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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2013-09-05 01:28 PM
ExDilbert I'll keep that in mind. The back end can run on any system on the network. It doesn't need to be on the same PC as the HTPC software.
2013-09-05 12:53 PM
notsure I'm willing to explore any other back-ends but they need to be OS X. Can we keep this thread about Mac Mini HTPC solutions?
2013-09-05 12:48 PM
ExDilbert Haven't tried a MythTV Backend but NPVR (aka NewPVR/GPVR) for Windows has some nice options for recording. It's fairly simple to set up but supplies enough options to be very useful. Things like record only new shows and automatic deletion are supported. I've been meaning to take a look at a MythTV Backend for some time but installation on CentOS proved to be a problem.
2013-09-05 08:54 AM
notsure Colour me impressed.

Received the required h/w last week and finally got around to installing the s/w last night.

HD Homerun Dual = up and running in minutes
MythTV Backend = simple to install
XBMC Add-on = extremely simple to install
MySQL = simple to install
Creating the correct tables in MySQL = this took some fiddling. The MythTV setup would not run and didn't throw any errors. Finally got it working when I determined the TZ tables MySQL were missing and needed to be created from scratch.

Watching Live TV on the XBMC is great with my only complaint being it takes a few seconds between channel changes. Much much longer than my old PVR.

Recording simple shows appears to work fine but advanced scheduling may need some work. Haven't had time to investigate much.
2013-08-29 10:53 AM
notsure My harmony remote controls everything about XBMC perfectly right now (and is wife friendly). This is why I want to use XBMC as my front end for TV watching and PVR side (if possible). Getting everything to an Apple TV automatically would be a super bonus.

We haven't had a PVR since we cut the cord and we don't really need one now. It's more of a hobby thing for me at the moment.
2013-08-29 10:49 AM
905shmick The recorded shows will need to be converted from mpeg2 using something like handbrake. After that it should be easy enough to setup an automator action to take files it finds in a folder/directory and put them into iTunes.

I use EyeTV but I don't do any automated transcoding as I prefer to use HandbrakeCLI to set the start and stop times of the videos being transcoded to trim the videos as much as possible.

Also, if you're using a universal remote, check out Remote Buddy, it's a great app that has allowed me to make the mac mini as "wife friendly" as possible. Other than a OS dialogue box that pops up every once in a blue moon, the whole system can be controlled with our harmony remote, switching between EyeTV, XBMC, Chrome, Facetime, etc.
2013-08-29 10:28 AM
notsure Now that my Mac Mini has been running XBMC 12.2 Frodo for a while, it's time to get a new toy!

Here is what I'm thinking; Mac Mini + HD Homerun Dual + MythTV backend + XBMC for LiveTV.

From all my reading, this setup seems possible. Does anyone here have any experience, recommendations about this?

Also, would this setup allow me to add the recorded shows to iTunes for viewing by an Apple TV or is this only possible using the Elgato software?

TIA
2013-03-25 09:04 AM
notsure Well, I finally got a Mac Mini on the weekend and it's all set to replace my Popcorn Hour A-210 (and Bell Receiver).

Anyone have preferences regarding using XBMC or Plex? I've used XBMC on the original XBox and I currently use Plex to watch videos on my MacBook Pro.

Anyone able to get Netflix and / or Hulu working with either of them using plug-ins or add-ins (or whatever they are called now)? Any other call OS X HTPC things I should know about?

TIA!
2012-10-05 08:40 AM
hugh I too have the Eye TV software on a Mac Mini. ( I bought the base Mac Mini and upgraded it myself to 8 GB since 2GB is not enough).

Personally, I am a little disappointed with the software. Yes it does act as a PVR and some aspects are very slick but I don't like having to use the keyboard to set up a lot of series recording. IMO, the ten foot interface should not require a keyboard, ever. I also don't like that pressing the menu button on the remote opens a new window!

Definitely a buy if you use a Mac as an HTPC but IMO, still could use a lot of improvement.
2012-10-04 08:21 PM
dshel
Eye TV Hybrid tuner on a Mac Mini - mini review

Well I finished installing this on my Mac Mini: Hybrid tuner and Eye TV software.

It essentially makes the Mac a DVR/PVR. The MAC Mini is very tiny and looks great as the center piece of a home theater.

Got a wireless Adesso keyboard with built-in trackpad. I may get a little Logitech DiNovo - but my CFO has not released the funds yet

Mac has 4 GB of RAM, 500GB HD, Intel Core i5 and Radeon HD 6330 video with 256MB of RAM. Mountain Lion.

I am very impressed with performance, the tuner is super sensitive as I get more channels from my antenna than I get with my Sharp 42 Aquos.

The HD quality is great. Software is fabulous, I can record with so many options: series, new run, repeats, etc. Very intuitive. TV Guide provides listings for free for 1 year, $20/year thereafter.

It's nice to have a full fledge computer too.

The total investment (approx $1000) will pay for itself quickly with no cable bill now.

Happy as a clam.
2012-02-23 10:06 PM
akaOtter Thanks envirogeek.

right now my router is in the office, but with the new setup, the router will move to the living room with the Sony. This way I can wire it to the MacMini (also will be in the living room) and my PS3 (it keeps dropping the wireless connection anyways for some reason). I can put the antenna behind my tv easily enough, split it into the HomeRun and into the MacMini. Or would I need to even split it? I guess I should if I want live tv right? Or can I play directly from the HDHomerun through the TV? I guess I could look it up on the website...

the bedroom will be somewhat standalone, with the AppleTV to receive any recorded shows from the HomeRun that I converted on my MacMini....

I will have to look into my ability to use existing inwall cable for the antenna through the condo. I don't think I'm able to use it, but I haven't really checked. Never had thought about it before.

The new TV for the bedroom should be coming next week. Likley going to be the Samsung 55" 6000 series model. I thought about going the 6500 or 7000 route, but for the most part I don't need any of the extras that they offer, and I don't have a need for the 3d. I'll be hooking it up to the antenna and see what the reception is like from up here... I'm guess it should be pretty good due to the minimal infrastructure this high up.
2012-02-22 07:40 PM
kovalev I was having toughts about buying an AppleTv, but also thinkings that a MacMini would do the same and better with more advantages
2012-02-18 12:15 PM
envirogeek Couple of other comments...

The HD Home Run needs it's own antenna, Ethernet cable and power. It is a small box that can go anywhere that works for you.

If you haven't checked out the OTA forum yet, make sure you do and download the antenna chart.

When you go to connect the Mini to the Sony, if you don't find a common resolution and scan rate on each device that you like, do a search for the SwitchResX utility. Been around for years and still being updated for Lion.

Since you said you can put your router in the living room, I'm assuming that means you would be moving it from where it is currently? Are you on cable or dsl? This implies to me there is some kind of cable in the walls you may be able to reuse.

If on cable Internet, and if you were pulling the plug on cable tv altogether, you might be able to park the router where the cable enters your condo, leave the the HDR there, then split antenna over the inwall cable to the other rooms.

Sounds like you're getting things figured out, I think you'll be happy with the results.
2012-02-16 04:57 PM
akaOtter Thanks for the input everyone. Good ideas all of them.


envirogeek - will be a new MacMini (Intel Based) and I will likely buy 8GB ram to install after i buy (cheaper than buying it with 8GB). Not sure the processor speed, I'd like to go with the 2.0GHz i7 processor, but financially I might end up with the 2.5 GHz i5.

My older TV that I will be keeping is a Sony Vega 42" rear projection LCD from around 8 years ago? 16:9 aspect ratio... just no digital tuner.

I have a wireless network, and due to the open concept and structural elements of the condominium, hardwiring between my office, living room and bedroom (for the televisions) is not a viable option. I can put the router in my living room for the old TV, and use WiFi for my computers in the adjacent office (perhaps wiring them later as it's not a structural wall), but there is no way to wire to the bedroom without drilling through 10" of concrete wall, and running a cable across open floor/corridors.

1 antenna would be best option, but if i need 2 (1 for each tv) it's not like the antennas are expensive.

So by your suggestion, i could connect my antenna to the EyeTV (to the MacMini), wired to my network. I also have my HD HomeRun on the network. All that will be in the living room with the MacMini hooked to the old TV. Then use the AppleTV2 to play saved and converted files to the bedroom tv over the wireless network (after converting to a iTunes format).

I would also consider a second antenna to watch live tv OTA to the bedroom TV as well...

I am used to the big Cable Co. PVR systems, but not married to it. Willing to make sacrifices for financial savings. Ideally recording 2 shows at once, or watch one while recording another would be an asset. (Watching different things on the two TV's is also a good thing...)
2012-02-09 08:18 PM
envirogeek Questions and comments...

I'm assuming you are talking about a new, 2011, Intel Mini. Any model will work as your recording device. Go for more horsepower and ram if you want to load the box up with more functions.

I second the suggestion of the HD Home Run, this works very well with EyeTV and is an officially supported device. You can buy a HD Home Run as an Elgato labelled package or buy a HD Home Run in a Silicon Dust package and then use the same EyeTV software purchased separately or included with another Elgato product.

Elgato do not officially support more than one physical tuner attached to a single Mac. EyeTV has trouble keeping track of which device is which if you have two of the same device on the same machine. Some users have reported success by using two different model tuners on the same Mac.

This is just a personal opinion, but if you are used to a PVR in the traditional cable/satellite provider model, I don't really see EyeTV as a PVR replacement. Great recording/timeshifting/format conversion software/hardware - not really a watch one channel while recording another device. Do you like to pause live TV while watching?

Can you post some info on the old TV you plan to keep? You said it has DVI - is it a 4x3 CRT, 16x9 CRT or an older flat panel without a built in digital tuner? CRT's can sometimes be a bear to get synced at HD resolutions.

Do you have a wired or wireless network available to you already?

My thoughts for one possible approach...

Single antenna located in the best place to tune the channels you want to watch, split to run 2 or 3 ways to an HD Home Run and one or both of the TV's. This assumes that you can feed RG6 or use existing cable within your condo. Check the OTA discussion on this forum for the recommended antenna chart.

Mac Mini attached directly by HDMI-DVI to the older TV. The Mac Mini running on the older TV could be connected from the audio out by mini-jack to RCA for analog audio.

Put an Apple TV2 on the newer TV. This box can then stream directly from the internet or pull recorded video out of iTunes after it has been converted from the native Eye TV format.

With this approach the Mini could record 2 channels from the HD Home Run 24/7. You would then have access to OTA by antenna on either TV without tying up a channel from your HD Home Run or any other tuner device.

If no existing wired internet or router, Mini could be connected by ethernet as your internet gateway and then share wireless to the Apple TV2.
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