Questions about a new HTPC on Mac Pro 10.7.5 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 04-09-2014, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
imeddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have an older Mac Pro that I just use to surf the internet. I tried doing the photography thing but it wasn't for me. Now I have this highly powerful machine that I use to surf the nets.

I can't update it to snow lion or Mavericks so my question is "Would this machine make a good HTPC?"
The processor is 2X3 GHz quad core intel xeon
memory 17 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
NVDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB
Mas OS X Lion 10.7.5
2tb
2tb
1tb
500gb hard drives
and it says its a MacPro 2,1

I don't have cable. Just internet.
I have an LG 55LA7400 Tv

Here's what I want to do with this machine.
I want a tv tuner that will pick up the hd channels in st. louis
I want to be able to record those ota channels hopefully by using a program guide.
Use it for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and probably a few other apps like that.

I also have a few movies that were backed up into an iso format so I'd also be able to want to watch those. Someone told me to look into XBMC for this.

I would also like to add a blu ray player if possible.

Is this something simple to do with this machine that can't be updated any more or should I sell it and use that money to build a different updated HTPC.

Any suggestions would be great.

Eddy
imeddy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 04-10-2014, 04:36 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
I can't update it...so my question is "Would this machine make a good HTPC?"

Yes, things got to be very stable Mac home theater-wise in Lion and are still stable, I run XBMC on one 2011 Mini that's so rock solid as an HTPC I have been loathe to upgrade it, but that's also because we have other Macs in the house on Mountain Lion (that can be upgraded to Mavericks eventually.) Your Mac Pro is still powerful enough to handle anything you can throw at it in terms of HTPC, you'd go DVI to HDMI and run optical audio to your AVR, there's lots of internal room for storage and optical drives, which means you won't have to buy external enclosures to house them. Biggest downsides for home theater, well, it is big, you have to put somewhere, it isn't as easy to control as a Mini would be with the little Apple remote since there's no built-in IR but there are work-arounds for that and iOS apps for remote control that many like. And those iOS apps mean you could stick the Mac Pro in a different room or closet altogether if you wanted and just sit on your couch with an iPhone or iPad controlling things.

It seems to me you have 2 choices: 1) sell it now while it's at its peak resale value and get something with a much smaller footprint like a 2012 Mini that will continue to be actively supported for years to come or 2) hold onto it, start using it as an HTPC now as you learn the ropes with the intention to repurpose it as a whole house media server when you eventually buy a 2014 Mini for the living room (assuming there is a 2014 Mini at some point…) The biggest advantage of the Mac Pro is you can keep putting bigger drives in that thing as your media collection grows.
Quote:
I also have a few movies that were backed up into an iso format so I'd also be able to want to watch those. Someone told me to look into XBMC for this

XBMC will play .iso just fine.
Quote:
I would also like to add a blu ray player if possible.

That machine should be able to rip blu ray discs with MakeMKV and XBMC should be able to play back the full-size .mkvs just fine.
Quote:
I want a tv tuner that will...record those ota channels hopefully by using a program guide.

EyeTV in Lion is/was very solid, any number of compatible tuners are available to record ATSC with it.
Quote:
Use it for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and probably a few other apps like that.

You can do all that within Safari, rather than an "app" per se; have to admit, though, that I haven't done those in the living room in ages, when I want to stream I do it with an iPad, Apple TV and/or Airplay.

I guess your choice really comes down to how much could you resell it for? If you could get enough for it to pick up a used 2011/2012 Mini plus an iPad plus an Apple TV, I'd find that tough to pass up...
chefklc is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-10-2014, 04:50 AM
Advanced Member
 
Thxtheater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by imeddy View Post

I have an older Mac Pro that I just use to surf the internet. I tried doing the photography thing but it wasn't for me. Now I have this highly powerful machine that I use to surf the nets.

I can't update it to snow lion or Mavericks so my question is "Would this machine make a good HTPC?"
The processor is 2X3 GHz quad core intel xeon
memory 17 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
NVDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB
Mas OS X Lion 10.7.5
2tb
2tb
1tb
500gb hard drives
and it says its a MacPro 2,1

I don't have cable. Just internet.
I have an LG 55LA7400 Tv

Here's what I want to do with this machine.
I want a tv tuner that will pick up the hd channels in st. louis
I want to be able to record those ota channels hopefully by using a program guide.
Use it for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and probably a few other apps like that.

I also have a few movies that were backed up into an iso format so I'd also be able to want to watch those. Someone told me to look into XBMC for this.

I would also like to add a blu ray player if possible.

Is this something simple to do with this machine that can't be updated any more or should I sell it and use that money to build a different updated HTPC.

Any suggestions would be great.

Eddy
I agree with the comments above. I was using an older mac too with little issue. Even though expandability in the drive bays is great I finally got a Mini because of a home automation software incompatibility.

I encode TV shows on the fly and found the Mini to be much much faster. For iTunes streaming and the like no difference between the two. It depends on your goals as you stated and how much life you want to get out of the current Mac. You can certainly do it

Thxtheater is online now  
post #4 of 5 Old 04-11-2014, 08:24 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
grubavs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: on the noisy end of the Half Moon Bay, CA Airport
Posts: 3,643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 15
I have n 2011 MacPro 4,1, 2.66GHz, 8GB RAM, and it works great handling all my HTPC/Music/Photography needs, as well as large storage (8TB) spot for all our data. Mine is running 10.9.2, but Lion also worked well for me. The only drawback for my use is that I do not have ethernet wiring in my house so my Mac Pro is wire-connected to my receiver and network with 30-foot HDMI/Ethernet cables across the floor! However, I personally will not let my Mac Pro go until it dies, or no longer will function to my needs. Its design is so elegant and ergonomic, so easily expandable (e.g., it currently has 2xBlu-ray Read/Write drives installed), that I cannot foresee ever being able to replace its functionality for anything near the money I could get for it.
BTW: I had (and upgraded) several previous generation minis for HTPC functions... very convenient in the HT room, but finally decided that they were superfluous to my needs as long as I could put up with the wires on the floor.

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.

grubavs is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 04-12-2014, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
imeddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ok. I'll hold onto my Mac Pro and try the everything I want to try. Looks like EyeTv and a blu ray player. I'm not that tech savvy so it looks like this will probably take a little longer to set up then I would like. I think the pros will outweigh the cons.

Thanks for the insight.
imeddy is offline  
Reply HTPC - Mac Chat
Gear in this thread

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off