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mattmac
19th June 2007, 02:53 AM
Just hoping to start a thread purely on posting up your

Apple/Mac Home Theatre Setups!

I think it will give the members of the great MacTalk Community ideas on how to start/build or improve their own.

Post in detail your setup including hardware, software and other interfaces your using. Would be interesting to see how everyone is doing it!

Look forward to hearing :D


Matt

mattmac
22nd June 2007, 10:27 AM
Looks like no body has one?

decryption
22nd June 2007, 10:34 AM
I use an XBox modified with XBMC hooked up to my network, which has 640GB, 600GB and 320GB hard drives shared over it, via my iMac.

There's an iMac involved, so I guess it's Apple :p

I am looking to replace it with a Mac Mini, so I can plug the HDDs directly into it and the TV directly into the Mini and get EyeTV going. But that's a bit expensive right now for me. The XBMC works well :)

areal
22nd June 2007, 10:37 AM
I have a 360 that streams video/audio from my iMac. The only problem with this setup - the only reason that I would think about an AppleTV - is that the 360 cannot play content purchased from the iTunes store.

tcn33
22nd June 2007, 10:46 AM
Well, mine is only an Apple setup in that it involves a couple of Apple products - no Mac mini or AppleTV though.

Living room: Yamaha home theatre, LG widescreen TV (CRT, unfortunately), LG DVD/DivX player, xBox Media Center, TiVo, Logitech Harmony 525 remote.
Office: CoreDuo iMac with 200GB external drive (mine), Sawtooth G4 (wife's) - audio and video is streamed from here.
Kitchen: Airport Express with Air Tunes, Panasonic shelf unit for audio, iMac G3 (controls AirTunes).

XBMC is really handy - when combined with TVShows.app and Transmission, it means that on Wednesday evening I can walk in the door, sit straight down on the couch and start watching Rescue Me. No transcoding, no syncing, no problems. It might be a little less pretty than AppleTV, but it's way more versatile.

The kitchen iMac streams audio from both the Macs in the office, which is handy for when I'm in one of my periodic cooking frenzies. Sure, I could burn a CD or use my iPod with some external speakers, but AirTunes is way more fun :)

lavo
22nd June 2007, 10:47 AM
An iPod plugged into my LCD TV :-) The bugs in the HomeDock became so annoying I had to put that back into the box.

I'm trialling MCE 2005 at the moment, with an old pc. It seems that the Elgato EyeTV I have also has MCE drivers, so once things are up and running I can have a good comparison of Front Row/EyeTV vs Windows MCE. Then I can decide to save up for a Mac Mini, or just beef up the PC and make it quieter!

Lionman
22nd June 2007, 11:01 AM
I have a hybrid PC/Mac setup at home, but with the amount of problems I have with MediaCentre, I will be soon replacing this for an Apple TV.

Currently I have a Media Centre PC networked via Airport Extreme and hookd up to my Onkyo 7.1 THX Surround Reciever and 7.1 Mordaunt-Short Speakers - all this connects to the Projector on the other side of the room for visuals. I currently use a Fusion HDTV receiver, but it's not the most reliable. 80GB iPod Video hooks into the Receiver also which is sweet.

Upstiars is the Airport Extreme and the two family macbooks, most media is copied to the Media Centre PC. Eventually, I want to replace the Media Centre with an Apple TV, whack a Mac Mini under the Airport and stream all media from the mini to the apple TV or to the macbooks when needed.

I personally think the projector is the key... Looks awesome watching close to cinema size TV & movies. iTunes visualiser is always on during party time!

Mac Ram
22nd June 2007, 11:09 AM
My set up comprises:

Mac Mini CD 1.83Ghz with 2G RAM
Eye TV Diversity
2 x 250G external drives
Sony Bravia 40" LCD S series
Wharfedale Diamond Series surround speakers
Pioneer VSX1016V AV amp/rec
Remote Buddy

My small gripes at the moment are
Using DVI-HDMI to connect mac mini to TV - I have some overscan, although very slight. Tried using synch x (or whatever it's called) but didn't have the patience.
Eye TV doesn't seem to play very well with remote buddy
Since the latest software update for eye tv I've got a slight audio synch problem - trying to resolve this at the moment, so if anybody has some handy hints..

king89
22nd June 2007, 11:21 AM
A Mac Mini is the core of my home theatre. I have a Panasonic projector connected via HDMI, so I can get all the HD goodness. In the audio department the Mac Mini is connected via Toslink link cable to a Pioneer Tuner with 5.1 surround sound.

I also have the Elgato 200 and Eyetv to record digital television, and tvshow.app and Transmission to grab shows of channel BT. To store all these digital files I have a 250 gig external hdd connected direct to the Mac Mini.

Music is streamed via iTunes from either my sister's iMac or my Powerbook.

LifeIsCheap
22nd June 2007, 11:22 AM
I've actually started to put together a home theatre setup using a MBP, EyeTV Diversity, 1TB MyBook (RAID 1 giving about 500gb actual storage, but hassle free backup), a decent amp and speakers and a Sony 101cm Bravia V Series LCD TV. Oh, and a Wii :D

MBP is connected to the TV via DVI -> HDMI. MBP is connected to the amp via the regular mini-jack so no 5.1 yet. Wii is connected to TV via component. I haven't tried connecting it via the EyeTV yet. Dunno how that might work out :confused:

Anyhow, I use Front Row to control everything. All my mp3s are in iTunes and stored on the MyBook. I have videos encoded in a variety of formats some of which Front Row picks up directly from my Movies folder. Some are direct copies of DVDs to the MyBook. These need DVD Assist so that they can be played through Front Row. It works well though. My only problem has been getting them to consistently play on the TV by default. This seems to get reset at random :mad:

EyeTV can be accessed via Front Row as well but doesn't really quit when you flick to something else so you have to make sure that you have the option to only play sound when it's in the foreground checked. EyeTV can also be set to automatically export recorded TV shows to iTunes so they automatically show up in Front Row.

Is that it all covered? I think so. Sorry if it's a bit garbled. I'm home sick today. Bloody flu, despite having the flu jab! Robbed. Grrr...

No photos of the setup at the moment as I'm doing reno's. 'Before' and 'during' photos attached...

LifeIsCheap
22nd June 2007, 11:24 AM
In the audio department the Mac Mini is connected via Toslink link cable to a Pioneer Tuner with 5.1 surround sound.

Is that all I have to do? Does the Mac output in 5.1 automatically? I presume the app has to support it...

Alec Fraser
22nd June 2007, 11:31 AM
Mines nowhere near as impressive as everyone elses. I've got a G4 Mac Mini, running Front Row and remote buddy, so that I can used the MS Home IR reciever that I got with my old Media Center setup. All the media sits on an external 250Gig drive, in one of those Mini style Nexstar cases. It's hooked up to my standard def Sony 68cm TV via a Joytech AV splitter and sound is handeled through some stock standard logitech surround sound PC speakers.. I don't actually watch free to air TV anymore because I don't have an aerial port in the unit I'm living (I thought about asking to get one installed, but the walls are solid concrete, which also rules out bunny ears) so I'm not running an EyeTV or anything like that.

Most of what I watch is converted Channel BT content that I've just dumped into iTunes and labeled as the appropriate type of media (movie, tv show, etc). I also use it to watch video podcasts.

When I do eventually upgrade to an HDTV (late next year) I'll probably invest in a better speaker setup, and an Apple TV at the same time.

I've also got the Wii and a region free DVD player hooked up via the AV Splitter as well. I found that the Apple DVD player had trouble rendering some menues, and I got tired of fighting with it.

muddie@mac.com
22nd June 2007, 11:36 AM
For TV in the Media Room:
24" IMac with Elgato EyeTV (with PVR capability) connected to a Yamaha RX-V2700 Receiver via DVI-HDMI outputting via HDMI to an Epson TW-700 HD projector and a 120" Fixed "Elegance" screen.

For TV in the Master Bedroom:
AppleTV synced (wired 1000 baseT network) with iMac broadcasting on a Samsung 27" LCD (with tuner for live TV viewing).
All EyeTV recorded programs auto convert and import to AppleTV for viewing in bedroom.

For other media in the media room:
Elgato EyeConnect media server software running on iMac & local G4 fileserver streaming media to Sony PS3 which also doubles as my up-converting DVD and BluRay player. Not to mention games etc. I also run Frontrow and DVDpedia from the iMac to the projector via the receiver.

For other media in the Master bedroom:
AppleTV streaming music and movies from the iMac and G4 fileserver, and a Sony PS2 for games and DVD's.

FBTN
22nd June 2007, 11:39 AM
haha My one:
Mac Mini G4 1.42 (1G Ram + SuperDrive DL + 100G 7200RPM + BT/APX)
40" LCD TV HD 1080i
Griffin Airclick + Apple Wireless keyboard + Wireless mighty mouse
Apple TV
Airport Extreme 802.11n
+
Conner Sofa & coffee machine.

skip
22nd June 2007, 11:43 AM
More photos guys :)

Mine's an Acer 37" 1920x1080, 5 Energy speakers, Yamaha 5.1 Amp, numerous video game consoles & Pioneer DVD player. Just need a Mac Mini + HD USB stick. Been waiting 5 months for a Mini upgrade...if nothing new happens within the next fortnight, I'll probably grab the first 2nd hand Mini I find.

Then I'll put photos up.

LifeIsCheap
22nd June 2007, 11:47 AM
For TV in the Media Room:
24" IMac with Elgato EyeTV (with PVR capability) connected to a Yamaha RX-V2700 Receiver via DVI-HDMI outputting via HDMI to an Epson TW-700 HD projector and a 120" Fixed "Elegance" screen.

For TV in the Master Bedroom:
AppleTV synced (wired 1000 baseT network) with iMac broadcasting on a Samsung 27" LCD (with tuner for live TV viewing).
All EyeTV recorded programs auto convert and import to AppleTV for viewing in bedroom.

For other media in the media room:
Elgato EyeConnect media server software running on iMac & local G4 fileserver streaming media to Sony PS3 which also doubles as my up-converting DVD and BluRay player. Not to mention games etc. I also run Frontrow and DVDpedia from the iMac to the projector via the receiver.

For other media in the Master bedroom:
AppleTV streaming music and movies from the iMac and G4 fileserver, and a Sony PS2 for games and DVD's.

I think we have a winner!

jamesatfish
22nd June 2007, 12:01 PM
Post in detail your setup including hardware, software and other interfaces your using. Would be interesting to see how everyone is doing it!

I won't go into too much detail as that's covered here (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/showthread.php?t=32490) and in more depth here (http://www.buildamediaserver.com), but basically:

Family Room:
Intel Mini connected to BenQ 46" plasma, Yamaha RX-V649 receiver, EyeTV diversity, Harmony 880 remote

Bedroom:
Intel Mini connected to Samsung 40" 1080p LCD, Yamaha TSS-15W receiver, EyeTV diversity, Harmony 880 remote

Theatre:
Intel Mini connected to Epson EMP-TW1000 projector (102" screen), Yamaha RX-V2700 receiver, EyeTV diversity, Harmony 1000 remote (though this is currently all boxed up as the house is being rebuilt)

Server
PM G4 with 5.6Tb XServe RAID, EyeTV 400.

iSlayer
22nd June 2007, 12:08 PM
26" Acer lcd tv
1.42GHz mac mini (soon to be replaced with an intel mac mini)
4 x 320GB drives
Sherwood 5.1 amp + speakers
EyeTV DTT

OziMac
22nd June 2007, 12:32 PM
Living Room:
- Intel Mini Solo 1.5Ghz (soon to be upped to C2D 2GHz) with 1GB RAM, 100GB HDD and EyeTV DTT
- LaCie MiniHub 250GB
- PS3
- 360 with HD DVD attachment
- Wii
- Logitech X530 "5.1" speakers
- all hooked up to ACER AT3220B 32 inch LCD 1368x768/720p/1080i

Bedroom:
- Samsung LA26R71BDX 26 inch LCD display
- AppleTV 160GB (on its way)

marc
22nd June 2007, 01:54 PM
- Core Duo Mac Mini running EyeTV and Front Row
- IceTV for TV guide, series recording and remote recording
- Miglia TV Duo (2x high def digital! Love it)
- External Vantec case with 320gb ATA drive
- Sony 32" Bravia connected via VGA (I need to experiment more with SwitchResX and DVI/HDMI)
- Pioneer lifestyle system... need to upgrade this as it's connected via stereo analogue
- Wireless 802.11g network, a MacBook Pro and Apple Remote Desktop for the times where I need more than the remote control

mattmac
22nd June 2007, 02:59 PM
Finally some replies :p

Great to get some ideas, I currently run a Vista Media Center but since I've got the G5 I think I am slowly going to migrate everything to apple :D I can't help it.

I think the Mac Minis are the way to go. With the new Leopard OS coming out with frontrow 2 with apple tv features, do you guys think this will run ok on most of the mac minis?

jubilantjeremy
22nd June 2007, 03:02 PM
iPod mini ------> powerful AIWA amp -------> large AKAI speakers


:)

king89
22nd June 2007, 03:26 PM
Is that all I have to do? Does the Mac output in 5.1 automatically? I presume the app has to support it...

I'm not sure about automatically, but the receiver outputs 5.1. :)

marc
22nd June 2007, 03:30 PM
I think the Mac Minis are the way to go. With the new Leopard OS coming out with frontrow 2 with apple tv features, do you guys think this will run ok on most of the mac minis?
From everything I've read, Front Row 2 is much faster and nicer than Front Row 1, so I'd say a current Mac Mini would have no issues at all.

Vista Media Center is pretty good though. Do you like it?

mattmac
22nd June 2007, 03:32 PM
From everything I've read, Front Row 2 is much faster and nicer than Front Row 1, so I'd say a current Mac Mini would have no issues at all.

Vista Media Center is pretty good though. Do you like it?

Yeah mate I do like it, but just putting the computer to sleep is one thing that annoys me, it doesn't like to load media center again then i have to reboot etc. Setting it all up is a nightmare too, with the channels and guide. Once its going though IT IS good!

I think I am just becoming an apple addict :p

Bluemist
22nd June 2007, 03:56 PM
My set up comprises:


Wharfedale Diamond Series surround speakers



YUMMMY.!!!!!!!!

jeremy_warnock
22nd June 2007, 04:04 PM
A macbook, connected to 1TB HDD, via cat 6
xbox 360 using xbox connect
80G video ipod
Cheap LG 5.1 (sorry audiophile but it does the job)
40 inch Samsung 1080P LCD

marc
22nd June 2007, 04:27 PM
Yeah mate I do like it, but just putting the computer to sleep is one thing that annoys me, it doesn't like to load media center again then i have to reboot etc. Setting it all up is a nightmare too, with the channels and guide. Once its going though IT IS good!

I think I am just becoming an apple addict :p
That's been my experience with Windows media centers too... I like them and I really want to love them (would consider getting one), but they need a lot of maintenance, assuming you can get them working in the first place.

Getting EyeTV working is as easy as dragging the icon to your apps folder to install, auto tuning and setting some simple prefs. From there it just keeps on running like a trooper.

titan44
22nd June 2007, 05:37 PM
50inch Plasma hooked up to Apple TV streaming off Mini media server.

Jedda
24th June 2007, 02:28 PM
PowerMac G5 DP 1.8GHZ (500GB Internal Storage, 600GB External)
Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speakers
PS3
Wii
NEC LT380 Projector (http://www.projectorcentral.com/NEC-LT380.htm)
120" DaLite Wall Screen

Alec Fraser
24th June 2007, 02:36 PM
That's been my experience with Windows media centers too... I like them and I really want to love them (would consider getting one), but they need a lot of maintenance, assuming you can get them working in the first place.

Soooooooooooooo true!!! I tried running MCE2005 for a while, it took me 3 weeks to get everything working. Initially I couldn't watch TV because I had an incompatible driver for my NVidia card (there are specific MCE drivers it turned out). Then, I could watch TV but not DVD's because MCE doesn't come with a DVD decoder and PowerDVD (which I'd bought) stopped working.

Eventually, I got it all up an running beautifully, and it was truly fantastic. And then I came home from work one day, after about a month without any hassles, and TV and DVD were gone again. It took a week of pissing around and an eventual rebuild to fix it. This happened 5 more times over the next 6 months at varying intervals.

Around this time one of the guys I work with decided to sell his Mac Mini. He hadn't done much with it, in fact it wasn't even running OS X (he's a unix/linux geek) so I bought that, put front row on it and haven't looked back!

I've still got my copy of MCE, along with the remote and everything...but I don't see myself ever going back to it...especially with the new Front Row in Leopard.

DJY
24th June 2007, 03:22 PM
I have a Mac mini plugged into a Sony Bravia X Series HD LCD.
Elegato TV
Airport Express (for wireless music from my PB + Wireless internet)
plugged into a Denon receiver + B&W mounted speakers.

Oh and a Maxtor 500GB External HDD for media / video storage.

jmd
24th June 2007, 03:33 PM
Dining/Kitchen

G4 Cube
20" Cinema Display
Harman/Kardon sound sticks with subwoofer
Airport Extreme Base Station (801.11g)Lounge

Yamaha AVS700/DSP-A700 5.1 sound system
JBL Radiance 77vx fronts, HLS Centre and HLS 610 rears
DSE 37" LCD screen
Airport Express
Elgate EyehomeServer
G4 Xserve with 500 Gb RAID 1 (Airport Extreme 801.11g enabled)
Hosting iTunes Library and Eyehome video libraryFairly modest, but it works for us.

Regards,

JMD

[MREVO8]
24th June 2007, 03:38 PM
EyeTV Diversity connected to Mac Pro. This records and converts content for the AppleTV. iTunes then manages synchronisation to the AppleTV.

The AppleTV is connected up to a Sony HDMI switching DD/DTS receiver, which in turn is sent to the 40" X-Series Bravia.

http://www.users.on.net/%7Egrrogersau/appletv2.jpg

mattmac
24th June 2007, 04:50 PM
Soooooooooooooo true!!! I tried running MCE2005 for a while, it took me 3 weeks to get everything working. Initially I couldn't watch TV because I had an incompatible driver for my NVidia card (there are specific MCE drivers it turned out). Then, I could watch TV but not DVD's because MCE doesn't come with a DVD decoder and PowerDVD (which I'd bought) stopped working.

Eventually, I got it all up an running beautifully, and it was truly fantastic. And then I came home from work one day, after about a month without any hassles, and TV and DVD were gone again. It took a week of pissing around and an eventual rebuild to fix it. This happened 5 more times over the next 6 months at varying intervals.

Around this time one of the guys I work with decided to sell his Mac Mini. He hadn't done much with it, in fact it wasn't even running OS X (he's a unix/linux geek) so I bought that, put front row on it and haven't looked back!

I've still got my copy of MCE, along with the remote and everything...but I don't see myself ever going back to it...especially with the new Front Row in Leopard.

This is why I am thinking of getting a mac mini, purely because media center is unreliable in that way as you mentioned above. I hate when i lose all my guide listings and it doesn't record the shows i had scheduled :mad:

The only think I don't like about eyeTV is that it isn't designed for a full screen interface is it? How does it work with frontrow? Anyone able to explain the best way they do this.

marc
24th June 2007, 06:25 PM
The only think I don't like about eyeTV is that it isn't designed for a full screen interface is it? How does it work with frontrow? Anyone able to explain the best way they do this.
EyeTV has it's own full screen menu. It works well. Not quite as refined as AppleTV etc, but it's good.

You can jump between EyeTV and Front Row quite easily (kind of!). Clicking the menu button on the remote opens/closes Front Row and holding it down goes between EyeTV's full screen mode and EyeTV.

mattmac
24th June 2007, 06:40 PM
Ok great, thanks Marc.

landog
24th June 2007, 09:28 PM
Office:
Powerbook G4
23 inch Apple Cinema display

Lounge:
32 inch Hitachi Plasma
Denon AV unit
Bowers & Wilkins 7.1 speaker setup
xbox 360 with xbox connect or whatever its called (Music/Photos/Movies from the G4)
Topfield 5000PVRT with EPG downloaded weekly

Bedroom:
Bed

I so want a Mac Mini but after spending soo much money on the Denon and the Speakers and mounting the plasma on the wall I just cant afford it, moreover Mrs Ozpodcaster wont let me.

Next investments will be:
Mac Mini
Eyetv diversity
52 inch x series

Anyone have a 1.83 MM they want to swap for something else..e.g. topfield + cash..what about a treo 650?

Rgds

Cassius
24th June 2007, 10:56 PM
Okay-- I have a question that has bugged me for ages

If I REALLY Do Not Care about Broadcast TV - Could I invest in an LCD monitor (be it Apple or Dell) and add my AV components to provide video feed and not lose on screen resolution??

TV's vs Monitors seen to be be more expensive than just Monitors? - - I just want Good SCREEN - GIMME Good Screen!

Thanks guys

BTW - BRING ON THE NEW iMacs!!!!

vargz
24th June 2007, 11:51 PM
Powerbook G4 12", Dell FP2005W, Elgato eyeTV Diversity, iceTV, iTunes, all wirelessly connected to:
- XBMC latest build, Linksys WRT54GL, Samsung 32" LCD.
- Roku Soundbridge, Philips wOOx mini hifi

dovla
25th June 2007, 12:22 AM
well mine,

xbox with xbmc - for pretty much everything!
xbox360 streams musis/photos/wmv hd files
imac g5 for frontrow - couple of big hdd's!
all hooked up to a yamaha amp
32" acer lcd

simple but does everything i need.

Cudex
26th June 2007, 03:13 PM
Xbox (xbmc) & PS3 (XMB DNLA)
MacPro EyeTV 1.8 & EyeConnect 1.1
Bravia X-series 46" LCD, Harman Kardon AVR7000 amp

Just installed EyeConnect 1.1...so far PS3 will not play EyeTV recordings. The file format is okay because if I copy just the MPEG2 file out from the OSX package contents, PS3 will play it fine browsing directly to it.

gizo
26th June 2007, 03:22 PM
I have a MacBook Pro that I watch DVD's on in bed. Does that count as Theatre?

iSlayer
26th June 2007, 04:46 PM
then don't call it a home theatre, call it your TV room. Because that's all it is.

If people want to call it a home theatre thats there choice no matter what kind of setup it may be.

locus
26th June 2007, 04:55 PM
Some people are so picky over terms like home theatre. Usually the ones who have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars on their gear and wish to appear above the level of us mere mortals.

My "Home Theatre" consists of a Sony Bravia 23" LCD & a cheapish Sony surround sound system, all in my bedroom. I hook my MacBook Pro up to it when I want to watch something off the computer. Works well for my purposes though I'd love to have a Mac Mini permanently hooked up.

I got my Legend HD set top box from Target... best $110 I ever spent, no HDMI but then again my TV doesn't have HDMI anyway ;)

Disko
26th June 2007, 06:09 PM
I am entitled to my opinion

As are we. You're being a dick.

vargz
26th June 2007, 06:09 PM
This thread (well the first half of it anyway) is about how people integrate their Macs/Apple devices into their audio-visual lifestyle. So don't get too bogged down by the title of the thread.

gizo
26th June 2007, 06:15 PM
oops. it looks like my flippant comment was the last one before everything went pear-shaped.
Apologies to the mods who had to deal with it. I didn't realise...

bushfire
26th June 2007, 07:42 PM
As are we. You're being a dick.

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