change the channel from the EyeTV channel menu. I can only change it by using the Comcast remote control.

That's normal, and the HD PVR is working normally because the video connections to the HD PVR are only one-way -- outgoing from the cable box. There's literally no way for your Mac to make itself "heard" by the set-top box.

A third party product can simulate the remote signal and allow you to change channels on your cable box directly from the EyeTV 3 software, as described here.

This set-up isn't the smooth solution I'd prefer, but it works (though I hear that Elgato may be working on a solution). My Mac is now my personal computer, stereo, DVD player and sometimes-TV. Now to move onto a Blu-ray workaround...

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$531.70
Apple Inc.
+0.53
GOOG
$534.81
Google Inc.
+6.19
MSFT
$39.99
Microsoft Corpora
+0.05
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers t...
Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers the Same Social Networking TV Fun, Plus a New Look Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Bandai Namco Unveils Upcoming Slate of M...
At their recent Global Gamers’ Day event, Bandai Namco was largely focused on their console and PC offerings for the upcoming year. However mobile still had a small presence, with some upcoming titles revealed by the company – though few were in a playable state at this time. Windows screenshot, may not be representative of iOS gameplay | Read more »
The Story Behind Grammar Girl’s Grammar...
Learning is so much more rewarding when it’s also fun. That’s part of the reason why recent educational app, Grammar Pop HD, garnered such a positive review from us last week. The brainchild of Mignon Fogarty, otherwise known as Grammar Girl, we were lucky enough to have a chat with her to find out more on how the game, as well as the persona,... | Read more »
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY POWERFULiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Video editing while on the move has never been so convenient.   | Read more »
Taste Savant Review
Taste Savant Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TASTY RECOMMENDATIONSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad In need of some new restaurant recommendations? This app will be ideal, with curated reviews of many establishments in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.   | Read more »
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds Mor...
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds More Than Just Sheep to the Liquid Physics Puzzler Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY FARMINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad FarmVille is bigger and brighter than ever before, but don’t expect it to sway you if you’re a non believer.   | Read more »
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update,...
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update, adds Perk System and more Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Strongarm Universal Mount Hardware Revie...
Made by: Viatek Price: $14.99 for 2 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars | Read more »
Boxer Review
Boxer Review By Campbell Bird on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: KO YOUR INBOXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Turn your inbox into a task list or tune it to your own needs with this highly customizable, user friendly mailbox app.   | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.