I want to build a DVR/Media Center

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Redsand187, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Redsand187

    Redsand187 OT Supporter

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    I'm trying to figure out what exactly I need to do. I'll start with a list of wants...

    I want to be able to record HDTV
    I want an interface that allows easy recording like TIVO. (Being able to automatically record a season would be awesome)
    I want to be able to use iTunes for music and movies, like AppleTV
    I'd like to have a BlueRay player/burner, or at least the option to easily add one later.
    Ideally, I'd love for it to fit in one case, so I don't have a rats nest of wires and components.
    And of course use my TV for the monitor.

    I don't know what my options even are. I'm looking at the eyeTV stuff right now seems like it may work.

    It seems like building a PC might be a better option. But I have 3 macs right now, and have always used them, so would prefer to use a mac for this. A Mac Pro is too big, and is too expensive to use for this. A iMac would be pointless because I don't need the screen. A mac mini might work, but I'd prefer a case I could throw a 500gb hard drive or 2 in, plus a burner.

    I know someone has to have done something like this.

    I do have a single 867 G4 that could be used in this project, but I don't think it's got the power to do this.

    Any suggestions?:x:
     
  2. SuperCzar

    SuperCzar Mac Crew, DSLR Crew

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    I'm a mac guy as much as the next.

    But I built a MythTV box, and love it.
     
  3. Redsand187

    Redsand187 OT Supporter

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    what type of specs do you need for a pc?

    I've been browsing and it looks like a mac mini, a TV MAX+ and a LaCie 500gb Mini harddrive would be a good option. Only, I don't know if it would be worth upgrading to the more expensive mini, really all I'd want is the DVD burner, but like I said before ideally, a blueray burner would be added. I guess I could always transfer the files to my G5 and burn DVD's there.

    I don't know if I'd really need to burn DVD's but, it would be a nice option.

    The other question is how do I get a HD output for my TV. HDMI would be ideal.
     
  4. CarRamRod

    CarRamRod The schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries.

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    I have my Mini hooked up to my 42" LCD via a DVI-to-HDMI connector, looks pretty good. The eyeTV software does most of what you are talking about, I haven't upgraded to version 3.0 yet though, I have the eyeTV Hybrid and it works well.
     
  5. SuperCzar

    SuperCzar Mac Crew, DSLR Crew

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    I'm running SD capture cards, and I output via DVI which seems to work fine for me. If you're going to do HD you might want a little more horse power than mine. It is an older Athlon 2600 machine with 512mb ram and about 750GB of RAIDed drives. Mostly just stuff I already had.

    That being said, it's got some pretty nice features: a web based control panel, relatively easy to use interface, automatic commercial detection, automated re-encoding, DVD importing, and other stuff.

    But man, it's a bitch to figure out how to set up the first time.
     
  6. Izze

    Izze New Member

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    Google "LinuxMCE"
     
  7. Redsand187

    Redsand187 OT Supporter

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    Upon further investigation it doesn't look as if the Miglia TV MAX+ is HD compatible. Is there anyway (Device I guess I mean) for me to actually capture HD on a mac.

    I'd like to keep this project around 1000-1500 bucks. The TV MAX+, Mini and LaCie harddrive would be pretty slick as it's all stackable and seems to do what I want, just not HD, and HD is a must.
     
  8. CarRamRod

    CarRamRod The schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries.

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    EyeTV Hybrid
     
  9. Redsand187

    Redsand187 OT Supporter

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    Will it work with my cable HD channels? I won't get shit over the air in my area, but I get ~30 channel with my cable. (Charter)
     
  10. SuperCzar

    SuperCzar Mac Crew, DSLR Crew

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    Cable throws a wrench in the mix.

    Most tuners will tune all your basic cable channels, but you might not be able to tune to channels like HBO, or maybe the HD channels.

    Tivo's don't even have this capability, unless you use a cable box, and an IR blaster to control it.

    I don't know of any IR packages for Mac, does anyone else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  11. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    not if you get a series 3 tivo with a cable card. then you can get all your channels, exception on demand stuff
     
  12. CarRamRod

    CarRamRod The schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries.

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    It depends. The EyeTV supports Clear-QAM, which is for tuning in cable operator HD channels, but not all cable operators broadcast in this as they should. You won't get premium HD channels like HBO and the like with this method.

    If you go through your set top box, you won't get HD.

    Here's some IR blaster links:

    http://faq.elgato.com/index.php/faq/more/507/
     

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