Help me to create a HomeCinema with: Mac Mini, Time Capsule, iPhone, AirportAirTunes

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kevo82, May 2, 2010.

  1. Kevo82 macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    Please help me build the best Home Cinema, using what I already purchased

    What I already have:
    - MacBook
    - Airport Extreme Time Capsule
    - iPhone
    - Lutron Dimmers Rania with IR
    - iPhone apps: RowMote Pro, AirMouse, Lutron Home Works, Jaadu, EyeTV
    - Mac apps: Plex, Boxee
    - Xbox 360
    - Altec Lansing speakers

    What I think I have to buy:
    - Mac Mini
    - NAS Synology DS209 OR HDD Extern
    - EyeTV 250+ TV Tuner
    - Logitech Harmony 1100
    - LED TV Samsung UE40B8000

    What should I buy, and how should I connect everything?

    OPTION 1: Buy a NAS (Synology DS209)
    - connect NAS with Time Capsule trough FTP cable
    - connect MacMini with Time Capsule trough FTP cable

    - centralise all my data (iTunes, iPhoto libraries, movies) that can be accessed from MacMini, MacBook, iPhone
    - download/upload torrents with "bit torrent client" directly on NAS
    - spend more money with a NAS

    OPTION 2: Buy an external HDD
    - connect external HDD directly with MacMini trough FireWire
    - connect MacMini with Time Capsule trough FTP cable

    - fast connection with FireWire between MacMini and external HDD
    - save money (an external HDD is cheaper than a NAS)
    - the data from the external HDD will be available only for the MacMini to TV
    - download/upload torrents with MacMini, that will have to stay ON (extra usage)

    Airport Express Airtunes will connect with a printer and speakers, and will be available for MacMini, MacBook and iPhone

    Logitech Harmony 1100 will control everything in the house: Mac Mini, TV, lights, AC, Xbox etc
    iPhone will also act as a remote for Plex and Boxee (installed on MacMini and MacBook), iTunes, EyeTV

    CONCLUSION and QUESTIONS: NAS or external HDD?

    I am not interested in RAID, because RAID1 clones one HDD, so I would have only one HDD available for storage, and RAID0 splits data evenly across the two HDD, so, if one HDD fails, I lose data from both of them

    Synology has iTunes Server option, so I will access the library from everywhere, but what about accessing data in finder from the NAS? I will be able to copy a file from my MacBook, directly on NAS?

    I want to be able to upgrade the HDDs in the future, or exchange one if fails. That's why I want a NAS and not just an external HDD
    Or this is possible with the external drives also?

    I am also interested in upgrading TimeCapsule's 500GB HDD, with a bigger one (1TB or 2TB), and make back-ups from MacMini, and MacBook on the same TimeCapsule. Is that possible?

    If I choose Synology NAS with basic volume type (no RAID), and use two HDD of 2TB each:
    - I will see two HDD on my desktop/network, or just one (like Drobo does)?
    - can I use two HDD of different capacity (one of 1TB, and another one of 2TB)?
    - there is a size limit for HDD when I will upgrade in the future?

    If I choose an external HDD of 2TB:
    - can I just open the case and replace the HDD with a 4TB one in the future?
    - can you recommend me an external HDD? (MacMini shape, preferentially)

    Anybody uses Synology? Please advise me if you have other options or suggestions regarding what should I buy or set up

    Thanks guys!
  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Sorry, I don't have a preference for NAS or external HDD, but I see a couple more options you could consider.

    Option 3:
    connect external HDD to Time Capsule via USB

    When delivering content to a Mini, F/W vs USB isn't going to make any difference. It's likely to be more constrained by the network speed when connected to the Time Capsule but it will still be fast enough to deliver e.g. iTune HD content.

    Option 4:
    Connect HDD to mini, open File Sharing on the Mini and add the mounted HDD as a shared folder. Then any other machine connected to your network can access the content.
  3. Kevo82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    But with USB2 the transfer speed is very low. If I will watch a HD movie, will freeze. It's true that is the easiest way to share the external HDD to the entire network, but is not a fast one. Why Time Capsule doesn't have firewire :( ?

    Can access the content, but CAN'T write on that external HDD right?

    And what external HDD would you recommend? It is upgradable?
  4. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    What USB external drive have you used that has this issue? I get 7MB/s from a USB drive connected to my AEBS, and that's limited by the wireless connection (a mixed G/N network). I get 22MB/s reading over ethernet, compared to 28MB/s with the same drive connected directly. The 7MB/s wouldn't improve with a NAS.

    You can set write permissions on a shared folder.
    I've used a couple of NewerTech's Ministack external drives - ... I've found them very reliable. Your mileage may vary. There's always someone who would have a horror story. Like some other drives, it has the same footprint as the Mac Mini and they stack nicely.
  5. knux11 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2008
    i know this is an old thread, but.....

    FW over USB. I went with USB at first, then had ot go firewire. DEFINITELY noticed a difference. USB may be fine for you right now, but depending on your network setup it can end up being the bottleneck.

    Also not understanding why u won't do RAID if you're backing up via time machine.

    And yes you can back up the different computers to one time capsule.

    OP, what did you end up going with?
  6. Kevo82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010

    Hi. Thanks for the answer

    I bought a few from what I had planned.

    I got the 3D TV from Panasonic 50VT20 ... really pleased with it. I bought the remote control Logitech Harmony 1100, a reciever Pioneer VSX 920, and 5.0 speakers from Pioneer

    I didn't moved yet, so I didn't bought everything that I want. In a month or two everything will be ready.

    Just that I've changed the plan a little bit: I am pleased that I resisted and didn't bought the Mac Mini, because the new one was released, (HDMI out).

    I got a 1.4 HDMI 3D ready to connect the living room, with the bedroom.

    I will buy the new Mini, connect it with the reciever, and from the reciever to the Pannasonic TV from the living room, and also, with a smaller TV from the bedroom (with a HDMI splitter). That way I will have a HTPC to use in both rooms

    Besides that, I have Gigabyt network CAT6 in both rooms, where I will put a NAS (Lacie Network Space2), because it's much faster than an external HDD connected to the Time Capsule.

    I know that an external HDD connected via firewire with the Mini would be a little faster, but I plan to use DLNA from the TV to access the content from the NAS

    How would you suggest to make RAID with the Time Machine? Or it was about the RAID on the NAS?

    I know that if I get the NAS from Lacie, it will be difficult to make RAID, because it has a single drive. The perfect solution would be a Drobo FS, but it's too expensive

    I am looking for a bluray player 3D, but I don't know if it worth it to pay 400 euro for Panasonic 3D bluray player, when there are only 4 movies 3D available on bluray. I heard that the PS3 will be able to play 3D bluray movies (stereoscopic ones), even if it doesn't has HDMI 1.4

    Thanks for the suggestions, and I will post when everything will be ready.

    If you know other possibilities for players and NAS or HDD, please tell me
  7. knux11 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2008
    well you could go mac mini server and get 2 1tb drives, wouldn't need a NAS at all then.

    would you be backing up your NAS? if so, then stripe the data w/RAID. if not, the mirror it.

    I had a NAS, but I found it actually gave me less hiccups during HD playback when I used a drobo via firewire to my mac mini. That way i could use the drobo for both media storage and time machine backups for all 4 of my macs.

    Drobo FS is very expensive, but you can just go with the 2nd gen Drobo which i'm sure you can find for a very good deal.

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