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I am thinking of picking up the old Apple TV on clearance and replacing my PS3 as the media streamer to my main tv. I sick of the noise of the ps3 and the non elegant interface for browsing my media.

If I buy the old one and use a patchstick to hack it to run XBMC (Plex will not run on an Apple TV from what I have read?) will it stream 720p rips of my kids BD's?

Also I have an Acer WHS box that I want to run as a NAS. I assume i woudl have to install some sort of NAS software and get rid of WHS to have it be recognized by the Apple tv running XBMC?

Thanks
 

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I can`t really answer your questions directly but I can tell you this.

I have ATV Flash installed. I can stream many different types of files from my PC or mount a NAS drive and stream from that or plug in an external drive. I use it primarily for .avi files.

I use WinSCP to transfer files from my computer to either the ATV main drive or the external drive.

I also have Remote HD app on my iPad so I can have access to my ATV without going and turning on the TV.

Long story short, I think you can do it.
 

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No. I use NITO TV. I`ve never tried XBMC because I am quite content with NITO.
 

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i'm not a huge XBMC fan, as I generally need pvr capabilities as well, but as a media playback device only, XBMC has a fantastic interface
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Any thoughts on using the WHS box as a NAS only? I thought I had read about a free linux type of NAS software that can used.
 

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Maybe mistaken but I believe that a modded Apple TV can see UPnP servers which WHS is so it might be okay as it is.
 

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There's no problem using a WHS to stream to an ATV. I use XBMC. But ... the ATV does not have the horsepower to play 720p or better .mkv files. The ATV is not in the league of a PS3 using PS3 Media Server. Yes, the interface is better, but the video quality isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Johnny. I am getting so many mixed messages on 720p and the old ATV. Some say it can do it others say it can only do it with taking out the wireless card and installing an HD card in its place. I really do not want to get a mini and use that as it is over-priced in my opinion.
 

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I have read about that mod and haven't tried it because I just don't think that, even with the mod, the video performance of an ATV measures up to the PS3 (although it might be worth playing with to see ...).
 

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Well supposedly the mod will allow 1080p playback but I really do not want to lose wireless and my tv is only 768p so its not a huge deal to me. 720 though is and will be a deal breaker. My wife can't stand the interface on the PS3 and I can't stand the noise. :)
 

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Here is a thought...

Why not put a low power low profile PC in there and use the WHS to dish up your content? It works very well at that with my movies installed.
 

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From my experience, the Apple TV can do 720p when encoded in an apple friendly format MP4/MOV (H264), but it's hit and miss with other formats and containers (MKV, AVI, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok so I think I have a plan in place for this weekend:

1. Configure WHS (H340) as my NAS and place all media from my Mac's on it.

2. Purchase an old Apple TV for my son's play room and hack it to run XBMC.

3. Install the PS3 media server add on for WHS for the times I want to access the NAS on my PS3

4. Use my Macbook Pro (Core Duo - 2gb of RAM) with Plex or XBMC (undecided) connected to my main plasma and have it access the WHS box.

5. Run the WHS box as my iTunes server so all machines can access the same library. Not sure how well this runs but I only have about 45gbs of music.

Trying to figure out a way for all machines to have access to my iPhoto pictures that are currently on my iMac. Basically I want the NAS to house all media and have any client in my house have access to the same media.

Hoping when Airplay comes out I will be able to integrate it into my system above somehow as I have an iPhone, iPad and Touch.

Any caveats to the proposed setup?
 

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Install the PS3 media server add on for WHS for the times I want to access the NAS on my PS3
If you are transcoding, then you need a lot of horsepower. Are you sure the WHS is up for it?
 

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Pretty sure the processor cannot handle HD material even at 720p but will be testing it out. That is the wrinkle in my plan as you have pointed out. I could keep PSMS setup on my iMac for the times I want to trans code mkv files but was hoping to keep everything on the NAS box.

Now my media OCD is kicking in and thinking I may need to come up with a new plan.
 

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Well I did a little project last weekend so thought I might let you guys know what I did. As I stated before I was getting really sick of the interface on the PS3 for browsing my growing Movie rips and such. So I took my old(ish) Macbook Pro, Acer Easystore WHS box and iMac and decided to try PLEX in my Home Theater room:

Wiped my MBP and loaded Snow Leopard back on it. Downloaded Plex 9 and installed it (very very easy). Hooked i tup to my Pioneer 5080HD by VGA (DVI-VGA adaptor) and tinkered a bit with the settings and then got a nice 1366X768 screen going since the plasma is 768p.

From there I moved on to the WHS box. I tinkered with the idea of loading Freenas or some other free open source NAS product on it but I said let's try WHS. Pretty simple after I setup the shares (Movies, Music DVD's, TYV Shows,Software, etc) With Plex there is no need for a copy of your pictures or really anything setup on teh NAS since it works from iPhoto sharing (also works with iTunes for serving music).

Once I was happy with the shares I just moved my media to the correct shares and then added the SMB shares to my MBP running plex and added them as login items.

After running plex (9) I went into its Media Manager app and updated my library for metadata including cover art, background images and plot details. This took about 30 minutes for my 400gb. My library is failry small at the moment.

Pro's:

* Interface is clean and simple (port of XBMC for OS X)
* Media manager is great for tagging your media. Some hiccups but about 95% accurate
* Great community of user's and developers for Plex
* Simple for my wife to operate and she likes it alot more than the PS3
* It plays everything I have thrown at it unlike the PS3
* No streaming, no transcoding
* Free

Con's:

* Power useage is higher with using my MBP as the front end but can be helped with energy saving though OS X. My Wake on LAN is not working right so something to work on.
* Laptop in my Home Theater is not the greatest esthetically but will do for now.
* Heat dissapation is a bit of a problem right now with my older MBP being a model that is excessively hot especially with the lid closed.
* Plex 9 is fairly new so there are some bugs (VOB's are causing my Plex to crash).
* Cannot get this setup to work through my Yamaha RX-V3900 using a DVI->HDMI cable as it gives me all the wrong resolutions and causes tons of overscan. Even tried HDMI pass through hoping that no upscaling would help but no go.
* No HD Audio support (not an issue for me but for lots of people it is) PS3 Media server has this problem as well.

I will post some pictures if anyone is interested.

Ordered a 3.5mm to Toslink cable this week to give me 5.1 soon.
 
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