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View Full Version : Set Top boxes, Plex, XMBC, etc.




JasonR
Apr 10, 2012, 04:18 PM
So I've been googling and researching and can't, for the life of me, figure out wth to do.

I want to add a set top box (or Mac Mini?) or Apple TV to my entertainment center. I love how XBMC and Plex gather the meta data for your ripped movies and shows, and can also stream netflix. However, having not used either of them I'm not sure what to go with.

Also, will either of these run fine on an Apple TV 3 (when eventually jailbroken), or do I need to plan on buying a Mac Mini or a HTPC box?

When I search I get conflicting answers on all of the above. I already have an xBox 360, but the interface kind of sucks for streaming off my Mac. I want an all inclusive system that's easy to use for me and the girlfriend.



hafr
Apr 10, 2012, 04:46 PM
So I've been googling and researching and can't, for the life of me, figure out wth to do.

I want to add a set top box (or Mac Mini?) or Apple TV to my entertainment center. I love how XBMC and Plex gather the meta data for your ripped movies and shows, and can also stream netflix. However, having not used either of them I'm not sure what to go with.

Also, will either of these run fine on an Apple TV 3 (when eventually jailbroken), or do I need to plan on buying a Mac Mini or a HTPC box?

When I search I get conflicting answers on all of the above. I already have an xBox 360, but the interface kind of sucks for streaming off my Mac. I want an all inclusive system that's easy to use for me and the girlfriend.

I'd say get a jailbroken ATV2 and install XBMC on it, it seems like that's pretty much it for you. If it wasn't for Netflix, I'd say get an ATV3, add the meta data to your ripped films, add them to iTunes and use Home Sharing (since you're talking about streaming movies from your mac I guess you're no stranger to having it running when you want to watch a movie).

JasonR
Apr 10, 2012, 05:03 PM
I should add that I have a Macbook Pro and an older Windows computer in the house. I'd likely use the older windows PC as the media "hub"

I don't really want to manage stuff in iTunes...other then my music. Seems like a ton of work where plex or xbmc can automate a lot of that stuff.

hafr
Apr 10, 2012, 05:06 PM
I should add that I have a Macbook Pro and an older Windows computer in the house. I'd likely use the older windows PC as the media "hub"

I don't really want to manage stuff in iTunes...other then my music. Seems like a ton of work where plex or xbmc can automate a lot of that stuff.

Okay, so get an ATV2 and install XBMC on it. Problem solved. Or am I missing something?

JasonR
Apr 10, 2012, 05:11 PM
Okay, so get an ATV2 and install XBMC on it. Problem solved. Or am I missing something?

Yeah...my TV is 1080p and that would be nice...the ATV2 doesn't do that.

Or I could build a HTPC with a blu ray drive and install Plex on it...

Edit: But then there's the issue of a remote. A remote with the Mac Mini or ATV2/3 would work fine but wtf about a home built HTPC.

Then theres no blue ray on the Mac Mini. Damn apple. lol

hafr
Apr 10, 2012, 05:17 PM
Yeah...my TV is 1080p and that would be nice...the ATV2 doesn't do that.

Or I could build a HTPC with a blu ray drive and install Plex on it...

Edit: But then there's the issue of a remote. A remote with the Mac Mini or ATV2/3 would work fine but wtf about a home built HTPC.

Then theres no blue ray on the Mac Mini. Damn apple. lol

I really don't see the problem here. You seem to know what you want, so why don't you just go out and get it? 1080p? ATV2 is out. XBMC? ATV3 is out. Blu-Ray? Mac Mini is out.

JasonR
Apr 10, 2012, 05:34 PM
Well I want something easy to use. If I build a HTPC then what do I for a remote?

hafr
Apr 10, 2012, 05:46 PM
Well I want something easy to use. If I build a HTPC then what do I for a remote?

Well, either you decide one of those available for HTPCs, or you use one of the many apps to control XBMC (or Plex, or whatever you decide to use).

As I said, I really don't see the problem here. It seems to me you need to sit down, figure out what you want and then start ticking boxes. Get the option with the most [important] boxes filled.

But I mean, unless you have a huge TV, or sit very close to it, you won't need 1080p.

obsidian1200
Apr 10, 2012, 05:50 PM
Well I want something easy to use. If I build a HTPC then what do I for a remote?

You have lots of options here between bluetooth and infared remotes, both of which might require an additional adapter (some wireless internet cards have bluetooth built in and I recall seeing some HTPC cases with infared sensors built in). Then you can choose from remotes from either category. Alternatively, you can use a mini keyboard to control your HTPC. I'd personally choose that route, since the mini keyboards I've used are very helpful for typing in search criterion, website URLs, etc.

JasonR
Apr 10, 2012, 05:52 PM
Can the Mac Mini play blu rays with a USB Blu Ray player...?

Any reason NOT to use a Mac Mini as a HTPC besides the lack of a optical drive?

hafr
Apr 10, 2012, 06:11 PM
Can the Mac Mini play blu rays with a USB Blu Ray player...?

Any reason NOT to use a Mac Mini as a HTPC besides the lack of a optical drive?

I don't know if OS X can play Blu Ray discs. To me, getting a Mac Mini for serving media to your TV is a waste of money. It's basically paying 400 bucks extra because you want 1080p instead of 720p.

maturola
Apr 10, 2012, 08:32 PM
Or I could build a HTPC with a blu ray drive and install Plex on it...

Edit: But then there's the issue of a remote. A remote with the Mac Mini or ATV2/3 would work fine but wtf about a home built HTPC.



If you got the budget, I would go with a HTPC (DIY). would be much much better and have everything you want (Including 3d Bluray playback if you want to).

I just build one for my GF for under $300 (no OS), including a harmony remote (basic).

Check this article (http://lifehacker.com/5900626/create-a-kickass-seamless-play+everything-media-center-the-complete-guide)

JasonR
Apr 11, 2012, 01:16 PM
I would probably guy a used Mac Mini...probably the aluminum one with CD slot or a refurb...

d21mike
Apr 11, 2012, 01:22 PM
How about a ROKU Box. Pretty inexpensive. I have both the ROKU and ATV3 (and a couple ATV2). I got the ATV for the integration with iTunes for the DRM Movies which apparently you do not have. So, I would seriously consider the ROKU. Pretty cheap and easy to setup and use.