Apple TV Screenshots

These little gizmos allow you to receive Freeview TV channels over-the-air and watch them or record them on your Mac. You can even hook a TV tuner up to your network and watch it from different Macs in the house. If you have an iOS device, there are numerous apps that allow you to watch live or on-demand TV.

The BBC iPlayer app allows you to download programmes to your device to watch later. There are also TV tuners available for iOS devices. Finally, you can buy or rent TV programmes and movies from the iTunes Store. We'll look at all these options in detail over the next few pages, so get you watching whatever you want, wherever you want to! There isn't yet a single source of on-demand content, but accessing the services out there couldn't be easier.

How to turn your Mac into a digital video recorder for over-the-air TV | Macworld

Channel 5 has an on-demand service, but doesn't let you watch live TV output. You can use these players to stream live TV, plus a huge selection of on-demand content. Some recommended VPN services include:. At Filmon. Mockingjay parts 1 and 2, and Divergent.

Originally created to stream the FIFA World Cup in Germany, today Zattoo as a whole offers a huge list of channels, but surprise, surprise the exact channels you can access is restricted based on your location. Sometimes, special events are streamed live on the Internet before the edited version appears on regular TV if it appears at all.


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While web-based players and premium streaming services give you access to a world of content, web-based players are typically channel specific. However, there are several products that allow you to transmit all the content from your TV, directly to your MacBook — Broadway box is one such product. It then sends the converted signal to your home router, and your router forwards the signal to your laptop via your home Wi-Fi or Internet connection.

Elgato EyeTV HD DVR bridges cable/satellite TV to iPad & Macs

To watch this content, you just need to point your web browser at http: While some remote-control apps can traverse that, eyeTV cannot. Unlike the other DVRs in testing, you can transcode recordings from eyeTV to iTunes, and set that up as an automatic option after the app captures a program. Exporting to iTunes lets you use an Apple TV to browse for computers and then bring up the converted shows.

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As a result, my workflow results in duplicates of everything exported, with the originals chewing up hundreds of gigabytes until I occasionally go through and delete them. Likewise, I have to delete files from iTunes if I no longer want to keep the program. Plex is a multi-platform media-organizing and sharing service that sweeps in audio, images, and video, and makes it available to desktop, mobile, and other devices, like Roku, Sony Playstation 4, and Apple TV.

The free version is pretty powerful, but the company added a subscription-based option called Plex Pass that includes a host of extra features, including access to a server-based DVR.

Plex Media Server with Media Pass option for DVR

You view the program guide and set up recordings via the Plex Media Server in a Web browser. A rolling upcoming two weeks of rich programming data comes with the subscription. Under Shows, for instance, the default view is by series name, noting how many upcoming episodes are in the programming listing in the next two weeks. Click the show and it provides episode summaries and cast information.

How to turn your Mac into a digital video recorder for over-the-air TV

Click Record and Plex records all instances, with options you can choose. Or you can pick individual episodes. The search features are very rewarding, as you can pull movies by title, actor, director, words in a program description, and other details. A Recording Priority sidebar lets you decide conflicts between overlaps with your available tuners for simultaneous programs. Among many nice touches, you can opt while setting up or revising a recording within advanced settings to Replace Lower Resolution Items.

This can be useful for movies, especially. While the DVR feature is still in testing at this writing, it feels close to finished and tests out well.

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Plex including a DVR feature and programming guide as part of its larger package of features makes it a solid bargain. Plex Pass includes offline mobile access, cloud sync to Dropbox, Google Drive, and personal OneDrive accounts , and parental controls, among other features. SiliconDust doesn't provide its own software for recording the OTA signals, but that gives users flexibility. Channels review: