what's the simplest way to watch media onto your tv ??

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gdeusthewhizkid, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    besides netflix what's the simplest way to watch movies on your hdtv. None of my solutions are easy. Mac mini doesn't look that great on my tv. Apple tv with netflix looks the best but if i dont convert to itunes it wont play. When it does play sometimes it drops off. Ps3 with avi files looks good but it's not always that great. Because i have to load up files into the ps3 system.

    Is the simplest solution just getting a old apple tv and hacking it to play avi files. I like the apple solution the best but the conversion with the computer part sometimes gets on my nerves..
  2. macrumors demi-god


    What format is all your media in? Do you have all your stuff in iTunes or do you have files strewn about in various formats plus optical discs (DVD and BD), etc?

    I have basically everything I own imported into iTunes (music ripped from CD and movies from DVD via Handbrake). I have several AppleTVs and it makes life quite convenient. My high-def movies are on Blu-Ray, but I haven't yet begun to rip my Blu-Rays yet.

    If you've got a hodge-podge of formats (and you don't want to standardize them), an HTPC would probably be your best bet. I'm surprised your Mac doesn't look good on your TV, but there are several turnkey Windows-based solutions that may do what you're interested in.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    my apple tv is the best looking format.. ripping movies into itunes just drives me nuts .. just thought there was a different way....
  4. macrumors regular

  5. macrumors 68020

    Of course there is a different way. Just buy your movies from iTunes. It's much easier, nothing to fuss around with, always works, excellent quality, very convenient, works on iOS devices, and the best selection of all the streaming solutions.
  6. macrumors 68040

    Can you elaborate on this? I have the same Mini as your serving my media throughout the house and working as a HTPC and the picture looks great on my TV (50" plasma). I only ask because the Mini working as an HTPC easily gives you the most flexibility with your media.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    your right it does. I have a 52 inch samsung and it doesn't stretch the whole screen. I have it connected with a hdmi to dvi connector. Im not sure what the settings should be to make it fit the whole screen. So i took it off the 52 and put a regular monitor on it and have it just serving media to my apple tv and sometimes ps3.
  8. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    + 1. by far the easiest method.
    My wife has zero tollerence for any type of complicated TV setup. She does not even want to have to deal with switching inputs and dealing with the DVD player. The cable box we had was just way over the top for her.

    She has found the ATV Gen 2 to be a godsend, she loves it. I do all of the behind the scenes work (getting our DVD's into iTunes), but you can skip that step by just buying all of your stuff through itunes to begain with.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Are you saying that you are plugging the Mini into the DVI input of your telly? If so, you definitely want to be plugging it an HDMI input instead. Your Mini will recognise this and output the correct resolution (720p/1080p) which will look great on your telly.

    Sounds like a Harmony remote would be perfect. They are great (once configured properly - not exactly a fun exercise).
  10. macrumors 6502a

    by the way i saw your sig.. do you own the new apple tv and or do you just prefer the original apple tvs..
  11. macrumors 68040

    My plasma is also a Samsung and the problem you are having is quite common. To correct it, you need check the Overscan box in Display Preferences on your Mini and for my Samsung model at least (2 yrs old), have the picture size set to Just Scan.

    I think he just had the sequence backwards in his description as the older Mini's don't have HDMI out. I have mine connected from mini DVI to HDMI and without the above said settings, it will not automatically fill the screen.

    +1 for this suggestion. I have a Harmony One and it goes a long way towards helping the better half use the Mini without screaming for me across the house to 'come put on a movie for the kids'. Definitely takes a little effort to set up correctly but in regards to PLEX, there is a great tutorial in the wiki on doing this and it works great.

    Actually, I do now own both as we are putting up a TV outside and finally had an excuse to pick up a new unit. I can't say I have a preference either way--both have their pros/cons in our household. The form factor is great (tiny and cool), the availability of Netflix is also handy and the possibilities available with Jailbreaking (more PLEX) or even (gasp!!) an future official App Store are nice but streaming only will be a problem someday (when my other first gen units fail) as it's nice to be able to take it with us on vacation fully loaded with movies and the location of my kid's playroom in the house makes streaming not reliable. I also like how my library of media is integrated into the Movies and TV categories in the first gen OS rather than a subset of Computers in the gen 2 unit. So, long story short...jury's still out on my preference.
  12. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    We have one bought it back in October and she hates it just too many buttons. One of the great things about the ATV is the simple remote.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Personally I would say that is the worst thing about it, but each to his/her own! :)
  14. macrumors demi-god


    The simple remote does have a significant spouse-approval factor, though. My wife hates multi-button remotes.

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