Building a home theater network for Apple fans

“The modern home is more than just four walls and a roof,” Alexander Fox writes for Apple Gazette. “It contains an array of technology, not all of which communicate smoothly.”

“If you want your devices to play nicely on a home theater network, you’ll need to put some thought into purchasing and setup,” Fox writes. “You’ll need a Mac or Mac-compatible server for to work as your primary media server. This device will be responsible for storing your content on a hard drive and making it available to the other devices in your home. In order for the media to be perpetually available, you’ll need to make sure it’s a device that can stay on all the time.”

“It’s actually possible to create a media server with just about any Mac you so desire, but something like a Mac Mini is best,” Fox writes. “You’ll want to use Plex to stream media to your devices. This software runs on both your server and your client devices. Plex Media Server will run on the storage device and a companion client app will run on the device you’ll streaming to.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s one of the main reasons for Apple to update the Mac mini!

How to build the ultimate media server for your music, movies, and more – February 3, 2017
How to turn a Mac mini into a media server with Plex – December 28, 2015
Plex the must-have personal media server for new Apple TV – November 6, 2015
Which Mac mini works best as a media server? – May 14, 2015


  1. It was easier under Snow Leopard.

    I had a Mac mini in the LR with Front Row enabled and EyeTV DVR. I could watch live TV, DVR stuff, ripped movies and iTunes content all in one place.

    In 2018 you cannot do that on a Mac or an Apple TV.

    1. I had the EyeTV 200 and Titan for scheduling. I could choose anything off broadcast TV to record from anywhere I had phone signal up to one hour before it aired (EyeTV only checked once an hour) and when I got home it would be in iTunes ready to watch.

      I also ripped tons of movies (OK….cartoons. I had a three year old grandson living with me and DVDs would die a quick death) using MetaX to tag them and throw them in iTunes where they could be streamed to the LR with the ORIGINAL AppleTV (yeah that POS).

      Could also plug in the old camcorder and import home movies.
      Dam I miss the days when Apple made simple, reliable stuff and other companies built on that.

      Matter of fact, I wish I had snagged an EyeTV 500 since many set-top boxes still had analog HD outputs awhile back.

      1. The EyeTV 500 could take digital cable and directly capture the signal with no transcoding necessary. Then Comcast went and encrypted everything.

        Went to a CableCard TiVo and used the analog hole to an EyeTV HD, which also had an IR blaster so the app could control the TiVo. You can also do that with the X1 Box, but make sure you ask for the one with component output- the analog output is 1080p with no encryption.

  2. It s not a big deal to be honest, I planned and installed quite a few multi room (5-6 zones generally) AV and home theatre systems in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

  3. I’d like to see a Mac Mini output 4K @ 60fps from HDMI. What’s taking Apple so long for something so simple with current GPU hardware. Don’t tell me Apple would rather sell AppleTVs than Mac Minis.

  4. I currently use a 4TB hard drive connected to an Airport Extreme… the drive holds some 200 of my personal blu ray rips that I made using MakeMKV, in full quality 1080p and most of the audio in DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby True HD. I use the Infuse 5 app on the Apple TV 4K to play them. It even plays the DTS HD Master Audio tracks or True HD as uncompressed PCM… works perfectly!

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