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View Full Version : Old Apple TV and My Plan - Workable?




quicksilver77
Sep 3, 2010, 09:47 AM
I am thinking of picking up the old Apple TV on clearance and replacing my PS3 as the media streamer to my main tv. I sick of the noise of the ps3 and the non elegant interface for browsing my media.

If I buy the old one and use a patchstick to hack it to run XBMC (Plex will not run on an Apple TV from what I have read?) will it stream 720p rips of my kids BD's?

Also I have an Acer WHS box that I want to run as a NAS. I assume i woudl have to install some sort of NAS software and get rid of WHS to have it be recognized by the Apple tv running XBMC?

Thanks



hbryan
Sep 3, 2010, 10:41 AM
I am thinking of picking up the old Apple TV on clearance and replacing my PS3 as the media streamer to my main tv. I sick of the noise of the ps3 and the non elegant interface for browsing my media.

If I buy the old one and use a patchstick to hack it to run XBMC (Plex will not run on an Apple TV from what I have read?) will it stream 720p rips of my kids BD's?

Also I have an Acer WHS box that I want to run as a NAS. I assume i woudl have to install some sort of NAS software and get rid of WHS to have it be recognized by the Apple tv running XBMC?

Thanks

Actually, for 720p you don't need xbmc, that is a supported resolution for :apple:tv. you can just stream it from any box.

I have a system similar to what you are looking to do.

I have an old G5 macpro that I use for a media server (8TB raid 5). I can stream any of the 600+ movies or the 42,000 songs from my media server to the :apple:tv, which is hooked up to the home a/v system.

To go lossless dvd, just add atv flash to your apple tv & voila! stream those ts_video folders to the tv.

To add 1080p takes a bit more work, but can be done, if you are willing to:
1. pop open the :apple:tv case,
2. replace the wireless card with a crystal broadcom hd decoder chip (very easy to do), and
3. run a ethernet cable from you :apple:tv to either the computer or an airport express.

Needless to say, you can't do any of this with those the the POS little black box :apple: is coming out with next month.

quicksilver77
Sep 3, 2010, 11:24 AM
What about streaming 720p MKV files though? Would I not need to hack the Apple TV? I like the XMBC interface so was more referring to using that as a front end for my BD rips.

Still wondering how I could use the Acer WHS box as a NAS. I thought there was a some free linux type software that I could load on it to turn it into a NAS device only.

quicksilver77
Sep 10, 2010, 11:51 AM
Ok so I think I have a plan in place for this weekend:

1. Configure WHS (H340) as my NAS and place all media from my Mac's on it.

2. Purchase an old Apple TV for my son's play room and hack it to run XBMC.

3. Install the PS3 media server add on for WHS for the times I want to access the NAS on my PS3

4. Use my Macbook Pro (Core Duo - 2gb of RAM) with Plex or XBMC (undecided) connected to my main plasma and have it access the WHS box.

5. Run the WHS box as my iTunes server so all machines can access the same library. Not sure how well this runs but I only have about 45gbs of music.

Trying to figure out a way for all machines to have access to my iPhoto pictures that are currently on my iMac. Basically I want the NAS to house all media and have any client in my house have access to the same media.

Hoping when Airplay comes out I will be able to integrate it into my system above somehow as I have an iPhone, iPad and Touch.

Any caveats to the proposed setup?

mono1980
Sep 10, 2010, 12:25 PM
I actually just tried this. Unfortunately the AppleTV does not have enough horsepower to run 720p MKV files. It's so bad it doesn't even display the frames. I only get audio and a still frame when I pause it. 480p MKV files seems to work ok though, as will a 720p mp4 file.

quicksilver77
Sep 10, 2010, 12:27 PM
What do you plan to do for 720p mkv files? I get a few shows in that container in 720p so its not a huge deal for me but it would certainly be nice. BD rips are an issue though.

I keep reading mixed posts about the Apple TV and 720p MKV's. Some have them playing fine others do not.

mike457
Sep 10, 2010, 02:52 PM
What do you plan to do for 720p mkv files? I get a few shows in that container in 720p so its not a huge deal for me but it would certainly be nice. BD rips are an issue though.

I keep reading mixed posts about the Apple TV and 720p MKV's. Some have them playing fine others do not.

The main trick to playing 720p MKVs is not to stream them. You're better to copy the file to the Apple TV's hard drive and play it from there. If you do that, you should be fine. If you are sticking to 720P, why not feed the files through Handbrake and stream them in Apple TV's "native" format?

You may want to up the hard drive size, which is actually quite easy, as upgrades go.

I tried the Broadcom hack, and I wasn't entirely happy with the results. I found I still had to use a lower quality setting in Handbrake to produce reliably playable files.

quicksilver77
Sep 13, 2010, 07:15 AM
So on the weekend I installed plex on an older MBP Core duo to the main HT system. Moved all my media to the Acer WHS system and all seems to be fine for now. Picking up an Apple TV soon. I have been using handbrake to rip and encode my Music Concert DVD's to .mv4 format. I assume I will be fine using that format for the older apple tv?

alertrenegade
Sep 13, 2010, 05:20 PM
I just picked up an AppleTV to do pretty much the same thing. I don't have any 720p MKV files but I have tested it with a few 720p MP4 files and it works perfectly. I have a D-Link DNS-321 running as the NAS and the ATV is hooked up to the wireless-n network. Onboard NIC is only 100mbps so I figured wireless-n was the best choice. The default interface is alright, but I prefer XBMC with the xTV skin. I've ripped a few videos using handbrake's AppleTV preset and it works fine. The few files I've actually synced to it through iTunes were ripped with the iPhone preset and it still looks quite good.