Looking for the most cost effective Apple TV set up?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Risco, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Risco macrumors 68000


    Jul 22, 2010
    United Kingdom
    What I want is to be able to have my iTunes library hosted on external HDD. However I don't want to keep my Macbook on while it is streaming to the Apple TV.

    So I am right in saying the only alternative to this would be to get a Mac Mini as the server? Or is there a more cost effective way, without keeping my Macbook on while watching the movie?
  2. 98EXL macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    not on the moon
    You could build a lower cost windows server, but I prefer the idea of a mini. I'm in the same boat as you and have decided to get a mini server once they are refreshed.
  3. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    I feel getting a Mini for only serving iTunes content is a bit overkill. Get an ATV2, jailbreak it, install ATV Flash (black) or XBMC and bypass the need for a running computer that way instead.

    Or, if you decide you really want a Mini, ask yourself what more you can do with it. You wouldn't get a Lamborghini if all you're going to do with it is go to the supermarket twice a week ;)
  4. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Why are you concerned about leaving your Macbook on?

    It's a nice convenience to have an iTunes server that never leaves the house, but the Mini also seems overkill when you already own the Macbook. A mini isn't your only option, though. There are a lot of cheaper options. A $200 netbook, or a cheap used windows notebook, should also make a decent iTunes server.
  5. Jim.R macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2012
    You can hack an ATV1 (available on eBay for ~£100) to run OSX Leopard and it'll have enough power to run as an iTunes server (not a lot else though).
    There's a couple of folks on here that do this.
  6. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I agree that it seems like overkill. Wouldn't a cheap NAS that offers built in iTunes server functionality(which is most) achieve the same goal at a much cheaper price?
  7. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    No such device exists. The "iTunes Server" component that is included with many NAS devices is NOT what you need for an Apple TV. iT is not HomeSharing, which is what ATV needs - it shows up in iTunes on a running computer as a shared library.

    So although you could use a NAS, you would still need either the running computer that is trying to be avoided, or the jailbrake mentioned previously.

    Any computer running iTunes will work. I would probably be looking at a net-top (the desktop version of a netbook). You can also use airplay from an iDevice if you have media stored there, or an app that will get it from elsewhere, but that's not as convenient as an always on iTunes.

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