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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Turned my TimeCapsule into a media server

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jpics's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 11, 2008
Posts: 177
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Mac Specs: 15" alluminum MacBook Pro 2.53

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In case you are not familiar with time capsule, it is an airport extreme base station and 1TB hard drive that make constant hourly backups of all three Macs in my house.

with this capability in mind I decided to make it do something it wasnt designed to do, stream media across my wireless network.

so I plugged a second 250G hard drive to it, fired it all up and it works. now the Time Capsule acts as a wireless media center Mr. Green

I can access the over 200 movies I have in it, share iPhoto and iTunes libraries, thus clearing space in my MacBook for other important stuff.

but wait there is more! becuase I have Boxee and ORB I can stream this stuff over the internet to my iPhone 3G or watch it on my HDTV at home using the mini display port on my Mac (soon to be using a Apple TV ) and the Apple remote works on Boxee as well.

if you have any questions about my setup fire away

15" MacBook Pro Aluminum, 2.53G / iPhone 3G 16G Black/TimeCapsule 1TB back up and media server/Mac Mini 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo
Whoever said that money cant buy happiness hasnt been to an Apple store 
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Member Since: Feb 12, 2009
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InvaderPastulio is on a distinguished road

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How did you make it work?
I have a 1 TB drive connected to my time capsule and streaming movies is a pain - it lags constantly eventhough it should stream with little difficulty since it can send back and forwards to the time machine with 7 mb/s. Annoying
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Member Since: Nov 23, 2009
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how did you make it work?

got the same problem mentioned by our fellow invader...
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Member Since: Jan 27, 2010
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-> jpics

are you for real? this is exactly what i wanna set up. if you really managed to make your tc a media server as you write, pls post it here! it would definitely be appreciated!

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rzj90059's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 153
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Mac Specs: uMBP 2.4/4GB/250GB; iPhone 3GS

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The way I picture it is his Mac is the actual media server, not the TC. I believe he only makes the player on the Mac "point" to the drive. Therefore I doubt it is a real media server as it requires and external source (Mac) to play through. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Tech Inventory:
uMBP 15.4" 2.4 Ghz/4GB RAM/250 GB, uMBP 13.3" 2.53 Ghz/4GB RAM/500 GB, iPhone 4 (Black), iPhone 3GS (Black)
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hondoquast's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 27, 2011
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if you haven't figured it out or are setting up new; here.s how i set up my network, with the time capsule as the file server.

cablemodem---->timecapsule WAN ethernet port (duh).

Xbox1----------->timecapsule ethernet port 1

Xbox2----------->timecapsule ethernet port 2

Mini Mac-------->timecapsule ethernet port 3

50"plasma TV---> Mini Mac via dvi to hdmi cable

hp wireless printer and all other wireless devices connect to timecapsule......wirelessly.

i used wpa2 personal encryption and logged mac address control. not so much for security, but to set time limits on the kids internet usage.

the xbox's and mini mac are hard wired for bandwith. i've had all 3 set up via wireless and they all ran fine that way, i'm not exactly sure but i'm under the impression that the router(timecapsule) handles the hardwire traffic separately from the wireless traffic. so i feel like i'm getting the most out of my tc this way.
make sure you are connected to your time capsule hard disk, then on the mini mac go to system preferences -> System -> Accounts -> My Account -> Log in Items Tab. click and drag your tc disk from the desktop to the log in items. this will automatically load your drive after booting.
my file structure is set up as such on the time capsule.
(note the spaces, this is important for front row)

___New Movies
___TV Shows
Adult Movies
Adult New Movies
Adult TV Shows

I then created alias's for each of these folders and copied the alias's to my movies folder on the mini mac. it's ok to edit "alias" out of the name after their copied. pull up front row and BAM! your in business.

this is a semi brief explanation, i can get more technical (how2 handbrake, audio set up, etc..) if you have a specific question i will try to answer it.

good luck
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Member Since: Aug 03, 2011
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Hey hondoquast, does your settings work to stream the media onto the Xbox?
I have almost the same set up as yours except I have a 2008 macbook connected to the Time Capsule (2011) instead of a mac mini. I would just like to know if it would work with the xbox before I run the mission of doing the network set up the you did.

Thank in advance.
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Member Since: Mar 27, 2011
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hi Miami,

long story short, yes it does stream to xbox 360 (and quite well). devil of the details are; 1 - you need the "connect360" application, and 2 - the 360 is still picky about audio and video codec playback. the best way i've found to combat this is with the "handbrake" application. with the preset "regular, normal". this "rip" setting will produce an .m4v file that can playback on front row and the 360. i (unfortunately) ripped 3/4 of my library with the "apple tv" preset. hope this helps.
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Member Since: Aug 28, 2011
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Hey I have been trying to figure out how to successfully access the information that is stored on my tc through my mini but I am only able to through the macbook pro I cannot figure it out can you assist thanks
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Member Since: Mar 27, 2011
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Hi Felly,
If your Pro is working, then the mini should too. Hopefully you followed my hardware set-up in the above post. You didn't leave very much info on your set-up, so I'll fire some questions back at cha.
1.Can the mini connect to the internet?
2.Are you connected wireless or ethernet?
3.Does the TC show up in your finder window (Left side)?
Try to give me a little more info on your hardware set-up, it's probably a quick fix in the software settings though.
To get you started, check your disk access from the airport utility with your mac pro, and second try to connect via the finder window with the mini
(Finder->GO->Connect to Server->Browse button-> a network window should pop up with your TC in it.
This should get you pointed in the right direction. Hit me back with more details and I'll do my best to get your mini talking to the TC.
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Member Since: Aug 28, 2011
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Okay sorry i didnt elaborate more...the TC was set up (to back-up as well as store files) through the Macbook pro last year since i have purchased a Macmini...the mini is connected to the TC wifi and runs as advertised no issues there at all. The issue is where i am trying to open the files on the TC through the mini and it does not show the movies pic and folders etc....but if i open the TC via the macbook the files and everything i am looking for are right there. i just would like to set up the TC to were i am able to view all the files from both devices. The mini opens the TC and i can see the amount of space available but i am unable to view the files and that is the dilemma. Hope that is better or more info
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Member Since: Oct 31, 2011
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Hi hondoquast,
Maybe you can help me with my setup also.
Here's what I have:

-A 2TB Time Capsule connected to my modem
-Connected to my TC is a USB hub with 3 external HD's plugged in.
-On my network I have an iMac, a PC laptop, a PS3, an Xbox360, and a Samsung Smart TV

What I'd like is for all of the media stored on my 3 attached HD's to be able to stream wirelessly to my iMac (done, obviously easy), my PC laptop (also done, wasn't too hard), and my Samsung TV (this is where I'm having problems).

Ideally I'd like my TV to be able to stream the media through the TC itself without having to go through either my PC or my iMac, but if I can make it happen by sacrificing one of the machines I'd be happy to try that.

So far, getting the content from my TC to my PS3 to my TV has been successful using the "PS3 media server" app for Mac OS X.

I haven't found a way though to stream my media from my PC to my TV or my xbox due to some share settings. From what I read above it seems like someone people have managed to stream straight from the TC to their TV which is obviously the most optimal method.

Do you know of any way I can make this happen with my existing hardware?
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2011
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I have a similar issue, but maybe not as complex.

We have nine (yes nine) Apple devices (1x MacPro, 2 x MBP, 2 x iPad, 2 x iPhone and 1 x Apple TV) and I store my movies on an external HD accessed via Itunes on my MBP. What I would like to be able to do is to hitch the HD containng the movies to the back of our Time Capsule (sorry that makes ten) and use that as the storage and streaming device. Here is the current issue; when we switch on AppleTV it searches for one or other of our Itunes and then uses Itunes to stream the movies - it works but is a pain. Will this still be the set up or can we simply access the movies directly?

No gobbledegeek please I'm an old duffer with little tech knowledge.

Uncle H
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hondoquast's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 27, 2011
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@ vince, sorry as i don't have a samsung, so i can't really troubleshoot with you. i am sort of familiar with older models, that have the usb input, and know that the hd's connected have to be "master boot record" and dos formatted. i don't think this would make a difference w/ a cat5 (or ethernet) connection directly to the TV. if you have the extra hardware you might want to explore that approach, other than that i would try looking for a firmware upgrade, and possibly a support community for samsung. i really like the idea of a point to point set-up (i.e. tc to tv), but don't think it exists because it's not cost effective to the corps. i'd definitely be curious to know what you come up with, sorry i couldn't be of more assistance.
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@unclehefty. long story short, to get what you want you need to "jailbreak" your apple tv. i know you say you're no too tech savvy, but if you google jailbreak apple tv, you'll come across several easy to follow tutorials.

short story long,(spoiler alert; there will probably be some techhie gobbledygeek that follows). i've been sitting on my apple tv for a year now, i was very dissapointed when i got it home and found myself in the same situation you're in. so i shelved it and eventually got around to buying the micro mini usb cable to jailbreak the little black box. i have tinkered with xbmc on my minimac, and still found the flow and simplicity of frontrow to be the best option for me. Xbmc is basically the OS that you would be jailbreaking your apple tv to. so as it stands i have still not jailbroken my apple tv yet. with the advent of osx lion, ios5, and icloud, i'm hoping a simpler solution will present itself. i'll have to wait till after christmas to explore this further. but i feel strongly that i'm going to end up jailbreaking my atv to xbmc.
a special note/thought, why did apple drop frontrow from it's lineup in osxlion? this and several other "changes" to vista-lion (lion is to snow leopard as vista is to xp), are thoroughly disappointing. i'll run lion on my "test mac", but am sticking with snow leopard, till the king of the bungle jungle is put down.
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