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Old Jun 8, 2011, 07:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2011
advice on computer setup for media


This is my first thread on MacRumors. I've been reading the macrumors news daily for more than a year now.
I own a MacBook and an iPod Touch 32Gb last generation.
At home I have a PC desktop with Windows7, I only use that PC to download and to store all my files (video, pictures and audio).
My future setup:
Surround speakers and a beamer that is connected to a desktop server. One that I will build myself, it has to be small and silent. Windows Video/audio folders are shared so that I can access them on my MacBook. Controls for playback of audio and video are possible from my macbook by remote desktop connecting to the server.
This is actually how I already am doing it rightnow.. Only it's not a server and it's an old PC. Problems I am having: sharing windows files through SMB doesn't work well.. If I close my macbook, the connections are down and they stay down after i get my macbook out of sleepmode. Remote desktop connecting doesn't always work without flaws.. Sometimes I have to force quit RDP and retry.

My question is: what OS should I install on the server? What other suggestions do you have? Since I will be buying a HD beamer (because I want to connect my PS3 to it) I don't have much budget left...

Thx in advance!
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2008
An AppleTV should be able to do everything you want to do without hassle. As long as you are in the iTunes ecosystem. All of your movies and music will show up on the AppleTV device as long as the files are loaded in your computer's iTunes. Playing Movies and Audio files on your MBP is the same with iTunes Home Sharing, and you don't need Remote Desktop to do it.

So for $100 you can pretty much everything you want.

The only problem is your PS3. It doesn't support iTunes, but it does support Windows Media Sharing, so just enable that on your Windows PC.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 03:00 PM   #3
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1. Cheapest Mac Mini.

2. HDMI cable or Optical Cable and hopefully you have an amplifier that can handle one of these two connections.

3. Plex or XMBC or Boxee.

4. Flat Screen TV that has multiple HDMI ports.

5. Bluetooth keyboard & mouse and maybe a Logitech Remote.

Then consult the web site File Sharing: Snow Leopard And Windows 7. Lastly really consider using either wireless n or a Gigabit Switch with CAT 6 Ethernet cable.
Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad(Rev B.), 16 G RAM, OS X 10.9, 23'' LCD
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, 2G RAM, OS X 10.7.5
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Old Jun 18, 2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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If you are in the iTunes ecosphere, then you can use your PC. An AppleTV will display content nicely.

I have a low-power, homebuilt Hackintosh for iTunes serving and Time Machine backups. Works great. Any computer would serve this purpose with either MacOS or Windows and iTunes.

In terms of networks, I have gig-e, but you can use cat5e wiring. I can still get 500 Megabits+ which is pretty good. If you have an AppleTV, it only has 100 Megabit Ethernet, so bear that in mind.
Proud owner of every Apple product line since 1978.
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