MacBook and Home Theater
November 21, 2008 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Any ideas about a wireless (or at least fairly elegant) MacBook Pro/1080p projector entertainment system setup?

So, I've got a fairly new MacBook pro with a DMI-I hookup and all that. I run the audio through an old-fashioned stereo amplifier into old-fashioned floor speakers, and the video through a new-fangled 1080p projector. I also have a mostly adequate Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse.
How can I use this setup without ensnaring my laptop in a web of cables? Well, only four, but it still takes long enough to connect and disconnect that the point of having a laptop is diminished.

I'm looking for essentially this:
Bluetooth or equivalent audio that will go to RCA connectors... adapters are okay as long as I'm not losing too much quality.
Bluetooth or equivalent 1080p video (maybe the hard part).
posted by cmoj to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
bluetooth does not have the bandwidth to send 1080p. I'm not going to do the math but I don't think it has the throughput of a 2X VCD from the 90s.

801.11n has a typical throughput of 74Mbit/s according to wikipedia. Uncompressed 1080p is orders of magnitude greater.

What you need is a dedicated media player and remote control software.
posted by troy at 12:41 PM on November 21, 2008

Best bet would be streaming to a PS3 or Xbox 360. You will probably need to wire them to a 802.11n router/AP as they can only support up to 802.11g (which doesn't have enough bandwidth for HD). I use Medialink to stream from my Mac to my PS3, works great.

The Apple TV could also work wirelessly but it only does 720p max and you will also need a 802.11n router/AP.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:24 PM on November 21, 2008

I agree that, based on what you've said, it might be best to not make the Macbook the center of you home entertainment system. I'm a pretty big fan of Apple, but I have been pretty unhappy with my AppleTV. If you don't need Blu-Ray now, think about putting a Mac Mini in the entertainment center. The Mini's are not much more expensive than the AppleTV, and much more flexible. If you do need Blu-Ray, look at a PS3.

You *will* have a hard time getting quality audio or video wirelessly.
posted by paulg at 2:02 PM on November 21, 2008

...or you'll pay out the nose for no wires.
posted by tomierna at 2:03 PM on November 21, 2008

I use Twonkymedia to stream from a Mac mini. Works great with most files, but I still have a couple issues with AVI codecs that the PS3 will not handle. So you'll be able to stream -- that's no problem -- it's generally the device you're streaming to that you need to worry about.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:29 PM on November 21, 2008

Regarding the Mac Mini option, I should also add that all sign and portents indicate a product update for the Mini line in early January 2009. Some sources speculate that the Mini and AppleTV lines might merge features, so it could become even more attractive for home theater use.
posted by paulg at 3:29 PM on November 21, 2008

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