View Full Version : What is best HT software for Mac Mini?
Jul 31, 2010, 08:17 PM
I have a mac mini connected to TV. I currently run Front Row on it but would like something that allows me to access tv etc off the net.
I do not want to use anything that requires me to rename all my itunes TV & Video shows.
I don't mind if I have to pay for it as long as it is reasonably easy to use, will play itunes stuff and anything else I might fancy.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Jul 31, 2010, 08:20 PM
Jul 31, 2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks but I looked there and it says it doesn't support iTunes Tv shows and video because of the DRM and you also have to have your file names in a particular way.
Jul 31, 2010, 08:25 PM
There's nothing that plays iTunes bought videos except iTunes, Frontrow and the AppleTV.
You don't need to rename your files, you can just view them in the file browser. You rename them only if you want to have some organisation, art, scraping of video info etc.
Jul 31, 2010, 08:37 PM
Also, you can launch front row from within plex to watch the iTunes DRM stuff if that floats your boat. Returns to plex when you are done.
And even though, as Sammich pointed out, you don't need to name your files a specific way unless you want the meta scraping, the naming convention is pretty flexible and not a big adjustment.
Aug 1, 2010, 11:10 AM
Aug 1, 2010, 12:15 PM
Sammich is right about the DRM so if not renaming your files and the ability to view iTunes purchased video is most important, just stick with Front Row.
That being said, PLEX is simply a fantastic media center and if you invest a bit of time to set it up, you won't be disappointed. You can get to essentially any media type through its interface (apps, plug-ins) and it handle playback of pretty much file format you can through at it, and it simply looks great. It has a tons of apps that allow direct access to some of the most popular web content (Netflix, Hulu, ESPN3 for example). I have 3 little ones who love the Nick Jr. app--saved my butt a few times when the satellite went out.
Aug 1, 2010, 01:58 PM
Hulu desktop is a great program for watching TV. I personally love the interface. If you want to integrate that into Frontrow, use Understudy (http://code.google.com/p/understudy/). Understudy will also add Netflix support. (A few bugs here and there, but it gets the job done.)
Aug 1, 2010, 04:00 PM
Boxee works great, particularly for internet based content.
Aug 4, 2010, 03:59 PM
Been using Plex for abut two years now.. and never had any complaints. There were a few minor bugs on occasion, but the Plex team always fixes them within a matter of days.
Tried Boxee for a while, but went back to Plex.
Aug 4, 2010, 04:21 PM
I bought a Mac Mini specifically to run Plex. It is simply fantastic, and the fact that it's free just makes it better. As others have said, you can get into Front Row from right in Plex, watch your DRM'd files, then jump right back into Plex. And renaming your files isn't a requirement (you can just use the file browser) but once you do it pays off, most movies/films get cover art, background art, Tv shows get theme music, cast, plot. I would recommend it hands down.
Aug 4, 2010, 05:50 PM
Plex by far is the best
Aug 4, 2010, 06:24 PM
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I'm not at all crazy about Plex (although I haven't tried in the last few months). I think the original XBMC software (not the Plex fork) is more robust in terms of navigating thru movies (i.e. FF, REW, etc).
Don't just pick Plex. This software is free. Try other players. Maybe you can even live with VLC, which also works just fine for my purposes.
Aug 10, 2010, 12:29 AM
I never understood all the hoopla of plex either. It seems ok, but if someone just plopped down and wanted to watch something (and isn't familiar with PLEX), they'd get all confused, even after you've set everything up.
Meaning, it doesn't pass the "wife test".
It does have a lot of features though.
Main thing I didn't like is how it didn't detect any of my TV shows because the file names aren't in the right format. I couldn't even designate them TV shows manually. No way am I renaming 21 seasons of the Simpsons, not to mention my others.
It also renamed a few of my movies, changed the name, added box art, plot info and all that from movies that were nothing like the actual movie. The names weren't similar (at all), different genre, everything.
I'd rather look into a front row plugin that plays all formats VLC plays.