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Old 2011-12-07, 10:14 AM   #16
blueroomelectro
 
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Huh?

The HDHomeRun Dual is officially sold at Newegg for $129 in Canada (only $30 more than in the US). The HVR-2250 retails for the exact same price.

I don't see what the problem is with it only being 10/100. Putting a Gig adapter would have been a waste of money since it will unlikely ever need to transmit faster than 20Mbps for 1080i feeds.

And I certainly don't understand what you mean by "tying up" your wired network? A 10/100 device on a network won't slow down other Gig devices.
I should have jumped on the HDHomeRun Dual for $69 on Amazon.com recently, must have been a sale price and I missed it.

You're right, the switch should keep traffic to a minimum for the rest of the network. I've got data going in and out on the HTPC at the same time via the XBOX extender, I just figured that keeping network bandwidth open would lead to less problems in the long run.

I did have a Mac Mini 2011 baseline i5 model and as slick as it was EyeTV3 isn't ready for prime time (no extenders, non configurable multi-antenna tuners). It's so slick I almost considered using bootcamp (Windows 7) on it but alas a bug in the SB chipset seems to impede it from 23.976 Hz playback.
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2191941
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Old 2011-12-17, 04:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
highflyr, have you tried playing back 1080p mkv files on the mac mini?
I tried playing 1080i/p on my mactel from 2009 and it overheated... I don't use the mac mini for a frontend any more. There's no GPU acceleration so I gave up and built a proper frontend with a silverstone case, IR, and a nvidia card.
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Old 2011-12-17, 05:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by blueroomelectro View Post
The HDHomerun cards are excellent but...

Difficult to buy in Canada (Amazon Canada is DOUBLE the price of the US Amazon!)
I don't like tying up my wired network, they're 10/100 and when you plan on using multiple tuners this is something to consider. One solution would be connecting directly to a secondary NIC in the DVR PC.
You don't get a remote or IR receiver that works with WMC.
It does have a huge advantage if you want to keep the RG6U cable short and they do have excellent tuners.
I bought one of the HD Homerun Duals off of newegg. The price different was $20 between newegg.com and **********... I ordered through the .ca site and paid the $8 shipping. Package arrived with no extra duties or taxes...

Granted, I have a gigabit network, and my htpc cases have IR built-in, so I had no need at the time. I did buy a HVR-2250 for the sake of self-containment though.

I must say setting up the HD Homerun took literally 5 minutes. I was quite impressed.
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Old 2012-01-05, 02:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
You can get boxes to inject SPDIF or stereo analog audio into HDMI.

An HTPC would run Windows (should be 7 Home Premium), or some form of Linux.
calssicsat: what kind of box would I need to get DVI and audio from a Mac Mini to HDMI?
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Old 2012-01-05, 09:23 PM   #20
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It would depend on which Mac Mini you have. The more recent ones has a hdmi port. The previous one has also hdmi.

Earlier models you could get a box that combines mini-display port and Optical port to hdmi.

With my Macbook pro, I just connected dvi to HDMI for video and mini jack to optical for audio and it worked well.

Now I have a newer Mac mini with HDMI

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Old 2012-01-08, 11:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmac View Post
With my Macbook pro, I just connected dvi to HDMI for video and mini jack to optical for audio and it worked well.
This is what I do with my Mini (which is one of the first Core 2 Duo-based ones). A DVI to HDMI cable or adapter is pretty cheap and easy to find, and I got a very inexpensive TOSLink cable for the audio. (Just make sure that it has the 3.5mm adapter for the Mac end.)

I haven't used it to full advantage yet but I can play a movie from the Mac in full Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS.

I have an over-the-air antenna drop right behind the Mac for my TV, so using it to record over-the-air feeds is tempting.
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Old 2012-02-09, 11:56 AM   #22
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Default Mac Mini HTPC

I'm looking to set up a new system throughout my condo. The plan is to drop the cable and hook up antenna for OTA.

Situation: I have two TV's in the condo. Both are old enought to not have the digital HD tuner's built in which sucks. One will be replaced as part of this new setup, so one will be able to accept the OTA antenna directly into the set.

Plan-part1: Old TV. Hook up OTA antenna to a Mac Mini using an Elgato tuner. (looking for suggestions on model- leaning towards EyeTV One). Use connect Mac Mini via DVI connection (tv doesn't have HDMI either), and likely just rca audio as there is no HomeTheatre in that room.

Issues: I want to be able to record 2 shows at the same time, or watch 1 while recording another. Not sure of the best way to accomplish this - will I need two tuners into the MacMini? Is it a software issue and if so, which Software will help me out. The Elgatos seem to come with their own software, but it doesn't look like it will solve the issue.
Need to be able to convert the recordings to an appleTV appropriate format. Again, the Elgato software can do this, but again, not helpful if i can't record two tv shows.
If I need two tuners to plug into the MacMini, can I split the OTA signal into the two tuners?

Plan-part2: New TV. Hook up a second OTA antenna to the new tv. Run the sound out from the TV into the HomeTheatre system. Hook up Apple TV to the new TV to access recordings from other tv, or from computers, etc.

Issues: I will have my TV audio running to the HomeTheatre system, but it only has one optical input. I will also have my PS3 hooked up to the TV via HDMI - so the sound should run out to the HomeTheatre correct? Same with the AppleTV.

The second part of the plan seems easy enough - it's mostly the MacMini setup and connections to allow 2 recordings or 1rec while watching, plus conversion to a format acceptable to the Apple TV.

If you have any help, it would be appreciated. Or if you have any other solutions that might work.

Would i want two antennas to a single TV for any reason? if so, how would they connect?

I live on the 31st floor of a building, with clear line of sight to CN Tower as well as clear across Lake Ontario. All OTA charts seem to indicate that getting channels will not be a big issue.

Thanks
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Old 2012-02-09, 12:43 PM   #23
TorontoColin
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We have a lengthy thread on TV tuner cards here, as well as another one on USB TV tuners here. Some TV tuner cards have two tuners built in. Alternatively, you could buy two cards. If you need to split the signal, a coaxial cable splitter is what you need. They're inexpensive and simple, but you want a good quality one. There's some great discussion of OTA antennas and wiring in the OTA forums you might want to check out.

You shouldn't need a second OTA antenna for your second TV, unless you have physical restrictions that prevent you from wiring the same antenna to both the TV and the HTPC. Having two antennas for a single TV might offer some advantages, especially if you want to pick up American channels as well, but that is definitely a topic for the OTA forums. You'll find plenty of existing discussion on that there.

Your second issue shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure you pick a TV with enough HDMI inputs (I'd recommend at least three as you never know what you might want to connect in the future) as well as an optical out.
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Old 2012-02-09, 02:23 PM   #24
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You might want to look into the HDHomerun. It simply hooks into the network router so only one antenna and no extra TV cabling would be required. Not sure what Mac software is available but I believe there is Mac support.
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Old 2012-02-09, 07:18 PM   #25
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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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Old 2012-02-16, 03:57 PM   #26
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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...)
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Old 2012-02-18, 11:15 AM   #27
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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.
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Old 2012-02-22, 06:40 PM   #28
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I was having toughts about buying an AppleTv, but also thinkings that a MacMini would do the same and better with more advantages
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Old 2012-02-23, 09:06 PM   #29
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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.
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Old 2012-10-04, 07:21 PM   #30
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Default 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.
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