ATV, Medialink or what?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Slickgonzalez, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Slickgonzalez macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2007
    Hello Everyone!

    I would like to start by saying how much I enjoy this community and all of the insightful posts I always find in these forums.

    I have recently purchased a 50" 1080p television and I am trying to find the best solution for me when it comes to streaming/viewing all of my media to the tv.

    I have spent hours upon hours researching numerous forums and I am still not sure what the best solution is.

    Here's what I'm dealing with:

    1. Numerous video types... I have hundreds of movies I have ripped with Handbrake NOT in the ATV preset. These are standard mp4 files with an average bitrate of 1500 and aac audio at 160kbps. I also have hundreds of mkv files from 'various' sources which also have an average bitrate of 1500-2000 but most of these have ac3 audio.

    2. As for iTunes, I have thousands of mp3s in various bitrates, thousands of AAC files in various bitrates, withe the majority of them in VBR, and I also have thousands of ALAC files.

    3. I'm not really worried about my photos or anything else, but I'm sure that's the least of my problems...

    I have been adding my movies to my itunes library in preparation for my ATV purchase, but now I think it may have all been pointless. My movies are all on external hd's NOT in my itunes library. To avoid an enormous itunes library on another drive, I have been making refernce files which I have been adding to itunes and adding the cover art, tags, etc. This seems to work fine for playback on my computer. This even works with mkv files. I open the mkv's and save as a reference file, and since I have Perian and QT Pro installed, it allows me to play these through itunes as well.

    Would this workflow be compatible with ATV? Most likely not, but does anyone know if it would work with Boxee? I have a Boxee account, and it reads the mkv's from my externals, but this kind of negates the whole reference files in itunes. In fact, it negates my entire itunes library structure entirely. (I'm not a huge fan of Boxee because of this, more on that later)

    As for the music, I've read that the ATV does not support VBR aac, which is almost a dealbreaker in itself. If this is not true, please let me know. My boxee account does not seem to recognize my ALAC files either. Does anyone know if Medialink is the best choice for me? I plan on buying a PS3 anyway...

    I know medialink doesn't support mkv files, but would the QT reference files make it possible?

    I could go on forever, but I know this post is already too long! My main concern is that I don't want to have to re-encode ANYTHING. No transcoding of my videos or audio. If my BEST solution is to run a mini-DVI to HDMI and and optical audio, please let me know. I'm starting to think that is the best way for me, however ugly it may be.
  2. Slickgonzalez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2007
    No input? Now I think I may be leaning toward a WDTV

    Not as fancy, but I think it can handle anything I throw at it, video-wise. I may just have to get an Airtunes for my music...

    Any thoughts?
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    No input because you appeared to answer your own question.

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