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View Full Version : How is the Mac mini for streaming video through Front Row?




MacOSXAddict
Jan 16, 2007, 12:41 AM
I am now interested in getting a Mac mini (1.66 Ghz) to stream video, play DVDs and use as a DVR. What is the performance like for streaming video on the 802.11g interface though Front Row? Is is choppy for streaming video, especially Divx movies? How is DVD playing performance on it? Is the quality good?

I know that I want a Mac mini for a media player, but I am wondering if I should buy now or wait until the 802.11n interface is adopted in the Mac mini since my MacPro has 802.11n already in place.

Looking for some thoughts,

Addict



benthewraith
Jan 16, 2007, 12:44 AM
I am now interested in getting a Mac mini (1.66 Ghz) to stream video, play DVDs and use as a DVR. What is the performance like for streaming video on the 802.11g interface though Front Row? Is is choppy for streaming video, especially Divx movies? How is DVD playing performance on it? Is the quality good?

I know that I want a Mac mini for a media player, but I am wondering if I should buy now or wait until the 802.11n interface is adopted in the Mac mini since my MacPro has 802.11n already in place.

Looking for some thoughts,

Addict

Steve believes it's good, the current media servers that support 802.11g believe it's good, so I'd imagine it's pretty good.

livingfortoday
Jan 16, 2007, 01:38 AM
I have a Core Duo that I use for watching movies, and I'm streaming them from a PowerMac through 802.11g. The quality is great, and it handles all the video and music I throw at it fine. The only problems I've had have related to my cheap wireless router dropping the signal intermittently, which makes the video pause and skip. Other than that, though, there've been no problems.

iW00t
Jan 16, 2007, 01:41 AM
There was once when I streamed a DVD image (as an ISO file) shared over NFS through a 802.11g wireless connection.

It is not too good, but it is definitely watchable. Stutters occasionally though. The encoding on a DVD is much higher than most other video files, so I wouldn't worry too much! :)

MacOSXAddict
Jan 16, 2007, 10:13 AM
I have a Core Duo that I use for watching movies, and I'm streaming them from a PowerMac through 802.11g. The quality is great, and it handles all the video and music I throw at it fine. The only problems I've had have related to my cheap wireless router dropping the signal intermittently, which makes the video pause and skip. Other than that, though, there've been no problems.

How is the quality of DVD playing in the mini? Is it comparable to normal set top DVD players?

Also, is your video stream close to your PM because I am looking to stream to multiple floors in my house.

Thanks,

Addict

livingfortoday
Jan 16, 2007, 02:10 PM
Well, my PM is hooked up to my router, and the router is about... ten feet from the Mini. Not very far at all. Quality is excellent, though I am pushing a 24" Dell, and not an HD-TV. Resolution is still 1920x1200, though.

Edit: I should also note that most of the movies I'm streaming are h.264 encoded MP4's, at 1750-2000kbps. Smooth as silk! They were even great on my Core Solo before I upgraded!

shu82
Jan 16, 2007, 03:28 PM
I have a setup where the router is downstairs and I stream upstairs to my mini. Even over the internet I can stream 700mb divx movies from guba with no problems. Transferring files from my powerbook to my mini takes place at about 1mb/s. I have the bottom of the line core duo with a gig of ram. I really love this little box and recommend it to everyone.

shu82
Jan 16, 2007, 03:30 PM
The only thing that I have a problem with is playing HR HD divx. There is not enough muscle in the graphics card. But it will handle non-encoded hd.

esaleris
Jan 16, 2007, 03:35 PM
I use a Mac mini connected to a PowerMac G4 1TB RAID with Gigabit enabled on both ends. The transfer speeds rival that of USB 2.0 and FireWire 2.0 in real-world situations, about ~20 MB/sec sustained. If you can afford having a cable around, it's really the only way to go.

MacOSXAddict
Jan 16, 2007, 10:52 PM
The only thing that I have a problem with is playing HR HD divx. There is not enough muscle in the graphics card. But it will handle non-encoded hd.

What kind of Mac mini do you have?

And anyone, how is DVD playing on it?

livingfortoday
Jan 17, 2007, 01:29 AM
Ok, I'm not 100% sure what you mean by DVD playing. You mean, putting a DVD in a different computer, and streaming the video from that to the Mini? Or putting a DVD in the Mini and watching it?

'Cause it can play DVD's just fine. As for streaming, well, I just can't seem to make that work right. It'll mount DVD's from another computer on the desktop, but DVD Player keeps having encoding issues, and VLC will seize up on the main menu a bunch. I can't really get past it. So... no, unless you convert the DVD to a MP4 file, I don't see wireless streaming as much of a possibility.

shu82
Jan 17, 2007, 01:49 PM
I have the 1.67 core duo. And I want to clarify the HR HDTV Divx files. I just tried a new one last night and it played just fine. Not streaming it of course. Ill try streaming it later when I get home. The one i tried before had much better quality but it dropped frames and choked after the first 5 minutes. Maybe it was just a bad encoding, but i have heard similar comments from a guy with a year old imac.