Developing a Multi-Media Setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kalel15, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. kalel15 macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2002
    Cincinnati, OH
    I started researching my potential purchase of an iTouch (32GB) and then I started to think about the possibilities especially since I am a Movie buff. Apple TV quickly came to mind as I was thinking whatever I purchase through iTunes I should be able to also play through Apple TV onto my plasma and through my home theatre. So here is what I am trying to figure out. I have an old 17" iMac running Tiger (last OS it can run) connected to an external 750 GB hard drive via firewire. I am contemplating getting an Apple TV and thinking I should get the 40 GB version as I can leverage my 750 GB hard drive. I have 802.11 g set up within my house. Is it possible to connect everything to either A) run movies through the Apple TV off my iMac/external Hard Drive via wireless or B) if the throughput is too poor (which I would expect it be), just "download" movies from my iMac/External Hard Drive to my Apple TV and watch them after download is complete?

    Does that make sense?

    From what I have read I think the answer is no to my "A" and yes to my "B" scenarios. Is there any benefit other than less swapping in getting the 160 GB Apple TV.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


  2. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    um, yes to A and B. And the answer to your last question is that the 160 GB atv can hold 120 GB more than the 40 GB ATV. :)
  3. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    As dynaflash said,
    A -> Yes
    B -> Yes.

    B is called syncing and it is, basically, the same kind of procedure as it is with an iPod or an iPhone.

    I streamed all of my movies using AEBS G, with no problems, but then again, my iMac was really close to the living room. When I upgraded to N I did not notice a difference with streaming. All of my movies are standard definition (i.e.: not Blu-ray, or HDTV) and so the network throughput is fine for streaming and always has been.

    Be aware that, in order to stream, iTunes must be running on your Mac -- it is a media server.

    I purchased the 160 so I could sync all of my music and photos to the Apple TV and not have to have the Mac always running. If you do not have a music collection that you plan to play through the Apple TV when you Mac is shut down, then by all means, the 40 should be plenty.
  4. nittany macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    Depending on the particulars in your environment, your wireless network might be fine. But that's a big emphasis on the depends part.

    If the wireless connection is fine, then great, do as you planned - Download content to the external drive attached to your Mac and then stream the content to the smaller of the two :apple:TV models.

    If the wireless connection is not so hot, but you still want to use an :apple:TV, then consider:

    1) Wiring the full path between the Mac and the :apple:TV, or if that's not possible

    2) Storing all of the content on the larger of the two :apple:TV models - although I suspect you might run out of space given your interest in movies (each generally in excess of 1GB). The initial load of content (the stuff you already own) can be quickly transferred (synced) to the :apple:TV by performing the operation with the Mac and the :apple:TV in close proximity to one another and a patch cord connecting the two, and then running the :apple:TV purely on a standalone basis. New content would then be added to the :apple:TV either by (A) purchasing it from the :apple:TV directly from the iTunes store (assuming a reasonable internet connection can be established by the wireless link) or (B) re-syncing with the Mac (when new content has been collected) from time to time in an offline batch-like mode by again moving the two units close together and establishing a wired connection. The problem with these solutions is that the total amount of content you can store on the larger of the two :apple:TVs may be less than what you want to routinely play into your TV/stereo setup. Clearly, this is an issue for many and I would think either Apple or someone else will come up with an elegant solution sometime soon.

    My advice is to try and figure out how to get ethernet cable between the desired locations of your Mac and :apple:TV, as this will allow you to purchase the smaller (and less expensive) of the :apple:TVs and will provide you with the most flexible/versatile option - streaming, not syncing.

    With a lousy wireless connection at the :apple:TV (if that is in fact what occurs in your environment), it will limit to the same extent your streaming or syncing options with your Mac, as well as with the iTunes store.
  5. kalel15 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2002
    Cincinnati, OH
    All - Thank you very much. You raised some excellent points and I am now confident that I will be able to get it to do what I need/want it to at a minimum. At worst I physically connect my :apple:TV to my iMac/External Hard Drive to swap movies and the like. At best, and I plan to upgrade to 802.11 N in the near future after I see current performance with "G", I will be enabled to stream and/or wirelessly synch the devices. My wireless network today works pretty well as is so I think the synching will definitely work. Not so much on the streaming though.

    Either way, thank you again for the great advice and taking the time to help me fill in the gaps.



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