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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Media Center


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nigelivy

 
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Newbury, Berkshire, UK
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Mac Specs: Macbook Pro 17" 2.0gHz, 250gb HD, 2gb RAM; Macbook 13" 2.0gHz, 500gb HD, 4gb RAM.

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Hi,

I currently use a 17" MacBook Pro Core Duo connected to a LCD as my home media center, but it seems a bit of a waste for such a great computer. I've been looking at the various options, and would like to ask some advice.

Firstly - I've looked at Xbox's and PS3's with a view to using them as the console for my media center. I don't game, so they would only be for media. Can I play media purchased in iTunes on either? Can I stream from my Mac to either? Would I be better off with say an Apple TV console as the media center? Can I increase the storage on an Apple TV Console?

Secondly - I've looked at getting a refurbed Mac Mini to use as the media center console. The trouble is that I would be looking at around 350 for a Mac Mini with more than 1 core, and unless I'm mistaken I won't be able to play HD on a single core Mini?

So, how effective would an Xbox or PS3 stream with my Mac? Can I stream from my Mac to an Apple TV console, or connect it to external storage?

Any advice or help would be appreciated!

Nigel
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Kevriano

 
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Member Since: Jul 02, 2006
Location: Crawley, England
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This is the answer, and cheap too (£90 plus an external HD - £130 for 2 TB now)

WD TV Live HD Media Player ( WDBAAN0000NBK )

Honestly these things rule. I have one and so do 2 friends who I showed it to.
If you don't want streaming the basic WD HDTV is £65.

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nigelivy

 
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2009
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Thanks Kevriano, would this play DRM protected media that I've purchased on iTunes?
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bobtomay

 
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
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You might check out the specifications tab on the page he provided.
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Kevriano

 
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As Bob has pointed out not directly, but ripping the to CD and then importing them back to the HD you use with the WD works ok.

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bobtomay

 
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If you're into purchasing online video, think I'd have to recommend building your own HTPC and running Win7.

Doesn't require a top of the line CPU or GPU for this. My initial build started out at about $450 - have about $700 (£425) in it now. Has 6GB RAM, DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, puts out 7.1 audio and video over HDMI, 1.5 TB WD Green. No problems with any streaming SD or HD from Netflix, hulu.com and others, Amazon unbox, iTunes (I always check for the best deal between the two of them), etc.

There are some great looking home theater cases out there. Mine started off with this one.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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KBJ

 
Member Since: Dec 06, 2009
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I built a my Media Center with around a Mac Mini. DVI-> HDMI in to the TV. Audio into the Receiver. I have most of my DVD's (both SD, and Blu-Ray) ripped and stored on a NAS. I use Plex to play-out most of the media, and use a Wireless Kybd/Mouse or my iPhone as a remote control. So Far so good. I've only had a couple playout issues, which were solved with software updates. It's also nice to have safari so I can stream off websites. NBC, ABC, etc. Since many of them have their primetime shows on Demand.
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