Washington Apple Pi

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 August 2012 Afternoon Learners SIG: Apple TV, EyeTV

By Neil Ferguson

For August, the topic was Apple TV, led by Jonathan Bernstein, and EyeTV, led by Neil Ferguson.

Jonathan connected the Pi's Airport Extreme to the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church's Ethernet connection and we had Wi-Fi. Jonathan then connected the Apple TV to electrical power and an HDMI cable to the Pi's big screen TV's HDMI connection.

Jonathan then went through the setup procedure to set up the Apple TV. Soon the Apple TV came up on the big screen TV and since there was no computer connected to the Wi-Fi network he set the Apple TV to the Apple Store. There we saw a myriad of items available that we could buy from the Apple store and sites we could subscribe to like Netflix, and all without a computer. Jonathan explained that with a computer on the Wi-Fi network that anything in the computers iTunes library would be available to display on the TV via the Apple TV. We wish we had a computer available that was Wi-Fi compatible with the Apple TV but we didn't. We did the best we could and lively discussions were had with the members and between members on the subject. Everyone came away knowing more about the Apple TV and what it does.

Neil then connected his EyeTV to his laptop computer's USB port and to his digital rabbit ears antenna with a coaxial cable. Neil connected the display port on his computer to the Pi's big screen TV using a VGA cable so the members could see what was happening on Neil's computer screen. Neil stressed to the attending members that what they were now looking was not a TV but a computer monitor even though it looked like a TV and was displaying an over the air TV broadcast. Neil showed the members what his EyeTV Hybrid device looked like (about the size of a 25 cent pack of chewing gum). Neil used his EyeTV remote and clicked thru many of the over the air digital broadcast channels showing the strange channel numbers that are used now. It was surprising how many over the air digital broadcast channels that are available. Neil wasn't able to demonstrate but explained that the EyeTV can be connected to a cable box and receive cable TV or Dish TV. He also explained that the EyeTV in conjunction with the computer could be set to record TV programs but that you would need lots of space on your hard drive if you record very many programs.

Prior to this meeting several members expressed a desire to see 'TV with a computer.' I don't know exactly what they wanted and when asked they weren't sure what they wanted either but did want to know more about it. I believe this session with the Afternoon Learner's SIG answered some of those questions.