The Ultimate Mac Media setup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jgodden, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. jgodden macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Hello all, im new to the mac world, just got my first mac about 2 weeks ago, and after being a windows guy (working in IT for over 10 years) I am loving the mac world. Everything is so easy, and does what i expect it to do, for the most part. My wife also now wants a macbook (she will be getting one for her birthday :D)

    Anyhow, I want to "mac out" my house to handle all of our media. I plan on buying a time capsule to consolidate all of our data, and Im just wondering about getting other mac items to work with this.

    Ill just tell you what i want and you guys can tell me if it is possible and how to do it.

    I am getting a time capsule regardless, as i need network storage, and id rather have something that will work well with my macs and mobileme account. I was thinking about getting an apple TV, and my question is this: will this stream wirelessly from my time capsule, or does it need to be routed through a computer first? Also, I do a lot of TV show subscriptions, and i was thinking about getting a mac mini with server on it for this (currently im using an old windows xp laptop with a 750gb USB drive hooked up to it.) What benifits will adding a mac mini with server add to my setup? (If i plan to use it as a downloading machine)

    Also, are there any problems if i had 2 apple TVs (one in the living room, one in the bedroom) will it be able to access time capsule simultaneously?
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
  3. jgodden thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Also, does anyone have any experience using the WD 2TB External drive, hooked up to a Time machine? Will these 2 play nice together?
  4. jgodden thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    This really doesnt help me, but it does raise an interesting question. What would the benefits using a mac mini + something like a Drobo for serving media wirelessly to 2 Macbooks + 1/2 Apple TVs?
  5. realitymonkey macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2010
    Best system by far is Mac Mini and Plex works perfectly, I use a Drobo so not sure about the rest.
  6. jgodden thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Well I ended up getting a 6TB Buffalo Nas (1.5TB x 4) in lieu of the TimeCapsule, and after some tinkering, got it working with Time Machine. I also added another peice to the setup:

    Also, my xbox streams my video to my TV from the NAS, so now to figure out how to get it to wirelessly stream to my bedroom TV and ill be all set.
  7. jgodden thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Im wondering if this device:,1 combined with a wireless bridge will work. I have the bridge at home, never used, and I have the previous version of the above linked device (the one with no eth port) so Im wondering if i get the new model with the eth port, hook a wireless bridge to it, attach the wireless bridge to my Airport Extreme, and away we go? Will it stream the media I wonder?
  8. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    I just use a wireless bridge (in my case, an Airport Express configured for "Bridge Mode", very versatile little device as I switch it to Wireless AP mode when I go on vacation at hotels) and plug the Ethernet port to my Xbox to stream videos off my NAS. Works great.
  9. beltzak macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2006
    Well I'll post my experience for you.

    This is what I have right now:
    Mac Pro - 1TB for movies and USB 1TB attached.
    A/V Receptor -
    Apple TV - with XBMC
    8Port Gigabit switch.

    My AppleTV is empty I stream everything from the Mac Pro. So for movies that are small (1,5GB-4GB) it works perfectly.

    Problem is when I stream 1080p MKV, the network is the bottleneck as the AppleTV has only 10/100 ethernet and theses movies need more than 10Mbps, I have one movie that requires around 35Mbps network. Also I put the Crystal HD on the AppleTV but the network isn't sufficent. So I now use the PS3 - and PS3 Media server (free) to stream 1080p movies. Is not as nice as the XBMC but it works perfectly as the network is gigabit.

    So I would recommend you not to buy the AppleTV. If is true that the Mac Mini is going to get HDMI port I would advise you to wait for it.

    And about Time Capsule seems that their are built for 18months only (google it for more info) and of course Wifi is not enough for HD huge files content.

    So for me, a Mac + Mac Mini with HDMI is a must to hold the next years on HD content. AppleTV is really old and expensive.

    Another problem I found is that my 1TB USB HD only gives 10Mbps so I can only use for DVDRip movies.

    As you can try XBMC, Plex right into you Mac, I suggest to try them and check what is best to suit you.

    Good Luck
  10. jgodden thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    So if I got an Airport Express, and plugged a cat5 from that to the WD Box's Ethernet port, It should be able to access the stuff off my nas which is wired to my airport extreme? Basically, the WD box should treat it no differently than if I had a cable running from it to my airport extreme?
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Read the manual. Many NAS can only be accessed through one point (say USB or ethernet).
  12. blacktop macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    London, UK
    i currently have a WD 2TD external HD that i bought from Apple Store in UK.
    no probs at all with Time Machine...i went from 1TB MyBook (also WD) far as i can good! :apple:

    just came across this thread on MacRumors
    could be of interest
  13. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Yup your WD Live! box should just think its connected via Ethernet but in reality its connected to the Airport Express which is wireless connected to your Airport Extreme which is then wired to your NAS.

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