Apple TV style interface for Air

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by inspiredDavid, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. inspiredDavid macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    I'm fairly new to Mac (about three months) but a massive fan already, and when at my girlfriend's we like to sit on the sofa and watch movies on the Air though her HDTV via an HDMI cable and adapter, and screen mirroring. I use mobile mouse at the moment to control the Mac's mouse and run playback.

    As my Mac is running Lion, I don't have front row and as far as I know there's no IR receiver on the Air so I'm not thinking an Apple remote, but what is the best way to control my playback from the sofa? I would like something like the AppleTV interface (not everything is in iTunes as yet due to formats, but I want everything eventually in there, handbrake is going to be on overdrive with all the TV shows that I'll have to cue up!).

    Is there something built in to Lion I've not found for this beyond the iTunes Remote app for iPhone?

    Thanks all :)
  2. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Install XBMC and use Constellation on your iPhone to control it. Then you won't have to worry about formats either.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    look at the front of the air, to the right of the power light, is there a black window? that's the IR reciver, they just stopped bundleing the remote with the laptops. you can buy one separately.
    check out page 26 in this manual

    or you can use remotebuddy and a wii-mote (connects via bluetooth). you can set up keyboard commands for any program, and most every program i've thrown at it is already has a profile.
    it also includes an iOS remote accessible via a web page.

    as far as an interfaces check out plex small learning curve, but once you've got the hang of it, it's pretty smooth.
    it's similar to (and originally based off of) XBMC.
    There is software for iOS and android that will let you watch your entire library on your mobile device (it converts on the fly and streams to your phone) the app also functions as a remote.
    main program is free, the remote app is $5
  4. inspiredDavid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    On the current Air there's no IR sensor or power light, I think that was just on the first generation with the flip down port covers as far as I know...
  5. Obioban macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    You could manually install frontrow, but it wouldn't help the remote situation...

    Bluetooth keyboard/mouse?
  6. inspiredDavid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    How would I go about manually installing Front Row? I don't currently have an older mac with Leopard or snow leopard, I just have my current Air (the latest one that came with Lion from the factory) and an ancient PowerMac G3 on Panther.

    Remote wise, "Rowmote" from the app store uses the iPhone with an old school interface that replicates the Apple IR remote but over WIFI, so that side of it is sorted.

    I've had a play around with XBMC, its ok, but seems to only import bits of the media folders, so out of 5 seasons of Big Bang Theory, its decided I'd only want to watch the middle of season 2 and nothing else. I guess this is the price you pay for free, open source stuff, it takes much more fiddling to get things set up. You pay a premium for Apple stuff, but it does just work :)
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    This is because the files aren't named properly, take a look at

    Anyhow, you can just go in to file mode and watch them there (it shows the file structure instead of a faked one based on the information it found) in case you don't want to rename them and use the library mode. Something you can't do with the ATV2 native interface in case you want to watch an episode that isn't in an iTunes friendly format or is lacking the correct meta data...

    It's two different ways of doing it, one isn't more difficult than the other, but XBMC gives you the option of not having to do anything about it (should there be a problem) and still have it work :)

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