Thinking of replacing apple tv


Distinguished Member
Hi all,

I am thinking of replacing the Apple TV with a media pc. The main reason is I'm fed up of taking a quality hit so I can import it to iTunes.

My problem is I use iTunes for music etc for my iPhone so I will need to keep using it.

I have a Hp n36l microserver which currently holds my movies on 4 2tb raid 5 disks and runs windows home server 2011

My main questions are:

1. What do you all use to display your movies on screen?

2. Is there a way I can get the 5.1 sound from it still?

3. Is there a way I can use the media pc to play my music through even though its in iTunes?

4. How would you go about it if you were in my situation?

I'm going to work my way through the threads on here for ideas

Last edited:


Distinguished Member
The main reason is I'm fed up of taking a quality hit so I can import it to iTunes.
Use MKV2MP4 on PC or IVI on OSX, no quality hit.

No need for a PC if you want Airplay support there are two options I know of;

Popcornhour A400, high end player lots of outputs, good for DVD/BD's with menus, HD audio & videophile stuff, has it's own internal media jukebox with iOS/Android remotes.

Pivos XIOS DS, very similar to AppleTV with only HDMI output, runs XBMC natively so good for standalone videos like mp4, mkv avi etc, has internal media jukebox and many remotes both official and third party (XBMC Commander is one of the best iOS third party remotes). Also supports skins and can be made to look like an AppleTV UI.

Both those boxes do the reverse engineered version of Airplay which means they can do display mirroring and only support DRM free media.

1. Both those boxes will display movies with coverart.
2. Both boxes output AC3 and DTS 5.1 to an amp, the A400 can also pass HD audio, the XIOS has HD audio pass-through in development.
3. As stated both boxes have Airplay, XBMC can also scan a NAS for music and display that music library in it's iOS remote. If you really wanted to go with a PC Airfoil can make a PC an Airplay audio target.
4. If happy with the arrangement of MK2MP4 or IVI I would stick with that and the AppleTV.
* If not happy with AppleTV, but want something that handles videos, photos and music well then go with Pivos XIOS and XBMC.
* If after videophile stuff with menus go with the A400.

Cosmic phil

Active Member
But a graphics card for you're microserver install iTunes and xbmc on the server.
There's a big thread on the hp microservers on this forum has all the info you need.

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