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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:38 AM   #1
GhostMac24
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Optimal setup for multiple ATV's in large home?

Building a custom home and will have 3-4 ATV's throughout the home. What is the best way to have them connected? Wired I assume? If my iMac (in my home office) houses the main iTunes library, I need to understand how to have everybody connected for the fastest, most reliable configuration. Currently it is just setup via wireless and while it works fine, it is by no means reliable or fast all the time. Drywall is still several weeks away so I have time to modify the wiring needs.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:41 AM   #2
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by GhostMac24 View Post
Building a custom home and will have 3-4 ATV's throughout the home. What is the best way to have them connected? Wired I assume? If my iMac (in my home office) houses the main iTunes library, I need to understand how to have everybody connected for the fastest, most reliable configuration. Currently it is just setup via wireless and while it works fine, it is by no means reliable or fast all the time. Drywall is still several weeks away so I have time to modify the wiring needs.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
Have the iMac wired for sure, as for the Apple TV - wire them where it's practical, or there is a weak Wi-Fi signal. To play it safe, you should allow 40Mbps of bandwidth to stream a 1080p movie. Some will be less, but if you have a high quality encoding, when you take overheads into account, this wont be far off.

So for optimal performance I'd have a minimum of 40Mbps to each Apple TV, and 40Mbps * simultaneous viewers to the iMac.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:49 AM   #3
GhostMac24
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Thanks Brian. I'll have a wired connection (multiple available) to every room in the home with everything connected back to an A/V closet to distribute.

Need to understand the logistics path though of a movie (for example) that streams off my iMac along a wired connection.

Is this correct?
-->Internet comes into the house and is connected to an Airport Extreme. Out of that comes a hard line to a multiport gigabit switch which has hard lines to the iMac and the ATV's.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:49 AM   #4
jeff92k7
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Is this correct?
-->Internet comes into the house and is connected to an Airport Extreme. Out of that comes a hard line to a multiport gigabit switch which has hard lines to the iMac and the ATV's.
That is correct and sounds like a very nice home network. I have gigabit networking and it is wonderful. Even though the Apple TV's only connect at 100Mbps each, having the switch running at 1Gb means there is no network bottleneck at the switch.

You will be pleased with the results of your network.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:55 AM   #5
GhostMac24
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Thanks Jeff. It was a nightmare at the last house we built trying to get the perfect network or integration created. It was "semi-custom" and the builder would not let us modify or add anything. After deciding we needed more space for our family and being in a place financially to build a dream home, our home integration and theatre install company was ecstatic knowing how perfect they could make the home for our needs today and more importantly, tomorrow. There is going to be so much wire run it's not even funny. And conduits for pulls in the future if needed. Figured if we were building fully custom from the ground up with input on every decision, we were going to do it right.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:39 AM   #6
rayward
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Originally Posted by GhostMac24 View Post
Building a custom home and will have 3-4 ATV's throughout the home. What is the best way to have them connected? Wired I assume? If my iMac (in my home office) houses the main iTunes library, I need to understand how to have everybody connected for the fastest, most reliable configuration. Currently it is just setup via wireless and while it works fine, it is by no means reliable or fast all the time. Drywall is still several weeks away so I have time to modify the wiring needs.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
If you're building, there's no reason not to run ethernet cabling throughout the house. When I was building my house, I had ethernet run, with an outlet everywhere I expected to put a TV or computer. This included having power/cable/ethernet placed high up the wall where I intended to put a wall-mounted flat screen.

I use an Airport Extreme to run the network. It's great!

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Is this correct?
-->Internet comes into the house and is connected to an Airport Extreme. Out of that comes a hard line to a multiport gigabit switch which has hard lines to the iMac and the ATV's.
This is exactly how mine is set up. I also find that the AEBS is easily powerful enough to put a strong wifi signal throughout my 2-story home.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Totally agree. The one thing we did was decide what all we needed in each room, then doubled it, and also ran to locations we didn't even have a plan for data/video/etc. Not going to worry about pulling lines anymore
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:41 AM   #8
Deadeyeshark
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I have five ATV's set up, four are wired and one is wireless. I presume you'll be using home sharing a fair bit, if so it's important to get your router configuration correct, especially when using multiple ATV's, I used several routers and in the end gave in opting for an Airport Extreme and haven't looked back.

If you live in an older house with thick walls I suggest investing in an Airport Express to extend your wireless range, however wherever possible always go for wired.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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I would run CAT6 or CAT6a to every location I will have a TV and to every location I will have a Desktop Computer or WiFi Access Point. I have a 3100' house with 2 WiFi Access Points and CAT 5 in most places (house built in 1996).

Wifi works well for "portable" devices like my iPads, iPhones, Laptops etc. But for my Desktop (Mac Mini) and ATV and other things you can not beat hardwire. I have tried to use Wifi thinking it should be good but have always come back to hardware. I also use Moca at one drop but it is limited to 100mbps. Even on CAT5 I am getting 700Mbps.

If money is a major concern then at least pull CAT6 to a few places in the house. I.E. For you Desktop and places you want to put the WiFi Access Points.

I have FIOS and I have all my drops going to the laundry room where I have everything connected to GB Ethernet Switches which then plug into the FIOS GB Router. I have a TC Wifi Access Point upstairs near my Mac Min and I have a Linksys Wifi in my kitchen. For most things I can get by with the one TC WiFi Access point but for high data sensitive applications I need a closer Access Point.

Lastly Wifi is very convenient but Wired Ethernet is simply the best for reliability.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Deadeyeshark View Post
I have five ATV's set up, four are wired and one is wireless. I presume you'll be using home sharing a fair bit, if so it's important to get your router configuration correct, especially when using multiple ATV's, I used several routers and in the end gave in opting for an Airport Extreme and haven't looked back.

If you live in an older house with thick walls I suggest investing in an Airport Express to extend your wireless range, however wherever possible always go for wired.
Absolutely agree on the Airport Extreme to extend to each ATV. I'll probably have each ATV hard lined from the same Airpot Extreme that will be housed up in the theatre media closet. Then I'll add either Airport Extreme or Express to the other levels of the home for wireless. I already have two extras but will probably add 2 more so I have 2 on each level of the home strategically placed on each level for maximum signal.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:05 PM   #11
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Totally agree. The one thing we did was decide what all we needed in each room, then doubled it, and also ran to locations we didn't even have a plan for data/video/etc. Not going to worry about pulling lines anymore
...and I bet you still find that you don't have an outlet where you need one. I know I did.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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That's the sort of thing that keeps me up at nights! I have gone over the blue prints ad nauseum making sure I have every room and location covered and I just know I'll get in and think......D-OH!!! I MISSED THAT SPOT!!!!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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...so at every power outlet....Ethernet! We bought an old 1920s place in the country...when I've got mates over, we pull up an Ethernet at several power points into the ceiling each visit. Eventually, the whole house will have cat cables everywhere!

Your building a new house...it's not like your going to go 'damn, why'd I spend that extra 200$ for those few useless places!' Remember, they don't all have to plug into a switch box. If theyre not used, leave them unplugged.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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When we built our home in 1996 we ran Ethernet everywhere we had phone cables which is the opposite side of the room as the TV. I should have ran ethernet to wherever I ran COAX.

My other mistake was not running COAX or ETHERNET in the Master Bathroom. Never thought about it but as it turns out my wife spends a lot of time in there at her dressing table and she likes to watch TV. So I would recommend you drop COAX and ETHERNET there.

What I think is going to happen in the future is TV will be over Ethernet "IPTV" but I am not sure of when so if I were doing now I would run COAX and ETHERNET.

Back to the MBR, I was just using OTA for the main channels but last couple of weeks I got a HDHomeRun Prime and she has a iPad on her changing table to watch TV on. Works nice and it is WiFi.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:41 PM   #15
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Wired always, the less stuff using your WiFi the better. GigE switches (no hubs).
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