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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 21, 2013

We are in the process of rebuilding our home including a kitchen/dining/second lounge area.

The main tv (sky+, surround sound etc) will be in a separate room, but i want to come up with a setup which is easy to use and allows us to do the usual (listen to music via itunes and spotify app, stream Iplayer etc, watch itunes content, watch freeview via the tv itself)

I am thinking of hardware along these lines

32 Inch TV
AV Receiver
Logitech Harmony One
Imac G5 (currently running 10.4.11, PowerPc) 'always on' with Itunes library.
Apple TV
Floorstanding speakers - inside and outside

Basically the three questions are

a) what 'hardwiring' would you all recommend - will streaming everything over the WiFi network be OK or should i run an ethernet to the Apple TV from the router?

b) Will the old G5 be OK to use as the basis of the itunes library if i upgrade to Leopard? How do i ensure the G5 is always accessible for instant streaming

c) are there any av receivers which can be woken up by apple tv to eliminate the need for using anything to switch the system on other than the ipad?

anything i am missing?


macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2012
The G5 could be a problem on two fronts.

First, you'll need to run at least iTunes 9 on your system because you'll need the home sharing functionality. I believe the G5 can run version 9, but you should check on that. Upgrading to Leopard shouldn't hurt anything.

Second, I am not sure what your router is, but the iMac tops out at 802.11b/g. If you're planning on streaming high-definition video, I would suggest plugging the iMac in directly to the router (assuming it is 802.11n). I did notice some slow streaming speeds for the larger, high-definition movies when I had my first-generation Intel-based Mac Mini serving iTunes wirelessly.

As long as your router is 802.11n, there should be no need to hard wire your the Apple TV to the router.

To answer the other part of your second question, you'll need to access your power management features on your iMac. Allowing the screen to sleep is fine, but iTunes will need to run constantly, so putting the rest of the machine to sleep should be toggled off.

Not really sure on the final question. There are some power outlets you can buy where one device plug serves as the master, so when the master device is turned on, power is given to all other devices. I use such a power strip with my Harmony One and it works OK, but the speed at which power is restored is slower than the Harmony's power-up sequence and I frequently find myself hitting "help" to tell the remote to try turning on the device again.


macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
Yes - you'll need something running Leopard (unless you are getting a rather old Apple TV) - you may consider an older Intel Mac mini that could run headless and controlled by your iPad using screen sharing of some sort.

An iMac is a nice choice though - I would get something a bit newer though - especially if you want to hook up external hard drives to it - while USB 2 is nice - Thunderbolt or USB 3 would offer many advantages dealing with huge media files.

For me I use WiFi - even though I have local copies I tend to stream everything from iCloud directly to the ATV - another thing to note is you may want a really new Mac that supports AirPlay Mirroring. There are countless times that I wanted to watch something on my Mac without reencoding it first for iTunes. AirPlay Mirroring lets you do this - so consider a newer Mac that does this if its in your budget.

Macs that support this:
iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)
Last edited:


macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
while USB 2 is nice - Thunderbolt or USB 3 would offer many advantages dealing with huge media files.

it might if you are copying media files from one drive to another (say when you're doing a backup of your media to another drive)

even uncompressed blu-ray rips are in the 4-6 MB/s for playback, well within the 20-30 that you get from USB 2.
when ripping files, re-encoding, or downloading off the internet you will not come any where close to what USB2 can handle.

as to if wifi will be ok.
there is no way to answer 100%, every home is a bit different. it probably will work, it might not.
if your home is older, and has plaster walls with metal sheeting, or newer and built out of cinder block, you could run into problems.

wired will always work. if you can hardwire, i would.

and #3
if the receiver supports airplay, that will wake a sleeping receiver. You can set the aTV to send it's audio via airplay in the latest version of software.
and if it's all connected via HDMI it can shut itself too.
my setup is ATV -> Denon AVR-1912 -> LG TV.
after a bit the aTV goes to sleep, once the TV losses signal it shuts itself off after a while, and the the TV turning off turns off the receiver using the control protocol built into HDMI (CEC).
the aTV does not support CEC.

or i have a bowers & wilkins A7, it will wake up and select the correct input if it detects audio on it's optical input, or if you stream to it via airplay.
and shuts itself off after a certain amount of silence.
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