Thinking about buying Apple TV but don't want to convert my media

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by orestes1984, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about buying an Apple TV, I have a whole lot of MKV files and a heap of VOB folders saved for posterity of my former DVD collection. I haven't bothered to mux, because well, Front Row with Perian, or VLC handles them fine.

    Now I'm thinking about getting a proper front end as my home theatre doesn't feel complete when I have to drag out my MacBook to get it to work. I would much prefer a permanent plug in solution.

    This leaves me with where to go from here. There is no Jailbreak for ATV3 which means basically muxing all my content with iFlicks or similiar to get it all in a format that the ATV3 can deal with.

    Or paying the ATV2 Jailbreak tax (ATV2s are selling for more than ATV3s here in Australia) and being able to play whatever I feel like.

    Or something else, is there a simple solution I'm not thinking about?
  2. Cinephi1e macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    Yes, there is a simple solution, but is not cheap: buy a Mac Mini. You can connect it directly to the TV. It can be controlled either with wireless keyboard and mouse or (as I do) by using screen sharing on my MacBook.
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'd suggest the Mac Mini too. Otherwise, try Plex. The server program can run on the MacBook and then you can AirPlay the media using your iPad or iPhone. Works quite nicely.
  4. orestes1984, Sep 20, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012

    orestes1984 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    I was thinking a Mini running Front Row, Plex or XBMC but then that adds another computer into the equation and I already have two with my Xserve G5 as the back end and a MacBook Pro.

    Unfortunately the Xserve isn't powerful enough to play HD Content itself and well it makes to much noise otherwise I'd do it directly from the server :p

    My current server duties being a Transmission web interface, Screen Sharing, File Sharing and Time Machine backups.

    I'll keep the Mini as one of the front running option. I guess I could find a cheap enough early intel Mac Mini now.

    Alternatively what about an Apple TV1?
  5. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    I am going to assume that you have an iOS device...

    I would really suggest that you try Plex. The Media Center is free and the iOS app is $4.99.

    You then can use your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to browse your library, select the video you want to play, and send it via AirPlay to your AppleTV.

    It works very very well. In fact, I had a JB AppleTV 2 and moved to an AppleTV 3. I find the ATV3 and Airplay method to be more stable that using the JB ATV2.

    2 negatives...
    1) You need to have your iOS device handy (which for my family is not an issue as we all have our own devices with Plex installed).
    2) You do not get 5.1 surround sound (my receiver does a decent job of using a logic virtual surround).

    The other advantage of the Plex app is that you can actually set it up to play remotely. I've watched TV episodes stored on my home computer while sitting in a barber shop waiting for my son to get a haircut.
  6. Gaidin43 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2012
    I built an htpc for under 300 and it is the best option for a front end using media center. Great for tv movies with plug ins and everything else you need. You can even set up your iPad as a remote.

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