Home media center - I need ideas.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ammar17, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. ammar17 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hello,

    I am trying to build a home media center to make my media accessible to me throughout my apartment wirelessly on all my devices.
    I use two iPhones, a MacBook air, Apple TV connected to the living room TV. I have a large iTunes library that have took a lot of time for me to build. I enjoy working with iTunes, so I want it to be the main software for my media center.

    As I was researching home media centers, I found out that iTunes has to be opened on at least one of the computers in the network for the Apple TV to get access to the library. I have not found away for Apple TV to get data from an external hard disk connected to apple extreme for example.

    At the moment what I do I connect a hard disk to my macbook air and I can access my files on the TV and iPhone etc. But I want to get rid of the hard disk. I want it to be stationary not mobile.

    I also want to be able to access this media when I am not connected to my home network. Lets say I am in the office and I want to listen to the music on my iTunes. The iTunes library is home and is connected to my media server. Is there a way (easy one - at least for non-technical people. I have no background in IT) to get access to the media from outside of the network?

    Now, I need help with two issues. The first what should I do to get access to my iTunes library all the time inside of my house without having to turn on my MacBook air or connect an external to it all the time.

    How can I access this library when I am not inside of my house. For example, at work, or in another country.

    Thanks, your help is much appreciated. If you have any other set ups with the HOW-TOs, I would really be grateful.:)
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    If you HAVE to use iTunes then you will have to be limited by the fact that it's got to be open.

    My setup for what it's worth runs thus:

    My iMac is connected to a Pegasus R4 which is now full and is about to be upgraded, but on it is every movie, every Star Trek episode etc etc. In short a lot.

    The R4 is mirrored to a 4 TB Seagate also attached to the Mac...what I place on either is replicated on the other.

    All titles have been run through Handbrake and optimised for ATV 3 use.

    Air Video Server runs 24/7 on my iMac and is also installed on my phone and was on my Ipad until a recent sale.

    I can pull up any title I want from my phone, and play them to either my lounge TV or my Bedroom Toshiba.

    It's the most convenient way to set the thing up I could find, and boy does it work well. full 1080p, no dropouts, no issues. The only problem I have is the ever expanding nature of my library, but I figure with storage so cheap now, I'll be taking the R4 up to 8TB and buy another USB 3 external to back it up with, probably selling the Seagate as although it streams perfectly, it's only ever been a backup device.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #3
    My setup is simple..

    Mac mini running plex
    Drobo connected to network with films and tv series on it.

    This in turn serves tv's and devices without a hitch using either the plex app (multi platform) or tv's via dlna
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #4
    Yes, a NAS is something I've been considering but I like the flexibility of my current setup...Also, I'd have to buy a network switch as all four ports on both my TC and AE are already occupied...I guess you go so far down a certain road and you're in it for keeps..:D
     
  5. ammar17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    I think I will go for the Mac mini. If you have a set up guide for the mini to be used as a full-time media server I would appreciate it. You know with the energy-settings and so on.

    As I am not an expert with networking I try to look for articles or set up guides as much as possible. :) Anyways, thanks a lot for the replies.
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    I'll get back to you later as I'm off to bed for work later. But to be honest it's basic settings required.
     
  7. famous600 macrumors 6502a

    famous600

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    #7
    Mac mini is the way to go. Mac mini connected to a drobo 5d running plex for serving and xbmc for living room media from the Mac mini. Also running AirServer to make the Mac mini an airplay receiver. The Mac mini is the best option for an OSX htpc.
     
  8. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    I have a dedicated headless Mac mini running iTunes 24/7 with 2xLaCie 6TB 2big Thunderbolt drive enclosures, one enclosure for media storage (music, TV shows, movies) and and the other for backups. It serves the home media library throughout the house to a number of Apple TV's, Mac computers and iOS devices. I use Screen Sharing to access the Mac mini for maintenance and Apple TV & Remote app for controlling media playback.

    For remote media access I use ServeToMe (server) running on the Mac mini and StreamToMe (client) on my iOS devices. It streams the entire iTunes library (music & video) including iTunes playlists. Its easy to set up and allows username/password access. And I use a "no-ip.com" account to map my dynamic ISP IP address to a URL.

    Additionally, the Mac mini hosts network backups. Using OS X Server to designate the Mac mini as a Time Machine backup location for all the computers on the network.
     

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