Lounge setup advice


Jan 30, 2014
This is my first post here, so first of all, Hi everybody!

We have decided to move in together with my girlfriend which for me will mean to setup our lounge!

At the moment my home entertainment system is my iMac 27”, but what I plan to set up is the following:
· HDTV – not 3D, maybe smart?
· Apple TV (optional) – is there anything what this can do that the smart tv cant?
· Micro system – acting also like a a/v receiver to play sound from the tv through the speakers (we don’t want 5.1 or to connect any other players/console to the TV
· Wireless hard drive – mainly to play movies/tv shows
· iMac/iPhone connection to the micro system – via Bluetooth or Airplay

My questions:
· Is smart tv better (also better value) than normal tv with Apple TV?
· Can the micro system work as the a/v receiver to play tv sound through the speakers? Please note that we don’t want dolby or need to connect any other players/console to the tv
· Do I need a smart tv to be able to connect the tv to the home network and access the network hard drive?
· To be able to play all movies/tv shows from the hard drive (the most common files that VLC player plays these days) do I need a smart tv or most tvs can do this now?
· Playing music from the iPhone/iMac – is this better via BT or Airplay? I guess to be able to use Airplay, The Apple TV would be needed (and in this case the sound would go through the micro system?)

I am pretty new to this as I have been using my Mac for all my audio/video needs so please excuse me if I am asking stupid/simple questions. Suggestions on exact tv models/micro systems would also be appreciated.

Thanks a lot!
If you are going to buy a better quality TV it will probably be smart (and 3D) without a choice.
If you are spending less then adding a media box will work well. Apple TV is more limited than say a Roku in that Apple really wants you to use iTunes for everything whereas there are many more Roku "channels" and a lot of free content. Check out the recent comparison on this site (which includes Chromecast also). If you have a media box then that will connect to the network drive if the TV won't (may support more file types than the TV).
You can use a micro system for sound but you may need to purchase a digital to analog converter to get the common optical audio out from the TV to connect to the micro system. Make sure you get a TV with some audio output. Many posts on this forum are from people that bought TVs without any audio outputs.
BT will work with any phone or laptop and you can get an adapter to connect directly to the micro system. Simpler than going through the Apple TV.
If you are a Mac person then of course you can stay with the Apple TV and Airplay.
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