Looking for advice - have AppleTV, iPad and iPhone but no Mac

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mark-vdw, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. mark-vdw macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2013
    Hello, I've been reading some of the threads here, would appreciate your opinion on the following.

    I recently bought an AppleTV, was somewhat dissapointed with the limited content (esp. in Belgium), but love the ability to AirPlay random stuff from my iPad / iPhone. The easiest way to get more content seems to be getting a Mac and Home Sharing all my content from there.

    I'm considering buying either a Mac Mini or a MacBook Air to be able to see more media through my TV. What I would specifically like to do is:
    - be able to watch all the series / movies I have on hard drive,
    - be able to play my Music collection through Home Sharing (does anyone know why Apple TV doesn't come with a Music app that plays your music library, like the iPhone and iPad do??)
    - be able to decently manage my photo collection (Photos on iPad feels somewhat handicapped, i'm hoping to have more control with iPhoto on Mac)
    - start ripping my DVD collection to hard drive since our DVD player broke a few months ago and we're not planning to buy a new one (I'm aware this may mean buying an external USB DVD player... but if it means freeing up shelf space and one less remote i'm fine with that)

    I'm leaning towards a Mac mini to hook up to our Apple TV. Not sure how to deal with the external monitor issue - seriously considering using the TV as our only monitor. Does anyone have good / bad experience with such a setup? Also, for the MacBook Air, does anyone know if it is possible to use Home Sharing while the MacBook is in PowerNap mode?

    Thanks for any help / suggestions.
  2. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Then, you would render your Mac Mini as a multimedia-only device not usable to, say, programming, writing etc. It's pretty much futile to try to use TV's as monitors (they're too large and, even more importantly, generally have pretty bad response time, as opposed to the much better-optimized, faster dedicated monitors).

    Nevertheless, as the ATV is seriously handicapped, going the "true-computer-as-a-source" is sometimes much better. For example, you'll be able to directly play back your DVD's without lengthy mpeg2 -> h.264 reencoding, subtitle fetching / OCR'ing etc. If you have tons of DVD's, prolly the Mac Mini way is the way to go (just get an external monitor if you want to do some serious stuff with it). It'll also be able to play back any kind of content (e.g., MKV files), unlike the, again, severely restricted ATV.

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