The notion of a “Mac Media Centre” has always fascinated me, and I love the idea of having a home entertainment system that’s completely centred around OS X. Once you get used to the simplicity of the Mac interface, using any other piece of consumer electronics can sometimes feel as though you’re trying to navigate the space shuttle back to Earth.
Apple’s “hobby” – the Apple TV – offers a good solution to this problem for certain tasks, but it’s still fairly restrictive if you’d like to have a fully Apple powered media centre. Even if you simply want to watch live TV, you’re going to need something more flexible.
The two main candidates that spring to mind are either the Mac Mini, or a small MacBook stashed away underneath your LCD screen. Both are perfectly capable of performing media centre duties, and have the required output to send good quality video and sound to your entertainment system.
But how many of you have made the jump? I’d love to know whether you’re using a Mac to power your home entertainment system and, if so, which software you use. Are you happy with navigating around OS X, or do you prefer something such as Hulu, Plex, or Boxee?
Let us know, and do share your thoughts in the comments!
Today we’re concluding our three part media centre series by taking a look at the different remote control options available. Possibilities explored will include hardware remotes, iPhone/iPod touch applications, and the option of using VLC to interact with your Mac desktop directly.
There’s no fun in getting up from the couch every time you’d like to change the channel, so choosing a good remote control is absolutely vital! Before getting started, you may like to take a look at the other articles in our three part series:
Today we’re continuing our series on setting up a Mac Media Centre, taking a look at the different software options available for watching TV shows, movies, music and photos on your television. Applications covered include Plex, Boxee, Hulu, Front Row, iTheater, CenterStage and MediaCentral.
You can also take a look at the other articles in our three part series:
This week, we have a series of articles that offer step-by-step guides for setting up your own Mac media centre. The ability to access all your video and media from the comfort of a sofa is something of “holy grail”, and a system fairly difficult to implement well. Our guide will be split into three parts:
- Part 1: Hardware
- Part 2: Software
- Part 3: Remote Control
Whilst AppStorm is (as the name suggests) primarily an application-focused blog, today we’ll be venturing a little deeper into the hardware involved in a Mac media centre. We shall compare the relative benefits of an Apple TV, Mac Mini or MacBook, and offer some advice on how to connect everything together.