Mac Compatible Computer TV Tuner Basics

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Mac Compatible Computer TV Tuner Basics

Ready for HD Television on your desktop computer? A Mac compatible TV tuner for your Apple computer enables you to enjoy TV on your Macintosh by letting it receive television signals. You can watch and optionally record television programs to your computer’s hard drive. TV tuner cards enhance your computer capabilities and can provide all the luxuries of a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) at an affordable price and with easy installation. Simply plug the tuner into your Mac, install the software and connect your coax signal source whether it be Antenna, Cable or Satellite.

Hybrid TV tuners support both standard-definition (SD) Analog and high-definition (HD) Digital TV signals. They also work as video capture cards. Hybrid tuners allow not just the recording of television programs in either format, but the Analog portion can be used to capture content from DVD players, VHS decks, Gaming systems and other S-Video or Composite Analog video sources.

Digital-Only TV tuners leave the world of Analog signals behind and simply focus on receiving signals strictly for Digital QAM cable or ATSC antenna connections. Especially for Mac users who use an antenna in the United States, a Digital tuner is all you need or want if you intend to simply watch and record broadcast television.

The vast majority of Apple friendly TV tuners are an external USB TV tuner stick or a small box that connects to the Mac via a high-speed USB 2.0 port. USB 2.0 is required to provide for smooth, fast video. USB stick tuners are a compact, portable solution for MacBook or iBook TV viewing on the go. Some tuners come bundled with a small portable antenna or a remote control to complete the package. Add a good set of stereo computer speakers and your Mac computer becomes a mini home theatre system.

The top Mac compatible TV tuner manufacturers include ElGato, Equinux, Pinnacle, Hauppauge and SiliconDust. TV tuners for Mac OSX range in price from the $ 50 to $ 175 price range. At the higher end, some Hybrid TV tuners include Hardware Encoding of Analog signals to speed compression and lessen the load on your computer’s CPU. For Digital content, the TV signal is already compressed and encoded.

Video has always been a demanding challenge for personal computers. So, system requirements for enjoying television on a Macintosh lean towards fast, modern Intel processor computers. You’ll want plenty of memory to buffer and Time-Shift shows you’re watching, and ample disk space to save recorded programs. Realistically, a fast G5 processor Mac is the bare minimum. Ideally your Macintosh needs to have a Core Duo Intel CPU running the latest version of Apple’s OSX operating system to handle the demands of Analog compression and displaying and exporting full-screen high resolution HD video content.

The two most popular Personal Video Recorder (PVR) programs for OSX include ElGato’s EyeTV and Equinux Software’s TheTube to manage viewing, channel changing, tuning, recording and video export functions. Both provide EPG, and Electronic Program Guide for current program line-ups. Easy export options let you burn recorded TV shows to disc or view programming on a personal video player, iPad, iPod or iPhone. Many 3rd-party tuners are compatible with either program. Several TV tuners for the Mac ship with EyeTV Lite, a simplified version for basic functions as part of the bundled software.

Learn more about ways to enjoy HD television on your Mac by exploring these Mac compatible TV tuner options. Take your Apple media experience to the next level. You’ll love watching and recording television on your Mac!

Russell Baer dba MacGizmoGuy reviews top Apple computer accessories and solutions: Mac webcams, SSD drives, USB and Bluetooth speakers, Apple TV Tuners, Keyboards, Mice, Backup drives for Macintosh – and more.

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