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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am new to using mac's and I am adding a mac mini to my ht and need some help to get it all to work together. I would like all my media to be stored in my office on the Mac Pro 12core which has 4 hd bays and be able to access everything in the living room on the mac mini. my questions are, when i rip a movie on the 12core will I be able to watch it on the mac mini? what do i need to do to make this work and should i be looking at a external storage such as a drobo right of the start? I want to do this right the first time.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
I would like all my media to be stored in my office on the Mac Pro 12core which has 4 hd bays and be able to access everything in the living room on the mac mini.
No problem.

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I want to do this right the first time.
Impossible, so give that expectation up. You don't know enough, there are too many variables--and you can't make an informed decision until you actually start doing things.

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should i be looking at a external storage such as a drobo right of the start?
No, you can think about getting a Drobo later. How much storage space do you have free in the Mac Pro, how many movies do you have to rip, how big is your music collection and what is your current backup strategy?


What else will the Mac Pro be doing when it is not serving up files to your mini?

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my questions are, when i rip a movie on the 12core will I be able to watch it on the mac mini?
what movies--dvd or blu-ray? what ripper? how will the mini be on your network--wired gigabit or wireless?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well all of my equipment is new so I have three empty Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB drives and one black for the os. I have about 500 DVD's, 50 Blue Rays and 30 gigs of music. I use the pro for business and the odd game. Everything I have now except my movies is on my PC and an external hd. I am not to familiar with mac software but I have read that Handbreak is an option for ripping the movies. I will be getting the AirPort Extreme Base Station to distribute everything. As far as setting it all up and getting it to work I know very little. Also would you be able to suggest a good internal Blue Ray drive to add to the pro for ripping blue Rays.


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I'm not very familiar with OSX myself. I know enough to install programs, set things up and so forth. Too many years on Windows, LOL.


Overall, should not be major issues overall. It's just a matter of sharing your drives over your network. If you use something like Plex, then it's just telling it where to look for specific media. Plex has nice tutorials how to do that part. You'll have to ask others how to share your drives over the network.


On a side note, give how you have your setup, you don't need a NAS setup right away. You'll just have to leave the MBP on till, and if, you go with a NAS.
 

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Quote:
Also would you be able to suggest a good internal Blu Ray drive...

I picked up an LG BR burner and a 5.25" USB enclosure about a year and half ago because it was the first drive to come down enough in price to be relatively affordable.

Newegg has the LG WH10LS30K for $99. at the moment, that would be fine for you.

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I am not too familiar with mac software but I have read that Handbrake is an option for ripping the movies.

Handbrake is great, but you owe it to yourself to get familiar with your options. Handbrake doesn't just rip...it rips and transcodes, meaning yes it defeats the protection and encryption of the disc but it also converts it to a different video format, H.264. This can be beneficial, or not, depending on your priorities. Would you like to be able to import the main feature of a dvd as a .m4v file into iTunes and don't care about losing the menu structure? Or would you prefer to keep a perfect digital backup of the full disc? So the first thing you have to decide is whether you want to rip those dvds and retain them as VIDEO_TS and/or transcode those rips for iTunes, iOS devices and Apple TVs...many of us rip with one program, say MactheRipper or RipIt, and later queue those up for transcodes in Handbrake.


You'll need MakeMKV for blu rays...and many of us use Handbrake to transcode those large files into something smaller. The end result is still amazing on a big screen because the source is such high quality.


I'd recommend you spend some time learning how OS X works, apart from anything home theater related--and experiment with some of these basic ripping and transcoding apps. Get your Mac connected to your display. Then get a feel for software players by trying to play them back and try Front Row. Then, and only then, start dealing with what's known as a "front end," many of us use Plex or XBMC, but these can be complicated to set up and intimidating even if you already know what you're doing HT-wise. So don't rush right to them and over-complicate things too quickly.

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I have three empty Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB drives and one black for the os. I have about 500 DVD's, 50 Blue Rays and 30 gigs of music.

That's plenty of room to get started.

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I will be getting the AirPort Extreme Base Station to distribute everything.

Good, I like mine a lot, and recommend you go gigabit rather than rely on wireless.

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As far as setting it all up and getting it to work I know very little.

It'll take you 5 minutes to learn how to set up file sharing between Macs, how to mount a volume from one Mac on another, etc. You just have to give yourself some time to learn OS X basics.


Also, give some thought to remote control, i.e. how will you control the mini when you actually want to watch or listen to something.


Many, many threads on all of this.
 
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