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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.
Posted by Ken in: techwatch
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