View Full Version : Apple TV, Or Mac Mini

Oct 3, 2007, 09:56 AM
Hi there, I'm from the UK. Basically I'm a big mac fan, I've been using them for about 13 years now. Even through the 'dark ages' of apple, when it looked like the company might go bust. I have been an active apple support person to people who have needed it.

Here's the thing. I currently have a 24inch imac, (late 2006) 3 gig ram, terabytes of storage. I download TV shows as XVID, movies as XVID & DIVX, and have a back catalogue of Series/Movies burnt to DVD'S and CD'S in a box.
There is very little I watch on regular TV. I download through Bittorrent or stream through a site like tvlinks.

What I eventually believe is the future for me would be a suitable LCD, 46-52inch. 1080p for futureproofness. IDTV for convenience. now I'm thinking seriously that because the mac mini is core 2, so 64bit advantages as and when together with 2 gig ram would make it a fast, second computer under the HDTV. hooked up via an onyko reciever (DVI-HDMI) so I could get 5.1 basic, and possibly 7.1 or 8.1 in the future. I can always simply add a blu-ray deck, or hd-dvd and hook that up via HDMI to the receiver at any moment should one format win, and will be cheaper. The mac mini would suit as a media server, accessed wirelessly for new episodes/movies downloaded through the imac, or through the mini. attach a matching external HDD for the content, and watch through VLC would give me all the codecs I need for the file formats I watch. Then there's the advantage of a mac mini in the lounge surf web, watch youtube, or tvlinks, directly from the armchair.

what do you think? surely this is better than an appletv that plays back limited codec files. no XVID, or DIVX. wheress the mini has DVD playback/net functions/osX/ HDD/VLC/ the list is endless.....

Oct 3, 2007, 10:00 AM
Mac Mini sounds great as a Media Center, many people have used it.
But I would wait for leopard for the new FR that might include YouTube support. so every time you wanna watch YouTube you don't need to open safari and go through all the process...

Oct 3, 2007, 11:45 AM
i went with the mini for a number of reasons, two biggies being:

-5.1 surround sound
-more storage options

Oct 3, 2007, 01:27 PM
It's a tough call. in some ways, they are two very different approaches.

I think Apple TV is a cleaner approach in that you don't have to think to make it work, no need for keyboard/mice, etc.

However, you can do some much more interesting and advanced things with a Mac Mini hooked up instead. Of course, on my TV, it cuts off some of the screen when connected to a computer ,so that was another reason I didn't want a computer hooked up.

Overall, it just depends on the person. For now, I chose spending $300 with less fuss over $600 plus wireless stuff $$, plus more ram $$, etc. Maybe in the future I'll need something more like the Mini.

I also figure that the Apple TV will grow, and I may just upgrade my Apple TV as I go along by selling my current one and getting whatever is next each time.

Oct 3, 2007, 01:32 PM
I wish Apple would ship the Mac mini with an HDMI port and native OS support for 720P, 1080i and 1080p. That would simplify the setup process for home theaters and prevent overscanning.

Oct 3, 2007, 02:01 PM
The $299 pricetag, its slim factor, native HDMI, and the fact that my roommates understand how to make it stream from their computers (and actually use it for that) are why I chose the AppleTV.

I've modified mine to be able to play the Xvid stuff, though. I'm not sure how excited about it I'd be if I had to reconvert an existing library of stuff, though.

Oct 4, 2007, 08:41 AM
Get the HDTV part first, then check the scanning with what you already have. You may say, hey I don't want this web experience in this room, then opt for a simple bridge. The 5.1 is a big downer for the Apple TV.

Oct 4, 2007, 02:31 PM
i was in this exact same boat a few months ago, but ultimately only wanted a simple way to just stream my media from my mbp to the appletv in the den. with all of the available hacks to the atv, you can pretty much stream/playback *most* formats. be forewarned though, while atv hacking has come a long way, it does come with it some long hours of fixing/rehacking/refixing/etc; the stability of the atv after hacking it is, well, pretty unstable.. for me at least. you can however, EASILY reload everything back to it's from the factory defaults which is nice for when it comes time to ebay it or if you decide to finally get all of your media into an itunes readable format.

i do wish i had the mac mini at times though, it would be MUCH easier to do certain things, especially if the mac mini had a .11n adapter built in, i'd definitely jump on it.

Oct 5, 2007, 10:48 AM
Might want to hold off. Rumors are starting to appear of a new :apple:tv with larger HDDs and a DVD player as well as the "Mac Nano" replacing the Mac Mini in an even smaller form factor.

Oct 5, 2007, 01:47 PM
Might want to hold off. Rumors are starting to appear of a new :apple:tv with larger HDDs and a DVD player as well as the "Mac Nano" replacing the Mac Mini in an even smaller form factor.

Not to mention if they keep the Minis you should get one with Leopard as the Front Row on it looks like :apple:TV....