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Home Theater: The Home Theater Macintosh Project Conclusion
Wednesday, 2004 June 2 - 6:00 pm
Well, it's done, and it's starting to get some use. Here are some final thoughts.

So I now have a Home Theater Macintosh: it's a jukebox, DVR, and slideshow projector all in one. I used it most recently to record game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

It works fairly well. It's not perfect. The EyeTV USB, from El Gato, delivers mediocre picture quality. I don't think I want to spend $350 on the better Firewire version, though. Maybe when someone makes an HD-capable device with an appropriately high-quality encoder, I'll upgrade.

The DVI connection to my Sony HDTV doesn't deliver as crisp a picture as I want, probably partly because the TV is converting the 720p signal to 480p internally. (But it was the best balance between screen real-estate and picture quality I could get with the DVI connector.) I'm debating whether I should just revert back to S-video instead of DVI; the difference in quality isn't all that much.

The display became unresponsive after a while, until I upgraded to 10.3.4. (There was an ATI driver bug in 10.3.3 that was probably the culprit.) But now, after upgrading, I sometimes "lose" screen resolutions, and I get a wacky stretched-out 1920x540 display until I restart.

The upgraded Yosemite is fairly loud and hot, and it doesn't properly support deep sleep. A G4 Cube would probably have been a better bet. I've been tempted to buy one, but I don't want to shell out another $500 bucks on this project (and bring yet another computer into my house).

But it works, and it looks pretty decent. So I'm happy for the moment.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

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