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
$129.36
Apple Inc.
+0.27
GOOG
$573.64
Google Inc.
+2.30
MSFT
$43.28
Microsoft Corpora
-0.60
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

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

Dungeon Hunter 5 Coming on March 12
Gameloft has excitedly announced that Dungeon Hunter 5 is on its way! Once again, you will adventure across the land of Valenthia exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. The game will have a new asynchronous multiplayer mode called Strongholds which lets you create a customizable base that you can defend and raid your opponents bases. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Jurojin: Immortal N...
At this point it’s pretty safe to say that no MOBA is going to dethrone Dota 2 and League of Legends anytime soon. After all, if Batman can’t do it, nobody can. However, with a genre as popular and profitable as this one, there’s still room for smaller games to carve out unique identities. Jurojin: Immortal Ninja opts for this path with its... | Read more »
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Advent...
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVELY LANDSCAPESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! includes farm-related scenes rich with details and interactive moments for toddlers to explore. | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: February 23-27, 20...
Final February Fun at 148Apps   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitel...
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitely a Game You Should Keep an Eye on Posted by Rob Rich on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] We were teased about Mediocre Games’ (Smash Hit, | Read more »
F84 Games & POW! Announce Stan Lee V...
F84 Games has announced that it is working with legendary comic creator Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment to produce Stan Lee’s Hero Command. The game will be a action adventure of heroic proportions. | Read more »
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You C...
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You Can Focus On Rocking Out. Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vas...
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vast New Update! Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Size DOES Matter Review
Size DOES Matter Review By Campbell Bird on March 2nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: HARD TO BEATUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This rhythm game has a unique control scheme and performance system that make it feel like a true innovation in the genre.   | Read more »
The first ever action 3D card battler Al...
On the other hand, you probably haven’t played an action 3D card battler – until now. Step forward, All Star Legion. All Star Legion is a 3D QTE-based action RPG card battler, but fear not – the game itself isn’t as convoluted as its description. You collect over thirty heroes to train and summon into battle with you, first deciding on the timing... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.