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Advanced Hardware

Finally, if you’re really into making your Mac the center of your home entertainment center, you should consider the following bits of hardware:

  • ElGato EyeTV: ElGato makes several different versions of EyeTV, which is simply a USB television interface for your Mac. With EyeTV (which sell for a couple hundred bucks on up), you can turn your Mac into a digital TV recorder. Better get those big hard drives.... Good hardware, good software, and the ability to record, pause, and rewind live TV—what more could you want?
  • Network: It’s hard to imagine a stand-alone computer, but it does happen. One way to enhance your home entertainment Mac is to put it on a network—preferably wired, not wireless. With wired, you tend to get better responsiveness and speed. Either way, though, nothing beats a network for moving files around.
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse: Adding a Bluetooth adapter and a wireless keyboard and mouse is a great way to give you the control you need without having yet more wires to worry about.
  • Go Headless: You can disconnect the monitor you’ve been using (if the Mac you’re using has a detachable monitor) for an extra-svelte appearance. Before you do this, open System Preferences and select the Sharing icon. Be sure Apple Remote Desktop control is on; then select the line that reads Apple Remote Desktop and click Access Privileges. In the lower half of the screen, check the "VNC viewers may control screen with password" checkbox, and then enter a password. Click OK and close System Preferences. You can now use a VNC client (such as Chicken of the VNC) to control your media center Mac from another computer—provided you have your media center Mac on the network.

For more information on the Macintosh, visit our Macintosh Reference Guide or sign up for our Macintosh Newsletter.

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