Mac Mini 2011 w external HD and ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by shiningstaraf, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. shiningstaraf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #1
    Hi everybody, this is my first time here...

    I am pretty new at mac and I come from a pc base, so I need your help. I am setting up my home theatre for my new home. I have read blogs and blogs about Apple TV or mac mini as a solution.

    Here is what I was thinking, need your help. I have 250 gb of original video and encoded video in itunes format and 2 tb of video extracted from my dvd collection including mostly dvd I previously recorded years ago with my panasonic dvd recorder so they are in TS and VOB format.

    I was thinking of converting my favourite ones via handbreak in mp4 since I have the ipad and iphone 3gs... now for the home theatre.

    I was thinking to set up in the living room a mac mini 2011 and connect to it via usb the 2 tb HD.

    Then for my bedroom I was thinking to add a ATV so that I could stream my itunes library. Waht do you think?

    I was thinking of the mac mini for 2 primary reason: have a MAC computer and learning the OS and secondly because I do have a 250 gb hard disk (VERBATIM MEDIASTATION PRO) which can be connected via lan, but I would anyway need a computer turned on to set up a home network to stream the videos....

    What do you think or suggest me... I already understood I have to save a lot and spend at least 698 euro.... many thnx in advance for your help!

    Here a second but main question: In case i convert my whole library via handbreak and put it in itunes. IS IT SMOOTH THE PLAYBACK VIA APPLE TV IF THE MAIN CONTENT OF ITUNES IS STORED ON A HARD DRIVE CONNECTED TO THE MINI VIA USB AND NOT DIRECTLY IN THE MINI HD?

    Andrew
     
  2. Bye Bye Baby, Sep 1, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
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    #2
    Firstly I would not try and convert my library.

    I would use Plex- no ifs, ands or buts.

    I think you will be ok with the external HD. Depends on the bitrate etc of the files that you are streaming.
     
  3. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #3
    I'd convert the files, myself.
    This should work fine. You don't need anything as nice as a new Mini, I use an external drive connected to my ancient notebook to store my iTunes library and it works seamlessly.
     
  4. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #4
    Did you not see the OP state he wants to be able to watch on his iPad and iPhone, as well as stream to an Apple TV? There are certainly options available to circumvent this on his iDevices (Air Video, StreamtoMe, even PLEX iOS app with some manual configuration) but they require either a strong wifi or data connection and still are not as good as watching files stored directly on the device. If he wants to watch his DVD rips on an Apple TV, he'd have to jailbreak it, also, IMO, not worth the effort, especially for DVD rips.

    OP--just convert what you need, as you need it. Handbrake works great for this and if you are using one of the new Minis, it'll get the job done rather quickly as well.

    I'll agree regarding using PLEX on the Mini though--my personal favorite as well.
     
  5. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

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    #5
    Did you not know that you can stream to iPhone and iPad via Plex.

    Inform yourself correctly before jumping down someone's throat.
     
  6. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #6
    I'd also recommend converting the videos that you watch to a iOS-friendly format, since it sounds like you'll be viewing them mostly on those devices. I personally don't keep DVD rips (the files take up a lot of space, I don't need the extra things that come on DVDs, encodes don't take any time to start playing, et cetera) once I have a satisfactory encode. However, as has been stated, you can use PLEX to stream to iOS devices, so if that's the route you choose to go, more power to you :) If you plan on taking movies with you, however, I'd recommend making an encode of the movie. I'm not sure what PLEX's streaming limitations are, but I'm sure the movie quality would be better playing directly from the device's internal storage as opposed to an internet stream.

    For encoding, I'd recommend handbrake. For your iPad, the ATV2 preset should work. For your iPhone 3GS, you'll need to use the iPhone & iPod Touch preset. The only downside here is that you'd have to have two copies of each movie, depending on which device you'll put them on. Alternatively, you can always just have a single copy of the movie in the iPhone & iPod Touch preset and just deal with the lower quality on the iPad screen. Encoding a feature-length film in either preset, depending on which mini you have/get, won't take all that long, especially if you just encode them as you go.
     
  7. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #7
    Alright, I'll state it again...do you even read the posts, or at least anything past the first sentence? I acknowledged in my post that you can stream/convert on the fly with certain apps, even mentioned PLEX but also stated the downside---must have strong wifi or data to get respectable playback near the quality of playing native files. And considering the recent trends of carriers to cap data, definitely not the best option if you plan on watching any significant amount of video.

    And yet again, that doesn't address the OP's desire to stream to an Apple TV. Sure, you can jailbreak it so you can stream DVD rips without conversion but as I mentioned, not the most user friendly method.
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    If you don't mind the file size, Handbrake all your videos using the ATV2 preset. It'll play on any iOS device and look great on most TVs. If you want to save a little space remove the second AC3 passthrough audio track (you won't get surround sound though)
     
  9. nzlucas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Hey OP,
    What you are describing is exactly what I do and it works fine. As other have mentioned I would re-encode you VOBs etc because they will take a lot of space. DVD are only SD so you do not need massive files and mpv files will look mostly exactly the same for a massive reduction in file size.

    The only down side is it takes a little time to manually queue the movies into handbrake. I would just queue up 10 or 15 movies each night then go to bed.

    There is someone who has gone and made some automation scripts for handbrake but not sure if they work with lion. Look for the sticky thread in apple tv forum.

    Cheers
     
  10. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    Albuquerque, NM
    #10
    Are you sure the ATV2 preset will play on the iPhone 3GS, like the OP wants? I could've sworn that I tried it without success...
     
  11. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #11
    I agree. In fact, I don't believe either Apple TV preset will work with the iPhone 3GS. I believe the Universal setting will work along with the iPod Touch/iPhone preset, obviously.
     
  12. Skyseattle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #12
    It works great

    I also use handbrake with the ATV2 settings and get great results. The atv2 streams perfectly if you are hardwired, I would guess it's the same with wifi, but I have not needed to try. Once your movies are 'hand braked' to the atv2 format, you can also watch them and easily stream them to the iphone4 an the iPad 1 and 2. (do not know about the 3gs)
    Now that I have my ATV2 setup, I hate watching media with another set up.
     
  13. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

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    #13
    If you don't know whist you are talking about please don't post. You can stream from an iOS device with Plex to an ATV2.

    Please read and think before posting.
     
  14. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #14
    Fair enough, just don't understand why anyone would prefer to stream a video to an iDevice and then stream that video again via AirPlay to an Apple TV. I'd personally not prefer to tie up resources on my iPhone/iPad/iPod every time I want to watch a movie on yet another device, not when you can stream directly to the Apple TV. If keeping the original TS or VOB files is that important, just jailbreak the Apple TV and leave the iDevice out of it.
     
  15. iPhone Accessor macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2011
  16. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
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    Florida, USA
    #16
    Is that question directed at the OP (if so, read his first post) or me? I have both and have PLEX installed on both so, if that's what your getting at, I am familiar with how the app works.
     

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