Media Box

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by aaroncelli, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. aaroncelli macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    Don't know if this is the right place for this or not but here goes: Right now I have a Time Capsule and a 2010 Mac Mini. The TC basically acts as a media server, and my Mini streams netflix, the tv shows and movies on the TC and anything else I needed entertainment wise. I'm moving into a house here shortly and in my basement I was thinking about buying another Mac Mini so I have one in the living room and the basement room. However I was just wondering if there was a cheaper alternative than a Mac Mini.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    the time capsule is just a file server (not media), so it's only going to send files to a computer.

    Where did you get your files, really only 2 answers that matter... iTunes or other

    if it's iTunes, you need an apple TV or other apple device to play them back.
    Your Mac will need to be on and running iTunes to stream the media, or most things you can stream directly from apple.

    if it's other, you have more options.

    I recommend Plex
    It's a media server that will run on your mac. It will grab the files off your time capsule and send it off to the different clients.
    if the file is not compatible with the player, the server will convert and stream as you watch it.

    there are a ton of clients... mac, windows, linux, roku, chromecast, iOS and android as well as some smart TVs

    This is a pretty easy workaround to get this running on the aTV, you can re-direct the trailers app to Plex instead. (check out PlexConnect) It's pretty nice, i use it on one of my TVs

    you can also run the client on your mac, and get a nice interface that you can use from the couch

    any of the media boxes (aTV, roku, chromecast) will also give you netflix, hulu, HBOgo, and lots of other channels (they vary by device, so check them out and see if the offerings on one stand out to you)

    or you could just go with a smartTV. Plex supports DLNA which is on most smartTVs even if they don't have a plex client, Most of them will also have netflix if not more options.
    The DLNA interface is not as nice as a native plex client though, and might be missing some features, like remembering where you stopped watching something when you come back to it.

    i would buy 2 devices one for living and one for basement, they are all $99 or less. you're still way less than a mini.
    all of them have a "10 foot interface" meaning they're designed to be run from the couch using a basic remote. and tend to be easier for the non-tech minded people in our lives to figure out.
  3. aaroncelli thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    So doing a little digging into Plex on say, a roku, looks like I basically download Plex on the Roku, pay a one time fee of 4.99 and then bam, I'll be able to stream my media (.mkv .mp4 .avi .m4v) on the Roku. I already have everything categorized on the the time capsule. Movies by genre and TV shows by season, etc.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    the time capsule is not a media server, you'll need to be running the plex server on your mac.

    plex is specific in the way you need to name files, but once you get the hang it's pretty easy. it might work with what you have.

    Tv shows, you point to a folder, and it looks at the folders in that folder for show names, it then goes through all the folder inside each show name folder looks for season and episode numbers.

    TV shows
    -- --Season 1
    -- -- --lost.s01.e01.pilot.avi
    but this would also work
    TV shows
    -- --S01.E01.avi
    as long as the top folder are show names, it's pretty forgiving.
    I've also found putting the year helps it figure things out so "Lost (2004)"

    Movies can be arranged however you want, but you need to have one main movie folder, you could keep the genre folders if you want, but plex takes care of tagging genres for you.

    check out this link for more info.
  5. ecopod macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    One more thing

    Still using ATV3 in living room but recently set up Raspberry Pi to run PLEX as couldn't get on with Plex Connect on ATV. For £26 the RPi with RasPlex is easily the best Plex interface I've seen (and I think I've seen most of them), I'm not super techy but it was a breeze to set up, powered from USB on TV and works with TV remote.

    Worth looking at for very cheap PLEX client.

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