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Thread: Media Center

  1. #1
    Media Center
    nigelivy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location
    Newbury, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    66
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 17" 2.0gHz, 250gb HD, 2gb RAM; Macbook 13" 2.0gHz, 500gb HD, 4gb RAM.
    Media Center
    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

  2. #2
    Media Center
    Kevriano's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2006
    Location
    Crawley, England
    Posts
    4,558
    Specs:
    20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
    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.
    Try my custom Mac Forums Search Engine: Mac Forums Google Search

    Please use the reputation system if you consider any help given useful (it's the little ✓/✘ on the left <---)


  3. #3
    Media Center
    nigelivy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location
    Newbury, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    66
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 17" 2.0gHz, 250gb HD, 2gb RAM; Macbook 13" 2.0gHz, 500gb HD, 4gb RAM.
    Thanks Kevriano, would this play DRM protected media that I've purchased on iTunes?

  4. #4
    Media Center
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,206
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    You might check out the specifications tab on the page he provided.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5
    Media Center
    Kevriano's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2006
    Location
    Crawley, England
    Posts
    4,558
    Specs:
    20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
    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.
    Try my custom Mac Forums Search Engine: Mac Forums Google Search

    Please use the reputation system if you consider any help given useful (it's the little ✓/✘ on the left <---)


  6. #6
    Media Center
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,206
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    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 (&#163;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.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7
    Media Center

    Member Since
    Dec 06, 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    13
    Specs:
    MacPro, MacBook Pro, MacMini, iPod video, and 32GB iPhone 3Gs.. iPad 3G (Soon!)
    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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