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View Full Version : Putting the pieces together [media centre]




killbot
Dec 29, 2011, 10:39 AM
Hey there folks, I've been trying to create the ultimate media center solution, but with many (many) pieces, I can never get the complete thing together to my liking.

I basically want a media center setup that's easy to use, and can play a wide variety of file formats. I'd also like it to play from a shared hdd - with that shared hdd being accessible wirelessly from other devices. Last but not least I would want to either manually or automatically have the center download tv shows/movie torrents (legally of course)

The tools I've got:

Macbook pro (which is being retired, so can be used for a single purpose)
xbox
hacked apple tv 1 (with xbmc on it)
boxee box
airport extreme
1tb hard drive

how can I put all these together to get what I want?



convergent
Dec 29, 2011, 11:00 AM
Downloading torrents isn't legal, so you can't do what you want.

I've also tried to setup the ultimate media center that is simple to use for years and finally settled on what does the trick for me. It has the following components:

Tivo HD - DVR and Cable TV
Apple TV 2 w/Firecore ATV Flash Black - Netflix, MLB.tv, Media Center to play ripped/home videos
Harmony One Remote
NAS (can be your Aiport Extreme, although its not as robust as a real NAS)

Other than programming the Harmony Remote, this is pretty much plug and play. I've tried Mac Minis, Windows 7, Boxee, Plex, XBMC, etc. They all have advantages, but for simply wife-friendly use, this setup pretty much gives me the best of all worlds and controllable through a single remote.

If you wanted to do torrents, then you'd have to setup something to feed them to the NAS. I have a QNAP, and I believe there is some app you can load to do that, but never tried it.

killbot
Dec 29, 2011, 11:07 AM
Downloading torrents is legal - downloading copyrighted material is not. There is legal media you can download using bittorrent technology (but that's neither here nor there)

I've started to think:

macbook pro with something like insomniax to have it running constantly
cloud folder like dropbox
use transmission to watch the folder and drop torrents in there to start them
have atv or boxee box to have a source from the tb shared drive

killbot
Dec 29, 2011, 11:55 AM
Media Center to play ripped/home videos


now see, how do you get the files onto the appletv to play these videos? Surely you have a to a sync or even SSH them on there every once in a while?

I want to take that step out of the equation

stevelam
Dec 29, 2011, 12:03 PM
this is my media setup:

i run an htpc (an acer revo running windows 7) and XBMC as the media center/manager. i have one external 1.5TB drive connected to it. i also use a $12 rosewill remote control to control xbmc (sometimes i use iphone app to do this but ehhh)

i also run utorrent and its RSS automatic downloading feature. its set up to download all of the tv shows our household watches so they're downloaded about an hour or two after the show actually airs.

i also have remote UI turned on in utorrent so i can add movie/whatever torrents from my iphone or my macbook or anywhere really. this comes in super handy so i dont have to turn on the tv and manage torrents locally. with the Prowl app for iphone, i immediately get alerts of when torrents are finished downloading.

Panch0
Dec 29, 2011, 02:21 PM
now see, how do you get the files onto the appletv to play these videos? Surely you have a to a sync or even SSH them on there every once in a while?

I want to take that step out of the equation

He's using FireCore's ATV Black, which is a set of apps that you can install on the ATV after Jailbreaking it with Seas0nPass. Check out FireCore's web site for what it offers. One of the features is playing files from a network share IIRC...

convergent
Dec 30, 2011, 07:59 AM
now see, how do you get the files onto the appletv to play these videos? Surely you have a to a sync or even SSH them on there every once in a while?

I want to take that step out of the equation

Whatever I put into the shares on my NAS immediately appears in the catalog on the ATV2's media player. Its part of the media player function to scan the shares for new content. The media player is part of Firecore's ATV Flash Black.

I use RipIt to rip my DVDs and the destination folder for the rip is on the share... so I rip the DVD and I can go to the ATV2 and its there, along with cover art and info and such. For home movies, I just copy them to the NAS share after I have them the way I want them and they appear on the ATV2 as well.

You can certainly do this with XBMC or Plex as well... they are very robust media centers. But if you want simple, then Firecore has nailed it.