BeyondTV On Mac Mini

Dave Zatz —  May 2, 2006 — 5 Comments

Want to turn your Mac mini into a PC DVR using BeyondTV? All you need is Boot Camp, Windows, and an external tuner. Why? Because we can! Not to mention this is tons cheaper than EyeTV. If you’re pining away for HD tuning on that Mac mini, you’ll also need an external drive to keep up. Of course the next step is seeing if the SnapStream folks can get this to work within Parallel’s virtualization software…

SnapStream says: With Windows XP and the hardware drivers installed on the Mac mini, it was time to convert the Mac mini into a PVR! We had to choose a few small USB 2.0 TV tuner cards, one HD and one SD, so we wouldn’t lose the space savings gained by using the Mac mini. For the HD card we used the DViCO FusionHDTV5 USB Gold and for the SD card we used the Diamond XtremeTV PVR600. To increase our storage capacity and our performance we chose the LaCie Big Disk Extreme 500GB external firewire hard drive. After all the hardware was picked we had to choose the PVR software. With all the choices there are in the market it was a close call, but we chose to go with the best and installed Beyond TV 4 along with the Firefly mini for our remote.

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5 responses to BeyondTV On Mac Mini

  1. Why is this cheaper than EyeTV, when I need to buy a $200 copy of Windows on top of the cost for the tuner?

    Granted, BeyondTV, Sage, etc. all have the “living room” interface that EyeTV lacks, but cost isn’t really the big win here?

  2. I agree that it’s no bargain if you don’t have a copy of Windows laying around. Maybe my real point was EyeTV is overpriced. ;) In reality, very few people will go down this path though it’s a cool ‘hack’ I wanted to share.

    The question I have for the SnapStream guys is have they tried grabbing recorded shows from the XP partition and playing them back via OS X?

  3. Yes, I agree EyeTV is overpriced, but I was able to get a refurb EyeTV 500 for $199 direct from Elgato.

    The problem is that the Elgato software works well for playback with the remote, but to schedule recordings you need a keyboard and mouse. The interface is very iTunes-like and assumes you’re close to the display to read all the 12-point text. In other words, Elgato needs to provide a “living-room” interface that Tivo, MCE, and all its PC-based DVR clones have.

  4. MythTV runs on the new Mac Mini as well and no need to buy any additional software.

  5. MythTV – only the frontend runs on Mac right now – the backend is still linux.
    So you would need a PC/non Mac to run it.
    Unless you can get 2 OS’s runing on the Mac at the same time.

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