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danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 07:21 AM
I am looking for a media player solution (I currently have an :apple:TV and a WDTV Live Plus) and was just about to plunk down my money for the new Mac Mini when I saw over on the Apple support forum that many people are having an issue with the HDMI port when switching off the tv/avr or changing video sources away from the Mac Mini. It seems this causes the Mini to get into a lockup situation trying to re-sync to the video target, sometimes causing a kernel panic and often causing the mini to become unresponsive and overheat. I expect Apple will work this out given time, but until then it can be a real pain (Apple says to turn off the Mac Mini before switching the tv/avr away from the Mini!). I am now looking at the Asrock 330-HT media box (ION, dual-core Atom, space for 2nd hdd, dvd or blu-ray drive, etc.). Does anybody here have experience with the HDMI issue that is being reported?



a2applegirl
Jul 16, 2010, 07:38 AM
I have my mini server connected directly to my plasma tv via hdmi. I also have my att uverse dvr attached via hdmi to serve up my television programming. I use separate remotes for the uverse/cable dvr and leave the mini server on all the time and I have never had an issue with overheating or with kernel panics. (the only time I had a kernel panic was when I overloaded the mini's cpu with handbrake and didn't adjust the fan)

I manage the mini remotely via screen sharing via my macbook pro. In my case the video is either streaming from my macbook pro via itunes or being played directly on the mini, or I am doing other things on the mini via remote desktop and using the tv for my uverse/cable programming.

I have never had to turn off the mini when switching to my uverse/cable.

roidy
Jul 16, 2010, 07:51 AM
Can't help you with the Mac Mini HDMI problem as I would never pay Apples ridiculous price just to play my media.

However I can recommend the Asrock Atom/Ion, I have one running Linux XBMC and it plays everything I throw at it with full hardware acceleration and no HDMI issues:D and it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Granted it's harder to setup but in the end I think a few extra days of setup time out weights the price difference.

danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 08:25 AM
Can't help you with the Mac Mini HDMI problem as I would never pay Apples ridiculous price just to play my media.

However I can recommend the Asrock Atom/Ion, I have one running Linux XBMC and it plays everything I throw at it with full hardware acceleration and no HDMI issues:D and it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Granted it's harder to setup but in the end I think a few extra days of setup time out weights the price difference.
Thanks, I've been reading up on this unit (the 330-HT version that includes the remote) and have generally heard only good things about it. And the recommendation of the Linux XBMC install is also what I have been reading, as it supposedly performs faster than the Windows version. Did you do the stand-alone XBMC Live install or a separate Linux and XBMC install? I have been reading that the latter is easier to troubleshoot if you run into issues, because the former does not have an OS interface accessible. I also understand that the Linux version of XBMC is the only version with hardware acceleration at his time. Is that right? Would a dual-boot Linux/Windows install be reasonable on this machine (I have been looking at the ION330HT/B/W7HP version for just over $400, including W7 home Premium).

danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 08:28 AM
BTW, here is the tread on the Apple support forums that I was referring to:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2477139&start=0&tstart=0

roidy
Jul 16, 2010, 08:51 AM
Thanks, I've been reading up on this unit (the 330-HT version that includes the remote) and have generally heard only good things about it. And the recommendation of the Linux XBMC install is also what I have been reading, as it supposedly performs faster than the Windows version. Did you do the stand-alone XBMC Live install or a separate Linux and XBMC install?

I use the XBMCfreak edition which is a liveCD that you can install to your hard drive.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=76735

I have been reading that the latter is easier to troubleshoot if you run into issues, because the former does not have an OS interface accessible.

Depend how comfortable you are at the command line, I havn't encounted a problem yet that couldn't be solved from the command line. Also depends if you want access to a desktop to run other applications.

I also understand that the Linux version of XBMC is the only version with hardware acceleration at his time. Is that right?

No theres a Windows branch of XBMC that uses DXVA hardware acceleration. But hardware acceleration only helps video playback, the XBMC interface relys on the CPU and it runs much faster under Linux.

Would a dual-boot Linux/Windows install be reasonable on this machine (I have been looking at the ION330HT/B/W7HP version for just over $400, including W7 home Premium).

Yep dual booting is perfectly possible on this machine.

Check out the XBMC forums theres a ton of information over there to get you started.

danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the info roidy, I'll check it out!

EDIT: I just placed my order!

a2applegirl
Jul 16, 2010, 09:09 AM
BTW, here is the tread on the Apple support forums that I was referring to:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2477139&start=0&tstart=0

This is an issue with front row not with the mini. I don't use front row because the remote starts to do things to my macbook pro and my mini when I use it, even withe the third party patch I applied.

I use vlc, plex, or itunes to play the media, and I use finder in carousel mode with dvd covers as icons and movie summaries as a description. (for my pre-encoded ripped movies)

I don't like front row. Plex is much better.

danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 09:20 AM
This is an issue with front row not with the mini. I don't use front row because the remote starts to do things to my macbook pro and my mini when I use it, even withe the third party patch I applied.

I use vlc, plex, or itunes to play the media, and I use finder in carousel mode with dvd covers as icons and movie summaries as a description. (for my pre-encoded ripped movies)

I don't like front row. Plex is much better.
If you read down a little further in the thread you will see that it has nothing to do with Front Row, the OP just thought that initially and never updated the title. If it were only Front Row then I would not be concerned, but many other posters (and the OP himself) stated that it happens in any app, even just Finder.

gdbleb
Jul 16, 2010, 12:16 PM
If you read down a little further in the thread you will see that it has nothing to do with Front Row, the OP just thought that initially and never updated the title. If it were only Front Row then I would not be concerned, but many other posters (and the OP himself) stated that it happens in any app, even just Finder.

Agreed. This just happened to me last night on my 2-week old mini while on the "home page" (or whatever we call it). I have the mini HDMI connected to a Pioneer receiver. Switching receiver I/P away from mini and back did not correct. Power off/on of the receiver did not correct the display. Reboot of the mini corrected the display. The mini had lost the display size calibration so I couldn't get to the MAC menu. Had to hold the power switch for 5 secs. Annoying behavior. Hope it gets fixed.

a2applegirl
Jul 16, 2010, 10:44 PM
I went back and read the entire thread trying to find out what people who were having this issue were doing differently than me. (I am not having the issue). I did not mean to jump the gun.

Here is my setup:

1. Mini is directly connected to plasma tv via hdmi and uverse/cable dvr is also directly connected to tv via hdmi on another port.

2. No receiver. I have digital toslink out to a bose surround speaker system.

3. I leave the mini server on all the time with no sleeping.

4. I switch back to uverse dvr before switching the television completely off, and I turn on the uverse dvr first when i am turning the tv on and then switch via the tv's remote to the mini input.

5. I manage and view the mini remotely on my mac book when I am watching tv.

6. I do not have my mini connected to anything else but the tv.

7. My tv is set to go into sleep mode if it does not recognize an input.

danny_w
Jul 16, 2010, 10:54 PM
I went back and read the entire thread trying to find out what people who were having this issue were doing differently than me. (I am not having the issue). I did not mean to jump the gun.

Here is my setup:

1. Mini is directly connected to plasma tv via hdmi and uverse/cable dvr is also directly connected to tv via hdmi on another port.

2. No receiver. I have digital toslink out to a bose surround speaker system.

3. I leave the mini server on all the time with no sleeping.

4. I switch back to uverse dvr before switching the television completely off, and I turn on the uverse dvr first when i am turning the tv on and then switch via the tv's remote to the mini input.

5. I manage and view the mini remotely on my mac book when I am watching tv.

6. I do not have my mini connected to anything else but the tv.

7. My tv is set to go into sleep mode if it does not recognize an input.
The only thing that I can think is that perhaps your tv keeps the hdmi sync to the mac mini when its input is switched away over to the uverse input. It sounds like the issue is that the mini keeps attempting to resync when the target (tv) disappears, but if your tv keeps the input "alive" and in sync then this issue would not happen. I hope Apple can get it sorted out for those that are having the problem. As for me I ordered the Asrock ION330HT and it should bed here next week; I would have rather had the Mac Mini but this will at least give me a chance to try out a different platform, it didn't cost nearly as much ($404 shipped vs. $699+tax), and I can even install a blu-ray drive if I want sometime later.