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TV, th'internet, Apple & media servers

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Barney, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Our TV packed in while ago and we've been managing with the ancient 14" portable from our bedroom. I'm now looking into getting a replacement, and see this as a good opportunity to buy into the next generation of TV media.

    We have BT Vision for Freeview and to use as a PVR. This gives us BBC iPlayer as a matter of course but the other channels' review services are pay-per-view. I'm on BT Infinity broadband and being a stones throw from the exchange means that we get 30MB+ so bandwidth is no issue.

    What I want is a c24"-26" TV for normal TV viewing, to use for Skype video calls to family and friends around the world and also to use as a media centre to play music via iTunes and review photos and home videos. I have an iMac and will be getting an iPad shortly soon and want to connect these wirelessly.

    I've not had chance to really explore the possibilities yet as I'm not sure what the best options might be, both re functionality and value. I think there are two feasible options which could form a base for my research though.

    • Buy an internet ready TV and Apple TV
    • Buy a standard TV and a used/refurbished Mac Mini to use as a media centre.
    Has anyone done anything similiar? Any thoughts or recommendations? Would I need anything else to make either of the above work e.g. AirPort etc? Or should I be looking at another solution altogether?

    My total budget will be no more than £400-£500
  2. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    Have you looked into a repair on the TV Barney?Or is it too old to bother.

    My 27" packed up a while ago and I had it fixed for £40.I`d already bought a new LG though.

    Just a thought,as you were:rolleyes:;)
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I use a similar PC to the Mac Mini as a media centre PC for my TV, with an optical link to my hifi amp via my DAC for iTunes, Spotify and so on. Works pretty well, so I can't see why the Mac Mini wouldn't. It's networked, but as yet I've not really taken advantage of that apart from the internet connection on the PC and to view photos. I think this approach is more versatile than the alternative.
  4. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    It was a CRT set that cost £125 5 years ago, so no, not really worth it. It went to the tip a long time ago. :)
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Thanks Nick. I think you're right in terms of versitility. I'm just not sure what I'd be missing, if anything, if I went down the, on the face of it, easier and cheaper route of internet tv plus Apple TV. :confused:
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    In all honesty, neither am I. It took me long enough to work out for myself what I was doing, in the end, I went this way largely because it's what I understood. ;)
  7. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    :D Well I was at the point of not understanding anything. Having looked into it a little more, it seems that I'm best off getting an internet ready TV and Apple TV, at least to start with. Older versions of the Mac Mini lack the HDMI output, and though you can get adaptors, I'd rather keep it simple.

    Apple TV will do most of what I want, and should I find it restrictive down the line, then the latest version of the Mac Mini sould be knocking around refurbished or 2nd hand for a lot less than it is at the moment.

    Now that's sorted all I have to do is persuade SWMBO! :eek::eek::D
  8. Scphoto

    Scphoto Well-Known Member

    Only issue with the Apple TV is the limited formats it can play, however Handbrake is able to convert most things (I tend to convert MKV files which play fine). The things missing from Apple TV, should be covered by an Internet connected TV (iPlayer, Lovefilm).
  9. Can I ask a silly question?

    Freesat says if I connect my TV to the internet, I can have HTV's iplayer.

    My Sony TV has a broadband type connection, but my Broadband is WiFi.

    Will the new wireless receivers you get for computers without wifi work on the TV?

  10. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    iPlayer's covered by BT Vision as well. In terms of formats, I think that there are enough jailbreaks out there for it not to be an issue, especially as I don't play that many movies anyway. Besides, I'm happy playing homemade stuff through iTunes anyway.
  11. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure Paul, but from my research on Sony TVs you can get wifi adaptors for the Sony internet TVs that aren't wifi enabled. See here for an example.

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