I only want iTunes on my tv...what should I get?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Shockwave78, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Shockwave78 macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2010
    I tried the remote app out for the first time with my iPhone and love how it controls iTunes on my pc. I would like to do the same thing but on my tv instead. I really don't want any of the apple tv stuff as far features other than iTunes support. Is there anything else that will do what I want? Are these airport express things what I need?

    If I could stream mkv files from a hd to the apple tv then that may change my mind :)
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    To get a dedicated itunes solution for your tv you either need an apple tv or a Mac mini. Just get whichever you can afford.
  3. Shockwave78 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2010
    Seems apple tv would be cheaper then. I just want something I can turn on and it's ready to go
  4. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    So, you just want the music from iTunes on your TV? Why the TV if you don't mind me asking.

    If you just want your music and to be able to control it from your iPhone, then an Airport Express is the way to go - if you have a stereo to stream to of course.
  5. ezl macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Not sure if this fits your needs, but when needed I just connect my MBP to my TV via the hdmi port then control the laptop with a mini "home theater" keyboard (or you could use a remote got iTunes, etc.).

    I run the laptop in clamshell mode, so if I'm not using it it just goes to sleep but can wake it with the wireless keyboard and it just pops the display right to the TV. :cool:
  6. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    Apple TV would certainly be the closest to fitting your criteria of "turn on and it's ready to go", but it's slightly more limited than an mini and won't play mkv files "out of the box". The interface is however very simple; it's easy to setup and will play anything in your iTunes library.
  7. markjd macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    Go for an Apple TV and hack it ATV flash. You can then use Overflow which comes as part of the package to turn off everything except the Music section. It should work well for you.
  8. ctakim macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2006
    If you only want iTunes on your TV, you sir, are the ideal Apple TV customer. For streaming sharing and viewing all your media that is in iTunes it is a simple out of the box solution. Hack it if you want to do more but from what you asked for, you are good to go with a stock set up!
  9. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    If you don't need MKV support, just buy an Apple TV and you will be happy. It will do EXACTLY what you want it to do in its stock form.
  10. potatis macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
    How does the Airport express work, does it need a NAS to play music from if you don't want the computer turned on or can you connect a regular hard drive to it? Or does that require an Airport extreme with the usb port?
  11. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    The Airport Express's "Airtunes" functionality needs either a computer with iTunes or the Apple TV turned on. Just having your music on a NAS won't work as a source. You can have the music there but you still need iTunes or AppleTV turned on.
  12. knux11 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2008
    what's clamshell mode?
  13. ezl macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Clamshell Mode

    If you hook up your laptop to an external monitor (or TV in my case) you can run it while the laptop is closed. The display automatically goes to the external device. What's nice is that when you're using your TV as a TV (in my case I use my remote to switch the TV from the comp input to the TV input) the laptop will go to sleep and you can wake it up without opening it using a bluetooth mouse or keyboard. Very convenient. Note that it needs to be connected to the power supply - it won't wake up when running on battery.

    So, in my case, the "storage" place for my laptop is in my entertainment center. When I want to use iTunes, etc. I use my remote to switch the TV inputs and my bluetooth keyboard (Logitech diNovo mini - very small and sleek, looks fine on a coffee table) to wake up the laptop and BAM - there's my computer display on the TV, all done from the couch.

    When I want to use the laptop as a laptop I simply walk over and disconnect three cables - the audio out (the headphone jack to my receiver) the video out (mini DisplayPort to the HDMI input on my TV) and the power cable.

    What I like about this set up is that I have all the convenience of a dedicated device but using my laptop, which I also use for typical computing needs.
  14. ezl macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Forgot to mention, this set up also makes streaming video from Netflix or other sources almost as convenient as straight forward TV or DVD viewing and the resolution is great.
  15. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    Consider this approach

    You could go another route. What about getting an airport express with airtunes and streaming the music to your living room stereo system from your mac? I would imagine you could probably even connect the airtunes into the 'audio in' on your tv and use your tv's speakers. That way you would never have to fiddle with plugging in your notebook. Apple also has a free remote app that you could use to control the whole setup from an iphone/itouch. This approach would probably be easier and cheaper than getting a dedicated device like an ATV or mac mini or something...
  16. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    MKV's with an ATV is a bag of hurt...a major bag of hurt. I gave up on that quest long ago. The processor on the ATV just can't handle it.
  17. ezl macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Not sure if you were responding to me or the OP (seems like you merged our posts in your mind :)). For me:

    I fell in love with having the full computer experience on my TV years ago. It buys me full control of iTunes plus I stream Netflix, Hulu, network TV web streams, etc. full screen and the quality is comparable to cable or DVD. If friends are over I can simply pause iTunes and jump over to youtube to find a video by the artist then jump back, etc., etc. I also use the laptop as my DVD player. An iTunes-only solution just wouldn't come close. The cables literally take 2 seconds to deal with (my set up makes the laptop very accessible) so it's barely an inconvenience. It's a great media experience and really maximizes the value I get from my Macbook Pro....
  18. sumer9 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2007
    How does the Airport express work?

    <"How does the Airport express work, does it need a NAS to play music from if you don't want the computer turned on or can you connect a regular hard drive to it? Or does that require an Airport extreme with the usb port?">

    You wouldn't connect a hard drive to it, and you don't need an AirPort Extreme. As newagemac sort of said, you do need an Apple computer (I tried iTunes on a PC and found it clunky). You don't need an Apple TV to play your music.

    If you have any kind of Apple laptop, mini etc except very old ones, it comes with iTunes and AirTunes already in it. You never see or need to see AirTunes, it's been buried inside.

    Recent Apple computers all have an onboard AirPort Extreme inside the box. When you launch iTunes on your Apple computer, you can choose to play it through the built-in speakers or the headphone jack, or through an AirPort to remote speakers.

    In a previous home I had active (i.e. mains or audio amplifier connected) speakers in several rooms, each connected to an AirPort Express. 'twas wonderful, you could hear the music all over the house. I found that you couldn't have more than 3 AirPorts in use at any one time. It was a bit fiddly to initially set up in OSX 10.4 - it was necessary to designate one AirPort as the Master and the rest as Slaves (or something like that) in a Wireless Distribution System -look it up in Wikipedia- all set to the same WiFi channel. The Master was the one connected to Broadband.

    Now with OSX 10.6 you don't need to know about WDS, it's very easy to set up, and quite frankly I think it's marvellous.

    btw, with this kind of setup you have no use for iPod docked speakers or any such thing (I never have the pod switched on at home, except to connect it to the laptop or mini for syncing updates). Instead, you can have REAL HiFi everywhere.

    How does it all work? iTunes manages and plays your music on the hard drive (normally the one on you computer, but you can change iTunes to use another drive), and passes it to AirTunes -as I said, you never see AirTunes- which broadcasts it over a WiFi channel through the onboard AirPort Extreme to your AirPort Expresses.

    A long & wordy answer, Potatis, just read the first two paras.

    But I'd like to end with a new question: in researching a new tv, concerning the Sony KDL40EX503 I came across this on reevoo:
    "I would expect a TV marketted in the UK would support BBC iPlayer and all of the main chennels catch up TV services. The only one supportd is Channel 5's which is proabablythe one most people would have last on their list.”
    Can anyone confirm this?

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