TV tuner for Mac Pro?

I’ve been delighted with the secondhand Mac Pro I got last year. It’s five years old, but probably the best Windows PC I’ve ever owned… we sometimes use OSX, and sometimes use Boot Camp to run Windows, and I did end up getting Parallels as well, which is able to boot the Boot Camp partition — this I think is nothing short of miraculous.

Anyway, our other Windows PC is due for replacement. I was thinking I’d wait and see what the next crop of Mac Minis were like, but it looks like I’ve again got the opportunity to pick up a used Mac Pro via the same workplace clearing more of them out. Same age, but (if my calculations are right) double the speed of the current Mac Mini. Given our usage patterns, this is a cheap easy upgrade… particularly if we put an SSD in it.

I’m now pondering: what’s the best TV tuner for it? That’s the main thing I miss about the HP desktop we had that died. (I did try and rip the tuner card out of that to try in the Mac under Windows. It didn’t work.)

So… Mac Pro TV tuners…

I’d prefer dual tuner. I’d want it to work with both OSX and Windows. In fact I’d go so far as to say that this second box will be mostly using Windows, and I’d want this to work with Windows Media Centre.

For a USB dual tuner, the Elgato EyeTV Diversity looks pretty good.

Asking around on Twitter, there was some good feedback:

(Why does Twitter’s embed tweet with “Include parent Tweet” not seem to work?)

It’d be used with a proper connection to a roof antenna, so not concerned about the mini antenna.

But I think I’d actually prefer an internal card, since I really don’t need it to be portable… and installed internally might be more out of the way/better for longevity.

Any good options?

PS. This ancient page talks about some options. Not sure how relevant it is anymore though.

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2 thoughts on “TV tuner for Mac Pro?

  1. Ken

    I got one of the “net stream” ones – mostly because I couldn’t get a good tv signal near my computer. It was somewhat more expensive, but it’s been an excellent tuner. It also has the added advantage that it can be used by other devices on the network on an ad hoc basis too

  2. Matt

    Heya Daniel – much easier to share thoughts without the 140 char limit!

    Anyway I mentioned that the software is a bit slooooow, doesn’t bother me in the slightest as I run it on a dedicated Mac Mini setup as a media centre. If it was constantly running on my main computer, it would probably be a little more frustrating. The only other downside is that whilst it constructs an program guide by scanning the EPG across all the digital channels, it takes a little time and has to be performed manually (once every few weeks minimum, obviously more frequently will capture any late changes in the guide). You can’t schedule this to happen automatically. The only other way to get a program guide is with an IceTV subscription, which looks cool (you can also remote start / stop recording), but to me this isn’t worth the $100PA IceTV subscription fee.

    Other than those minor gripes, it works really well. External antenna connection is definitely advised.

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