Can I use the iMac 27 (2012) as a media center?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by CeratixD, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. CeratixD macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Hi! I recently buy an iMac and I want to know if I can use my 55 HDTV as an extension of my desktop? My idea is to expand my desktop in the HDTV and use only for play movies without any interference in the desktop of my iMac and without change the native resolution.
  2. mushroomtip macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2012
    maybe this will help ...
  3. CeratixD thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Sorry but I don't want to streaming media because I don't have a good internet bandwith. My idea is to connect the iMac by a HDMI cable and expand the desktop of the iMac. For example, lets suposs that I already connect the iMac to the HDTV by a HDMI cable, I want to doing some surf web in the iMac meanwhile in the HDTV iTunes is open and playing some movie without any interference in what I'm doing in the computer. Is it possible? Because I don't want to buy a Mac mini only for playing movies and few surf web. Thanks!
  4. Shane1905 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2012
    Your Internet connection has nothing to do with using your imac as a media centre within your house. You would be creating a local area network and should be fine streaming and surfing at the same time. I use my imac as my hub, I have two 2tb external hard drives tucked underneath my desk, one for movies, the other for tv shows. I then use a programme called Plex ( my imac, this creates a server for devices to connect to and also adds metadata to all the files (cover art and info about whatever the movie or show is. Then I can stream easily to my iPhone, iPad and jailbroken Apple TV, if you don't want to jailbreak then a roku is a very good alternative for your tv
    I've never had any issues with this set up and ditched all my disks a few years ago now. Just pick up the remote and everything I own is right at my fingertips within seconds :) hope this helps. PM me if you need any more info
  5. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2008
    OP, this is exactly what I am doing with my late 2009 iMac connected to my 60" via HDMI. I am running XBMC which allows me to run the second display at 1080p and the primary display is unaffected. I can continue to work on the iMac while the kids are watching a movie on the tv--perfection!
  6. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    My vote goes to Plex, which as mentioned earlier creates the server, and then I am using my iPad in bed for streaming from that server (when I lived in germany I was able to stream daily show and Southpark through the plex server to my iPad, both those shows are flash based and can normally not run on the iPad, but the server took cre of that, very nice, unfortunately it doesn't work where I live now)
  7. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
  8. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    I can't speak for the current iMac, but I've done very much similar with all my macs from my Power mac g5, macbook pro, and Dell Hackentosh.
  9. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    thats gonna be an expensive media server i just use a wdtv live
  10. flavr macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2011
    Why all the complicated answers?!

    YES you can, just hook your TV up to the iMac using Thunderbolt and it becomes an extension of your desktop within MacOSX. SIMPLE Ive been doing it for years now with my last two can even arrange where the screens are in relation to each other or mirror the iMac screen exactly onto the TV...

    Its not that hard folks...
  11. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2008
    flavr, I'm not sure why you got the impression that it is complicated, as I agree, connecting the iMac to a TV is simple. One of the many things I love about Macs.

    Choosing a media player is a little more complicated. I tried Plex and it didn't work for me. XBMC is exactly what I was looking for. My iMac running XBMC is the HTPC for my living room, and in my bedroom, I have a Raspberry Pi running XBMC as well so a second benefit for me is the consistency in my house.

    OP should try the different options that exist and see what works best for him/her.

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