Advice on what I need to buy and/or download

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Abfarris, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Abfarris macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2012
    I am a novice at technology and would like to be able to easily watch movies and tv on my tv from my apple devices, as well as multiple formats on my apple devices.

    I have a friend who lends me movies/shows on a flash drive/external HD and I would like to be able to watch them on the tv wirelessly as well as on my iPad mini (when it gets here). I also use Hulu and Netflix. (Currently I only know how to watch on my MacBook Pro and use a cord to mirror image onto tv)

    What is the most simple way to watch multiple formats on tv wirelessly and on iPad?

    Do I need to buy Apple TV? Smart device? Roku? Other?

    Will I need to convert the video files? How do I do this? Easiest method?

    Please help :).
  2. jpix55 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Southern California
    Check out Plex Media Server. It allows you to use your computer as a media server and broadcast your media throughout the same network. You can then download the Plex App for iPad or iPhone and watch movies that way.

    If you want to stream to your TV using an ATV, you'll need a jailbroken ATV2 to run Plex (ATV3 cannot be jailbroken at this time). OR, you can use the Plex app to watch a movie, then Airplay the movie to your ATV and watch it that way. A Roku WILL allow Plex to be installed, so that's another option if you do not mind leaving the Apple ecosystem.

    In order to play movie files on an iDevice, they need to be .m4v. So, if the movies that your friend gives you are already in that format, then you could just copy them into your iTunes library, turn on HomeSharing, and watch them through your AppleTV. If they are not in .m4v, then you can convert them using Handbrake.

    Basically, in order to wirelessly stream media, you need an AppleTV, Roku or something connected to your TV and some sort of media server running on a computer.
  3. Abfarris thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2012
  4. Bozley0621 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    If the OP has a newer MacBook Pro, couldn't the movies be mirrored through Airplay to the ATV without messing with jail breaking?
  5. mic j macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2012
    Yes. But Airplay of video's can be hit or miss for good playback quality. It's really meant to be used to display your desktop, which is not very demanding. Once you start airplaying desktop videos you are really pushing the limits. Remember, Airplay converts (using hardware) output to h.264 before sending it to the aTV.
  6. Dc2006ster macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    If your tv has wifi capability, is DLNA compliant and your home wifi is fast enough you can use Eyeconnect or PS3mediaserver to stream files directly to your TV . The file types that can be played without conversion depends on your TV. I do this with my Sony EX645 which plays all the common file types including mkv. I no longer have to convert files with a handbrake. I have a Mac Pro 1.1 and an apple airport extreme base station router.

    The interface is butt ugly but it works.
  7. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    The Apple TV excels at media gotten through iTunes or over Airplay. Another option not mentioned to to copy the files over to your computer. Convert them using handbrake to an Apple friendly format, add the new file to itunes on your computer, and watch it on your aTV via Home Sharing.

    Personally, I have a WD Live I bought for $50 I use for things like your situation. It will play just about any file format you will come across. Just plug in the flash or hard drive and play it. It may sound strange to have two media boxes but it works for me.
  8. Bozley0621 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    I didn't know this. Thank you. I haven't played with Airplay from my husband's newer MBP much yet.
  9. jpix55, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    jpix55 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Southern California
    Another thing I forgot to mention: you can "option-click" the files from the external HD and drag them to iTunes. Using the option key will not copy the entire file over from the HD, rather it will create a "link" in iTunes to that file. That way, your your computer's internal HD does not get overcrowded with movies, but you can still Homeshare the files to an AppleTV.

    Definitely wrote that in my first post...

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