Guidance on Media Server

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bwfc0907, May 7, 2014.

  1. bwfc0907, May 7, 2014
    Last edited: May 7, 2014

    bwfc0907 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Bolton, UK
    #1
    I currently have a PC that I use to stream 1080p movies that I have ripped from my blu-rays. It is hard wired as is my AppleTV 3. I stream the movies through iTunes.

    My PC appears ready to die & I am considering my options. My pc was originally purchased for gaming but became just used for my media centre.

    I would like not to have to have turn on my pc and have read the Mac Mini may be the answer as this may allow me to still use itunes.

    Is this correct, what software would I need & what spec mini would I need to stream movies in 1080p?

    In addition I would like to stream wirelessly yo iPads & iPhones and if possible stream when out and about.

    Keep your responses simple as new to this.
     
  2. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #2
    For most of your requirements, a base Mac mini will do. I'm not sure about streaming (1080p) movies outside of local network. You'll need a robust networking to do that, than a fast computer.
    What software? If you're using iTunes, just turn on Home Sharing.
     
  3. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    My setup:

    Headless Mac Mini running:
    - iTunes for streaming to multiple ATV's
    - Plex / StreamToMe for streaming to everything else ( inside / outside the house ) )

    It does a fair bit more ( Squid, Caching Server ) but it's main use is media....
     
  4. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Is the current bottom of the range Mac mini powerful enough to decode MkV to mp4 through Handbrake?
     
  5. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #5
    Yes, going MKV to MP4 is not a problem. Handbrake may struggle to do original Rips from DVD's but will just take a big longer.
     
  6. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Is it a decent piece of kit?
     
  7. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    A headless Mac mini running iTunes to stream to several Apple TV's, computers and iOS devices in the house. And StreamToMe to access media from outside the house. You'll probably want to use a service like NO-IP.COM to assign a URL for easy remote access. For specs, a current base Mac mini is more than sufficient for serving HD content. My 2009 Mac mini can stream to multiple clients at the same time without a hitch.
     
  8. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    To provide an idea of speed, mine's a 2011 2Ghz quad core server, and it'll encode a BD rip in a couple of hours ( a DVD in about half an hour ). On occasion, I'll run encodes on my 2012 2Ghz i7 Air, and they take about 3-4 hours.
     
  9. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Bolton, UK
    #9
    Very promising for all my needs.

    Why headless and what is it?

    Is it simple to stream outside the house?

    How will photoshop & GarageBand run on a Mac mini?

    Would an external HD still allow me to stream 1080p once connected to the mac mini?

    ----------

    Squid? Caching Server?
     
  10. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Headless just means there's no monitor attached; my Mini sits in a corner attached to a Drobo ( contains all my media ). I use OSX's built in VNC viewer to access it.

    Can't see why PS / Garageband wouldn't run on a Mini. My other half runs Lightroom / PS on a 13" rMBP with no bother.

    I run Squid as a caching web proxy ( I have children in the house, so it also blocks naughty sites, etc ), and the Caching Server to speed up downloads of iOS / OSX / App Store downloads.

    It's not difficult to stream externally. StreamToMe will work out what the external IP is, and I think Plex is even easier if you use the myplex feature, though I'm not sure if that's a pay feature, or not. You might have to tweak your router to allow the initial inbound connections.
     
  11. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    What is a VNC viewer & caching web proxy?

    Can I attach an external blu-Ray drive to rip my films from the disc?
     
  12. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #12
    One of the nice things about the Mac Mini is that it has an HDMI output. My Media server sits in a cabinet right under the main TV and connects directly to the TV with a HDMI cable. Makes playing media very easy indeed.

    I run both itunes and PLEX on the server but tend to use Plex almost exclusively for media.
     
  13. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #13
    VNC is used for screen sharing, and a caching web proxy handles all web traffic ( and stores copies of static images, pages, etc to speed up response and save on data usage ).

    I've a USB Samsung BD drive for ripping movies.
     
  14. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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  15. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #15
    Plex is a very popular Media server that plays many different type of media Files unlike Itunes which is very limited.

    See more info here.

    https://plex.tv/features
     

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