Is there an Apple solution capable of the following duties?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mrochester, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. mrochester macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    I'm looking for an Apple solution to my current Windows Vista Based media centre PC that is connected to my plasma TV. I require something that does the following:

    Watch and record TV broadcasts with an electronic program guide for 'series link' style scheduling.

    Stream video files from other PCs connected to the same network.

    All be controlled by a remote control.

    Is there an Apple product that's capable of this?


  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    A mac Mini.

  3. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hi, thanks for the suggestion. However, I absolutely must be able to control theses functions with a remote control as a mouse and keyboard aren't practical for use from a settee (I do already have a wireless keyboard and mouse for when required). I know Apple make a remote control. Can this be used to control all of the above functions?
  4. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Washington, D.C.
    If not, you can always get a Harmony remote, which definitely will be able to do anything you throw at it, especially when coupled with Remote Buddy.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    with remote buddy, you can use the basic apple remote in more programs, It lets you assign keystrokes, (or apple script) to any button press, changing depending on the active program. It also comes with an on-screen keyboard, and mouse mode, so you can do basic navigation.

    It also lets you use a wii-mote (connects over blue-tooth) which gives you more buttons, (11 total, plus double that with short and long press although some are globally assigned). One cool feature is that if you have a sensor bar (basically just a couple of IR LEDs, so you can make it yourself), you can point the wiimote at the screen, and use as a mouse that way.

    There is a smaller, black wii-mote that's nice (and it lights up) link

    also has an iOS web remote that works pretty nice.

    if you go with eye-tv, you might be able to use the remote that comes with that.
  6. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Judging by the responses so far, I take it Front Row is incapable of doing all those things on it's own? It seems a bit of a cludge to me to keep having to change what bit of software you're using depending on whether you're watching TV or streaming media. Is there no one bit of software that can do all that?
  7. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    Forget Apples over priced piece of rubbish that is the Mini:D Get an Atom/Ion mini PC like the Revo or Asrock, run the PVR branch of XBMC as your front end and TVHeadend as your back end coupled with a cheap usb tuner, this will give you full TV integration with EPG and everything you've asked for all from the same front end interface. Plus it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Granted it's harder to setup than the mini but the price saving alone I think is worth it.
  8. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    What's wrong with your current solution?
  9. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Nothing really but it feels like it's getting pretty sluggish and I was interested to see what options there were in the Apple camp. However, it seems Apple don't yet have this end of the market stitched up.
  10. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    if you obtain 100% of your media from apple, front-row is the way to go, if you don't...

    look at plex, it's a OSX fork of XMBC, although it's undergoing a complete re-write currently so the next version will apparently not be based on the XMBC code.

    as long as your follow certain naming conventions, it will automatically scrape your tv shows and movies, letting you browse them with full metadata. as well as keeping track of playback location (if you stop in the middle of an episode, and want to come back) and watched/unwatched status
    It also has plug-ins to play stuff from different online sources, like netflix and hulu, although those aren't without bugs as they are community created and not necessarily from the content providers.
    since it's been mentioned earlier, they are also working on eye-tv intigration, for access to broadcast programming. don't know current status, as i don't use this, could be fully functional now.

    you can also install a small server app on the other macs on your network, and access their itunes and iphoto libraries from plex (in the next version, this feature will be greatly expanded)

    One nice feature is access to other applications, you can select them, plex will quit and launch the other application, when you quit that, plex will re-launch. with remote buddy that i mentioned earlier, the change is seamless with your remote control. I use this to access hulu desktop

    so with a few programs it can do everything you want.
    plex - media center app (free)
    eyetv - DVR software & tuners
    remote buddy - remote control software, greater access to both the apple remote and others.

    the only real problem is playing media with apple's DRM, for that, you kinda have to use front row. but since you're currently using windows media center, I'm thinking this shouldn't be too much of an issue for you.
  11. paduck macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    You asked if a Mac can do this. Between iTunes, Plex and EyeTV you can do this pretty easily. If there one program? No, but the various tools can work together and not in a kludge manner. Plus, you get access to your whole audio library. Does your PC do that?

    If you are looking for EXACTLY what you have on your PC you probably won't find it. But you might find that what you can get in MacOS is pretty good. iTunes home sharing along with Front Row and DTV recording software with some scripts should work extremely nicely.
  12. mrochester thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yeah of course, you just stream it across the network.

    This is starting to sound a bit more complicated than I'd like... perhaps I should just stick with what I've got for now.

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