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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > My very own Digital Hub, what about yours?

My very own Digital Hub, what about yours?
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Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Switzerland
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Mar 1, 2001, 12:09 PM
Only a few years ago, when I looked around in my apartment, I saw the following: a Sony HiFi sound system (amp, cd, minidisc, radio), two Quadral speakers, a TV, a VHS video recorder and a portable minidisc walkman.
Everything listed here can be replaced by your Mac. Haven't you got a DVD drive in it? You can now watch films on your Mac. So there's your video recorder gone. Okay, when you want to record something when you're not at home, then you still need a recorder. But wait: I'm not familiar with the MyTV software, is it scriptable? If so, you could auto-awake your Mac, and via AppleScript tell the MyTV device to save the TV program to a quicktime movie. Cool! But I don't know if that works.
And now the TV. We had it already, the MyTV device. Cheaper than most TVs.
The HiFi sound system. CD, that you got in your Mac. Radio... Hasn't the MyTV device got a radio tuner? Don't exactly know. MiniDisc: iTunes does this part for me. I use(d) MiniDisc to make my own compilations and copy others CDs. All I have to buy now is a portable MP3 device, that replaces my portable MiniDisc walkman. And the speakers: I got the SoundSticks, and no matter how often you repeat, the Monsoons are better, I'm not gonna change my opinion about these nice little speakers: I love 'em! And I have some experience with speakers. They DON'T sound bad, they're very clear and give a great surround sound experience. And yesterday I watched a DVD with it (The Ninth Gate), the distance between me and the speakers was three meters (about 10 feet), the sound was loud and clear enough. And in the DVD controller, the volume was at three points of ten possible. But I have to admit that The Ninth Gate isn't really a loud, bombastic film, it's more dark, dangerous and mysterious. I will try out Gladiator soon, which has enough power to test my SoundSticks.

I hope to hear from your Digital Hubs, and how you're gonna realize them, if at all.


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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Seattle, WA
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Mar 1, 2001, 01:42 PM
Exactly what kind of Mac do you have? It must be older if you're going to use an Eskape Labs MyTV/FM... It REQUIRES a sound in (microphone) plug. Apple is not shipping any computers that are compatible with this device (no microphone ports!).

What's interesting is that it is still featured in the Apple Store and yet it can't be used with any of their current computers! I have an iBook and a G4 Cube and I have an Eskape Labs MyTV/FM that is completely silent because a microphone port is needed for sound. Now, for the TV part, I can have the cable go into my VCR, and have sound out from the VCR and have the video go into the Cube through the device, but then you have to keep changing the channel from the VCR. But there is no way to get sound from the FM tuner... which is kind of the main reason for using an FM tuner, you know, the sound!

The TV viewer is not scriptable at all. And there is no way to record the video that you see (unless you used some kind of software that would allow you to record all the video on your screen).

Sorry to sound like a little rant here, but I've had a horrible experience with Eskape Labs' technical support (I was at first promised an update to the software to allow sound through the USB plug so I held onto it, and then two months later -AFTER IT WAS TOO LATE TO RETURN THE DEVICE- I was told there would not be an update to the USB device, they were working on a whole new FireWire device that would not need a microphone plug). LAME! Plus, I have an original iBook without FireWire anyway.

Their packaging is misleading and contains blatantly false information (clearly saying that it is compatible with the iBook when it is not). They were selling this device for six months before a USB/microphone adapater was available (there were USB microphone headsets available, but none with an additional microphone-in port). I've tried both the Macally iVoice and a Griffin Technology iMic and for whatever reason, neither will carry the sound from the device into my Cube or iBook. I can plug another microphone into the adapters and they work, it's just the MyTV/FM device that is not functioning. Of course both Griffin and Macally told me it's Eskape Labs' falut, and Eskape Labs tells me it's Griffin & Macally's fault.

You could plug some external speakers into the microphone port on the MyTV/FM device to hear it (I've done that at work, so I know the device does actually work), but too bad all my speakers (Cube's and SoundSticks) are all USB!!!

On another, more positive note, speaking of digital hubs... I have an AirPort at home so I store all my MP3s on my Cube's external FireWire hard drive, and share the hard drive to my iBook through the AirPort, play the MP3s on the iBook (with SoundJam) with my SoundSticks plugged into the iBook and sit in the living room in my comfy chair listening to all my music. I can listen to any one of my 1,500 MP3s at any time sitting in my favorite chair and browse the Web or send my e-mail with only the SoundSticks plugged into my iBook. :-)

I'm also anxiously awaiting the release of Toast 5 so I can FINALLY make some Video CDs of my VHS tapes. I have 100+ episodes of Seinfeld with all the commercials edited out and I would love to play some of my favorites on my iBook! I have a Sony Digital Media Converter so I can play the videos in my VCR and I can use iMovie on the Cube to import them and with Toast 5 save them to VCDs. Some of my tapes are getting a little ragged, especially the one with the contest. ;-)


[This message has been edited by GreenMnM (edited 03-01-2001).]
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