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HDTV on Your Mac
Pages: 1, 2

Step 4: Test Your Card

After installing your drivers, it's time to give the card a spin and start watching HDTV. In the following steps, you'll learn how to use iTele to watch and to record HDTV broadcasts.

  1. Install iTele from the downloaded disk image file by dragging the program into your Applications folder.

  2. Launch iTele. As this is your first time running the program, it will not yet know which broadcast channels it can receive.

  3. Adjust your antenna, pointing it towards the greatest density of broadcast signals in your area.

  4. Open the Inputs window (Window -> Inputs, Command-1). Here's where you need to hold your breath. If you see your card listed, then everything's OK. If not, then it's time to make sure you've installed the drivers and maybe to open up your Mac again and see if you've installed the board correctly.

    You should see your Fusion card listed in the Inputs window. You should see your Fusion card listed in the Inputs window.
  5. Select the DVICO Fusion card by clicking on its name in the Inputs window. As you do so, a drawer will open at the bottom of the window, which shows further details--or at least it will in future releases of iTele.

    After selecting an input card, a detail drawer slides open. After selecting an input card, a detail drawer slides open.
  6. Click the Scan button in the drawer to begin scanning the airwaves for digital broadcasts.

  7. You'll be prompted to enter a location. Choose Korea and North America and click Scan.

  8. Wait. It takes several minutes for the scanning process to proceed. The Channels window shows the progress of the search. Do not be alarmed if iTele only finds one or two broadcasts. Remember, they are directional.

    The Eye icon appears to the left of each channel as the scanning process proceeds. The Eye icon appears to the left of each channel as the scanning process proceeds.

Step 5: Watch

After scanning has finished, the remaining channels listed in the Channels Window (Window -> Channels, Command-2) are what you can watch. The Channel menu is a little tricky, so here's a quick overview before you continue.

  • Channel -> Watch and Channel ->Watch Off : These two menu items turn "watching" (versus recording or anything else) on and off. It's a little counter intuitive, but it does work.

  • Channel -> Record On and Channel ->Record Off : Same idea, but for recording.

  • Channel -> Watch Full Screen and   Channel ->Watch Little : This pair of menu items controls whether you watch a full-resolution display (and I warn you, that can be BIG!!! Bigger than your screen resolution even), or a smaller-resolution display.

  • Channel -> Use Internal Display : This one menu item controls whether you use iTele's internal display or MPlayer to watch your video. Leave this menu item unchecked to watch in MPlayer.

I recommend that you proceed in the following fashion:

  1. Select the Channel you want to watch in the Channels window.

  2. Choose Channel -> Record Off. Make sure you don't record until you're ready to do so.

  3. Choose Channel -> Watch Little. A small screen is easier to watch at first.

  4. Wait as iTele launches MPlayer and starts displaying your video.

Voila! HDTV, right on your Macintosh Voila! HDTV, right on your Macintosh

Step 6: Record

Recording HDTV couldn't be easier. When you're ready to start recording, choose Channel -> Record On. You don't even have to be watching at the time. iTele starts capturing the already-compressed MPEG-2 signal and saves it to your home folder. After it finishes recording (Channel -> Record Off), you can watch the file by opening it and playing it back in MPlayer. Just remember, the file will be big !

AppleMark iTele stores your captured movie in your home directory. Use MPlayer or VLC to play it back.

Final Thoughts

So, if you're not quite ready to jump into the HDTV waters with both feet, this approach should serve you well while you watch how things shake out. You can also use this article as a way to rationalize that 23-inch Apple Cinema Display you've been yearning for.

The approach could be something like this: "But look at all the money I saved by not buying a High Def TV!"

Erica Sadun has written, co-written, and contributed to almost two dozen books about technology, particularly in the areas of programming, digital video, and digital photography.

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