Movie Server

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rogo43, May 27, 2013.

  1. rogo43 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Has anyone used a Mac Mini with a Drobo or other High Capacity Storage device attached to it as a Home Movie Server?
    I currently use my IMac but would rather not having it stream data when i may be using it for other things at the same time.

    Thanks
     
  2. Raima macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    #2
    I generally put all my movies into iTunes and home share it for my Apple TV/Macs to connect to it.

    I also have Air Video Server Running to allow iPhones/iPods/iPads to connect. It's also been setup to stream to me while I'm on the road.

    I used to have some other Samsung server thing to allow my smart TV to connect directly to it, but it slowed my raid storage down indexing the movies constantly.

    Hope that gives you some ideas
     
  3. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    What do you want to do with it ? Is it for Apple stuff or do you just want to watch the Movies on TV(s). If it's for Apple, then iTunes and Apple TV is your option. If it's for TV(s), then any connected data storage location will work with any (maybe) media streamer.

    As I had a life before I converted to Apple, I still use my ReadyNAS units for Movie storage and Netgear NeoTV550 units for media streaming. I can watch the same item on any or all of my 3 TVs (at the "same" time - approx since I can't actually start streaming on all 3 simultaneously).
     
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #4
    Buy a base model Mac Mini and external USB 3.0 7200rpm HDD.
    Rip all your videos/DVD/BDs through HandBrake on ATV3 setting.
    Run the M4v and mp4 files though Meta Z.
    Drop them into iTunes and make sure the iTunes library is on the USB drive (because you will need space).
    Home share iTunes on the mini.
    Run the mini 24/7 plugged into you main TV.
    Put Apple TV3s on your other TVs and connect to the Home Share account.
    Add an Airport Express with Airplay and speakers if you want cool sounds somewhere (streaming from the Home Share iTunes account).
    In your Macs you then connect via iTunes to the Home Shared account if you want to to watch videos on them.
    Make sure you keep everything backed up.

    That is my method.
     
  5. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    I also second that method... I think it's the best. You don't really need a mac mini. You could use a PC with iTunes and load it with hard drives. If you go the mini route you will be forced to use external storage at some point.
     
  6. rogo43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Well i have WDTV on two TVs bit they suck!!! Their so slow and glitchy.

    I was considering a ATV 3 but i do a lot of "legal" downloading of movies in the M2TS format and i didn't know i could load movies like that into iTunes to be played on an ATV.
     
  7. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #7
    Then I suggest you look at finding a better Media Player than the WD unit. I tried one for a week or so and sent it back - verrryyyy sloooow. I've had little problem with the units I have, but they have been replaced by a new model now.
     
  8. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #8
    Which 7200 RPM external drive do you have? Seagate? Needs a power cord though, right?
     
  9. whoiare macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #9
    id like to add to the mini setup idea. Since i use my mini as my main computer as well as my itunes server i use an external firewire 800 3TB drive and keep a free USB port. The FW800 is essentially useless for anything else nowadays and thunderbolt drives are too pricey. The FW800 harddrive might cost a little BIT more up front, but i feel its worth it as a dedicated external itunes server/timecapsule/photo storage drive. id then echo what everyone else is saying. Itunes on the mini, external storage. Apple tv3's wherever you wanna watch itunes content. add airplay devices for extra media goodness. My setup:
    mac mini with 3tb external
    3 atv3's all streaming movies/tvshows/music/photo library through itunes
    various airplay devices - pioneer VSX receiver, airport extreme into griffin twenty
    ipods ipads and iphones all can view shared library as well once they are on the wireless created by the airport extreme.
     
  10. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #10
    It really depends on the model and make. I have found with seagate that all 3tb drives are 7200 but it is hit and miss with the 4tb as they now put 5900rpm drives in the enclosures. It shouldn't matter that much.

    Having said all that, you do not need 7200. I just prefer the time saving when moving large HD movies.

    If you want to use small 2.5" drives, the only 7200 1tb drive is the Hitachi touro Pro. Make sure it is the pro. It has a HGST 1TB 7200 drive inside.

    Otherwise all other brand name drives are 5400 at 1tb or larger.

    5400 or 7200 will not matter at all for iTunes or converting video. The read/ write speeds on that are minimal.

    You will find a lot of the video transcoding and iTunes stuff is covered well in the Apple TV forum.
     
  11. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #11
    Yeah you can transcode any video format into mp4 or m4v (iTunes) In HandBrake. HD movies can take a while. Also it is very very 100% CPU intensive. That is not bad but you will push the CPU and the fan will likely run. This is not a problem at all unless you code video 24/7 for extended period of time.

    Also you will need to install the libdvdcss pkg after you load HandBrake if you want to transcode DVDs. It is a plugin for HB for decrypting DVD.

    http://download.videolan.org/pub/videolan/libdvdcss/1.2.11/macosx/

    Good luck.
     
  12. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #12
    Cheaper to get a pc and put multiple drives in it. Less cables. You can find a cheap quad core or build it for cheaper price. Itunes runs fine on my dual hex system running win7 pro to 2 ATV's. If your ripping/converting HD video, make sure its above 3ghz processor as was noted above, very cpu intensive.
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    I use a Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server with a bunch of external drives. Videos/music/images served using Plex to other Macs and iTunes to the Apple TV. It does many other server functions as well. A base model mini would do just as well for just being a movie server.
    [​IMG]
    The "toaster" is used for backing up the drives.
     
  14. rogo43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    Thanks!
    All good ideas... I like the idea of having a Mac Mini be the server and load everything into iTunes and then stream it to the ATV, but there's no way
    I'm gonna trans code hundreds of movies form M2TS into something that works with ATV.

    To bad but thanks.
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    Actually HandBrakeCLI in a simple bash script can convert a folder of M2TS files into something for the ATV. It might take a few days of crunching, but it can be done.
     
  16. rogo43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    thats a good point. hmmm. your making me want to do this more and more. Ill have to look into it more
     
  17. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #17
    I use a mini with drobo running plex serves several dlna tv's plus various apple devices without an issue. I like it because I don't want to spend hours transcoding files for iTunes
     
  18. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #18
    Honestly... unless you have a really old iMac or are doing something seriously processor intensive I see no benefit to a Mini + external storage vs. the iMac + external storage.

    If you're running the streams off a different HD than your system is running off of it's not going to effect your disk access speeds or anything.

    The Hackintosh in my signature serves all of my media serving/encoding needs nicely.
     
  19. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    #19
    I use a Synology for my "big storage", and rip with makemkv. I playback with Dune Smart players.

    I don't needed to transcode, just a lot of storage. I prefer the NAS over individual drives for less management overall.

    I prefer the Dune devices for their much more universal playback abilities vs Apple TV.

    No transcoding by choice.
     
  20. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #20
    There's a program called HandBrakeBatch that lets you just drag all our files in, select a preset, & let it run. Then drag the results into IDentify to tag everything & add cover art, and IDentify then sends them over to iTunes. Doing a few hundred movies will take about 30 minutes of your time, plus a ton of automated conversion time :)

    ----------

    I do use a Mini with a 4-bay enclosure as my iTunes Media disk. However the Mini is also my "daily driver" computer so more like if you were to do the same thing with your iMac. In my household using my main computer works fine; kids are grown & on their own so if anything maybe my wife is watching something on :apple:TV while I'm using the Mini. Even multiple streaming sessions likely would not be a problem. More often its busy cranking on conversions while I'm doing other things but that doesn't hurt simple stuff like checking MacRumors ;)

    I'd say the better argument for a dedicated media server is conversion, not streaming. That's where you are really using the horsepower of the machine.
     
  21. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #21
    My Mini pulls iTunes content (mostly ripped blu-ray movies) off of network storage on a local gigabit link. Then my AppleTV can access it. No issues whatsoever. I'm using a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2+ which is also my Time Machine server.
     
  22. rogo43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    Never heard of dunes. Ill check it out
     
  23. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #23
    My setup is:

    Mac Mini Server, i7/256SSD/16GB RAM
    Drobo v2 (USB2) 4x2TB WD Green
    Drobo 5D (Thunderbolt) 5x3TB WD Red

    My 'old' Drobo is for Time Machine. I backup the Mini, 2 iMacs and 2 MBPs locally, CrashPlan for off-site.

    The 5D holds the iTunes/iMovie/iPhoto libraries.

    Prior to this setup, the Drobo v2 had the libraries and I had two WD 3TB USB3 MyBooks in RAID0 for Time Machine.

    I get about 180MB/sec reads and 150MB/sec writes out of my 5D. So it keeps up with what's asked.

    BTW- I have philosophical objections to NAS devices. Since I wanted direct-attached storage, my choices were simplified.

    I have owned SNAP! Servers and ReadyNAS NV+ boxes in the past. YMMV.
     
  24. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #24
    You might want to look at the Mac mini + Pegasus J4.

    4x Crucial M5 960GB is my dream.
     
  25. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #25
    Yeah, but "slow" external "green" drives on a USB2 interface actually provide enough throughput for a movie server.
     

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