Q: We are building a house and I am not that technically sound with AV
solutions. We are planning on having a 6 DVD home theater system Sony
and we already have this equipment in the Master Bedroom and other equipment in our house. We have a 47” Sony TV which is not wifi capable, and we are looking at Smart TV’s which with Wi-Fi and widgets that include Netflix.
We love watching movies and we mainly stream them via Netflix/Youtube/my
Hard drive. I wanted to get a unified solution so I can be able to stream
movies to multiple TV’s at the same time.
What do you suggest we use and how do you suggest we wire our home?
A The easiest and cheapest solution would be to buy a few Apple TVs. The first thing you should do if you are building is wire your house with several Ethernet (Category-5e) cables) to support the distribution of streaming and network data throughout your home. From that point you could buy Apple TV, web-enabled Blu-ray disc players or if you have the financial means, a movie server system from Kaledeiscape.
If you don’t wire the house you’ll have to use wireless technologies which aren’t as reliable, or use a combination of wireless, powerline (carries network signal on your home’s electrical lines) or MoCA products (Multi Media over Coax Alliance products carry signals over your home’s cable lines).
Apple TV costs $99 and it offers Netflix, Hulu Plus, and it offers Apple’s iTunes music and movie service, as well as the ability to buy Blu-ray discs with digital copies that support the ripping of those digital copy movies into iTunes to enable your iTunes to act as a movie server. Apple TV can be integrated into wireless and wired home networks.
Smart TVs and web-enabled Blu-ray players also offer wired and wireless too, but they don’t offer the iTunes integration like Apple TV. Additional benefits of Apple TV also include the ability to play your music in the rooms in which you have the Apple TV units, and AirPlay compatibility which means if you have other electronics with AirPlay you can stream your music to those devices.
An additional benefit of an Apple eco-system in the home is that with your movies stored in iTunes you can transfer copies to your portable devices. If you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can transfer movies to your Apple products.
Taking this a step further: If you add TiVo’s new Premiere Series DVRs and companion a Stream product to your home you can distribute you can aggregate Hulu Plus, Netflix and broadcast cable content through your TiVo devices and even stream them to your Apple iOS products.