Media Center??

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nigelivy, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. nigelivy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Location:
    Newbury, Berkshire, UK
    #1
    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
     
  2. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #2
    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.

    Yes, but again not DRM iTunes content.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Should stream fine.

    Yes, thats one of the main features of how the AppleTV is used, and the way I use mine.

    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.
     
  3. nigelivy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Location:
    Newbury, Berkshire, UK
    #3
    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?
     
  4. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    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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