Requesting ideas for home theatre setup (x2)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Lethcoeb, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Lethcoeb, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

    Lethcoeb macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2011
    So I have a lot of older and recent Apple kit.

    I also have 2 home theater locations ( family room and garage apt) where I can employ my Apple kit.

    In my family room I have an AppleTV2 and an Apple Extreme (amongst other AV gear) - and the Extreme is a bridge to my Extreme -ac base station for my other connected AV gear.

    I've also recently procured a 2012 Mac Mini which I am considering using to replace the AppleTV2 in the family room, perhaps to run Plex.

    For my 2nd HT location I have the option to place my old AppleTV1, perhaps the ATV from the family room, and/or another AirPort Extreme to bridge to the -ac.

    I have receivers I each room, along with TiVos and an XBox 360 (family room) and Roku (garage apt).

    Anyone have any thoughts around what you might do with this stuff?

    I am underusing my AppleTV1, I think, and I think I can employ the Mac Mini in some fun capacity in my Family Room.

    I am going to continue to keep my mid-2011 iMac as the iTunes server (music and video), at least until I upgrade into the rumored-iMac Retina.

    I also have a couple of iPad 1's and an iPhone 4 which are not being used, although I will put one of the iPad 1's in the kitchen to act as both a calendar and a music player.
  2. scifi451 macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2003
    My setup is a Mac Mini that is on all the time to serve up my movies, TV shows and music to the two (2nd gen and 3rd gen) Apple TV's I have in the house. In my main TV room have my Apple tv, blu ray player and cable box all tied into my AV receiver and works great.
  3. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    The Apple TV1 is getting a bit long in the tooth as is OS X 10.4. You wont be able to stream HD with it. You might be able to employ your MacMini for that. An Apple TV1 these days really holds very limited purposeful value for playing content.

    What you could do to make your Apple TV1 purposeful again is to install a large hard drive in it and run iTunes on it to store content for other Apple TVs in the house, but you wont get very far even with serving content, as you can't run a new enough version of iTunes on it, or at least not without hacking it to run a newer version of OS X on it.

    You can use your Mac Mini in various ways depending on which OS and processor speed it has. If it's an Intel Mac it will do everything... with OS X 10.5, you can run Front Row with an Apple Remote, or you might install Plex, or XBMC on it and get that up and going.

    With your Airport Extreme you can hook up a USB NAS box for all your media and it will be fast enough to deploy content across your network. You can get 3 and 4 bay external USB NAS boxes that are just "dumb" or in other words, just a bunch of disks, or you can get a box that has some "smart" functionality and supports RAID.

    If you set up a RAID box you can usually have RAID 0 setup fairly inexpensively and that will back up your content.

    I have a 1.5 Terrabyte disk hanging off my Airport Extreme bridged to a wireless N router. I don't have anything new enough for 802.11ac so I haven't gone there yet.
  4. orestes1984, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    This is an exploded diagram of my network presently, all of my storage is hanging off my quick and dirty NAS piggybacked off an Airport in bridge mode. Live TV comes from an EyeTV and its ported across on my iPhones to the AppleTV should I have any need to watch any live TV on my Apple TV.

    My iPhones also double down for net delivered content from my live TV channel providers and for catchup TV content. That funny looking thing on the end is the cloud, which my router acts as the gateway to and that's where the rest of content comes from.

    I've got terrestrial TV covered as well as digitally delivered content all in the one mesh network which is mostly wireless N. Wireless printing comes from a quick and dirty SMB printer share off of the Windows 7 PC, et voilà.

  5. Lethcoeb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2011
    Thanks for the info so far guys- I'll get organized later today and post a diagram of my current state, list the extra hardware I have, and see if that further inspires anyone.

    I just have a lot of unused kit (because I keep upgrading) which I think I can make good use of throughout my house...
  6. Lethcoeb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2011
    Attached is a diagram of my current setup. The stuff on the bottom right is what I am not currently using, while the other stuff in use is represented in the diagram, at their various locations throughout the house.

    I do not think that things are exactly optimized - it's been a patchwork of adding devices, repurposing others (i.e. the kitchen iPad 1), etc.

    I have a lot of devices - I guess we like to be entertained, and we have 3 adults and 2 kids here, so we have stuff distributed throughout the house.

    So given all of the stuff that I have, if you had the opportunity to move things around, how would you do it?

    I am looking at replacing the Family Room AppleTV2 with the Mac Mini, and maybe moving the AppleTV2 to another room.

    I have a limitation in the garage apartment, as the TV there is an older plasma which does not accept HDMI (component only, and receiver in place has only 2 component inputs - used by TiVo and Roku, but I have another separate unused component in available on the TV) - I could put the AppleTV1 there, to act as a music server for iTunes, while keeping video content from the Tivo Series 3 and Roku box.

    Also would like to have some purpose for other iPad 1 and the old iPhones, but haven't figured it out yet.

    Also I think my MoCA network is suboptimized - the TiVos are all connected via MoCA, and back to the internet via the Airport Extreme in the family room (extended network) - I could bridge that Airport Extreme and then use the other unused Airport Extreme to extend the network to give me more wireless coverage downstairs or in the garage apartment.

    Anyways, this is my dilemma - too much stuff, some of it older, but probably still useful. Just looking for some other ideas!


    Attached Files:

  7. orestes1984, Oct 14, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    Your AppleTV 1 will serve music just fine as will it store content for the rest of your network. You can hack it and run a copy of iTunes on it for music, and have it pop on your network for storing videos that can be accessed by other computers. It will play music just fine and its saving grace is that you can put a large hard drive in it and use it as a NAS.

    The two main issues with the Apple TV1 is that it runs OS X 10.4, and secondly that it only has a 1ghz CPU so it can't handle any sort of HD video directly.

    It could act as an iTunes server in just handling content for other devices, but I wouldn't rely on it for playback. Perhaps you could install a later version of OS X such as Leopard on it and a newer version of iTunes that supports playback to later model Apple TVs such as the Apple TV3. Once you had the hard drive setup in it you could also access it via screen sharing.

    I've seen this done and seen an Apple TV1 repurposed into a streaming server, it works OK.

    Your Mac Mini depending on its speed and the fact that it is an intel Mac Mini could play back content in 1080p HD through various front ends as I said previously depending on what you install. Leopard gives you the last version of Front Row that works with these machines, then there's the alternatives XBMC and Plex which are straight forward enough to install.

    Your Apple TV2 can't play 1080p but it'll handle 720p, there's lots of options you can use for one of these considering they can be jailbroken you can access all of the streaming content available through Plex, XBMC or whatever.

    Once your Apple TV2 is jailbroken you'd be able to access movies off another hard drive on the network, say for example from the iTunes library on your Apple TV1 which you could just point it at.

    Your iPhones and iPads can be used to Airplay mirror any of the streaming content that you get with your cable TV providers or with something like an EyeTV you can stream digital terrestrial TV to another room in your house that has a TV but no wall socket via AirPlay Mirroring.

    Just a few ideas.

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