Need advice for best set-up after turning off satellite

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by iaddict, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. iaddict macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    We have made the decision that we are going to discontinue our satellite service. What we want to know is, what is the best route to take for our set-up to stream programing to our tv? Here's what we currently have:
    iMac running Snow Leopard, wireless internet(DSL), sony wireless blu-ray player (BDP-BX57), Nintendo Wii, flat screen HDMI tv - (2 HDMI ports)

    I was thinking about purchasing either a mac-mini refurb or MacBook Air refurb to connect directly to HDMI port on tv. I know the mac-mini is probably the better solution maybe for long term but I was thinking I might want the flexibility of the MacBook Air in that I can use it portably for other reasons than just streaming to tv. Then again, if what I already have will allow me to stream the content from my iMac to tv, what would that set up look like?
  2. alexreich macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    You don't need all that power for a media machine.

    Here's a fairly aged guide, but it may help you get some ideas if you go the Mac mini route:

    Assuming you have DVDs of movies and TV Series collections at your home, you could also set just up a Server for media streaming and buy an AppleTV set-top box for your LAN streaming needs, as well as streams from other media services like Netflix, YouTube, NFL, MLB, etc.

    Personally I use a PowerMac G4 as my File and Media server. I got it for $30 off of craigslist. The one I got had a 450MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 7200rpm IDE drive. After buying parts and accessories for it, my PowerMac server currently has a 80GB 7200rpm IDE boot/OS drive, a PCI SATA Controller with one 1.5TB SATA drive for data storage (for files and media) and a free SATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet PCI card, and 1.5GB of RAM. Sweet machine, and useful even in it's old age. It does everything I need it to do with no hiccups on my LAN.

    If you want to try the PowerMac G4 server route, here are some links for information and purchase. I've purchased and currently use all of the parts and products listed below for server purposes.

    PowerMac G4: (information on the machine) Check craigslist.
    PCI SATA Controller: $72.99
    PCI Gigabit Card: $3.99

    ...and surely you can scrap for or buy hard drives elsewhere.
  3. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    Thanks, alexreich

    Can you explain to me what the PCI SATA controller and PCI gigabit card do?
  4. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    the SATA controller add additional SATA port to connect Hard drives, and the Gigabit cards, is a fast Ethernet port (no available on his oldy mac)

    Anyway, I would put the AppleTV or Roku box option to the hat, You can use Netflix, Hulu(+), and also stream any local content you may already have, you can even rent or buy a movie here and there from iTune and play it on our TV. Those boxes are $99 or less so it is not a bad place to start, if you don't like it or it doesn't fit your needs, sell it and move on with the HTPC setup.

    You can also get an Antenna (depending on where do you live) for about $20 and get some over the air HD channel (local).

    Based on your question about the SATA controller and gigabit card, my guess is that computer stuff is not your strong side, so this may be an stretch but you can build your own HTPC for about $350 (or somewhere around $500 with 3D Blu-ray support).
  5. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The Air doesn't have an IR port so you can't use a remote on it. There are other solutions but if you're looking for simplicity (and if you're married or have kids) then you don't want to overcomplicate things so go with a Mac Mini. (Or get a new TV. The latest ones have many of the popular services built in so it helps justify the cost of upgrading to a 60" :D)
  6. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    I have a sony blu-ray player that will allow me to stream Netflix, Hulu, etc. What I want is a way to get things like ESPN 3, vudu, etc that I cannot get via my blu-ray. The AppleTV is okay but I want something that I can also store content on for later viewing as well.

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