Home media server options, please help!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by tekayu, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2013
    Long time reader, first time poster.


    - Macbook Pro 2.9ghz i7 8gb RAM
    - Panasonic 50" Plasma 3D TV (UT50 series) with Smart Viera
    - PS 3

    WILL be buying

    - DD-WRT router

    Could also perhaps buy

    - Apple TV (generation 3 so i can stream HD media)

    Quick Prelude

    I'm a Brit living in Thailand. Cable TV packages here are between GBP 30 - 50 per month and most of the channels are terrible. So instead, I'm looking at a few home media server options. I'll be buying a new router to allow a wireless VPN network throughout the house. I may also buy the apple TV if you guys think it's necessary.

    My question is - what do you guys suggest?

    My needs are:

    - To download (legally) straight to my HDD which I want to connect to the DD-WRT enabled router (once I set it to download, can I switch off my mac and let the download continue?)

    - To watch said downloaded material straight on the TV without having to go through my macbook

    - Whilst under VPN, I want to be able to watch BBC iPlayer, 4 OD, British channels, stuff on youtube that's only available in the UK

    - To watch LARGE files (3D full HD content), which I understand will have to be played from my mac and wirelessly transferred to the TV via apple TV

    The options I have come up with are:

    1 without PS3: ISP Modem (LAN) --> DD-WRT router (gigabit cable) --> TV <-- (HDMI) Apple TV

    - connect HDD to DD-WRT router.

    2 with PS3: ISP MODEM (LAN) --> DD-WRT router (gigabit cable) --> PS 3 (HDMI) --> TV <-- (HDMI) Apple TV

    - connect HDD to PS3.

    3 no ps3, but use a home theatre system which allows wifi & LAN media server: ISP Modem (LAN) --> DD-WRT router (gigabit cable) --> Home Theatre (HDMI) --> TV <-- (HDMI) apple TV

    - connect HDD to Home Theatre system

    What I want to know:

    a) What will be the advantages and disadvantages of each option
    b) can you suggest a better option
    c) If I want to download straight to the HDD (connected to router) and be able to switch my macbook off once it's downloading, what sort of functions do I need on the router (NAS? dual Bandwidth? i don't really know what these two capabilities are)
    d) Is it overkill to use an apple TV when my TV alone is already a smart TV and may even have more apps than the Apple TV?
    e) What the hell does the APPLE TV do anyway, I've spent a week or so reading up on it but I still can't really work out all of its functions or ascertain if i'll need it
    f) with the Apple TV connected, can I flawlessly and without bottlenecking stream 1080 3D content to my TV (i understand a dual bandwidth router will most likely be the best option for this)


    a.a) Can you recommend a router that is:
    - DD-WRT enabled
    - allows me to download stuff on to it when the macbook is turned off
    - dual bandwidth
    - gigabit ports
    - good range

    a.b) Best home media server? what do i need?
    - DLNA?
    - Plex vs Serviio?

    a.c) Do I really need an apple tv?

    I thank you all in advance for taking time to read this behemoth and somewhat, unstructured mess of a first post. also, many apologies if this thread shows any misunderstanding / incorrect explanation of any technology (like DLNA, NAS).

    Before anyone says, "but dude, you live in Bangkok, why don't you enjoy the sites?" - well I grew up here and have seen it all already! I've an injured knee and will be out from training (MT, MMA, lifting weightS) for a considerable amount of time and I need some entertainment.

    Again, I thank you all in advance. Cheers.


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