Apple TV 2 or Boxee + Sony Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ag227, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. ag227 macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007

    I’m trying to sort out a full media centre to handle all my media needs. I’m stuck with options and choices.

    Things I want media centre to play:
    • Blu-Ray Rips (10)
    • DVD Rips (50)
    • iTunes bought movies (7)
    • iTunes bought TV Shows (4 Series, ~100 Episodes)
    • Online movie rentals.

    Apple TV 2 Option
    + Plays previously bought iTunes content.
    - Computer needs to be on to serve iTunes content.
    - iTunes awkward to add more external / network drives to store media as has to be added to iTunes library rather than just a folder on the NAS.
    + Easy movie rentals.
    - 720P.
    - Lack of UK content.
    + £90
    - Low power computer to serve iTunes 24-7 (£300 - £400)
    - External storage (£100)

    Total £490 - £590

    Boxee + Sony S370 Blu-Ray Player (Already own S370)

    + No computer needed, Can read from NAS etc.
    - Can’t play iTunes content
    + Easy to use many drives
    + Easy movie rentals (S370)
    + 1080P
    + Plenty of UK content.
    - £170
    + £200 for NAS.

    Total £370

    So as can be seen it looks obvious that the Boxee option is the better choice, but I would lose the choice to play all iTunes bought content. However something is drawing me to the Apple TV as the simpler and more elegant choice.

    What would be ideal is to rip blu-rays and dvds on my desktop, convert to mp4 and then store on a shared network drive or NAS.

    Then the boxee can automatically read this straight away and be able to play it, however for the Apple TV the movie has to be added to the iTunes library on a different low power pc (eg mac mini) serving it. Can this be done automatically once a file is saved to a network drive?

    Am I overcomplicating things? Is there an easier way of doing all of this?

    Also as I am the UK, there is no new option to stream previously bought iTunes TV shows and renting / buying HD movies is far too expensive.

    EG for Limitless
    Amazon Blu-Ray £10
    iTunes HD £13.99
    iTunes HD Rent £4.49

    So financially and for quality, blu-ray ripping is the way to go, isn’t it?

    Thanks for reading this all if you have.
  2. ipmasta macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011
    A suggestion.....

    Im not sure what your budget is as I am from the US. However I just upgraded to a new Mac Mini server which with applecare and everything ran me about $1300 USD. Of course you could be ok with a non server model as well. As far as blu-ray I plan on buying an external blu-ray drive to use to burn media. I use a drobo 4 bay external hard drive ( which allows for a ton of media storage. The mac mini has 2 video outputs so you can have dual monitors or do what I did before and have one hooked up to your tv and if you have an office opposite your living room with your flatscreen tv, you can mirror the output on both screens use it for tv entertainment and also as a desktop! I suggest you look into Plex Media Server ( Its pretty awesome. I use my mac mini as a server and have 2 flat screen tvs each with an apple tv 2 jailbroken with plex media server. I have over 1500 movies and about a dozen full tv series. Also Apple is about to release their own version of netflix - which may not work with boxee right away. If you want to build your own NAS on the cheap, I suggest getting a cheap computer and installing FREENAS. (
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I have both the apple tv and boxee box and I highly recommend the boxee box over the apple tv. It will play any file format I throw at it so burning blu rays would be an option. What it lacks with iTunes is made up by flash content and 3rd party apps. So far any movie or tv show I could want to find I've been able to stream for free through boxee however I also recommend adding Netflix streaming for boxee and or apple tv. Also can't you use handbrake on iTunes videos to convert them to play on non apple devices never bought a video from iTunes?

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