Mac Tip: How I used my Mac to get a beautiful TV with no money spent

Mac Tip: How I used my Mac to get a beautiful TV with no money spent

Here’s another Mac Tip of the day. This time I use my Mac to watch TV and keep family harmony at the same time. Click through to the jump page to read the rest.

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  • Dom,

    congratulations, (I think). you’ve just moved into position as the biggest techno-phile I’ve ever heard of.  Befor you just brush this aside, my friends include the guy who maintained the positrol accelerator at IU, an Astronomer, and a nueclar saftey officer!  Whoa!

    I’m impressed!

  • My wife and I have had the same problem of the TV being too loud when the kids are sleeping.  Our solution has been to turn the volume down to a very minimal level, right at the level where you can hear the voices on the TV, but you can’t *quite* make out what they are saying because it’s too quiet.  Then, turn the captioning on.  This way, we can read the captioning, but since we can also hear the voices a bit, the captioning really just serves to fill in the holes in what we’re hearing, so it’s sort of like we are half-reading and half-hearing what is said.

    We’ve also found the captioning to be very useful when we are trying to watch TV with a baby or toddler in the room, because you never know when they will start crying or screaming or yelling, and the captioning allows us to read for a few seconds or a few minutes until the crying/screaming/yelling subsides, so that we don’t have to crank the TV to a really high volume.  In fact, it’s actually gotten to the point where I almost feel lost watching TV with the captioning turned off, even if I have it turned to a normal volume.  grin

    Of course, I’m probably making it sound like we are TV junkies who do nothing but watch TV.  Certainly I watch more TV than I should, but I watch a lot less than I did before we had kids.  Also, I watch quite a bit of EWTN, so that perhaps makes it a bit better too.  grin

  • Colleen: Only the Mac Pro can take any kind of cards (apart from special laptop cards, but I don’t think that’s what you’re asking), so unless you have a very expensive Mac at home that’s not really relevant.

    The El Gato EyeTV Hybrid is probably the product you’re asking about. It connects via USB and provides TV functionality.

    And let’s not forget the brand-new Apple TV, which solves a slightly different problem.

  • Paul,

    I usually watch TV with the captioning (or subtitles, in the case of DVDs) on, anyway, just because it’s a) hard to hear when the kids are awake and b) half the time, these days, the “background” music and SFX blast out the dialogue).


    Your set-up sounds complicated, but I’ve done things like that before.  Back in 97, I purchsed a Gateway Destination.  It served me well until about 2002/2003, when the computer died, and I couldn’t find a video card to work with the 32” monitor.  My wife had similar feelings to Melanie’s, so we got rid of the monitor, bought an ATI TV Wonder for our new computer, and just watched TV on the computer screen for a few years.  It worked out very well.