Long time reader, first time poster. Equipment: - 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) AND MY THREE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: 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. Tek.