Making a Simple Entertainment Center with my Macs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by edwardbarrios, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. edwardbarrios macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    #1
    I'm about to upgrade my living room TV with a 42"+ flat panel and was wondering what the simplest set-up of components would be with the use of my 2004 PowerBook G4, 2009 26" iMac in my home office and soon to come MBP? As soon as the new MBP hits the market, hopefully sooner than later, I would retire my PowerBook G4 to strictly be used as part of the living room entertainment.

    Any suggestions on how to tie it all in? I'm not sure if I'd be missing out by not getting a Time Capsule too. I've read some pretty horrible reviews about the Time Capsule and will probably stay away for now. I was considering the following TV and components, but I'd love to hear other opinions or suggestions:

    1) 46" Samsung LED
    2) Apple TV - To network with my 26" iMac home office, PowerBook G4 and soon to come MacBookPro
    3) PlayStation 3 Slim - For a Blue Ray and DVD player
    4) Sound System? I don't need anything special, maybe one of those all-in-one bars. I'm not huge on the theater experience. Any suggestions?
    5) Airport Express? Would an AirPort Express be easier than Apple TV

    Again, just minimal set-up. Nothing too fancy and complicated. I just want to be able to use my living room media along with my Macs with a minimal amount of components.

    How do you guys have your systems hooked up at home?
     
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #2
    Yes, stay away from a time capsule.

    Do, however, look at a mac mini server - around a grand ($850 when you can find them refurb).
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    The Airport Express can solely stream sound. The USB port is just working with printers, no hard disc support!
     
  4. edwardbarrios thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    #4
    I wonder if it would make sense to add an optical drive to the Apple TV?
     
  5. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    my house
    #5
    You should ask this same question over in the Apple TV forum (not just limited to Apple TV) That is where I got the idea for my setup(s).

    First setup:
    42" Flat Panel + Apple TV (hacked w/ Boxee). The Apple TV streamed content from a hard drive connected to my Airport Extreme. I didn't like over the air streaming of video with Apple TV so I changed some things around.

    Second setup
    Same TV but replaced Apple TV with the cheapest Mac Mini (upgraded Ram myself - you need at least 2GB for best video) and I use Plex to access content I have on my Drobo(any external hard drive would work) connected right to the Mini via FireWire. Bonus is, I can play an occasional game every now and then :) Plus I can connect to it from either computer I use on my wireless network.

    My questions/suggestions would be:
    You don't need the Apple TV unless you're going to be buying right from iTunes. You can connect an external HD right to the PS3.
     

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