The Perfect Home Theater Setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by JonnyQ, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. JonnyQ macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    I have a new Samsung 3D Tv, HD Surround Sound sytem, Logitech Harmony 900 Remote and I just purchased a new Mac Mini Server.
    My goal is to setup a nice Home Theater System and record TV. I also want to say good bye to Satelite and Cable and go with content from the air and internet.
    What suggestions do you have for me to finish my setup, should I get a Tivo or EyeTv Hybrid, I also read something about MythTv, is that something I need too?

    I appreciate any suggestions, what would be the perfect setup?

  2. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    having had tivo, and presently use Elgato, I would go with Elgato to record your tv shows.

    their software has the ability to stream to your mobile device which is pretty cool to use.

    im hoping that the 4.3 ios will allow airplay of the eyerv app so I can play near real time tv going into my mini to any tv in my home.
  3. mnilan macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Dump Cable TV!

    I'm looking to do without a cable connection too (can't do satellite - obstructions to the south - but don't want it either) and am trying to figure out how to set everything up. I have a new AppleTV and am playing around with that but iTunes seems to be the primary road block - still experimenting. Looked at the EyeTV except I can't tell if I can play it back on my HD TV... Anyone know where there are descriptions of cable-less/satellite-less HD systems described - hardware, software and physical/wireless connections> I am trying to figure out how to think about it and there are just too many variables...
  4. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    I don't have the perfect setup myself yet, but I'd be game to share what I'm currently working on setting up, and seeing what others have done.

    Currently I have two TVs on opposite sides of the same wall (one in bedroom, other in living room). They are both served by a single Dish Network DVR unit, which outputs two tuners to two separate TVs. It's a pretty slick unit, and the convenience of dual-tuner DVR functionality for both TVs with one box (pause something in one room, resume watching in the other, for example) is the main reason I haven't abandoned Dish.

    That said, I have been exploring how feasible it would be to go without Dish. I bought a used Elgato EyeTV One off ebay, and hooked it up to my old Powerbook G4 1.67 GHz on one end, and a pair of 20-year-old rabbit ears on the other. Picks up the OTA HD signals pretty well inside my condo, even better on the roof, though I'm just testing right now so I won't go rooftop antenna until I figured out if I want to proceed. Nice thing is that I can have it record HD TV shows over the air at no cost, and then export to iTunes so I can watch them via Apple TV. The problem is, on my old G4, the export process takes TENS OF HOURS. I recorded two episodes of a TV show late at night the other day. The recordings were ready to watch within the eyetv program , and the export to iTunes for the two shows combined took over 24 hours.

    I can get the exports done much quicker (a half hour to an hour or so) if I use my MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz, but I was hoping to delegate all the DVR activity to my older computer so I could use my MBP as my main computer without any performance impact from also being a TV machine. On the G4, it's the exporting, not the recording, that takes the time. But watching the un-exported shows from the eyetv archive (ie: they've been recorded, but not output to itunes) is slow and jumpy on my G4, probably because the bit rate of the uncompressed recordings is too high for the G4 processor to handle smoothly. On the other hand, watching the exported/compressed video in iTunes on the G4, or streamed over G-wireless to my apple tv from the G4, is smooth and flawless. So either I have to export and just wait days to watch a show (not practically acceptable for my wife), or I run all this on my MBP instead.

    My thinking was I'd have the G4 powerbook sitting near one of the tvs, and have its video output split so it would go to both tvs. then I'd use FrontRow and Rowmote (on my iphone) to control it to watch the tv shows once they are imported to iTunes. The time it takes to "export" is my main hangup right now though. Anyone know if the elgato turbohd.264 would help me out here? It says it requires an intel processor to work, but then the eyetv One said that as well and it works just fine on my G4 powerbook, so it might be worth a try.
  5. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    Depending on your location, it may be useless to buy into a recording system if you're looking to cut cable. I am in a city, and I only channels I get in HD that are worth watching are PBS, NBC, CBS and Fox. After living without cable for a long time, I've found that the shows I want to watch are a) on Netflix b) on Hulu or c) available on prime-time when I'd be watching anyway. I would not invest in recording hardware, it wouldn't be worth the cost for me. I use my ATV2 for netflix and I use a Plex plugin (yay for jailbreaking) to get access to my movies and TV shows on my Mac that I've either ripped from DVD or obtained through...other means. All in all I've been very happy with my setup and don't pay Comcast or any of those other crooks a dime.
  6. ghileman macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    for it to be perfect...

    it needs to be wireless.

    when is Apple going to rollout something like WHDI, WiDi, etc.?

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