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Mac TV Tuner Roundup: Eight Tuners to Tap Into Your TV

Whether our intentions are to have the latest in-vogue gadget for the sake of usability purposes or to just stay ”trendy”, the point is that we’re always on the hunt for the latest and greatest. To that end, I’m happy to share with you a round-up of the TV tuners available today for the Mac (s aapl) platform.

EyeTV Hybrid

eye-tv-hybridCompliments of the folks at Elgato, this slick little TV Tuner Stick accommodates both unencrypted Digital and HDTV reception, as well analog reception. Weighing in at just 30 grams and with dimensions just a bit bigger than a pack of gum, the EyeTV Hybrid ushers in clear and pristine picture to the high resolution of your Mac. What’s more, EyeTV Hybrid also receives FM radio. Since EyeTV Hybrid is also a DVR (Digital Video Recorder), it can put your television recordings on your Mac, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. And for gamers out there, EyeTV Hybrid also allows you to connect most game consoles to your Mac. Sweet.

ATI TV Wonder

ati-tv-wonderThe ATI TV Wonder HD 650 Series is a high-definition personal video recorder built just for your Mac (and even works on PC too). Not only is this particular model stacked with the latest in TV technologies such as noise reduction, 3D comb filtering and automatic screen control, but this mighty tuner packs a punch by offering edge enhancement through automatic color control, which produces sharp video that in theory, rivals high-end consumer television sets.

Slingbox PRO-HD + iPhone version

slingbox-pro-hdNever again will you be away from home and stuck with that terrible feeling of anxiety because you forgot to set your tuner to record that special program. With the Slingbox PRO-HD, you can watch and control multiple devices, including your standard or high-definition DVR, digital cable, satellite receiver, or DVD player from anywhere in the world via your Mac or iPhone. Your high definition programming streams in HD quality for a truly stellar picture.

Pinnacle PCTV HD mini Stick

pinnacle-stickPinnacle’s all digital Mini HD TV Stick (now owned and offered by Hauppauge Digital) brings an easy-to-use TV experience to Mac owners. Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick is a smooth, ultra-compact, USB-powered TV tuner that compliments Apple’s slim line of notebooks elegantly. Effortlessly watch, record and ‘TimeShift’ your favorite programs while the integrated signal booster improves reception sensitivity even if the signal isn’t very strong. Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick is available for digital TV reception and even comes with a mini remote control as well as a high-gain telescopic antenna.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950 Hybrid TV Stick

hauppauge-wintv-hvrWatch and record TV, in a window or full screen, with WinTV-HVR-950Q. This hybrid tuner brings over-the-air high definition ATSC digital TV plus analog cable TV effortlessly to your Mac or PC with either Elgato’s EyeTV Lite for Mac or Hauppauge’s WinTV v6 for PC. Use the scheduler to record your favorite analog or digital TV shows and play your TV recordings back to your MAC or PC screen any time.

HDHomeRun Networked Digital TV Tuner

HDHomeRunNow you can watch TV from any computer on your local network thanks to HDHomeRun Networked Digital TV Tuner. Forget about the hassle of multiple TV tuners for individual computers in your household; now all you need is one. Easily record full 1080i broadcast resolution so that you can enjoy, pause, rewind and fast-forward live TV. With the added ability to schedule and record all your favorite TV shows, this tuner won’t ever let you miss anything again thanks to its integrated TV guide provided by the DVR software.

TubeStick QAM Hybrid

tubestick_hybridTubeStick hybrid is one of the few small TV receivers exclusively for Mac users. Encompassing two receivers for watching digital over-the-air HDTV or digital (Clear QAM) and analog cable television, the TubeStick QAM Hybrid combines both digital and analog television in one tiny stick and includes a white mini-antenna for reception of free-to-air SD and HDTV. TubeStick hybrid is available in the U.S. only.

Miglia TVMax

miglia-digital-tv-recorderWith a box just about as small and as stylish as an Apple TV or Mac mini, you are in control of your TV viewing: watch, pause, rewind, skip forward and record live TV. TVMax receives analog over the air (antenna) as well as analog cable TV. In addition, TVMax can also capture VHS tapes, allowing you to store them on your hard drive.

24 Responses to “Mac TV Tuner Roundup: Eight Tuners to Tap Into Your TV”

  1. Hi,

    I’m looking for an HDTV satellite tuner for my Mac Mini. I’ve got no terrestrial signal in my flat although there is a sky dish wired in. I understand that I could get several free HD channels through the Free Sat HD service if I had an HD Sky box (non-subscription). Would the same apply to any of the Mac TV tuners featured in this round up?

  2. Has anyone used any of these with ATT U-Verse? The ATT DVR box doesn’t have a traditional cable cord, and I was wondering if I could still use one of these tuners. Maybe connecting it via the S-Video cord that the Eye TV Hybrid comes with would work? If anyone has successfully done this, please let me know. Thanks!

    • Jacqui, I am in the same boat with the ATT uverse. Currently I have an eyetv 200 that i have hooked up with uverse. Ive tried with their cable and their s-video connection. It works by keeping eyetv software in one channel and using the ATT remote to change the channels except that the picture quality sucks. it looks kind blurry, not sharp or crisp at all. I don’t know if its because of the eyetv 200 or what. I am looking to replace it but don’t know with what. I read somewhere that someone hooked it up to a pinnacle hdtv mac stick and that it worked flawlessly but haven’t purchased and tried it myself.

  3. A few clarifications are in order: 1. Hauppauge’s 950 tuner comes in alot of variations – Most for PC only – But there are special bundles for Mac that come with EyeTV Lite. 2. It might be noted that the SiliconDust dual-tuner has an ETHERNET connection not USB – and you have to buy EyeTV separately at retail from ElGato. 3. The TubeStick isn’t ‘exclusively’ for Mac – it’s supported by Windows Media Center Edition PC’s as well. 4. Sadly, the TVMax is strictly an ANALOG tuner only of use to those with Analog Cable these days – unfortunately no QAM/ATSC digital verison succeeded it so it’s a poor choice not deserving to be on this list in 2009. Another model – the Digital-Only Miglia TVmini HD is a good option to – and works with both ElGato’s EyeTV and The Tube from Equinux.

  4. Nice list of products here, but how do they compare to each other? How does the bundled software compare? Which of these is worth the money and which is worthless? Could have gotten all the information you listed from any shopping site on the net. TAB really needs to step it up and stop half-assing the articles. Give us some real meat.

    • Glenn Howes

      I’ve been a big advocate of the HDHomerun. As long as you are dealing with over the air programming in the countries it supports, its shareability and dual tuners make it a great choice. I don’t know why it is no longer bundled with EyeTV though.

  5. What I’m looking for is a device that I can stream content from my NAS device to my HDTV via wireless 802.11n. I want to hook the device to my TV via HDMI and have an interface like Plex to get to all my content.

    Any ideas?

  6. I’ve got two EyeTV digital sticks attached to my MacMini and its the best thing ever. With the integration between EyeTV and IceTV (Australian tv guide service) I can schedule recordings of whole series or one-off events on the web (or iphone too) and not worry about anything.

  7. I have 8 tuners for macs going back the last several years or so. Stay away from the ATI and stick with EyeTV compatible tuners. The only promising thing from ATI is that they have a Windows version that supports Cable cards, but I don’t think it will be ported over to the mac version anytime soon. The Miglia PCI tuner was actually a rebranded LifeView tuner and they bought the software from Meilenstein, think it was called Televio… and rebranded it as AlchemyTV. The Hauppauge looks promising because of the EyeTV software support, but their H.264 HD tuner overheats.

  8. You forgot to mention analog video input. I have a Hauppauge’s WinTV 950Q and there is a dongle to attach to its side (midbody) with RCA input jacks. I use it to record output of a VCR/DVD combo player directly to the hard disk using Elgato’s EyeTV software. I’m also pretty sure the Pinnacle unit has this capability. It also is supported by EyeTV sofware.