Media Center??

nigelivy

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 21, 2009
66
0
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Hi,

I currently use a 17" MacBook Pro Core Duo connected to a LCD as my home media center, but it seems a bit of a waste for such a great computer. I've been looking at the various options, and would like to ask some advice.

Firstly - I've looked at Xbox's and PS3's with a view to using them as the console for my media center. I don't game, so they would only be for media. Can I play media purchased in iTunes on either? Can I stream from my Mac to either? Would I be better off with say an Apple TV console as the media center? Can I increase the storage on an Apple TV Console?

Secondly - I've looked at getting a refurbed Mac Mini to use as the media center console. The trouble is that I would be looking at around £350 for a Mac Mini with more than 1 core, and unless I'm mistaken I won't be able to play HD on a single core Mini?

So, how effective would an Xbox or PS3 stream with my Mac? Can I stream from my Mac to an Apple TV console, or connect it to external storage?

Any advice or help would be appreciated!

Nigel
 

roidy

macrumors 65816
Dec 30, 2008
1,025
21
Nottingham, UK
Firstly - I've looked at Xbox's and PS3's with a view to using them as the console for my media center. I don't game, so they would only be for media. Can I play media purchased in iTunes on either?
Itunes purchased content contains DRM and as such will only play in iTunes, on an iPod or an AppleTV. It wont play on a PS3 or Xbox360.

Can I stream from my Mac to either?
Yes, but again not DRM iTunes content.

Would I be better off with say an Apple TV console as the media center?
An AppleTV will play all your iTunes purchased content but is limited to 720p, If you can live with this limitation then the AppleTV is a good option.

Can I increase the storage on an Apple TV Console?
People have sucessfully ripped open there AppleTV's and wedged in larger hard drives, but it seems to a bit of a hassle to me and will invalidate your warrenty.

Secondly - I've looked at getting a refurbed Mac Mini to use as the media center console. The trouble is that I would be looking at around £350 for a Mac Mini with more than 1 core, and unless I'm mistaken I won't be able to play HD on a single core Mini?
Being a PC user I can't comment. But for a much cheaper price you could buy one of the ION based mini PC's to use as a media center. I have a Asrock ION 330 that is running the linux version of XBMC and I love it. It playes everything I throw at it including 1080p content. But again it wont play iTunes purchased DRM content.

So, how effective would an Xbox or PS3 stream with my Mac?
Should stream fine.

Can I stream from my Mac to an Apple TV console
Yes, thats one of the main features of how the AppleTV is used, and the way I use mine.

or connect it to external storage?
Out of the box the AppleTV dosn't support external storage via it's USB port, however if you hack the operating system with a patch stick you can enable the USB port and connect a external hard drive.
 

nigelivy

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 21, 2009
66
0
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Thanks for the feedback!

I have nearly 1tb of media in my iTunes library on my MacBook which is stored on an external hard drive. Is it possible to just stream this media to the Apple TV console to watch, but not actually store it on the Apple TV console?
 

roidy

macrumors 65816
Dec 30, 2008
1,025
21
Nottingham, UK
Yes, i dont store anything on my AppleTV, I stream all of my media from my upstairs desktop PC via iTunes to my AppleTV in the lounge.
 
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