what's the ultimate entertainment box?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kevindosi, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. kevindosi macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2006
    I want to get a box that will do a few things for me. First of all, I'd like it if I could stream tv shows from Hulu, Netflix and other online stations (cbs and nbc would be great). Besides that, I'd really like to be able to plug in my external hard drive to play all my ripped dvds from. To accomplish that, I'm currently using DVDpedia and the front row plugin to browse my dvds with all the move information and cover art. I just hook my computer up to my TV. I'd really like if I could get this functionality from a box, though, so I don't have to connect my computer to the TV every time I want to watch a movie.
    So, what do you think is the best option for me?
  2. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Best way to do it, is to get a mac Mini and hook it to your TV (or depending on your budget, you can get a cheapo (compatible) dell and run a hackintosh.

    I got that setup and I got pretty much everything running. Music (Pandora, iTunes, last.fm, anything you use), Photos (mobileME, Picasa, again, anything you use), I got Netflix (however i watch Netflix on my Xbox360 for often than in the hackintosh), Hulu works like a charm and its free since it is the online version, you got the Web (if you like to surf the net, I really don't do it unless I am looking for some video or something, Emails, IM), You got YouTube, Amazon On demand, FilmOn, any web video service.

    I a got access to ABC show online, Comedy Central, and ESPN (there are more but this are the one I used more often).

    I got it also setup as my media server, so I just got an Apple TV2 for my room and I can stream all my media to it.

    You can rip all "YOUR" dvds and Blueray and have your digitla collection avaliable any time right there and them (for that you need to add a Blu-ray reader to the hackintosh, can't be done with the mini.

    I got the Apple Remore are everything just work.

    (I canceled my cable 5 months ago, I haven't really missed)
  3. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Because "your mother" would be rude

    Kim Kardashian
  4. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    MINI Bluray Reader

    Bluray readers for the Mini are readily available - you cannot play Blurays but you can read them.
  5. jcschlic macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    Whenever things like this are brought up, someone (or multiple people) suggest the Mac Mini as a solution. A buddy of mine does this too.

    However, I don't see how someone can justify the cost of the machine for this purpose.

    Plus, it doesn't pass the wife factor in my book.
  6. kevindosi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2006
    I think a mac mini would be a great solution, but it's so damn expensive :(
  7. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    It's entirely dependent on your needs. Personally speaking, my needs grew more and more complex over time.

    Originally, I started with a Mac Mini. This solution worked very well for a few months to a year. I ripped all of my DVDs and used Plex to access them on my NAS.

    But then, I got the Blu-Ray ripping bug. There aren't many (if any) great programs to rip Blu-Ray's into .ISO on the Mac, and no way to play back those native .ISO files. Sure, it's possible to play MKVs, but I'm a little anal and want to keep all the files as close to the original disc as possible. So, I installed XP via Boot Camp and used AnyDVD HD to rip the Blu-Ray discs. But, then I set out to look for a playback device that could handle the ISOs.

    I moved on to the Popcorn Hour C-200, which plays Blu-Ray .ISOs natively (and very well, I might add).

    Right now, I use a combination of the two, as well as a new AppleTV for AirPlay.

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