Entertainment - Graph Overview

Entertainment - Graph Overview

Over the last decade I have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the pursuit of entertaining myself and friends via a Rube Goldberg-eque audio/video setup.

It never ends, as when technology advances so must my setup. And because of this I am always being forced to learn about new toys and the hacks required in order to use them the way I want. 

end, only continued improving - and I finally believe I have something

And while the vast majority of people watch the same movies and shows through countless different means, the setup of an entertainment solution is sometimes more enjoyable than the entertainment I wind up watching. 

Hardware Overview

  • Computer: Apple Macbook Pro
  • Computer: Apple Mac mini
  • Direct Attached Storage: Drobo 5D
  • Wireless Router: Netgear Nighthawk AC1900
  • Wireless Speaker(s): Libratone Zipp (x3)
  • Media Streamer: Apple TV 2 (x2)
  • Projector(s): BenQ 1070 & ST1080
  • Computer: Custom Built Gaming PC

Software

Cables

  • Thunderbolt
  • HDMI (x3)
  • 1/8" Male to Male (x2)

Entertainment v2b - Matt's Office_1000px.jpg

Wired Audio (in Office)

I work on my laptop the majority of the day, and because of this I also use it for music playback in my office and throughout the house. The wireless speaker in my office is directly connected to my laptop via an 1/8" male-to-male audio cable so there is no audio delay when I want to watch a Youtube video or just play a music clip.

Wireless Audio (Throughout House)

When I want to play music to one or more speakers wirelessly, I run a piece of software on my laptop called Airfoil which will let me beam audio from any source on my mac to any/all the wireless speakers - in sync! Other than buying a complete Sonos system, I am not familiar with any other way to do this - and I 've looked.

My Mac mini desktop computer is connected to a Drobo 5D which allows me to upgrade my hard drive space over time by simply adding a new, larger drive. It can accommodate up to five 3.5" SATA drives and allows for one or two disk redundancy. 

The Mac mini is running Plex Media Center and serves video from my media collection on the Drobo 5D to any device in the house, or outside the network, running a Plex client.

PlexConnect for Apple TV 2 & earlier: While Plex is available as an Apple TV app on newer Apple TV models, the two models I have need to be slightly tweaked in order to connect to Plex. Full details are available at the PlexConnect wiki, but in short, I had to give the Mac mini a static IP address (via the wireless router), run a python script & change the DNS settings on each Apple TV.