Going All In - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Michael73, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Here's the situation...I have a Mac Pro ('08) with a drive filled with movies. I bought the machine to use as a media server (among other things).

    I have a 25" Mitsubishi TV from 1988 that is going to be retired so here's the proposed setup...

    - 52" LCD (most likely Samsung or Sony)
    - TV Stand
    - Receiver (most likely Yamaha)
    - DVD/VCR combo Recorder / upscaling
    - 5.1 Surround Speakers (most likely Klipsch Quartet III with 10" Sub)

    So here's my question...I'd like to make an AppleTV part of the set up but I don't know whether to get the 40GB or 160GB version or scrap the AppleTV altogether and get a Mac Mini?

    I have AT&T U-verse and I don't use the on-demand feature. Funny as it sounds, while I obviously have a iTunes account, I've never bought a single thing on iTunes (music, movies or tv shows).

    Really, all I'm looking for is something to stream my movies, music and photos from my Mac Pro in my office to my new big screen.

    My purpose in getting the DVD / VCR recorder is to be able to not only transfer all my old VCR tapes to DVD but to connect my U-verse to it and offload some movies and tv content to DVD.

    So, what do you think? What's the right product for me and why?
  2. JAWWC macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2008
    Your saying pretty much the same reason I got my Apple TV. I'd choose it over the Mac Mini if it's for streaming only your looking at for it's simplicity. Go for the 40 GB as you won't need to space if your streaming. HDMI & Optical out just seemed alot better choice on the Apple TV than what the Mini has. The interface on the Apple TV is also incredibly good.
  3. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    my opinions below

    I'd get the 160GB since it gives you the most flexibility. If you're going to "rent" HD movies, it might help to have the larger HDD, especially if you sync'd a bunch of content from iTunes/iPhoto.

    Try downloading some of the free stuff or HD podcasts. It's fun and addictive.

    If you're just streaming, then maybe the 40GB aTV is fine ... however, you'd need to leave your Mac Pro on all the time. I'd still get the 160GB and sync more stuff.

    I would look into a DVD-recorder with a HDD instead. It will allow you to perform edits before burning to DVD. It's a little more work, but allows for more flexibility.

    Otherwise, a DVDr/VCR would work fine. Just buy one sooner rather than later ... because I'm thinking that the newer units will be inferior in quality to the existing ones. In fact, a unit from 2006 might be your best bet (Panny and Pioneer both made them back then and from what I've read, they're head and shoulders above the stuff available now).

  4. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    This is a bit counter-intuitive but if you have more than 160gb of media already, or close to it so you'll go over soon, just get a 40gb since you're going to have to stream anyways.

    I'm in the process of (re-)ripping about 200 DVDs which will end up in the 300gb+ range so there's not much point to the 160gb for me. I have the 40gb sync over the 10 most recent unwatched TV episodes and the 5 most recent movies, plus all my photos, and stream the rest. Streaming works fine over .11g, for me.

    If you want to use the ATV as a full DVR, go for a mini, otherwise the ATV is pretty slick and less than half the price.
  5. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    A couple of quick questions...

    My MacPro is always "on"...meaning that if it's not in use, it's in "sleep" mode, but not shut down. Is this enough for :apple:TV? Or does the MP really need to be "on"? Also, what if I'm logged in and iTunes is running, I'm watching a movie in the other room and then my 5 year-old who has his own login comes and logs into his account? Shouldn't iTunes continue to run / I can still watch my movie?
  6. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    You can just patch the ATV and connect an external hd to it for your media, even for your itunes library.
  7. clos.gonzalez macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2008
    Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to chime in with my Apple TV experience. I just purchased one this weekend, and I can only say 1 thing... AMAZING... I Had ripped about 60 movies that I had previously been streaming to my ps3; but, I had to download media server software which was not very reliable, I could never get any album artwork etc. So i decided to pick up an AppleTV. I am not syncing any of my movies to the apple TV, everything is streaming from a G4 quicksilver with a 1TB lacie external drive. I have seen 2 movies so far with no glitches. All of my artwork looks incredible and loads pretty fast; I am hardwired. All of my rips were done with handbrake with the appleTV setting.(With minor adjustments) Let me tell you, I am pretty picky when it comes to picture quality, and although its not HD, the picture looks PRETTY DAMN GOOD on my Samsung TV. My pictures are synced, my music is streaming, everything works great. I would definitely say to go with Apple TV.

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