Home Media Server Help

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by thinkinblue613, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. thinkinblue613 macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010
    Planet Earth
    Hey guys, I want to make a home media server at my home. I was wondering what exactly I need to do...

    Currently, I'm in the market for a new wireless router, some sort of media server and have it being able to connect with my Mac's and PC's. I also want them to be able to connect and stream data with and through the iPad and printer.

    I was looking at the Netgear WNDR3700 with an external 1 or 2TB harddrive connected to it. Will that solve my server problem?

    I also have an older PC desktop, which I thought would be excellent as the server mediator. I want to be able to move and manage my data from this one central source, is that a possible way of doing it?

  2. nunes013 macrumors 65816


    May 24, 2010
    well it depends on what you want to do. if you just want to stream media between the devices or access media anywhere in the world.

    for streaming i do this.

    airport extreme with external hard drive (western digital my book world edition). macbook pro running itunes 10.1.1. itunes connecting to external hard drive with media on it. Apple tv connecting to itunes to display media on tv.

    to make it easier have your extra computer act as the server. put itunes on it and make the hard drive the media folder for itunes. connect the hard drive to either the computer or the router. then the apple tv can connect can connect to the hard drive and display your media.

    so this would be hard drive with media on it>computer>itunes>apple tv. to set the hard drive as the media folder go to itunes and preferences and then advanced then under media folder location navigate to the hard drive.
  3. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    I have been trying to figure out a good solution to this problem also. I've thought about the old Window's PC route, but it requires a lot of maintenance with the need for anti-virus and other routine maintenance. I have a powerful Window's gaming PC and hate to leave it running all the time to be able to access my media library, due to it's high power consumption. My initial plan/thought was to have the server running headless which wouldn't be feasible with a windows unit. I hated to buy a Mac Mini to serve this purpose. It's a large investment plus it wouldn't be used very much to justify the cost. I just can't seem to find a good solution to this problem. I may try EBay to get a used Mac Mini even the old form factor would be plenty powerful enough for this task. I've got an Airport Extreme and have thought about attaching an external hard drive to it and storing my entire library on the external and use my MacBook Pro to serve thru the external on the airport extreme. I'm pretty sure my MacBook Pro would wake with LAN request if we watch a movie via the Apple TV. I have heard of lagging using this setup.
  4. cadillac1234 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    Have you looked into a NAS-type box?

    I've been looking at the Synology NAS systems that feature an integrated iTunes server. The DS211J runs about $225 without the HDDs and can support RAID with up to 2x 2TB HDD

    Anyone running this setup or another NAS?
  5. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    The intergrated iTunes servers that are included in NAS boxes only support audio and not video.
  6. cadillac1234 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    Cheers for that. That would have been an unexpected surprise
  7. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I recently set up a media server and used the new MAC mini with a couple of 1 TB drives. I am running Plex media server and am very happy with the results.

    I also got the PLEX ios app from the App store and the media server will convert files on the fly to work with the iphone or ipod. I have a mixture of different file type for movies and TV shows. The IOS app also allows you to use the ipod or iphone as a pretty useful remote control for the PLEX front end.

    The PLEX app is so much more flexible than itunes or handbrake and regular updates are available. I am presently running version 9.1.13
  8. Colonel-Panic, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    Colonel-Panic macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2010
    I'm running a Mac mini as a iTunes Media Server... My hardware consists of:

    Apple AirPort Extreme
    2 160 GB tv's
    Early '09 2.26 GHz C2D Mac mini
    LaCie 4Big 8 TB

    Everything runs on an 802.11g/n network. I have the Mac mini hosting the media (movies, tv shows & music videos) via iTunes that's stored on the LaCie 4Big. The LaCie is hooked up to my Mac mini via FireWire 800 and configured as RAID 5 for striping and redundancy which leaves me with 6 TB of usable space out of the 8 TB available. All this serves my 2 first revision tv's. I have played around with several scenarios throughout the last couple years as my library has grown and required significantly more space. This has been by far the closest to a flawless experience as I have had yet. I would say that this has performed at about a 99% success rate. Every so often I have to restart my tv or iTunes as they seem to lose each other but other than that it has been fantastic.

    I would highly recommend the LaCie. I did extensive research before I took the plunge with such a pricey setup but if you are looking for something that is reliable, simple to setup, non-intrusive, and doesn't require you to understand rocket science to configure and maintain then I believe this setup is a great solution. I eventually plan to buy another 8 TB LaCie 4Big to mirror my current one for even more redundancy (you can never be too careful, especially when you are dealing with that much data).
  9. banjomacman macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2010
    Another vote for Plex

    I've ran it both ways using Plex and using iTunes. I can't tell you how much happier I am w/ Plex - I have plex installed on a mac mini connected to the main 50" plasma. I then picked up 2 used appleTV (40gig) on ebay. Installed a crystal HD chip in both and now they use XBMC in the kids room. Works perfectly and plays everything. Setup automatic downloads of tv torrents and you have a sweet media setup.
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Exactly the same setup (more or less). Plex is fantastic and so too is the mac mini HTMC.

    I would throw in a Drobo to store your files.
  11. Dobbs2 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    So you are encouraging people to steal others works by torrenting. Nice! /end sarcasm

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