Setting up Entertainment Center?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seabass069, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. seabass069 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #1
    Using an older G4 mac, I am wanting to put all of my dvd's onto a hard drive and be able to watch them when I want. Are there any good websites that will show me how to set-up the the mac and do this? I also want to be able to switch and watch cable. I will be using a Sony 34" XBR HDTV as my television.
     
  2. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #2
    Each DVD movie may take about 7 GB, so hopefully your collection is not too big. But, what you can do is use MacTheRipper to rip each DVD, then use VLC to play them (file open-->Video_TS folder of your movie you want). You can use any good video card that has an S-video out to run the video to your TV (unless your TV accepts the DVI signal). For the audio, use either an external firewire or USB audio interface, or use an internal PCI card that has sound out capabilities and run the stereo outs to your TV (if you wanted to do it on the cheap you could just run the signal from your audio out on the back of your Mac to the audio ins of your TV). If you have a surround system, you need an interface or card that can output the 5.1 signal to input into your home theater sound system.

    Once it is all hooked up, you go to Displays preferences and either run two monitors seperate or mirror your display with the TV's picture (easier). To run full screen (to keep all controllers and menu bars off the screen), select the Full Screen option in the menus for VLC.

    To continue to use your TV as normal, just hook up the S-video to a different input as the cable signal. Use your input button on your remote to scroll through the inputs.

    I think it is much easier to simply open a DVD case and pop the DVD in a regular DVD player when I want to watch, but more power to you.
     
  3. seabass069 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for the advice. What I want to do is set-up a server in the basement of my house. I would love to be able to watch movies on any of my tv's. I am not sure if I need a computer hooked up to each television.
     
  4. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #4
    There may be easy ways to do this, but I am not aware of them. You'd have to have some other external gear to run the signals from your server (the G4) to all the TVs in the house, and using coaxial cable is less than ideal for picture quality for DVDs. There is probably some type of device that could take your TV output from your Mac, and split it into many pieces without a loss of much quality (beyond a simple cable splitter, which you COULD do, and it would work, but which would be less than ideal unless each TV had two inputs for coaxial cable--there would be ways around this if you had VCRs, Digital Cable boxes and such hooked up to each TV. If so, you could run the server cable line into the input on the VCR or TV directly, and use the RCA cable ins on the TV to carry your main cable TV signal from the Digital Cable box.)
     
  5. thegreatunknown macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #5
    the airtunes video when/if it comes out will help you do this. there are ways to rip the DVD into a much smaller (resolution reduced) file... and then store it in iTunes, if that interests you. the mac mini is also taking contol of this feature using the wireless video streaming function but you obviously don't want a $600 computer connected to every tv.
     
  6. iminimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #6
    yes if you bought a mac mini and ripped all your dvds into itunes using handbrake then the mac mini will be able to play them through frontrow
     
  7. iHeartTheApple macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    Good question. I've been planning on doing this very same thing (DVDs and VHS+the El Gato EyeTV) with a new intel mini. Of course, I was planning on using an external harddrive setup for just the media (I've got a lot of media :) ). I'm interested to see how others are doing this...
     
  8. thegreatunknown macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #8
    currently using an iMac wired to a tv and stereo receiver, controlled by an old Sony bluetooth PDA using Salling Clicker. In the future when the appropriate finances roll around, I will switch over to a mac mini (using the wireless streaming no less!) with eyeTV. The entertainment center hub, appropriately done, is quite cool... with eyeTV its everything: cable, DVR, movies, music, etc.

    your plasma physics/space propulsion has me interested though...
     

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