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Another option for TV card for the mac mini

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jon stallard, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    (posted this in the MCE forum by mistake)


    Cheaper USB TV device for a Mac mini
    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop...&cat=133&page=1

    For anyone looking to build up a mac mini into a media centre, have a look at the two links I've posted. It doesn't say it's mac compatible above but if you go to the twinhan website below, they announced it's compatability only a couple of weeks ago.

    http://www.twinhan.com/news_releases_2.asp?newsid=83

    An interesting and cheaper choice. I've used a Twinhan PCI card and whilst it might not be as good a quality as the black gold, I'd buy their products again.

    Anyone any thoughts before I buy one or am I to be the guinea pig?

    Jon
     
  2. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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  3. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    The specialtech one doesn't, I must have chopped the last bit off but yes, that's the one. When I read the cost of the elgato series I nearly had a fit! The twinhan usb device is so small too.

    Being new to mac's (well actually, it hasn't turned up yet although I got a very polite card from the TNT person saying how sorry he was he missed me today when trying to deliver it:)) is it just a matter of using different drivers over a an XP machine? Could you say therefore that any USB device could in theory work with a mac? That it's just a case of someone thinking it commercially viable to write mac software for it?

    Just wondered.

    Jon.
     
  4. Harryo

    Harryo
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    I have been using the TwinhanDTV Alpha USB2.0 with an XP system for a number of weeks, the image quality is excellent and the software provided with the device is OK.

    For Windows users alternative software that works providing that you have the BDA driver installed is "MyTheatre" which used in conjunction with a "StreamZap" remote allows me to conveniently switch channels from across the room.

    The Mac support is a recent addition and it would appear that at the moment the Twinhan remote control does not work, the following is a quote from the Twinhan website:-

    "Currently the remote control is not functional when your OS is Mac serious."


    There is also a PDF file describing the installation process for a MAC:-

    http://www.twinhan.com/download_driver&software.asp

    Filename:- MAC QIG

    Harryo
     
  5. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    Cheers Harryo, I bought one from the website straight after I read your opinion. To be honest, the whole point of me getting a mac mini is to find out how it sits as a media player, after all, with all the USB bits and external psu's, it looks as if you can just tip the whole lot into a sideboard draw and hide it away :)

    Having bought two twinhan PCI cards, I've noticed a hell of a lot of activity on their website regarding upgrade downloads over the last 4 or so months and to see they've decided to make two devices mac ready shows a pretty forward thinking company.

    As it turns out, my two PCI cards must be unique in that they will work on XP, MCE and MAC with the appropriate drivers.

    Jon.
     
  6. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Are you able to say whether this is a sensitive receiver? I live in a fringe area and I have failed to get ITV, C4 and Five etc with some receivers/cards.

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  7. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    I can't be sure to be honest, all I can say is that in my location, picking up my signals from the isle of wight, with a decent aerial, I've never had a problem. In fact I can even receive all channels via an indoor aerial. I did once have a pace reciver that struggled though.

    I think the usual rules apply to freeview, get a pucker aerial geezer out to climb up ladders with a signal strength meter and sort you out. It might cost a bit to begin with but personally, I'm sold on the freeview platform to the exclusion of Sky.... and I used to be a sky subscriber.... but that's down to the individual. I think if you've struggled with some cards and devices in the past Dave, you probaby need to look at the source. You've probably done that though so maybe you just live in an area not completely covered???

    BTW.... I'm typing this on my new mac mini. I can't put into words the impact this machine has had on me since I opened the box. As an old bloke who is into his gadgets, I think this is the zenith of gadgets. It is unbeleiveable (apart from my spelling:)).

    It's small, it detected my wireless network in the blink of an eye, internet then came as standard, I have a mouse that you just bob up and down to select.... my only regret is that I have to go to work in the morning and therefore must sleep....:)

    I'll do a comparison with a MCE machine over the weekend, especially if I get my twinhan usb jobbie by friday. All I can say is that your wife (because inevitably it boils down to that in most partnerships) will readily accept a white mac mini with it's white keyboard and mouse over a behmoth silver and black, noisy XP/MCE thing anyday. There really isn't a choice. I can pick it up in one hand fer christs sake. And to top it all, the Tiger operating system is sooo similar to windows to the point where you can figure out the difference easily enough, given a bit of common sense.

    Wow.

    Jon.
     
  8. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    Another convert to Apple, another mac zealot? :)

    It looks like the Mac Mini is living up to its reputation as Apple's trojan horse.

    I have to say it lives up to its reputation. When I see my Mac Mini next to my PC tower it just brings home to me how much I love it - for goodness sake it's about a tenth of the size of my tower!

    Throw in a responsive OS with all the technical gubbins thrown out that just works - no fiddling with the registry or control panel or services or... (the list goes on and on).

    The only problems I have so far is it's inability to play certain DVDs and it's lack of 5.1 sound or SP/DIF output. That can be fixed with the M-Audio Sonica though.

    I'll also have to look at this TV tuner as it seems ideal for my Mac. A question though - can it do timed recording of tv programs from a tv guide or suchlike?If I buy the minipartner from France I can see myself using the Mac Mini as my home taping solution, leaving my PC for games.
     
  9. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    It has an epg, which is a vast improvement over the first epg I used with a Twinhan card. It certainly gives programs for the following hours but to be honest, because I got it working downloading the mac drivers from the site more or less first time, I thought I'd best leave it while I was still ahead! A throwback from using PeeCee's I think. It say's on the box it can record as well as pause etc so I cannot see any reason why you shouldn't be able to time shift with it. I'll have a look tonight.

    This thing is the perfect partner for a mac mini I think, primarily because of it's size. With no power supply, it is simply an in line device. PQ is as good as anything else I've seen via a PC card. If only the remote worked then it would be a brilliant bit of kit. That is perhaps the only real draw back but then I've not really had a chance to test it out fully yet. I'm not sure why the remote doesn't work although the website acknowledges this fact. If Twinhan gets this going then it could see the Elgato monopoly end?

    I agree about the mac mini though, I can't stop looking at it and disbeleiving what it can do in relation to it's size. I love the operating system but part of the hardship of owning a mac is the thin spread of hardware that works with it compared to a PeeCee. For instance, I'll no doubt have to buy the M-Audio device if I want an optical output but I have a creative USB device that does all that (and a bit more) but is not supported for a mac. Shame.

    'Mac' Jon.
     

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