Your iMac can either act as a WiFi receiver to an Airport Extreme Base Station, Time Capsule, or Airport Express, or be a WiFi transmitter to another device that supports WiFi reception, such as an AppleTV which can pickup anything you download with iTunes. It can also be wired via ethernet to your DSL modem, and transmit that, but that leaves it open to ping attacks. Better to leave it as a reciever and use the Base Station, Time Capsule, or other WiFi router connected to the DSL modem. Third party routers are harder to support than Apple's own. Your iMac does not transmit audio over its video port, so either an AppleTV, or DVI audio adapter to HDMI is recommended to hook your iMac to TV. The latter supports DVDs, where the former does not.
An apple TV may be just what you need. It is the $99 box that has wireless built in. Your iMac also has wireless and the apple TV can access netflix or your iTunes library on the mac. I do this in my apartment. I use an apple TV to watch movies from iTunes on my TV. You just need to make sure the iMac is doing internet sharing.
Thank you so much for the detailed response. Just so I'm understanding the general idea, my iMac can indeed transmit to another Mac (say a laptop) both having airport active (I've never used this - can you tell? LOL!!!)
But the downside to this is that its hackable by potential neer-do-wells. Yes?
Therefore it is more desirable to get an Apple TV box to act as the main transmitter of the DSL, then it would connect to the TV and I'd be able to have my iMac upstairs receive the regular DSL connection we need for "normal" computer activity?
Am I getting this right?
I assume we'd also have to get a more modern TV and/or monitor to use as the TV?
Thanks ssls6, with Apple TV can we access all internet content? or is it limited to what you have to get thru iTunes? Honestly we only use iTunes for housing music we already own (or create) - we never use it to buy or download from. Could we have things like Netflix or Hulu, etc., on the Apple TV?
Do we need to get a separate ATV box for each TV in the house?
Your basic setup (assuming that you are intending to view content on your iMac on your TV) would look something like this:
Your internet is coming in via your modem, your modem connects to your wireless router to broadcast a wireless signal to allow your devices to connect to the internet. Your iMac and AppleTV then connect to the broadcasted wireless signal from your router. This allows them to communicate with each other and connect to the internet.
After you get your AppleTV plugged into your tv it's as simple as setting up your AppleTV and allowing it to sync with iTunes on your iMac. Keep in mind you will need a TV that has an HDMI input.
Here's a guide on how the basic AppleTV set up goes.
Best of luck!
Here is what I would do..
1) I would hook the DSL up to a wireless router, they are pretty cheap. You can skip this step if you make your iMac into a wireless router via internet sharing and airport. The routers are so cheap now I prefer just to use one.
2) I would run a cable from the router to my iMac using one of the ethernet ports in back, it sounds like they are would be in the same location so no need to use wireless on the mac.
3) I would put an apple TV box near my TV and set it up to see the wireless network you setup in (1)
Now, the apple TV can access youtube, netflix, itunes, etc. The TV will need an HDMI input connector, if your TV doesn't have it, then it may be really old and forget the apple TV plan or ask some one at best buy if there is a convertor from hdmi to composite video.
You don't need to rent movies from iTunes but you can use it to add movies from your DVDs, or movies you've downloaded, or created, whatever. It is a way to stream from the Mac to the apple TV via something apple calls home sharing. I have avi files I convert to mkv files using a free program called handbrake and plop those into itunes so my apple TV can find them. I also have netflix which has a huge library of stuff that can entertain for days, weeks, ...
Hey Joe! Welcome to living in rural Virginia! Like a mammoth portion of the country, we only last year got access to "highspeed" DSL (3M) - the folks down the road are still on dial-up. LOL! But when you've been suffering with dial-up only for the past decade, this seems like a miracle!...
If I had a time machine, I'd be fast forwarding 10 years to have what you likely have now....you lucky fella..
Thank you ssls6! This sounds like what we indeed need to do. I was mostly confused about needing a router cuz I thought the iMac itself would really act as one if we turned on Airport, but you're right, as they are not that expensive, and if it creates better security as well as allowing the TV to access the internet and be used separately from the computer at the same time, this sound like what we need to do. (If I'm understanding abrody's last response.)
Thank you folks for being so kind to help!
LOL Joel !!!!!!!! I thought you were being sarcastic, as we certainly could use a time machine to bring us out of the digital Stone Age... didn't know it was the name of a product!
I was just trying to ask if we only would need one internet connection which would then "talk" to all the various computers, and ATVs in the house. Sounds like it does.
Honestly all I really wish to ultimately do is access my iMac content downstairs on the family room TV so I'm not stuck up here in the computer room constantly. If we can eliminate needing satelitte TV, more's the better.