What should I buy to feed content to a HDTV?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yalag, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. yalag macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    Just got a new HDTV in the house and it is connected to nothing but the cable box. Just wondering what are your typical setup? Do you buy a Apple TV or do you buy a Apple Mini? Or neither and just buy a blueray player?

    The kind of things I'm looking to do is to play my HD movies off my computer. And also be able to stream music from my iTunes library. Which setup would be best for this? There is also this new thing called boxee which apparently is great for providing content to the TV. Which setup is good for this?
  2. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    Wait for the boxee box or get a popcorn hour.
    Bluray players are cheap now too, get a Sony S360 if you can.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You can hook your current Mac on your TV as well, especially if it's laptop. Otherwise, I would get Mac Mini as it's also a computer but works perfectly as HTPC
  4. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    No other mac users have a tv setup? Please share!
  5. travisjacques macrumors member

    May 12, 2009
    I have a cable box/dvr (mainly because it's free), a blu Ray player, and an xbox 360 which I use for netflix and streaming movies and music from my MacBook with connect360.
  6. markdu macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Memphis area
    I have a TIVO HD and Blu-Ray player hooked to my HDTV. And a Netflix account. I don't have my Mac Pro hooked to it yet.

    I've been looking for alternatives to cable HD and/or Netflix that would be cheaper an faster getting the movies and tv shows I want. Cable is getting the tv shows I want to watch, of course. Plus Nascar & NHRA. Netflix is giving my rentals in HD and DTS-HD or Dolby True HD. But the new stuff is taking about a month after release before I get it. Instant access for Netflix through my TIVO HD doesn't look all that great. And I've got a fast connection (16+ mps download)

    Nothing out right now is tickling my fancy.

    Promising items are:
    Xstreamhd (xstreamhd.com). Satellite service this will start in April. Will deliver DTS-HD and Dolby True HD along with 1080p. However, it's not cheap. You buy their media server and receivers. If you have DNLA compliant equipment you don't need receivers. It will have a monthly cost, plus the cost of renting shows.

    Boxee Box - From what I seen looks promising. But only 5.1 DD. Of course I could get the software and hook it up to my Mac.

    Apple TV - Again only 5.1. But I'm curious what will be in the new hardware if Apple releases it. Hopefully lossless audio.

    One thing I'm worried about is how much I will be able to download without going over my internet cap of 250gb.
  7. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2006
    HB, CA
    Future proof yourself with the PS3 Slim. I personally have a 360 with 360 Connect for my AVI files and I have a AppleTV for my m4v files (I personally like the AppleTV's interface over the 360's). I don't recommend my setup for obvious reasons (money, two different boxes for streaming video files). I don't remember the software for Macs but there's a good media server that's free (unlike MediaLink's ps3 software for macs)

    Or get a WDTV Live. That thing is probably the best media streamer right now (plays HD content, like .MKV). Personally, i'd just get that. For 150 its a bargain. Downside is simply it doesn't play physical CDs/DVDs/BluRays (all you'd have to do is just get a blu-ray player and/or RIP these files into your computer and you're straight).
  8. iWoz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2009
    East Midlands, U.K
    If you like playing games invest in a ps3 slim and an HDMI cable that way you have a gaming console and a blueray player in one! Else just get a Blue ray player and the HDMI cable
  9. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    I have a TIVO HD and a PS3 as a Blu-Ray Player. (both have Netflix)

    Gonna get a mini-display port to HDMI adapter for my laptop so I can run HULU on my HDTV.

    I would wait and get a updated Tivo in march if I were you.
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Many here have Mac mini's as video servers. The advantage of a mini is that it can act as a backup server to other computers, a file server, a WiFi connection point, an iTunes server, a DVD player, etc. Any mini with a Core 2 Duo processor will be fast enough to display HDTV material and they can be had for as little as $450 from Apple rfurb or $300-$350 used. If you are going down the Blu-Ray route, then a PS3 would give you a BD player, media server and game console.
  11. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    For my home theater, I found it far more cost effective to go the PC route. For $150 total, I was able to assemble an HTPC with 3.4GHz P4, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 2400 PRO 512MB with DVI and HDMI, Soundblaster Audigy 7.1 surround sound card, wireless, and it has 4 internal SATA hard drive bays.

    Yeah yeah, this is a Mac forum... and I have been using Macs continuously since I had an LC II in 1992 (probably before many of you were born). However, Apple has been ignoring this market segment, so I had to take matters into my own hands. I bought an Apple TV and hacked it and put Boxee on it, but it was so slow it was completely unusable. So I sold it. A Mac Mini is too expensive and there are far cheaper and superior alternatives to be had.
  12. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    OP-. Is what you describe in your first post all you want your HD source(s) to do? What about first run movies, tv shows in HD, games, other computer content, etc? Also stating how often you watch/do the above things woudl be helpful. Let us know what kind of budget you have, how big of room, sound system setup, etc. details get better, more personalized recommendations!

    There are some great recommendations already- but they may not meet your needs depending on what they are, budget, et.

    My own set up is basic- The following works well for my family of four-

    HD DVR and Direct TV that I get all my TV recorded on for the whole family.

    I record movies from the free showtime and HBO weekends and regular tv.

    I occasionally do pay per view from Direct TV.

    I watch lots of sports all off packages from direct tv (NCAA game Plan- football, NCAA full court basketball, NFL sunday ticket, etc)

    PS3 for gaming and Blu Ray DVD's (I only own a couple so far and rent Blu Ray only occasionally.)
  13. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    I wont be buying much blue ray disks, so i'm mostly concerned with downloaded HD movies and tv shows to my TV.

    I don't really have a budget, basically I'm willing to pay for the easiest setup. If there is such thing where I can click one button and it would torrent a movie and have it selectable with a remove on the tv screen, I would pay a lot for it.

    Mac mini is good based on my requirements, but how do you actually use it? Do you leave a keyboard and mouse around the house? Seems kinda weird.
  14. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Torrenting will give you hairy palms, dont do it.

    Heres a pretty good write up about adding a mini as a HTPC, complete with software choices:


    LOL 1992? Ive got underwear older than that.

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