TV for mac buying advice

boognish

Registered
I having real trouble trying to decide which TV device to get. I have a mac mini, so an external USB or firewire device is my only option. I would like it to have the following features; Digital Terestial Television, Divx encoding onboard (not software compression), good quality output for a games console (will be buying the PS3 when it arrives next year), and a remote. The closest I"ve come so far is Elgato EyeTV Wonder USB 2.0 and a seperate digibox. This would offer; DTT, Divx (software compression - not great quality with my mac mini's CPU), can output games consoles (not great quality) and no remote. I've tried the apple site , but they don't seem to show anything that meets my exact requirements. Anyone know a product that does?

Here's some additional info;

- The AV output for the Playstation 3
Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI: HDMI out x 2
Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

- Divx isn't 100% necessary as long as there is an equivalent method of compression. Also playing around with the idea of replacing my mac mini with a G5 so I may be able to cope with software compression, that also means I'd consider an internal card.

Cheers,
Paul
 

boognish

Registered
Thanks for the reply, the formac wasn't really what I was after, it looked like it was more for video capture - plus I found formac products to be a bit rubbish, bought an formac external hard drive a few months back and its already died. I think I sussed it though - for reference for anyone wanting to do the same - Miglia EvolutionTV £155 ($270), a set top box with s-video £35 ($60) and a good antenna £25 ($45). Does Digital Terestial Television, Divx hardware compression, outputs games consoles at good quality and has a decent remote.
Cheers!
 

Robn Kester

I heart nothing
Sounds like you find what you needed! I agree on the Formac products, they look nice but have heard too many bad things about them. Only one I hear good about is the EyeTV and similar products but have not used it so cant really recoommend it.

Let us know how your selections work for you!
 

boognish

Registered
As an additional note, I contacted Miglia and they told me the EvolutionTV can also backup your dvds and vhs tapes to divx format using its hardware compression, bypassing the copy protection. Thats the real cherry on top for me :). Will let you know how I get on when I buy this stuff next week!
 

boognish

Registered
Thought I'd write a follow up to my purchase...

Well first off I've had a total nightmare with this.

Instead of a set top box and attenna for the evolution TV, I decided to buy a video sender to receive the signal my cable tv in the front room. Thing is when I set it up, the picture flickered constantly and the sound was crackly. After a bit of trial and error I discovered it was my bluetooth keyboard and mouse which were interferring with the signal. When I turned the bluetooth off the signal was much better, though it still flickered a bit. I've researched this a bit and it turns out that bluetooth rapidly hops frequencies within the 2.4ghz range. This is the same band as the RF frequency from the video sender. So I then set about replacing my bluetooth keyboard and mouse for a wired apple keyboard and mouse, so I wouldn't require the bluetooth anymore. Once set up, I then discovered that the video sender also totally interferred with WLAN, killing the internet completely.

I gave up on the video sender and bought a set top box and attenna instead. I purchased a set top box with an s-video output so I could get a widescreen signal through to the evolutiontv. The widesceen signal appears vertically stretched in a 4:3 window. The problem is there doesn't seem to be an option to stretch the image to 16:9...there's only a clipping option, which cuts the bottom and the top off a 4:3 signal. I can have a widescreen signal displayed in a 4:3 window, but I have a widescreen (16:9) apple cinema display, so this is no good. I've wrote to Miglia and requested they implement a "stretch" feature into the software.

On the games console front, I have decided to puchase a dvi-audio switch, for when the Playstaion 3 comes out, as opposed to using the evolutionTV as a medium. This way I can take advantage of the HDTV resolution that the PS3 offers.

So for reference:
- Don't buy a video sender if you use bluetooth and/or a wireless router.
- Buy a set top box (with an s-video output) and attenna instead, but be wary the evolutiontv doesn't fully support widescreen signals YET.
- If you want to use a PS3 with your monitor, buy a dvi switch to take advantage of HDTV.
 
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