Multiple tv's - one media centre

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by meulemaster, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. meulemaster macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Hope someone will have an answer to this...

    In my house I have 4 TV's which I want to hook up to a Mac mini. I am dreaming of a set-up with which it is possible to use 1 mac mini and connect all the tv's in my house (and be able to access the content in all the different rooms)

    Now would I be needing a mac mini (or other laptop/computer) in all the other rooms to physically connect to the TV or is there something else possible (perhaps wireless)??

  2. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2008
    Mac mini in your office with a big external hd. Hook that up to your wireless network. Apple TV on every tv. Presto, anything on your mini can play on any one of your tv's. Hope I helped!
  3. Purpdust macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    I agree with the post above, Mini Mac at you main TV and :apple:TV at your other locations.

    It would not be possible for the Mini Mac to output Four Different Video Signals. It you just want all four to display the same then you could split the signal, but with the distance and connections I would not want to do this.
  4. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Agreed. :apple:TV is the way to go. We'll be getting a second one for in the lounge (the current one resides in my room) as the new TV arrives tomorrow - the way the Apple TV works is great for everything we need - from streaming video round the house to playing music to every system in the house in situations such as parties.
  5. Purpdust macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Yes, add a couple Air Port Expresses and you are golden ;)
  6. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Why not throw in an iPod Touch/iPhone as well so you can control all of them?
    Right now I have a tiny apartment so I only have one tv/apple tv... I'm almost looking forward to having multiple rooms that 'require' an Apple tv to access all of my media!
  7. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2008
    Yes, we forgot about the ipod touch or iphone! It is a great way to control it all. Good call!
  8. sosnpk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    I went the route of having a single apple tv modulated as a channel on all the tvs throughout the home. The reason I did this was to use the apple tv as a primary jukebox for my whole house audio system with the ability to view the gui in each room (besides using the interface on my iphone) for changing songs, video etc... I was also fine with only having one source playing because it allows me to travel between rooms (living room and kitchen as an example) without having to pause whatever I am watching, I already had a similar setup with my replay tv dvr modulated throughout the house. I feel that this system meets my current needs and also is usable/understandable by the wife which is often a big factor in whatever i setup.

    For this setup I chose to use the component out which i converted to composite using this product ( to work with the standard video modulators on the market. I have this modulator that works great, picked it up used on ebay for $30,

    You could certainly use hdmi with a splitter but I was less concerned with the video quality being distributed and more concerned about not having to run hdmi throughout the house and also wanted it to be a channel instead of an input. Additionally if I want the high quality video on the living room tv I just change it over to using a loose hdmi I have in that room disabling the modulation when in this setup.

    Control comes through the ir repeater on the homes whole house audio system (breathaudio 2 input 4 zone system), and I also have a terk leakfrog ir repeater in the basement because it is not a zone of the system, all work great.

    Again this setup has different positives and negatives but just wanted to discuss another setup method.

    Merry Christmas
  9. Purpdust macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008

    Nice setup, would it not be great if the IPhone/ITouch displayed the Live feed as well :D Then you could even take to the W/C with you:rolleyes:
  10. sosnpk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    True, video streaming would be nice but audio is the primary media we use this setup for, we have the audio in the master bath, it is controlled by the master tv or iphone.

    Another note with my setup is that it is great for folks that don't have the resources for a whole house audio system. I frequently find my wife has not turned on the ceiling speakers in the room she's in and just uses the speakers on the tv. Not a quality signal (whole house is connected via toshlink) but audio nonetheless.

  11. meulemaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008

    many thanks to all whom replied!!! Have many good ideas!!!

    Merry Xmas!
  12. turbo24 macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi sosnpk,
    I am a newbie and would appreciate if you explain some more. I am wondering whether to get apple tv. My problem is I have 4 TVs in 4 rooms. Getting 4 apple TVs could be a solution but is expensive. I download movies and have ripped a lot of my CDs. I want that accessed from my family room and bedroom TV which are HDTVs. I want to access some movies and some channels over internet in my 3rd TV. 4th TV is occassional whenever my parents visit. So how do you do this modulation and do you transmit it wirelessly? I also want to be able to watch different programming on different TVs. Hope you can help.

  13. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    as far as i undertsand (don't have an apple tv yet.) you won t be able to watch different things on each tv using one apple tv, only one signal out... if you have many apple tv then each one will have its own different signal to whatever tv you have it connected too. I f you connect one apple tv and somehow (thirds party hardware or spliters i dunno) i think it would work, but that isone signal out to all tv's meaning all 4 or 3 or 50 tv plugged in to this signal will all be watching or should i say displaying) the same content...
  14. sosnpk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    Juanster is correct, I essentially have one large single source media server but its available to all my tvs via the modulation. Modulation allows me to input the apple tv as a channel on my cable system.

    Example, in my house, channel 77 is my house DVR (replay tv modulated) and channel 88 is the apple tv (modulated as described above) I chose this option because its easiest to explain to the wife factor, channel 77 is dvr, channel 88 is music. All rooms have ir repeater to send the remote signal and one room has the leapfrog ir repeater though i might replace that with the next generation rf repeater in the future.

    The 2 options (modulated over cable or hdmi splitter) both require hard wiring to the system. Hdmi will give you better quality though due to cost and the fact that all rooms are already cable wired i decided to not do it in this house, next one for sure.....

    As for now i'm fairly pleased with the system, its easy to explain to guests, and i'm only syncing once. Happy new year..
  15. unfrozen.jon macrumors member


    Sep 23, 2007
    This looks like it could be impressive, hopefully this model will have all the same options as a Popcorn Hour or a TVIX then it would make an excellent Media Server for an entire household. If Apple were to update the AppleTV to handle 1080P I would instead go for that and get multiples ones for each TV w/ Boxee installed but for right now I find its too limited.
  16. mits35 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2009

    Thanks, this is very helpful. I did have a few questions:
    1. the modulator you purchased does not have a coaxial IN for the cable running to the house, so did you used another box to combine the modulated signal with the existing digital cable?

    2. if there are channel in the current cable lineup that are not used, I see that it would be useful to replace these with the modulated signal (for the media server, tivo, etc). how do you remove the prior signal, so that there isn't interference with the new modulated signal.

    I am mainly trying to use my PS3 (and media loaded on it) on multiple TVs throughout the house. I have coaxial running through the house, currently have Verizon Fios for cable TV. I'm trying to understand your solution to see if that can work for me, setting up the PS3 (and modulator) in the closet where the cable comes in and gets split to the rooms, assuming the modulated signal will get through the Fios cable box without issue.

  17. sosnpk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    1. Original I just used a cheap, simple combiner (, then when I went to 2 modulated channels I upgraded to this 8 port amplified one with 2 modulator inputs (, also helps for my longer coax runs.

    2. I have Time Warner Digital Cable with HD and a few premiums, didn't have a problem finding an unused channel, i think the modulators like something under channel 100, i chose 77 for one channel and 88 for the other. I think they do sell channel specific blockers but i didn't need one.

    I think you shouldn't have a problem with using this setup for your PS3, the signal quality of the modulated channels actually suprises me. Let us know how it turns out.


Share This Page