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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:33 AM   #26
thoosero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeValonicAcid View Post
Hi,
my setup is as follows:
- 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2 GB DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-8500)/160 GB HD/SuperDrive/GeForce 9400M/AirPort & Bluetooth Built-in
(The Minimum system requirements for Plex are:
For HD Content (720p and 1080p) or SD content with upscaling:
A Macintosh Computer with an Intel Core Duo processor 1.6 Ghz or better
At least 1GB of RAM, Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 => go for better is my recommendation )

- 1.5TB 2.5" directly attached to the mini (no separate power supply required for this storage)
- NAS on network (always on)
- iTunes on HD Mac Mini (limited iTunes library), homesharing with other Mac's iTunes Library (Main Library) on the same network. Works fine, but I would like to transfer all the files to the Mac Mini since other macs can be in sleep mode )
Looks like I am heading down a very similar path to you. Are you using a Synology NAS? If so, which model? Also, I would be interested to hear which parts of your network are wired ethernet and which parts are wireless. I am planning to keep the mac mini and NAS in the cupboard, streaming wirelessly to my various iDevices (aTVs, iPads, iPhones etc) however not quite sure if a wireless connection to all these devices will work smoothly. Don't want to incur the wrath of my wife and little girl if things start to buffer too much! Finally, have you had success accessing your media from outside your home network using myplex?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:42 PM   #27
MeValonicAcid
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- Old-style Maxtor NAS (+7y), just for data => next NAS will probably by Synology
- All wired (UTP CAT5E, 100-1000Mbit)
- iPad: Used wireless network sharing of Macs => switched off again and using (previous model of) airport express
- Cartoons for the kids are recorded/stored on the mini, just for 'safety' reasons...kids..., no buffer issues seen so far. Using it for 2 years now. (Before it was XBMC on old XBOX)

Only disadvantages seen so far:
- Sometimes mini goes to sleep (vs Plex sleep settings) and is not accessible via iPad.: Probably my mistake in tweaking the setups...
- messages from OS or NAS (in case update, not connected, ...) pop up over Plex. Apple BT keyboard/trackpad resolves this issue.
Have to figger out on how to tackle this (mostly log-in issues on NAS: mini is automatically using querty instead of azerty and is not able to save the login settings properly???? Retype login name is asked once /2wks)
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 03:20 PM   #28
cxc273
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From a pure computing standpoint, a Mac Mini is a bit overkill as an iTunes server.

I built my first iTunes Mac Mini iTunes server with a Mini I purchased at my campus salvage/surplus store for $100. It's the first Intel-based Mini and I coupled it with a 2TB Iomega Minimax external drive (purchased refurbished for about $100) that matches the look of the old Mini to house the library files.

I originally had it running wirelessly, but then hooked it up to my Apple Time Capsule to speed up streaming of HD TV shows and movies.

To do updates, I used to have to hook it up to my HDTV with a DVI-HDMI cable, but eventually wised up and ran the whole thing virtually using Chicken of the VNC.

Because I have two residences at the moment (commuter marriage), I built a second iTunes server that essentially mirrors the first, this time using a 2011 Mac Mini purchased as a refurb from the Apple Store for $519 (campus store didn't have any more old Minis), coupled with a Newer Technology MiniStack hard drive enclosure (that mirrors the look of the latest Minis) with a 3TB hard drive.

The cost of the second system was significantly more expensive, probably about $700 all told, but it runs beautifully.

When we combine households next year, I'll sell off the parts of the old system to help offset the costs of the new system. The new system should look really nice in the entertainment center coupled with a Time Machine.

Both systems just run iTunes straight up -- no other software like Plex. They just serve TV shows and movies throughout the house to Apple TVs or iPhones and iPads.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:59 PM   #29
minifridge1138
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If you get a Mac Mini that can still run 10.6, then you can use Front Row on the Mini and not bother with the Apple TV.

You could also attach hard drives to it and use it as a server for Time Machine (if you have other macs).
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:27 PM   #30
From A Buick 8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
If you get a Mac Mini that can still run 10.6, then you can use Front Row on the Mini and not bother with the Apple TV.

You could also attach hard drives to it and use it as a server for Time Machine (if you have other macs).
What advantage does front row have over the ATV or plex
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:46 PM   #31
From A Buick 8
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I am really liking the idea of getting a Mac Mini and building a setup like these (below). I have an iMac now that I run iTunes on and also use it to do all of my ripping and encoding. Of course the iMac is also used by everyone else as well, so if I dump all of my media work to a Mac Mini it would be mine to use as I want. I would want to run iTunes on the mini as well as plex, I now have all of my movies, tv shows and music on a drobo, so I would run that off the mini as well. So I could hook the big tv directly to the mini (HDMI out) and run plex on there and let the other TV's in the house use the ATV's.

Couple of questions how easy is plex ran in that manner to operate, it has to be wife and kids friendly. And Could I access the mini remotely from an old power Mac (PPC), and if I were accessing it remotely would that screw with plex running on the big TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsTide View Post
Is it overkill to get a mac mini solely for the purpose of running iTunes for your Atv? Right now I'm running it off my MacBook Air but it would be nice to have iTunes available all the time for my Atv without having to pull up iTunes on the Air.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferromet View Post
That's exactly what I did... a mini runs my itunes server
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekko20six View Post
I also do exactly that! I like to be have everything just there.

Only I got my Mac mini when they still had an optical drive. So I ditched the dvd player at the same time.

So its handy if the odd time I have a DVD I want to watch, I pop it in and watch from the Mac mini on the TV.

Everything else I access through the AppleTV and use home sharing for it to see all the content in iTunes on the Mac mini.

If it wasn't for the optical drive, I would stuff the mini and attached HDDs in a cupboard and watch it all through the Apple TV.

So not overkill. My friends comment on how easy it all is to use as well.

Definitely the way to go. Mebbe even consider a refurb with an optical drive. Depends on how many DVDs you might watch?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmomega View Post
I have a Mac Mini running ML Server to keep iTunes up all of the time.
It serves tv shows and movies up to 5 aTV's w/o a problem.

I also use it as a small home website, central file server and time machine for every mac in the house.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeValonicAcid View Post
Hi,
my setup is as follows:
- 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2 GB DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-8500)/160 GB HD/SuperDrive/GeForce 9400M/AirPort & Bluetooth Built-in
(The Minimum system requirements for Plex are:
For HD Content (720p and 1080p) or SD content with upscaling:
A Macintosh Computer with an Intel Core Duo processor 1.6 Ghz or better
At least 1GB of RAM, Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 => go for better is my recommendation )

- 1.5TB 2.5" directly attached to the mini (no separate power supply required for this storage)
- NAS on network (always on)
- iTunes on HD Mac Mini (limited iTunes library), homesharing with other Mac's iTunes Library (Main Library) on the same network. Works fine, but I would like to transfer all the files to the Mac Mini since other macs can be in sleep mode )
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 09:04 PM   #32
minifridge1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by From A Buick 8 View Post
What advantage does front row have over the ATV or plex
One advantage is that instead of sticking the mini in a closet and having the ATV hooked to a TV, you hook the mini directly to the TV and save $100 on the ATV.

Also, for whatever room has the mini you also can browse the web, or watch content that isn't available on Apple TV (HBO go, amazon, google, etc) without having to hack the ATV to get it.

You'd also never have the annoyance of turning on the AppleTV and seeing that iTunes isn't running (at least for 1 room).

I only suggested front row because it was basically AppleTV as an OS X application. You could use whatever you wanted.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:53 AM   #33
From A Buick 8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
One advantage is that instead of sticking the mini in a closet and having the ATV hooked to a TV, you hook the mini directly to the TV and save $100 on the ATV.
This is the direction i am thinking about going, use a Mini on our main TV and just run Plex to allow "easy" access to the content on the DROBO. Also keep iTunes running on the Mini for the ATV in the other rooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
Also, for whatever room has the mini you also can browse the web, or watch content that isn't available on Apple TV (HBO go, amazon, google, etc) without having to hack the ATV to get it.
Yes this is the next step for us, we have been without cable for about 2 years now and to have more content will be wellcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
I only suggested front row because it was basically AppleTV as an OS X application. You could use whatever you wanted.
Never really used front row much, i do not think it had Netflix, which is something we use alot.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:30 AM   #34
cxc273
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Having a Mini run headless and streaming content to an Apple TV make things pretty easy for the non-techies in the house, but the setup does have some drawbacks:
  • - As some have already mentioned, Apple TV currently has no access to services like HBO Go, Vudu, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video
  • - Every once in a while, the Apple TVs in the house lose their connection, forcing a quick restart of either iTunes or the Mini itself

I've also used the AirPlay function on my 2012 Macbook Pro to push things through the ATV, like streamed sports games, so there's really no need for me personally to hook the Mini up to the TV.

However, hooking the Mini to a TV directly is certainly another solution that would save $100 on an ATV. If all you care about are movies, TV shows, and music, there isn't much new an ATV brings to the table that a Mini doesn't already do. I've done it in the past and it's really fun to suddenly have a 55" monitor. Doing so also gives you access to iTunes Extras content, assuming you've purchased a movie from Apple that comes with some.

For me, my next step is building some kind of RAID to back up the digital library in case of some mishap with either my hard drive, or worse yet, my home. I'm already backing up through a cloud service and have an off-site backup in the form of a separate library at our other house, but once we combine homes, I think it'll be time for a RAID where I can take a drive out and stash it at work for safekeeping.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 02:44 PM   #35
From A Buick 8
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I am on the fence right now about the best way to get the movies in digital form, if I do go the Mini route I can get a BD drive to rip the movies and then playback through something like Plex would also give full access to any of the extras I might want (I think). Then again I could just say screw all of the ripping and encoding and purchase from iTunes. I find that when DVD first came out I spent a lot of time looking at the extras, but now I cannot remember the last time I watched any of the extras.

So I would need to rip from BD save that for full quality playback through Plex (on the Mini), then encode down a copy for iTunes and the ATV's in the other rooms (some of the BD might have a digital download that would negate the need for the encode).

However I also find that DVD quality (have over 600 movies that I ripped from DVD’s) is good enough for my old eyes, so the HD quality of an iTunes download is more than good enough. Also with the sound I am happy with Dolby 5.1, I will never spend enough on an Audio system that would take advantage of anything better (read DTS). Not to mention most other members of the household ask me to “turn it down”

Really I am just looking for more content and the Mini, running Plex would get me there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cxc273 View Post
Having a Mini run headless and streaming content to an Apple TV make things pretty easy for the non-techies in the house, but the setup does have some drawbacks:
  • - As some have already mentioned, Apple TV currently has no access to services like HBO Go, Vudu, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video
  • - Every once in a while, the Apple TVs in the house lose their connection, forcing a quick restart of either iTunes or the Mini itself

I've also used the AirPlay function on my 2012 Macbook Pro to push things through the ATV, like streamed sports games, so there's really no need for me personally to hook the Mini up to the TV.

However, hooking the Mini to a TV directly is certainly another solution that would save $100 on an ATV. If all you care about are movies, TV shows, and music, there isn't much new an ATV brings to the table that a Mini doesn't already do. I've done it in the past and it's really fun to suddenly have a 55" monitor. Doing so also gives you access to iTunes Extras content, assuming you've purchased a movie from Apple that comes with some.

For me, my next step is building some kind of RAID to back up the digital library in case of some mishap with either my hard drive, or worse yet, my home. I'm already backing up through a cloud service and have an off-site backup in the form of a separate library at our other house, but once we combine homes, I think it'll be time for a RAID where I can take a drive out and stash it at work for safekeeping.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:03 PM   #36
TheSpeaker
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2Ghz Quad Core server model running my theater from a 32TB RAID here. No problems. Runs 1080P 30GB streams without a problem.
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