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Hackintosh build question: HTPC and HD TV Tuner/DVR possible?


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I am looking into building a Hac Pro, but before I get started pricing everything out and ordering items I wanted to reach out to the experts to see if my needs can be met by a Hac Pro. From searching around the net the issue/snag for me may be the HD TV Tuner and DVR functionality I seek. Because I would like the build to be our family's HTPC plus our desire to ditch the monthly cable bill I am hoping to add an HD TV Tuner so that it can function as a DVR. The source for the tuner would be an over the air antenna (I am @ 20 miles / 32 km west of NYC and get enough signal here). I have XBMC running on my current Mac Mini (And on my AppleTV2) and I have ripped my DVD library to my Drobo so that will make up for loss of sports/cable content.



One other possible issue is I would like the Hac Pro to be my main computer as well, but then when my wife or sons want to watch something from the 'DVR' I need to be able to sent that content to the living room while I can still work from the Hac Pro in my office (I work from home)


are my goals possible? are they compatible with a custom build? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE




About me... I have been into computers since being a small kid in the 80s and have build, modified, fixed, etc many computers up until 5 years ago when I switched to Macs. Since then I have only loaded more RAM and hacked my ATV2 and kids Wii however I should be tech savy enough to get through a Hac Pro build (as long as my build specs are possible)

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I have made HTPC several years ago with old parts.


Mainboard is Intel D945 GNTLKR with old Pentium D945. I can still run 10.6.8 with them.

I have four Hauppauge WinTV NovaT stick with them and Elgato Eye TV see them all.

Videocard is Asus 9800 GT with 1G memory. Strong and well support card is important

because many software like VLC can use gpu.


I use only EyeTV, not any other program, and with internet connection this HTPC

works very well. Our national tv company (it is like bbc in england) serve almost all

in net at least one week. With commercial company there is more variable in

this situation. After all, M$ Silverlining and Flash are necessary with Safari.

I use Perian too.


My system is old, this was my mainly machine when maxxum build hacked version

10.4.3 beta Tiger system. Several weeks after that I install that same beta in my own

machine. Even my first processor was 64 bit Celeron 355 in this motherboard. In

this days this installation process seems very painful and troublesome, now days

building hackintosh is much more easy.


As You see, I am a little bit miserly, I like to shake everything out from my system

before I abandon them. But this old system really works well. It is enough what

it is mean to be.


With new parts and 10.8.2 system You can build even excellent htpc.


I give one advice: Think twice the case. Somewhere is become a little bit stupid

idea that htpc system should look like hifi system. I build my system in Silverstone

LC 17 case. It is big, but not enough. Big video card eat spaces from 3 hard disks.


In this time now I should use normal medium atx case like Lian Li build. Old school

style atx is still the best structure. I really recommend to avoid any else composition.

Notice, that good video card is always big, and eat easily many hard disk places.

This is irritating when You need that places.


In my situation my system do not like usb disk with the usb tv tuner. I support

my system with e-sata duo dock, and e-sata hard disk. That make building

and tuning process more easily. Inside case is only three 2 Tb hard disks

and two burners.


I change and replace every fan in Noctuas made, and every fan have Zalman

made controller. Next building round everything else in background is in order,

and I need only a new motherboard with memory, new processor and new video

card. I have sata blu-ray and sata dvd station, both are burner version. I must

admit, that they are almost all unused. Buy only one blu-ray burner first, that is

enought in my opinion.


Summary: Htpc do not require very strong parts. You can choose modern

energy friendly version, because they produce less heat and less heat means

more silence machine. S-version in processor is justifiable. Of course 4 core

is base line now, but any over clocking is not necessary.


Choose good or even excellent quality everywhere. >> Htpc is on all the time. <<

Powersupplies etc. should be most best what You can find and with every

possible protection, meaning:



UVP (Undervoltage protection)

OVP (Overvoltage protection)

SCP (Short-circuit protection)

OPP (Overload protection)

OCP (Overcurrent protection)

OTP (Over Temperature Protection)

AFC (Automatic Fanspeed Control)

MTBF (mean time between failure): >100.000h


There is reason to build powersupplies like this. Remember: Powersupplies is

not a load or charge, it is corridor and gateway. Bigger is always better.

Bigger powersupply do not consume more than smaller, but it outlast better

and much much longer.



Some new motherboard consume very little when they sleep. Powersupply must

understand this, or else it shut down. I do not know exactly expression

or manifestation this feature. 0 - or zero current something.


If money is not problem, You can consider smaller case with new ssd disk,

and build bigger hard disk server somewhere else. Osx is extremely flexible.

Every commercial digibox is a toy when You compare. I can share my

htpc disk in my mainly computer desktop, and restructure htpc movies and

series in which way I like. They do not broken.


My old expensive Topfield digibox seems now pitiful. And yes, that is

the correct word. Pitiful.


When You build Yours first osx based htpc, You newer look back.

Good luck with Yours project.







My sticks are normal terrestial version. We have now here being 2 years

high density terrestial tv sending field, but I have not make any move to use

it. I assumed, that any hd stick, which EyeTV program understands, should

works well in the future. I have 50 inch Samsung plasma, and it have quite

well scala... hmm.. I do not know right words. Bigger full tv picture is good

and tv make it. Our national TV decree says, that normal tv sending go on

year 2026. Because that I have not hurry... :-)


If I understand right, 2016 happens some movement ( at last here) in hd

sending standards. Maybe movement frequency range etc. Bad tongue

says, that everything needs after that some change or modification. Therefore

I myself just now only enjoy my full working system and take not stress in

the future.


Like sailboat, computer and hdtv system are newer finished or completed.




Usb use 5 volts + some subscript voltage in Your power supply. Choose

version, which have more power in this especially and particularly exit.

Channel well PUC schema is well in my opinion. Many more newer

schema is somekind weak in some partly. Avoid this. Biggest processor

still consume over 150 watts, and more core in future keep this situation





Edit: I read Yours message again. I do not know exactly right usb full

hdtv stick, but eyetv 3 program can handle 4 normal stick together and

same time. I assumed that right hdtv stick(s) with well build hackintos pro

is the answer. Full hdtv need only more power, but new machine with four

core have it.


Eyetv program can handle much more sticks than manufacturer says,

Hauppaude win tv nova t stick use french dibcom chip, and it is supported.

Try to find equal solution in full hdtv chip group.



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Eye tv 3 support Hauppauge


WinTV HVR 900

WinTV HVR 950

WinTV HVR 950Q


usb2 sticks.






More edit:




It is obviously, that T2 version are coming. I do not know, what

"backward compatible" exactly means, and when EyeTV 3 support

them officially.


Edit 2: Of course You have in American a little bit different standards.

It is quite stupid, that western world build different systems. I can

not say anything decent from 4G or full digital FM radio too, because

some idiots think here that 5 million people nation can make own

standard for them. No, we can not.

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epic reply with tons of details! thank you so much for your guidance


I don't have a problem keeping the HDs external to the HTPC (currently I do exactly this with a Drobo) but I don't care much about form factor or size as I plan on keeping it separate from the living room / tv viewing area. Here in the States our buildings are very different and it is very easy to wire our house walls so I will just send HDMI to the TV, and need to figure out remote capabilities (RF remote or IR with an extender that I would also wire through the walls). But size of the box I am very flexible on


I will look into EyeTV software and HD USB TV Tuner sticks as I see from reading builds that the OS doesn't work with a PCI version TV Tuner

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