Home Media Network help.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jpj.johnpaul, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. jpj.johnpaul macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Okay Ladies & Gentlemen... Here is what we have...

    I am looking at creating a media home network where I can store my dvd to digital and then watch them on my HDTV, watch internet based files on TV etc, as well as using Apple TV offerings. I am a tad overwhelmed with my options and am trying to figure out which is the best.

    Here is what I have...

    Traditional Cable Modem
    Apple TV(new - not set up)
    Time Capsule (2TB) (new - not set up)
    Mac Laptop 10.5.8
    2 - IPhone's 4S
    Canon Printer
    Phillips HDTV
    Playstation 3 (to be purchased in the next couple weeks)
    About 200 dvd's soon to be converted to harddrive.

    What can you suggest I purchase/maybe return:)/etc? What would be the networking process (wireless vs. hardwire).

    Also what does everyone think of the new Wal-Mart/VuDu Disc to Digital?

    Thanks and Happy Networking!!
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Hey, two suggestions. I'd suggest returning the Time Capsule and picking up a cheap set of USB drives. Then get an older (IMHO 2008 or 2009) Mac Mini, install Plex on it, and plug that into the TV. You can get an older Mini and 2TB of USB storage for just a bit more than the Time Capsule. The reason that I make this suggestion is that to play non-iTunes formatted media, you need to have a converter program running on a computer, or a jailbroken ATV, which cannot be done with the ATV3 as far as I know. And running a server on a laptop would get annoying fast.

    You might be able to return the ATV3 also if you use this method. Plex gives you the ability, also, to stream to your portable devices. As far as networking, if you don't mind putting external drives in your TV cabinet, you can have everything there, including a wireless router for your other pieces of machinery. :)

    Alternately, if you don't want to have the Mini plugged into your TV, you can have it in your office with the hard drives. The new version of Plex (beta at the moment) supports DLNA, which is a streaming protocol that is supported by the PS3. So you can have everything wired around your computer desk, and have the PS3, your laptop, the Wii, and the iPhones on wireless.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  3. rpenzinger, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    rpenzinger macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Here is my setup and I like it quite a bit. I have an Apple ecosystem so this works for me.

    I have an ATV 2 connect to HDTV, iPad, iPod, 2 iPhones and an iMac. I play video content and all of these devices.

    I have converted all of my DVD collection and have downloaded movies and TV Shows. I store the content on my iMac in iTunes. The content is streamed to my ATV and synced with my portable devices.

    I used tools like RipIt to copy DVD content; Handbrake to encode my content to M4V (for iTunes) and Identify 2 to add metadata and iTunes to store.

    I have no complaints and it works perfectly.


    I hear Plex is great; I just have no need for it.

    PLEX adds a layer of administration, added to jail braking your ATV. Now re-encoding AVIs and MKVs to work in iTunes takes a layer of administration as well but do it once and your done.

    6 of 1 - half dozen of another

    For me the iTunes ecosystem works for others its too restrictive.

    Keep the ATV, forget running a Mac Mini as a media server - again my argument is administrative overhead and cost. ATV is an appliance, plug it in and done. Mac Mini = patches, updates, etc.

    Return Time Capsule for cheaper external drives.

    Hardwire whenever you can
  4. Penquin79 macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Well guess I am in the middle of the two. Here is my set up.

    Macmini as the server. Used to have it direct connected to HDTV, ATV3 is much more convienant. Get one that will be able to handle mountain lion and anything the mini can play you will be able to mirror to the ATV. Doing it now using AirParrot.

    2TB time capsule as the media storage. Keep it, best damn wireless router you can buy without going to business level, never a problem. Add the 2TB storage how can you possibly replace the storage and router for the price of a Time Capsule?

    Also streaming to ATV2 in the kitchen. The system can actually play two different movies at the same time.

    Also have iPad 1, iTouch3 and iPhone 4. Want something cool for outdoors in the summer? Get the VGA to apple dock dongle, connect to an old flat screen monitor and you have an easily portable outdoor tv that The IPad, iTouch or IPhone can drive. Just need power for the monitor. Even streams from my EyeTV, baseball on the patio!

    The mini is a work horse, can't beat it for the price.
  5. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    I agree with you. I downloaded Plex and played with it. It is very powerful, and the media importing thing with auto-tagging is extremely nice and I was very impressed with how well it handled my media. My problem was that I did not see what Plex brought to the table that Apple TV didn't really do. I have a really nice Mac mini that I use for my main computer. I feel like I could just move my iTunes library to a massive NAS, and be able to access all music, tv shows, and music from anywhere in my house as long as I have a iPhone/iPod/AppleTV in the room.

    I guess I just don't understand what Plex brings to the table. Maybe I need to play with it more. I just like simplicity is all.
  6. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Hi there. Here's our home network setup:

    Optimum (Cablevision) Cable Modem - Motorola Surfboard
    Linksys/Cisco E3000 N-Wireless Router
    Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB Hard Disk in Rosewill Enclosure
    HP Laptop, Wireless (N)
    iBook G4, Wireless (B)
    Windows 7 Desktop, Wireless (N)
    iPod Touch 1st Gen
    iPhone 4S
    iPhone 4S
    Nintendo Wii
    HP Officejet 6509n, Wireless (Not e-print)
    Apple TV, Wireless.

    Due to the way the cable enters my townhouse, I'm very limited in terms of cables, and actually have about 25 feet of coaxial cable tacked down to my baseboards to connect to the TV. It's a physical limitation of our location. I have had no problems with this setup, though I will admit I occasionally (maybe once every 6 months?) have to restart my router because the printer gets funky.

    The WD HDD is connected to my router, because I want all my computers/devices to have access even when the desktop isn't turned on. I sacrifice speed overall to have the accessibility, but at least it's wireless N speed, which is noticably different for intranet file transfer between my computers.

    I like this setup a lot, and I'd obviously like to put more Macintosh computers in there, and I'll be working on that as the rest of these pop.

    I really like the interface of the ATV3 and I'm pleased with my purchase. There are some limitations that I'm willing to deal with for the simplicity. All of my media files are in iTunes anyway, so the whole debate above about converting the files to an appropriate format isn't applicable; I use Handbrake as necessary.

    I didn't intend to use the Hard Disk on my Router, which is why I didn't buy a time capsule. Otherwise I would have, it's a bit cheaper than doing everything separate, and it's integrated into one device which saves power and space.

    Honestly I wouldn't change a thing. I like your setup, it's very comparable to ours.

    Unless you didn't have a wireless printer, I find that quite handy. But that's your own opinion.

  7. jpj.johnpaul thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Thank you guys! I am looking forward to finally figuring out what I am going to do to get all this situated in the house!! Any more suggestions, let it flow:D

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