Mac Mini Home Theater with multiple TV's

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Speedracer04, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Speedracer04 macrumors 6502a

    Speedracer04

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Alright, so here is my setup. Im looking just bought a house so I will now have more than 1 TV in my place other than my living room. I want to keep the cable box ditched but still get access all of my stored media (movies + shows) on my other TV's.

    I currently have a Mac Mini C2D running Plex in my main living room with an external hard drive connected with all my movies, shows and music.

    Can I use an Apple TV in my bedroom and basement and stream content from the Mac Mini to the Apple TV's in the other areas of my house?

    Ive heard of AirFlick...not sure if you have to JB the Apple TV to use it though. Whats the best solution for those of us who have multiple TV's but want to access all of our content from one source?

    Thanks in advance! :cool:
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    One Apple TV per television. They're pretty inexpensive, especially compared to the TV. Each ATV can link up with the same iTunes library, so you still have one source.
     
  3. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #3
    It should work like a champ straight out of the box. Just go to the "Computers" tab on each Apple TV's menu and select the iTunes library you want it to stream from. You just need to be sure you have good WiFi reception. (If possible, wired is even better.)
     
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #4
    If all of your media is hosted in iTunes, then the ATV will connect out of the box. If you are using Plex because you have non iTunes formats, then you will have to do more work. There is an iOS Plex player - you may be able to use that from iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad to stream your media then AirPlay it over to the ATV. I don't use Plex, so I can't say for sure.

    Not sure about AirFlick. If that uses AirPlay, you could use that to 'push' the stream to the AppleTV. I think that you would have to remote control the Mac to initiate the media - not select it from the ATV interface (sort of backwards for TV).

    There are jailbreaks available for ATV2. I would expect Plex to be something that there would be a lot of demand for, but I don't know it to exist. Search for ATVFlash - they have some Beta products for ATV2, along with links to jail breaking info.
     
  5. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #5
    Air video will AirPlay other formats to the atv2 via iDevice.

    My setup is mini htpc and 4 atv2's and 2 jb atv1's and I can watch Netflix, my movie library, stream my eyetv recorded shows as well as live tv via AirPlay.

    Easy as pie to set up
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    there is a plex client for jailbroken appleTV.

    Plex server will transcode files so they play, so you may run into problems if you're trying to watch on more than one iOS device at a time, depending on how beefy the computer running the server is.

    the newest versions of iOS plex support direct play, where if the device is capable of playing the file directly, the server will just send the file instead of re-encoding it. i'm not sure how it decides what it needs to transcode and what it needs to stream though.
     
  7. Dkrogh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #7
    when using multiple :apple:tv's can you stream 2 different shows at the same time to 2 separate tv's?

    My guess would be yes but just want to make sure.
     
  8. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #8
    Your guess is correct. The number of :apple:tvs you can feed from one source depends only on the speed of your source computer's network connection; the :apple:tv buffers each media file as fast as the source can send the data. Two :apple:tvs can be handled quite easily by most network setups, and each :apple:tv can indeed receive a separate program simultaneously.
     
  9. Dkrogh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #9
    awesome! thanks for the quick reply! :D
     
  10. Speedracer04 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Speedracer04

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    This is where I stand, almost none of my media is located on iTunes, all on my external HDD. After doing a little more research, I think that I would have to JB and install the Plex client on the ATV to get what I am looking for.

    Agree?
     
  11. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Just because the media is on an external doesn't mean that it can't be included in your iTunes library. It's the format that is important. If everything is is in an iTunes friendly package (m4v), you can leave the files on the external but still make them available through iTunes.

    Anyway, my guess would be that you have a mix of formats some of which are not iTunes friendly, so yes, the Plex client is probably what you want.

    Really, if I weren't already invested in iTunes, I'm not sure I would go with the AppleTV. You could probably find other devices that would play your media without as much fiddling around. Many newer TVs even include the ability to play media from your network directly, without the need for an additional box.
     

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