Our friends over at Makezine found an interesting article by Ryan Faas on using a Mac today as a media center. Building a Mac Home Media Center, Part 1: How To Get iTV Capabilities Today, For Less, has some good information for anyone considering using their Mac in this fashion. We also recently published an article by Matthew Russell on how to turn your Mac into a TV/PVR using Miglia’s TV Micro USB tuner and EyeTV software, Miglia TVMicro and EyeTV: Easy TV on Your Mac.
While iTV is on the horizon, Ryan points out that there’s an awful lot you can do right now if you don’t mind fiddling with things a bit. I own an older Powerbook with a damaged screen and have been thinking about doing something along these lines with it, so this article is very timely for me. I’m especially looking forward to the second installment where he covers using a Mac as a PVR, but this first article also had some helpful tips that I wasn’t aware of, like this information on completely controlling an infrared-capable Mac with the remote control:
Use the Apple Remote to sleep/wake a Mac in your entertainment center. If you install a Mac mini (or other Mac model) as a unit in your home entertainment center, you might want to operate it completely from the remote (as a piece of home theater equipment instead of a computer). Not only can you invoke and navigate Front Row all from the Apple remote but you can also put the computer to sleep or wake it from sleep by holding the play/pause button on the remote for three seconds. Pressing any button on the remote wakes the computer. This approach can also be helpful if you want to use a TV (or external display) with a MacBook or MacBook Pro while keeping the computer closed because you can connect the TV or display, sleep the computer by closing the lid and wake it with the remote.
Are others out there happily using Macs as their media centers and PVRs? I’d be real interested in hearing your success stories. And your not so successful ones, too.