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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:36 AM   #1
chewychiu
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Home Theatre Setup with the new AppleTV

Hi Folks,

First time poster. Please forgive me if this has been posted already.

I just wanted to ask how peoples storage and streaming setups are. I am thinking about getting the appleTV, but the problem I see is that it cannot currently stream from a NAS.

My current setup is that I connect my laptop to the TV using wires and I play content in my external HD. While this is fine for me it is not friendly for my parents.

I guess the real question is, is there a setup where my parents can easily access content (mainly movies) and play in the TV without it having to be very technical.

Thanks is advance.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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Easiest way is to get a desktop and just stream everything from there. Do you have a router?
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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If you just want to watch content stored on a NAS then something like the WD TV Live might do the job?
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:56 AM   #4
chewychiu
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Yes, I have a wifi router. So you are suggesting to get a PC and keep it always on so that the aTV can access content all the time, correct?

This is really not the solution I was hoping for, but it seems that the aTV has limitations right now. Thanks for the input.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 11:32 AM   #5
newagemac
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Desktop w/external drive + iPad + iPhone =

Desktop with external drive for media streaming. iPad for mobile use especially within the home and while traveling. iPhone for all other mobile uses. Probably the best setup you can have as far as power, capabilities, productivity, convenience, and overall enjoyment. Plus its cheaper than the traditional laptop + NAS + iPhone solution.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
chewychiu
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Yes, I am also considering the WDTV Live. It is certainly the easier choice, swappable Ext HD, No conversion necessary. Though, I thought this was not an appropriate forum for WDTV questions.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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I tried out the WD TV Live Plus for a while and it just wasn't up to par vs. my experence with the original Apple TV. Here is a summary of my thoughts:

WDTV Live Plus:
-Graphic interface sucks (wife factor on this one really fails)
-Does not support multi-channel audio on mp4/m4v files.
-Media artwork sucks (see above complaint)
-Remote sucks, and separately, while incorporating my Harmony remote, did not work well with the WD TV Live device.
-What was really nice is the fact that when the device was on, and was connected to my network, and had a drive attached directly to it, that drive was automatically seen (and usable) on my Mac OS X desktop/environment.

I could probably go on, but I ended up bringing it back. I'd say that if it had an updated user interface and met my standards for the wife factor, I would have stuck with it.

And no, I did not ever try to hack it to accomodate for any type of facelifts, nor didn't want to have to.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 12:25 PM   #8
chewychiu
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Thanks jcschlic.

I have no doubt Apple creates a better user experience. I have a a few apple devices which I enjoy (including the iPad). The problem is getting all my content to be apple compatible which I know will be a pain. Managing eveything via iTunes would be nice, but converting and tagging everything will take forever. I am still deciding if I should just stop procastinating and start doing it.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewychiu View Post
Thanks jcschlic.

I have no doubt Apple creates a better user experience. I have a a few apple devices which I enjoy (including the iPad). The problem is getting all my content to be apple compatible which I know will be a pain. Managing eveything via iTunes would be nice, but converting and tagging everything will take forever. I am still deciding if I should just stop procastinating and start doing it.

It does not take as long as you might think. I just started going from MY DVD's to iTunes last week and i have over 100 done so far.

My path is:
Rip to HDD (one at a time), Batch in Handbrake (10 at a time), Tag using iDentify 2 (again 10 at a time) and volia 100 in itunes allready. iDentify takes the .mk4 file(s) tags them and add's to iTunes. I keep iTunes on a 4TB Ext HDD.

The longest lead item is ripping to the HDD on my iMac
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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My solution has been and always will be a drobo + mini option.

By no means is it the cheapest option but it is a good one. The drobo's capacity is fantastic. I know have seven (7) TBs of storage. It is at about 40% at the moment.

The ATV streams really well from such a setup. Plus I have home sharing with my iMac.

Great setup.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 02:33 PM   #11
chewychiu
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Thanks From A Buick 8 and Bye Bye Baby.

I am looking at the Handbrake pages for an iPad and aTV optimal setting right now. I guess I will start converting my videos.

As for the MacMini + Drobo setup. Although, it is a nice setup, I am afraid it is quite costly and I cannot afford this.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 05:54 PM   #12
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I had an old laptop that I used to run iTunes and serve media to my old AppleTV's. It worked, but the laptop just was not intended to be running 24/7. The fan got out of whack and made a racket. I finally upgraded last year to a 27" i5 iMac and have been giddy ever since. I know you do not want to buy a new computer, but I strongly recommend a dedicated computer up and running all the time serving your media to your AppleTV's.

If every time you want to watch a movie you need to pull out your laptop, open it, start iTunes, and connect it to your appleTV's, then you have already defeated the purpose. By that time you could have loaded the DVD, watched the FBI warning, and launched the movie.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
I strongly recommend a dedicated computer up and running all the time serving your media to your AppleTV's.

If every time you want to watch a movie you need to pull out your laptop, open it, start iTunes, and connect it to your appleTV's, then you have already defeated the purpose. By that time you could have loaded the DVD, watched the FBI warning, and launched the movie.
Agreed. I have an iMac running 24/7 streaming media whenever it's asked to do so.. Even when it's sleeping
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 09:33 AM   #14
chewychiu
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Thanks tommylotto and JRoDDz. I will also look a this dedicated PC option. Though I will not shell out for a new one. Maybe some friends have old ones they don't use.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewychiu View Post
Thanks tommylotto and JRoDDz. I will also look a this dedicated PC option. Though I will not shell out for a new one. Maybe some friends have old ones they don't use.
When we bought or new iMac it replaced a PPC 1.25 GHZ G4 MDD, that system has been passed down to the kids. The iMac is what we stream iTunes from.

On the G4 we are running OS 10.5.8 and iTunes 10.0.1 (22), i am sure i could just let that unit handle the iTunes streaming and let it run 24/7.

The PPC G4 can be found used for about $200
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 12:10 PM   #16
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The good thing about this is the computer doesn't have to be very powerful to support streaming. You do want one that can handle being up all the time though, but that is about it. I've had movies ripping on my computer (which sucks up the cpu) and have streamed hd movies to the atv with no problem.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 01:49 PM   #17
chewychiu
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Apple just announced a new media event. I think I will wait on that. Maybe apple will come up a new way to manage content.

Currently, I feel apple is lacking in the content management area. I mean they have a good eco system except for a NAS type solution that can connect to all devices.
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