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View Full Version : Newbie: I think ATV may be the answer, but need clarification.




hvp
Feb 10, 2011, 03:23 AM
Hi all,

I work on a private yacht and I'm trying to find a media solution.
At the moment, all the crew members and owners run Mac laptops of some description or another, and there is also a MacMini on the bridge as our 'office' machine, so it seems that an Apple solution would be best.

We all have various video and audio collections which I am going to compile onto 1 hdd attached to the MacMini. From here, I want to be able to access all the media on the TV's around the boat.

I'm thinking ATV and AirportExpress linked to each tv, and then use the remote app for the iphone/ipad to control the bridge computer.

Unfortunately all our movies are .avi so reading through the forums it sounds like I'm going to need to jailbreak if we get ATV and install xbmc, but then it also sounds like this wont support streaming.

So the question is, if i've got all my media in one place, what's the best setup for getting it somewhere else wirelessly.

Thanks for your input,


Stu.



margotspop
Feb 10, 2011, 11:21 AM
Hi all,

I work on a private yacht and I'm trying to find a media solution.
At the moment, all the crew members and owners run Mac laptops of some description or another, and there is also a MacMini on the bridge as our 'office' machine, so it seems that an Apple solution would be best.

We all have various video and audio collections which I am going to compile onto 1 hdd attached to the MacMini. From here, I want to be able to access all the media on the TV's around the boat.

I'm thinking ATV and AirportExpress linked to each tv, and then use the remote app for the iphone/ipad to control the bridge computer.

Unfortunately all our movies are .avi so reading through the forums it sounds like I'm going to need to jailbreak if we get ATV and install xbmc, but then it also sounds like this wont support streaming.

So the question is, if i've got all my media in one place, what's the best setup for getting it somewhere else wirelessly.

Thanks for your input,


Stu.

I like the sound of a private yacht!

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that streaming is not supported. I have just jailbroken my ATV2 and installed XBMC and it streams just fine. Streaming to lots of computers might mean you have bandwidth issues though.

Another solution you might want to look at is Plex. While XBMC is a self-contained solution in that it decodes the video on the ATV, Plex works as a thin client and the video is decoded by the Plex server which, in your case, would sit on the Mac Mini. The advantage with Plex is that it has a great UI - very intuitive and more mac-like. Also, because Plex is 'serving' the media to you from one source it can keep track of the media, whereas with XBMC you'd have to install it on every ATV. One result of this is that, on Plex for example, you could watch 30 minutes of one movie on one ATV. The next day, on another TV, Plex would offer you the option of resuming from that point. In other words, it keeps track of all the metadata in one place - the Plex server. With XBMC, every install would have its own metadata. Also, with Plex, it's the Plex Server which scrapes the library for all the thin clients so that's the only place which needs to be updated with new movies, etc. With XBMC, every separate install of XBMC would need to be pointed at the library and scraped.

The advantage with XBMC is that every ATV does the decoding rather than having the Mac Mini doing it all for all the ATV's. (Would the Mac Mini have the horsepower?)

Make sense?

pasipple
Feb 10, 2011, 05:33 PM
Hi all,

Unfortunately all our movies are .avi so reading through the forums it sounds like I'm going to need to jailbreak if we get ATV and install xbmc, but then it also sounds like this wont support streaming.

Stu.

In order to stream to an ATV through iTunes your file format must be compatible with iTunes. iTunes will play .mp4, .m4v, or .mov files. So the alternative to jailbreaking your ATV and using another media server would be to convert your .avi files into one of the previously mentioned formats. Handbrake would be your best option to convert your .avi files. Handbrake is free and is easily available. Google it.

hvp
Feb 11, 2011, 03:48 AM
Thank you margotspop, the Plex solution sounds very interesting, I can't imagine more than one TV running from it at a time so it should have the guts to deal with it.

Pasipple, I thought about doing it that way - but in all honesty, with 800+ movies, I just can't be arsed converting them all! Yes, I'm lazy.

Thanks,


Stu.

DoFoT9
Feb 11, 2011, 04:02 AM
I can't imagine more than one TV running from it at a time so it should have the guts to deal with it.


are these generally just avi rips? so all 700mb in size (roughly) ??

hvp
Feb 11, 2011, 07:12 AM
are these generally just avi rips? so all 700mb in size (roughly) ??

Yup!

One other issue, looking at the back of the ATV there's HDMI out and Optical Audio out, however I want to run the HDMI to the TV, but need the audio signal to go to another component (which doesn't have an Optical In). Is there a cable that will split the Audio out of the HDMI into Left and Right RCA?

Thanks,


Stu.

DoFoT9
Feb 11, 2011, 08:04 AM
Yup!

One other issue, looking at the back of the ATV there's HDMI out and Optical Audio out, however I want to run the HDMI to the TV, but need the audio signal to go to another component (which doesn't have an Optical In). Is there a cable that will split the Audio out of the HDMI into Left and Right RCA?

Thanks,


Stu.

hmm i can see HDMI to Component (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Audio-Video-AV-HDMI-Male-5-RCA-RGB-Component-Cable-/130477796283?pt=AU_Electronics_Accessories_Wires_Cables&hash=item1e61152bbb) cables but there is no guarantee that it will work with the AppleTV. worth a shot though for the price.

margotspop
Feb 11, 2011, 12:14 PM
Yup!

One other issue, looking at the back of the ATV there's HDMI out and Optical Audio out, however I want to run the HDMI to the TV, but need the audio signal to go to another component (which doesn't have an Optical In). Is there a cable that will split the Audio out of the HDMI into Left and Right RCA?

Thanks,


Stu.
Why not use an Optical to Stereo plug instead?

Would this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FMXKC8/ref=oss_product) work?

wrz0170
Feb 11, 2011, 01:42 PM
Great post, it helped clear a lot up. My apologies for a bit of hijacking but in our quest for a good, usable HT setup; could a NAS drive with ATV2 +XMBC together act like a Mac Mini w/ Plex?

Thanks!





I like the sound of a private yacht!

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that streaming is not supported. I have just jailbroken my ATV2 and installed XBMC and it streams just fine. Streaming to lots of computers might mean you have bandwidth issues though.

Another solution you might want to look at is Plex. While XBMC is a self-contained solution in that it decodes the video on the ATV, Plex works as a thin client and the video is decoded by the Plex server which, in your case, would sit on the Mac Mini. The advantage with Plex is that it has a great UI - very intuitive and more mac-like. Also, because Plex is 'serving' the media to you from one source it can keep track of the media, whereas with XBMC you'd have to install it on every ATV. One result of this is that, on Plex for example, you could watch 30 minutes of one movie on one ATV. The next day, on another TV, Plex would offer you the option of resuming from that point. In other words, it keeps track of all the metadata in one place - the Plex server. With XBMC, every install would have its own metadata. Also, with Plex, it's the Plex Server which scrapes the library for all the thin clients so that's the only place which needs to be updated with new movies, etc. With XBMC, every separate install of XBMC would need to be pointed at the library and scraped.

The advantage with XBMC is that every ATV does the decoding rather than having the Mac Mini doing it all for all the ATV's. (Would the Mac Mini have the horsepower?)

Make sense?

margotspop
Feb 11, 2011, 05:45 PM
Great post, it helped clear a lot up. My apologies for a bit of hijacking but in our quest for a good, usable HT setup; could a NAS drive with ATV2 +XMBC together act like a Mac Mini w/ Plex?

Thanks!

That's exactly what I have and it works great. The reason I didn't use Plex was because I didn't want to have to have another computer running the Plex server. Using XBMC and the ATV2 means you have a self-contained solution - no need for another Mac to be running. XBMC is great - it's just that it takes a little more work than Plex. Go for it.

DoFoT9
Feb 11, 2011, 06:57 PM
That's exactly what I have and it works great. The reason I didn't use Plex was because I didn't want to have to have another computer running the Plex server. Using XBMC and the ATV2 means you have a self-contained solution - no need for another Mac to be running. XBMC is great - it's just that it takes a little more work than Plex. Go for it.

so just to clarify, you need to JB the ATV2 in order to use XMBC in this self-contained manner?

margotspop
Feb 11, 2011, 07:17 PM
so just to clarify, you need to JB the ATV2 in order to use XMBC in this self-contained manner?

Yep. You also need to JB in order to install Plex. It's pretty simple. At the moment, the only JB available is a tethered one, but an untethered one is rumored to be coming soon.

DoFoT9
Feb 13, 2011, 04:08 AM
Yep. You also need to JB in order to install Plex. It's pretty simple. At the moment, the only JB available is a tethered one, but an untethered one is rumored to be coming soon.

very cool very cool. but can you please specify what tethered vs untethered means? im guessing the tethered one requires a computer of sorts to do it?

wrz0170
Feb 13, 2011, 06:00 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Yep. You also need to JB in order to install Plex. It's pretty simple. At the moment, the only JB available is a tethered one, but an untethered one is rumored to be coming soon.

very cool very cool. but can you please specify what tethered vs untethered means? im guessing the tethered one requires a computer of sorts to do it?

I'm getting ready to go this route myself. I just have a NAS and ATV2. So I am going to try XMBC. I guess Plex does the same thing. So i think you can choose either one??

Tethered is that you will need a computer and a mini to USB cable so it can talk to ATV.

margotspop
Feb 13, 2011, 08:23 AM
Well, to be clear. I haven't used Plex on my ATV 2. I've only used Plex on my laptop so I can't say from my own experience what Plex on ATV 2 is like. However, if you check out the Plex forums, they all seem pretty happy with it. But Plex and XBMC on the ATV are not the same - Plex requires another Mac to be running somewhere on the network in order for the Plex server to be running. XBMC doesn't. That's why I didn't go for Plex on the ATV - I didn't want to have to have another Mac running at the same time.

A tethered jailbreak is one that requires the ATV to be connected to a Mac via a mini-USB cable when it gets booted. Once it's booted up then you can 'untether' it. This might mean a problem for some people though, depending upon your set up. In effect, it means that a Mac has to be brought to the ATV rather than the other way around. If you have a laptop then it's not a problem. But let's say your ATV is one room connected to your TV and your desktop is in another room. If you take the ATV to the desktop and do a tethered boot, you then have to disconnect the power from the ATV in order to return it to the TV Room - at which point you would have to reboot the TV again. See the problem? And bringing a desktop to the ATV might not be practical for a lot of people.

That said, I believe an untethered JB is coming very soon.

DoFoT9
Feb 13, 2011, 01:38 PM
Tethered is that you will need a computer and a mini to USB cable so it can talk to ATV.

ahh gotchya, thanks for that.

wrz0170
Feb 13, 2011, 07:31 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Ok. Successfully JB and installed XBMC! The JB part was relatively painless. Some hair raising moments with the XBMC install. But got it to go. Copying my iTunes folder to my NAS. I will then run some setup. Only hiccup is that the bottom and top of screen I cannot see in XBMC, ie the ticker is cut off. Not sure if a TV setting or not.

Otherwise it works!

margotspop
Feb 14, 2011, 02:49 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Ok. Successfully JB and installed XBMC! The JB part was relatively painless. Some hair raising moments with the XBMC install. But got it to go. Copying my iTunes folder to my NAS. I will then run some setup. Only hiccup is that the bottom and top of screen I cannot see in XBMC, ie the ticker is cut off. Not sure if a TV setting or not.

Otherwise it works!
On XBMC go to settings -> System -> Video and reduce zoom by -4%. That seems to be the general fix.

Restinbeast
Feb 14, 2011, 03:36 PM
I can't believe some people still think Plex has a better UI / is more intuitive than XBMC.

Are you aware of all the skins for Xbmc that are fully functional on ATV2?

Run XBMC w/ "Night" Skin and tell me that Plex has a better UI... Not to mention the UI on Plex via atv2 isn't even remotely good looking.

I Just don't get how Plex maintains all this positive buzz when XBMC passed them up ages ago in almost every respect. It is like people started using Plex 3 years ago and still just assume that it is the best thing out there without doing any research whatsoever.

As other's have mentioned, by far your best option would be a NAS serving media to ATV2 via XBMC. It is not as difficult to set up as some people indicate and if you learn how to use it, it can be a much more Apple-like experience than Plex.

wrz0170
Feb 14, 2011, 07:51 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Ok. Successfully JB and installed XBMC! The JB part was relatively painless. Some hair raising moments with the XBMC install. But got it to go. Copying my iTunes folder to my NAS. I will then run some setup. Only hiccup is that the bottom and top of screen I cannot see in XBMC, ie the ticker is cut off. Not sure if a TV setting or not.

Otherwise it works!
On XBMC go to settings -> System -> Video and reduce zoom by -4%. That seems to be the general fix.

Thanks!!! You've been a huge help. Now that I made it look pretty on the outside and the Better Half likes the new skin, time to connect the dots to the NAS.