Mac Mini with Eye TV as HTPC

Discussion in 'Apple Forum' started by amardilo, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. amardilo

    amardilo
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    Has anyone got any experience on using a Mac Mini with an EyeTV as a HTPC/PVR?

    I understand that Elgato sell USB Freeview dongles that work with iTunes (and Apple TV) are these any good (i.e. is the PQ any good view a connection from a rooftop antenna)?

    Does the EyeTV integrate in with iTunes?

    Is there an EPG with the EyeTV and if so is it a 7 day EPG?

    I have an Apple TV in another room which is synced to MacBook (and will stay that way) would there be any issues with streaming TV saved on my iTunes on my Mac Mini to it?

    Can anyone recommend an EyeTV I should be looking at (I don't want a massive USB device with it's own power supply)?
     
  2. jont

    jont
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    Wholeheartedly recommend EyeTv and a usb stick - best £60 I ever spent on my Mac IMHO ...

    EyeTV stores broadcast native files in its archive but you can edit and export those directly to ipod/appletv (where they end up in iTunes) - as well as to Imovie or other video/audio formats ...

    The EPG is a combination of over the air updates and a tvtv online database - will go to 7 days and beyond depending on source

    Streaming iTunes converted files to the appletv shouldn't be a problem ... if you plan on doing a lot of converting then I suggest getting the elgato turbo h.264 stick ... http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_turbo264&PHPSESSID=597f75e131cde76a5f653fbef22a5dfd

    Jon
     
  3. andymckay2001

    andymckay2001
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    I agree completely with Jon

    :smashin:
     
  4. amardilo

    amardilo
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    Do I have to convert recordings into an iTunes format? Does the EyeTV not just record them into h.264 (or just automatically export them to iTunes and delete the EyeTV file I won't need)?
     
  5. jont

    jont
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    there is a button to one-click to export to itunes (optimised for either ipod or appleTV) ... the turbo stick will significantly decrease the time this takes ... you can then delete the eyetv file ...

    Jon
     
  6. amardilo

    amardilo
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    Thank again. I think I may give this setup a go. Although I am going to be running low on cash if they release a new iPod so I might have to wait a few months before I look at the turbo stick.

    The only concerns I have is that the Mini uses 802.11g and not 802.11n (I would prefer 802.11n for streaming media to my Apple TV).

    How is the Mac Mini at displaying HD video to a HD screen? Can it's inbuilt graphics handle HD video?

    I plan to max out the RAM if that helps with playback and I am sure that the new Core 2 Duo CPUs are more than enough processing power for HD video.
     
  7. jont

    jont
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    handles 720p fine my old single core duo can be a bit iffy with 1080i but the new core 2duos should be better ... it's basically the same graphics chip as in the macbooks ...

    not much can be done about the 802.11n - guess apple decided wasn't worth putting it in ...
     
  8. 2010

    2010
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    I read on 123macmini that an 802.11n card from a Macbook fits in a Mini.
     
  9. jont

    jont
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    can you get hold of the 802.11n cards though ? ... AFAIK the airport extreme card is still 11g ?

    Jon
     
  10. amardilo

    amardilo
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    Thanks for the info. Is there a guide anywhere on the net? Do you know if these cards are available and if I could easily fit them in.

    If I had the cash to burn I think I would get another Airport Extreme and wire the Mac Mini into that to get 802.11n........


    Do you think it could handle 1080p? This is really not an issue as I don't have any 1080p videos or a TV capable of 1080p I'm just curious.
     
  11. jont

    jont
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    Well whaddayaknow ... http://www.ifixit.com/MacBook-Parts/MacBook-802-11n-Airport-Extreme-Card/IF185-038

    Funny I had to purchase the bluetooth psb from the US for my G5 as it wasn't a user-part - the repair shops in the US are great at getting bits that you can't get over here !!

    Mind you easing the casing off a mini isn't the easiest thing but another good reason why now !!

    Jon

    I think that even with 3gb RAM you won't get 1080p out of a mac mini - but as you have no display or content its not an issue !!
     
  12. dodger747

    dodger747
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    It's the CPU that takes the strain in HD video playback so the graphics card is not a problem.

    I've just bought a Core 2 Duo mini and it works faultlessly with all 720p .mkv's. The vast majority of 1080p .mkv's also play faultlessly. The only problem I have had is on a Planet Earth episode with the huge flock of birds in which the bandwidth is ridiculously high and only then was there a slight stutter in playback...:thumbsup:

    As for other formats, I can't tell you as all my files are .mkv's so I haven't tried with others.
     
  13. jont

    jont
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    Good to know that the new models are coping with 1080p mkv files ... you running those through VLC Dodger or FrontRow + Perian ?

    Jon
     
  14. dodger747

    dodger747
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    VLC and Remote Buddy.

    I had some sample .mkv files [around 200mb] that worked fine using the Perian route but the full size files took far too long to pre-load unfortunately...:)
     

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