27" iMac and its Use in my Home Theater, Help Needed!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by swarleystinson, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. swarleystinson macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    For those of you, like me, looking to utilize your iMac as a media server, what have you had the most luck with?

    I presently have:
    27" i7 iMac
    Harmon Kardon Soundstix II
    Airport Extreme
    Drobo FS w/ all of my photos, music, and blu-ray backups in mkv format. I have over 3 TB of data (larger than what a Mac Mini could hold)
    Yamaha rx-v663 AV Receiver
    Polk Monitor 5.1 Speakers
    46" Samsung LCD 1080p HDTV

    I would like to be able to stream my audio and video content to my AV receiver. What would be the best way to do this?
    Right now, the TV is in the next room, so I don't need a wireless solution.

    Should I just do mini-display -> HDMI and run it to my AV receiver?
    The only problem is I won't be able to control the content from the other room with the apple remote.

    Is there any advantage to using Airplay and purchasing a new Denon Receiver? (I'm looking to soon upgrade my home theater components).

    I'm not pleased with the PS3 media server options as I'd have to change formats of my mkv containers. Are there other DLNA options available (the aforementioned Denon receiver is also DLNA compatible)?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
  2. jrko macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    Beside the seaside, beside the sea
    you can get a mini display port to HDMI connector from apple. I dont think it will pass sound through though.

    Not sure how to push the audio to the receiver especially as you want 5.1. You could use the optical out from the mini-jack if the receiver has an optical input?

    You could use either iPhone or iPad remote though i think. Might work from another room :confused:
  3. arturo f. macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    You could control the playback from another room with a RF remote control, like the harmony 900. But the price tag is very steep.

    Alternatively, if you have an iPad/iPhone/iPod touch, you could buy the Plex app and use it as remote control over the WIFI.
  4. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Thank you for your responses! Nice idea with the plex app. Yea, I wasn't sure about the 5.1 either. I had read that apple reconfigured at least the macbook pro to run audio + video through the minidisplay, so I had assumed the same applied to the new iMac.

    I was also thinking of finding a way to allow the AV receiver or TV to read the informations stored on Drobo. I know there are cheaper options than Mac Mini out there (such as western digital live hd tv), but if I could do this and not monopolize my entire computer screen in the process, that would be even better. I've really been eyeing that Denon AVR-4411Cl (much more exensive but would serve to somewhat futureproof my home theater for the next 10 yrs or less).

    Any other thoughts?
  5. lotones macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    As far as 5.1 from your iMac, I think if you stream to an Airport Express, use the optical out from the APEx to your receiver, then use Dolby ProLogic II to decode the stereo optical stream, you will have 5.1. Not discrete 5.1, but a really good alternative.

    Don't forget to set Prologic II to either "music" or "cinema" and the amount of surround effect you want, depending on use.

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