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MergeIT
Jan 21, 2011, 05:23 PM
Hi Guys!

We all have to start somewhere, and here I am : PC guy, looking for the very first time of Apple-fying my house rather than risking investing any further in expensive media servers (especially since iMerge went bust). Is Kaleidescape next? (not that I have Kaleidescape)

Environment: Cinema Room with 5.1 AVR and 6 zone AV distribution system (HDMI over balun) and analogue audio via multi room system.

Control: Controlled using Pronto 9600's and a 9400 with RFX 9600 extender. I can use either IR or IP.

Network: CAT 5e points - a mixture of Zyxel switch and POE WAPS - overall good performance, maybe not Gigabit good, but good nevertheless.

Goal: To use the Mac Mini in Cinema Room with Plex and whatever apps will allow 3rd parties such as Youtube, BBC iPlayer and whatever else you think is of value in the UK, use Apple TV (HDD version I think for ability to purchase content from iTunes store - I see the APTV2 can only rent) and either Airport Extreme or NAS drives to save to and RAID all media from all computers on the network (2 Macs and 3 PC's) all using the same iTunes store account.

Having read a whole bunch of posts here I'm looking forward to your collective advice and suggestions.

Many Thanks

Richard



Adamf
Jan 21, 2011, 09:59 PM
It sounds like a great set-up. My father in-law built a house and wanted me to intall all the audio and video in the house. I used a Mac mini server with a couple Tb of HD Of external space. They run the server with one iMac, 2 MacBook pros, and a couple PC,s. We went with the apply tv 2 because the idea of buying from the apple tv didn't make any sence to them. It's just as easy to buy your movies from a computer, and now with airplay you can just download content to your iPhone or iPod touch. The house has a 7.1 audio projection room and the apply tv is amazing in it. The other apple tvs are in the master and family room. The computer room runs the server with a flat screen connected in with the HDMI port. There is also inwall speakers throughout the house they are all connected in a receiver that is connected into the server. One thing that is learnt was that apple products for really well when you have multiple apple products. My experience is that apple tv works better with airport and apple computers.

jmb667
Jan 22, 2011, 12:44 AM
Richard, my setup isn't nearly as extensive as yours, but the three components in your thread subject I do use. Here's how:

* Upstairs in my office, our Mac mini with iTunes up all the time, connected to a 1TB USB HDD where our movies are stored
* Same mini is connected via CAT5e to the Time Capsule
* Time Capsule is running a CAT5e line to a Netgear powerline box
* Downstairs in the living room, CAT5e from the second Netgear powerline box to the Apple TV
* Apple TV connected via HDMI to my 55" Samsung

Simple, yes, but it gets the job done and I don't have to worry about running cable in the walls or bogging down my wireless connection when watching movies.

MergeIT
Jan 22, 2011, 03:09 AM
Thanks Adam and JMB!

So now I know it will work. What would you say is the best option for me? Firstly, I'd like to have all the media (from me, my wife, my son and daughter) to be available to the Mini and Apple TV all the time without having to have the PC's / Mac's running. Do I either 1. copy everyone's media onto an external networked drive or 2. Can Apple TV and Mac Mini somehow be automated to look for media on Time Capsule? My wife is the Mac geek in the house (!) - sorry if that's a stupid question...



Cheers!

jmb667
Jan 23, 2011, 12:05 AM
What my wife and I do is use the mini and have it as our main repository for our media. Then we each copy what we want to our individual Macbook Pros (for example, I don't like country music, but she doesn't like my thrash metal, so our libraries differ, but the mini has everything on it). That way the Apple TV has a constant full library, and we can each pick and choose what we want on our computers.

EvilC5
Jan 24, 2011, 07:20 AM
Richard, my setup isn't nearly as extensive as yours, but the three components in your thread subject I do use. Here's how:

* Upstairs in my office, our Mac mini with iTunes up all the time, connected to a 1TB USB HDD where our movies are stored
* Same mini is connected via CAT5e to the Time Capsule
* Time Capsule is running a CAT5e line to a Netgear powerline box
* Downstairs in the living room, CAT5e from the second Netgear powerline box to the Apple TV
* Apple TV connected via HDMI to my 55" Samsung

Simple, yes, but it gets the job done and I don't have to worry about running cable in the walls or bogging down my wireless connection when watching movies.



my setup is very similar.

I have a mini connected to a FW800 3tb external that holds my music and movies. I also use the elgato eyetv to capture tv from my dvr to export to my itunes library.
I have 4 ATV2's and 2 ATV1's on my network. 3 of them are connected to the netgear powerline adapter as well. Mainly did this because wirelessly they would get a little congested when trying to stream HD movied to 2 of them at the same time.
in my family room, I have coming off the powerline to a 4 port hub connecting my DLNA enabled 55 inch samsung, my samsung blu ray, and my ATV2.
in my basement mancave, I have coming off the powerline, my PS3, ATV2, and my 46 inch DLNA samsung. I have the HDMI split to my samsung and a 42 inch vizio on the other side of the room so we can watch events on both tv's or a combo of ps3, netflix, etc for the family.

the remote app works flawlessly on everything, I can sit on the couch and control my music, then switch over to my sons ATV2 connected to his 20 inch lcd to get him a show started from netflix without having to get up.