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View Full Version : ATV2 or Mac Mini. Which one should I keep?




jamisonbaines
Aug 10, 2011, 11:08 AM
Mini is 1.83 C2D with 3 GB RAM, was my main computer but has been replaced with a MBP. I have too many computers and need to get rid of something.

So it's either sell the Mini & monitor or sell my ATV2 and us the Mini as a HTPC.

I would prefer to keep the ATV and use plex but the jailbreak process is thoroughly annoying. Mini has it's benefits (storage, web content) but drawbacks too (computer interface, how to connect it to TV.)

Obviously the Mini would have higher resale value.

Would like to hear some opinions to help make my decision. What would you do and why.



s15119
Aug 10, 2011, 12:14 PM
Mini is 1.83 C2D with 3 GB RAM, was my main computer but has been replaced with a MBP. I have too many computers and need to get rid of something.

So it's either sell the Mini & monitor or sell my ATV2 and us the Mini as a HTPC.

I would prefer to keep the ATV and use plex but the jailbreak process is thoroughly annoying. Mini has it's benefits (storage, web content) but drawbacks too (computer interface, how to connect it to TV.)

Obviously the Mini would have higher resale value.

Would like to hear some opinions to help make my decision. What would you do and why.

I have both hooked up to my TV. If I had to chose bettwen the two of them, it would be a hard choice. But I'd probably keep the Mini - it does everything the ATV does, and some. Yeah, the interface for TV is better with teh ATV, but the mini makes a pretty sweet HTPC.

osohardy
Aug 10, 2011, 12:33 PM
Mini is 1.83 C2D with 3 GB RAM, was my main computer but has been replaced with a MBP. I have too many computers and need to get rid of something.

So it's either sell the Mini & monitor or sell my ATV2 and us the Mini as a HTPC.

I would prefer to keep the ATV and use plex but the jailbreak process is thoroughly annoying. Mini has it's benefits (storage, web content) but drawbacks too (computer interface, how to connect it to TV.)

Obviously the Mini would have higher resale value.

Would like to hear some opinions to help make my decision. What would you do and why.

I would ask first what kind of content you have to play and what other apps you want to run, and whether you need high WAF for you setup. On my Mini I run Plex and EyeTV and Hulu Desktop for mostly HD content/bluray rips (uncompressed at this point). I think with the 1.83 you are mostly fine but you might have some troubles with some uncompressed bluray rips (I think you have the GMA 950 GPU which is not ideal). I have the 2.26 with 9400M and it is no problem. With the Mini, especially if you want to switch between multiple apps cleanly at the press of a button and integrate it within your home theater (eg with Harmony remote) it will require a lot of upfront tweaking with applescript and remote buddy but once done it is pretty sweet and mandatory for any kind of WAF.

Having said that, I also use the ATV2 for Netflix mostly--I don't think this is ever going to come Plex-side in HD and honestly there are always recurring issues with plugins in Plex with Netflix/Hulu etc. The experience will always be better on a dedicated device. Also, I prefer to use the ATV for music and pictures, and airplay/remote app is pretty slick.

At the end of the day the Mini of course is more powerful/flexible (again though with yours it may be borderline with high bitrate stuff) but it is a computer that requires maintenance, applying updates, setting up and tweaking, rebooting/screensharing when there's trouble etc. that the ATV would not have. You'll have to balance what kind of content you want to play, other apps/services you must have, and whether you care about being able to watch your stuff only when the MBP is running (ATV) vs dedicated HTPC.

jamisonbaines
Aug 10, 2011, 02:11 PM
I only do 720p, my Mini has never struggled with that. I have a lot of TV shows in .avi which is what makes the ATV somewhat awkward. I used XBMC for a while but found it clumsy.

Mostly I want it to stream my content, watch some Netflix. YouTube & Vimeo. Hulu and similar plugins through Plex would be a bonus, esp. on the ATV.

The programmed remotes would be impressive but I'm not that committed to the hobby.

I know the best choice is probably the ATV, I just hate the run around of jailbreaks and how awkward they are to perform on the device along with setting things up anew every time. I haven't experimented with the Mini connected to my TV so I wanted to hear from others before I let it go.

I would like some other features like web browsing or a twitter client that the ATV doesn't currently provide but I think some of that appeal might fade if it necessitated sitting around with a keyboard and mouse over the iPhone remote app.

s15119
Aug 10, 2011, 05:52 PM
If you haven't you also might want to read this review of the mini as a HTPC
Hello,

http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/08/ars-reviews-the-2011-mac-mini.ars/1

Wicked1
Aug 11, 2011, 09:16 AM
Mini only because you do not have to worry about sharing a library, Mini performs multiple functions and you can bring your media with you anywhere, ATV is basically useless without an iTunes library unless you plan to purchase or rent movies all the time.

newagemac
Aug 11, 2011, 11:20 AM
I only do 720p, my Mini has never struggled with that. I have a lot of TV shows in .avi which is what makes the ATV somewhat awkward. I used XBMC for a while but found it clumsy.

Mostly I want it to stream my content, watch some Netflix. YouTube & Vimeo. Hulu and similar plugins through Plex would be a bonus, esp. on the ATV.

The programmed remotes would be impressive but I'm not that committed to the hobby.

I know the best choice is probably the ATV, I just hate the run around of jailbreaks and how awkward they are to perform on the device along with setting things up anew every time. I haven't experimented with the Mini connected to my TV so I wanted to hear from others before I let it go.

I would like some other features like web browsing or a twitter client that the ATV doesn't currently provide but I think some of that appeal might fade if it necessitated sitting around with a keyboard and mouse over the iPhone remote app.

You don't need to jailbreak the ATV to play your avi files if you have an iOS device. Just use the Air Video app and install the beta version of Air Video Server on your MBP. Then you can Airplay avi, mkv, or pretty much any format to your Apple TV in HD. The files can even be on an external or networked drive.