One More Thing

This year I have slowly being setting up the network and technology around the apartment. It all started with the hope that I would be able to mirror the Mac mini to the TV in the lounge. Now, one network, a second Mac mini, a Flat screen TV and several cables later I am pretty much sorted now with the way we have the various technology set up around the apartment:

Sands Room

Sands Room: not bad for a reluctant Mac Chick.

With the addition of the new Samsung 32″ Flat Screen Sands technology list consists of:

– 20″ iMac
– 32″ Samsung TV
– 2GB iPod Nano
– 4GB iPod Mini
– 2 1GB iPod Shuffles
– Palm T3
– Sony DVD and Surround Sound
– Satellite Receiver
– 250GB Acom Data Firewire & USB External Hard Drive
– IPEVO Skype Phone
– eyeTV Hybrid
– Airport Express
– B&O Telephone

The iMac is hooked up to the Satellite system through the eyeTV Hybrid, so it will pick up whatever is showing on Sky, and can record to the iMac. The iMac is also connected to the Samsung, so recorded stuff can be played back on the Samsung. Of course this also means that the Samsung acts as a dual screen for the iMac which I have been really impressed with. In fact I am jealous as hell – I really want the dual screen set up in my room!

As everything is connected to the ethernet network the iMac can also pick up movies and other digital content off either of the Mac mini’s, the Mac Book, or the Sony Desktop.

The iMac’s 250GB hard drive is partitioned into 150 and 100. The 100 contains movies that we have recorded, the 150 is Sands ‘active’ partition, and this is backed up to a 150GB partition on the External Hard Drive – just ready and waiting for OS X 10.5. The remaining 100GB on the External Hard Drive is used to back up the 80GB Mac Book.

The Airport Express streams the music to the Sony surround sound speakers in this room.

My Room

Sony TV connected to Sony VAIO Desktop, with PS2 hooked up as well.

Audio “studio” Mac Book, 17″ Sony screen and the PowerBook ready for my father.

My desk, not sure how I would accommodate a second 23″ ACD? But I would find a way!

My list consists of:
– Mac mini
– LaCie 300GB External Drive & Hub
– 2 1GB iPod Shuffles’
– 60GB iPod with Video
– 8 Port Gigabite Switch
– Airport Extreme
– 24″ B&O TV
– HEiL mic boom
– KEL HM1 mic
– Alesis Multimix 8
– Mac Book
– 17″ Sony Flat Monitor
– 23″ Apple Cinema Display
– Sony Vaio Desktop
– 3G 20GB iPod
– Canon Scanner
– Epson printer
– Olympia Cordless Skype Phone
– Belkin Wi-Fi Skype Phone
– Skype USB Headset
– iSight
– 32″ Sony TV
– PS2
– Nikon D80 DSLR
– Sony DSC-T7 Digital Camera
– Sony DSC – F707 Digital Camear
– Sony DCR-PC5E Handycam
– Creative PC Speakers.

I have recently switched some stuff around so that Sony Vaio Desktop is using the Sony TV as it’s monitor, with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The picture is poor but I very rarely use it, just for Skype, iTunes and to allow access to the 40+ movies that are stored on the hard drive. I also use the hard drive for extra backup during certain projects. This means the 17″ Sony monitor can be used as a dual screen for the Mac Book which is really useful when recording segments with Tim, for example, as I can now have the articles, notes and reviews spread across the two screens, so I don’t have to switch between then during a recording. It is also very useful when looking at pictures. It is frustrating in that it just makes me want a dual screen set up on my main Mac though!!!

I have split the sky signal to the B&O and now share it with the Sony TV, so that I can watch Sky on the Sony as well as DVDs and play with the PS2.

The Mac mini is connected to the LaCie external drive and the 160GB Mac mini hard drive is backed up to it. The remaining 120GB is used to store movies (we have a total of 340GB allocated to movie storage). The Mac mini is connected to the TVMax that sits in the Lounge so that I can view and record Sky onto the Mac. I have the 2 iPod Shuffles and the 60GB iPod with Video hooked up to the Mac mini, and the 20GB iPod hooked up to the Sony Desktop. I actually have a 10GB iPod that resides in my bathroom (or up on the roof) in a really old set of Altec Lansing speakers.

The B&O is connected via BeoLink to the B&O’s in the bedroom and the lounge, and the CD player in the lounge and the additional speaker we have in the hall.

Again the Desktop, Mac mini and Mac Book are all hooked up to the ethernet network.


Moreno checks out Front Row on the B&O.

– 32″ B&O TV
– B& 6 CD player
– 4 B&O speakers
– TVMax
– Mac mini
– Sky+
– Panasonic Portable DVD
– B&O Telephone and Answering Machine (a 3rd B&O Telephone sits in our bedroom)
– Airport Express

The Mac mini is connected permanently to the B&O so that it is easy to play back any movie off any of the computers in the house, ditto iTunes or iPhoto. The iMac has the full iPhoto and iTunes library on it and is backed up to the Acom Data Firewire & USB External Hard Drive, but my Mac mini and Mac Book have specific project photographs on them – Mac mini main, backed up to Mac Book, and the Desktop PC, Mac mini and Mac Book all have the music on them that is synced to the various iPods.

The Airport Express streams the music to the B&O speakers throughout the apartment (5 in lounge, 1 in hall, 1 in my study, 1 in our bedroom).

It has taken a long time (and way too much money) to achieve this set up, but it works really well. What I like best is that we have utilized everything that we bought over the years (pre Mac, pre Broadband), and all the new stuff has been bought with this set up in mind.

There is one thing that I can’t do at the moment though. The Sky (satellite) in Sands room is just the free stuff that they air. We have a full subscription in the lounge (Sky+) that we can watch in the lounge, bedroom and my study, but I want to find a way of getting it into Sands room. I could buy a second subscription but that would be somewhat excessive. I want to use the technology that we have so it seems that I have to find a way to stream the Sky+ content that I can watch on the Mac mini through the TVMax and log onto the Mac mini from the iMac and pick up that content, which I can then dual screen onto the Samsung. I tried to access the Mac mini’s eyeTV life buffer from the iMac but couldn’t.

So any suggestions? I have a feeling that streaming live TV is going to be one step to far for my set up at the moment though.

There are more pictures over on the Flickr account. As ever my thanks to Lindy for sourcing and delivering the necessary DVI to HDMI cable to promptly.

7 thoughts on “One More Thing

  1. Danny

    Wow! I am horrendously jealous – I thought my little dual monitor rig was cool. That TV and iMac is a really neat idea and quite original having it quite separated from the other screen. Could be useful to separate programs from each other rather than just expand screen real estate (for example iTunes as your working).
    Would have to say dream on about 2 23″ ACDs at your desk though :p that will definitely be a challenge. Dare I say have you looked at the Dell displays – I know Glenn Wolsy has been blogging about them.
    Great blog here Chris – keep the posts coming 🙂

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    I did look at the Dell. At the moment I need to get a Mac Pro first, so it is more than a dream – it is pure fantasy at the moment.

    I think that if I was buying 2 screens together the Dell’s would be an option but as I would only need one extra 23′ ACD and by then they will have brought out the new ones so eBay will have some good deals I would in all probability get another 23″ ACD.

    Appreciate the comments – the iMac – TV set up was more out of necessity as it needs to be at a good angle for watching TV as well (great swivel bracket helps) but it is working really well.

  3. Danny

    Chris – why do you need a mac pro :p come on admit it – its techno lust we all get it 🙂
    But a mac pro and Dual 23″ ACDs would certainly be a pretty much ideal rig for your photography work.

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    “Need” just doesn’t enter the equation, unless it is some converluted reason given to the wife!

    Basically it will be cool 🙂 BUT not likely to happen for a long time yet 🙁

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    [quote comment=”6655″]Wonderful setup Chris, looks very functional and organized.[/quote]

    Functional and organised – that’s me 🙂

  6. Pingback: Chris Marshall » Blog Archive » Dual Screen Debate

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