Alternatives to Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by seaneee, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. seaneee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
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    SFC
    #1
    Hey all. I currently have a second gen hacked Apple TV. I was thinking of getting another second gen and hacking that as well for a second TV.

    Got to thinking. I know there are alternatives out there, and curious if anyone here has had experience with them. This may be blasphemy for some, but I'd like to know my options.

    My biggest requirements are they are able to play a variety of codec including MKV and to be able to access the box over a network- preferably a local mount and not FTP or a Web interface. Lastly, I would love to be able to have it access movies files stored elsewhere on the network, but not a must. Netflix, boxee, etc are not requirement, but nice.

    Any ideas.

    Thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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  3. seaneee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Do you find it to be a PIA to have to use a keyboard and mouse though? I thought about that, but the idea of keeping both handy seemed a bit cumbersome.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #4
    You could use the Apple Remote: http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/Apple_Remote
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    With Plex, I use the Apple Wireless Keyboard when away from the computer... no mouse needed. You can also use the Apple Remote or iPhone or iPad.
     
  6. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #6
    I find that my WD TV Live box is a nice complement to my Apple TV. It plays just about any video format. I use it a lot to play raw Blu-Ray rips (mkv format) and m2ts files which are generated by my Hauppauge HD recorder.
     
  7. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    I used Plex on my 2 Apple TV, but I got a Roku box on the living room just for 1080p support, still using PLex to stream all my content. ATV3 should be around the corner, so I would wait until at least first week of March to decide.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #8
    Has Plex added the ability to use iTunes file type embedded artwork & description yet. In other words, if someone uses something like Meta X to get their library tagged so that artwork and the description of the content show properly via :apple:TV, can Plex make use of that same stuff? Or is it still pulling artwork and descriptions from the web?
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    I believe Plex pulls all metadata from the web. I use iTunes for music and use Plex for movies and TV shows. Therefore, I don't try adding metadata for videos, since Plex does it for me.
     
  10. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #10
    I have seen a note in the Plex forums that said they were working on using embedded metadata but I've seen nothing on it that got done, still being worked on or was just a rumor.

    If they'd get that feature, I'd probably go Mac Mini + Plex (assuming the :apple:TV3 will still be gimped in some way rather than finally going toe-to-toe with Blu Ray in video & audio capabilities).
     
  11. osohardy macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #11
    Yes plex will read tags in mp4/m4v/mov files..you have to set "local media assets" as the top choice in media server for each section that you create..if no tags are there then it will try to match via web.
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #12
    Can you confirm that for certain- as in first hand (not just read it somewhere)?

    And can you confirm that it will read metadata such as that created by MetaX to work with :apple:TV?

    Thanks for confirming/clarifying
     
  13. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #13
    Except for the ATV2, the WD TV Live Plus seem to be the best option when looking at that kind of product. My home is already very Apple-y and I don't need 1080p output or the ability to plug in USB-devices into the box, so I chose the ATV2. Otherwise I guess I would have gone for the WD option.

    Having a Mac Mini is a completely different story, and is overkill for most people. If you're just going to use it to stream media content, it's not worth it in my opinion.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #14
    I've seen that, as well. I'm using Plex and happy with it. If they ever come out with that tool, it will be an added benefit to embed the metadata that Plex has already downloaded.
     
  15. osohardy macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #15
    yes from personal experience. I've used subler and iflicks but should be same result. it's easy to test...

    there is also a third party tool to embed metadata that plex gathers to your own files but haven't tried it. You can find it on the forums.
     
  16. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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  17. HobeSoundDarryl, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Feb 8, 2004
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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #17
    oshardy thanks for the confirmation. I'll take a much closer look at Plex (+ Mac Mini) now. I've always wanted the horses for the fullest of full HD (1080p 60fps max MBps). I doubt that will come with the rumored new :apple:TV (I expect 1080p but probably not 60fps and probably not max MBps).

    However, I've got so much encoded for :apple:TV, I really didn't want to switch to something that abandons the hand-picked artwork and embedded data. So if Plex can now do that with movies & TV shows, it is probably the way I'll go. I'll probably wait out March to see if the rumored :apple:TV can finally go toe-to-toe with the "bag of hurt". But, if not, at least now there appears to be a real (albeit hardware overkill) option.
     

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