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oyalhi
Aug 1, 2011, 05:25 PM
I am a fairly organized guy and I think with all the options out there I would like to put together a system that serves my needs (which I'll explain below). Since I am a newbie (but understand technical stuff fairly quickly) first I would like to get the basic understanding of the system.

I would like to note that I prefer not to talk about brands (I'd like to go Apple where I can) rather talk about the system. My next step would be to research and learn about each system component and buy the product(s) that serve my needs.

Any help is appreciated upfront :). Also please note that English is my second language and I would appreciate not using abbreviations :o

I would like to build the below system, and since this is going to be a learning experience for me, I would like this system to be on the cheaper side when possible.

Here is what I already have:
MacBook, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3, running OS X 10.7 (main computer)
MacBook, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 1333 MHz DDR3, running OS X 10.5.8 (an extra mac)
PC with Windows Vista (Toshiba G40)
iPhone 4
iPad
PlayBook
PlayStation 2
ADSL Modem
Medium house with a garden - where the modem signal is not picked up easily from every part of the house or the garden

What I would like to do:
Have all my units reliable access to the wifi regardless of where they are in the house/garden
Backup all computers data (wirelessly)
A centralized iTunes media library for the whole house (which is on my main computer currently)
Watch HD movies (720p is enough) on my home theater
Control the movie (select movie, pause, fast forward etc.) with iPhone or iPad or PlayBook (or Apple TV remote??)
See homemade movies and pictures from TV, iPhone, iPad, PlayBook, Computers etc.
Listen to music (from the iTunes library) with wireless speakers
Control the music (volume, next song, select playlist etc.) with iPhone or iPad or PlayBook

Here is what I think I need:
Router or Powerline AV Adapter - So that the wifi signal is strong through out the house and garden
Hard Disks - To backup files, to put iTunes library and pictures on etc.
Apple TV - So that I can watch movies from the Hard Disks or the iTunes
WiFi Speakers - So that I can listen to music in the garden

I know that there are options such as Time Capsule that contains the router and the hard disk, but that is an option that I would like to evaluate later. I know that I can use Drobo or Synology etc, but that is also an issue for later. First I would like to know if my understanding is correct for the requirements. Then I will evaluate and select the best option that suits my needs - hopefully with your help :)

Am I missing something, or can I do what I want to do with basically 4 components?

Thanks for reading such a long post :)

Ímer.



DustinT
Aug 1, 2011, 09:46 PM
You have the essence of things correct but I'm afraid you are trying to do too much in one post. The wireless networking side of things could be a whole thread of its own.

However, in essence you have it correct. I would say that your 'wireless speakers' would be handled best by a couple more Apple TV's or perhaps an Airport express. Both would do the job nicely and allow you utmost in flexibility and compatibility with your desire to control things remotely from your iOS devices.

oyalhi
Aug 2, 2011, 08:18 AM
Thanks for replying. If my understanting is correct, then the following hardware (might not be the best, but just serves the purpose) would be enough, am I correct? If yes, then I will (may) evaluate each category in different subjects.

1. Airport Extreme: Strengthen the signal
2a. External HDD 2 TB: Connect to Airport Extreme, has iTunes Media, pictures, movies, etc.
2b. External HDD 3 TB: Connect to Airport Extreme, for backing up of: 2 macbook's with little data, backup of HDD 1 (2a)
3. Apple TV: Connect to the HD TV for watching movies on the External HDD 1 (2a), iTunes
4. Apple TV: Connect to the TV in the bedroom
4. Airport Express: Connect 2 speakers that are in the living room
5. Airport Express: Connect 2 speakers that are in the garden
6. Control everything either from a Mac or iPhone Remote app.

At the very basic level, using the above hardware, assuming the signal strength will be enough in the house and garden, I can have the system up and running? Or are there anything missing?

DustinT
Aug 2, 2011, 08:33 AM
Thanks for replying. If my understanting is correct, then the following hardware (might not be the best, but just serves the purpose) would be enough, am I correct? If yes, then I will (may) evaluate each category in different subjects.

1. Airport Extreme: Strengthen the signal
2a. External HDD 2 TB: Connect to Airport Extreme, has iTunes Media, pictures, movies, etc.
2b. External HDD 3 TB: Connect to Airport Extreme, for backing up of: 2 macbook's with little data, backup of HDD 1 (2a)
3. Apple TV: Connect to the HD TV for watching movies on the External HDD 1 (2a), iTunes
4. Apple TV: Connect to the TV in the bedroom
4. Airport Express: Connect 2 speakers that are in the living room
5. Airport Express: Connect 2 speakers that are in the garden
6. Control everything either from a Mac or iPhone Remote app.

At the very basic level, using the above hardware, assuming the signal strength will be enough in the house and garden, I can have the system up and running? Or are there anything missing?

That would be a great solution and should provide the functionality you are looking for. I'm a bit nervous about the wireless because I have no information on how large of an area your are trying to cover, if there are any walls or other objects that will interfere with the wireless signal and how many client you will connect to the wireless network. If your area was of moderate size and presented no obstacles to the wireless signal and you intended on using, perhaps, less than 20 or so wireless devices I think you'll be fine. If your needs grow beyond what I'm mentioned, I'd strongly recommend a more robust solution.

However, you certainly have a great concept and I suspect you'll find it works out rather well.

DustinT
Aug 2, 2011, 08:38 AM
After further thought, if you continue to have wireless problems after your installation of the Airport Extreme, using one or more Airport Expresses as wireless range extenders would be a simple solution. It will not, however, give you ability to increase the number of client devices. So, if you think you'll be getting more wireless devices in the future I'd recommend you use ethernet and a second Airport Extreme to gain the range *and* increased capacity you will need.

oyalhi
Aug 2, 2011, 08:54 AM
The house is not very big and the garden is also not that big. The walls are like paper thin (I know because of the natural gas bills during winter - I live in Istanbul and the weather gets very very cold during the winter - like Boston, MA cold :) ). The solution I presented is actually for getting a bit of understanding of the complete system. Once I install and start using it I will have more needs (which I don't know upfront) and will definately upgrade to a whole new system with a robust solution. I am very new at this and unless I start doing something I will never learn :). The house is a rental and I hope to move to my own place in 3-4 years time. When I move, I sure hope I know much much more than I do now :).

I appreicate all your comments and help. Let the ordering begin, we'll see what problems I will run in to :).

Thanks,

Omer

DustinT
Aug 2, 2011, 09:04 AM
Omer, I think you'll be just fine. Post up some pictures and let us know how it goes, ok?

oyalhi
Aug 2, 2011, 10:09 AM
Omer, I think you'll be just fine. Post up some pictures and let us know how it goes, ok?

Sure thing. Thanks.