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Thread: Apple TV vs. Windows Media Center

  1. #1
    THHHHHTTPD!!!! Bandit's Avatar




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    Default Apple TV vs. Windows Media Center

    So I have too many dvd's that are taking up space. I want to rip all of my dvds, store them on a computer and stream them to 1 (or potentially more) tvs on demand. I don't really give a rat's ass at all about purchasing or renting movies online, or anything else really than playing my own library.

    So I'm trying to make a choice here and I'm wondering what people's experiences are?

    Choice 1:

    Use a PC that I have to stream movies to my xbox. I actually set this up already and the streaming works fine, but the interface is god farcking awful. As far as I can tell, there is no box art, and more importantly, no way to sort/search/categorize based on, well, anything.

    I'm actually not even using the xbox as a windows media extender because the stupid thing can't play mpeg4 movies through that interface. I have to go to videos -> connect to remote computer and then for some reason it can play them from there.

    Choice 2:

    Buy an apple tv, put my movies in iTunes, and stream away. Admittedly I have not seen much of apple tv, hence this thread, but it seems like you can access your iTunes library and I would expect you can browse playlists, genres, titles, etc. Can someone with an apple tv confirm or deny? I found apples website on this product appalling ****ty when it came to showing what the interface looks like.

    It's no secret that I'm an apple fan, though to be honest it would work out better for me if I were to use the pc and the xbox. For one, buying a second xbox for the bedroom would be cheaper than buying and apple tv, and I would only have to get one since I already have one xbox for the living room. $199 x 1 is much more appealing than $229 x 2.

    Not having the ability to display artwork and to not be able to categorize things really bites the big one though. So much so that it may be enough for me to really consider an apple tv unless someone has some tips that I'm missing on how to use the xbox/pc combo.

    Thoughts? Opinions?

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    is watching you.... King Taco's Avatar




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    Have you considered a used Apple TV or Mac Mini?

    BTW, the Apple TV is great at organizing movies (ripped or purchased) and can be linked to external HD or iTunes libraries. They can also be modded with a 250gb (I THINK that is the max config at the moment).

    I've seen used ATVs go for $140+. As for me, I went the Mini route. It's a great HTPC for Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King Taco View Post
    Have you considered a used Apple TV or Mac Mini?

    BTW, the Apple TV is great at organizing movies (ripped or purchased) and can be linked to external HD or iTunes libraries. They can also be modded with a 250gb (I THINK that is the max config at the moment).

    I've seen used ATVs go for $140+. As for me, I went the Mini route. It's a great HTPC for Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes.
    If I only had one tv to worry about then yeah, I would probably just get a mini and hook it up directly. I'm pretty sure thought that it's going to be a requirement that I end up having to show everything on two tv's so the girlfriend can watch stuff in the bedroom.

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    is watching you.... King Taco's Avatar




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    As you suggested, 2 of anything is what you need. It's either another Xbox or two used ATVs.

    If you're doing anything Apple, wait until late September. Apple usually has an iTunes event that releases new iPods, iTunes updates, and perhaps an ATV replacement/upgrade. It's unfortunate that Apple treats it like crap because it can solve all of our A/V needs with minor tweaks.

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    The gates have opened RoyalPain's Avatar




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    Being the UNIX guy that you are I am surprised you haven't mentioned MythTV! I haven't done anything with either Media Center Edition nor AppleTV. I know a friend of mine setup his home with Apple TV and was happy with it. But Mythbuntu is a dedicated distribution to hosting your multimedia library not only to your TV's but also allows you to watch your Library over the network and even through a web interface where you can watch your DVD's from anywhere on the web. Not to mention it also acts as a DVR and is capable of sending your TV shows to you over the web as well. and most importantly you can run this program from a Live CD to test it before you commit to it. I would like to see Apple TV or Windows MCE compete with that. But both of those solutions will work for you as well.
    Last edited by RoyalPain; August 9th, 2009 at 11:22 AM.

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    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    I use a PS3 at my office to push video, and it works great. MythTV is another good alternative, especially if you have additional hardware laying around. If you are going to build something custom for this, I would suggest a Nvidia Ion/Intel Atom based system. Low power consumption, dual core, native 1080p support via HDMI, and you could mount the unit to the ANSI screw holes on the back of the TV. It would run you about $400 to build one with a Bluray drive.
    And thats how you get ants!

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    I've never heard of MythTV, but I'm interested.

    Thanks for that!

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    The gates have opened RoyalPain's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by King Taco View Post
    I've never heard of MythTV, but I'm interested.

    Thanks for that!
    Here is a Link with the information of what MythTV is MythTV in Detail

    And here is a link to the Linux Distribution who is dedicated to this project. | Mythbuntu This is a distribution where MythTV is already configured right out of the box. As building a MythTV on your own can be a pain. But this distribution takes all the headaches away for you.

    This program runs in Linux and Mac OSX and soon to be stable in Windows to.

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