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Old Oct 22, 2012, 01:08 AM   #26
barbz41086
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Originally Posted by Elsmar View Post
With 24 TB of videos I'd have to do too many video conversions. I just use VLC for most things. VLC will even de-interlace video files (I have quite a few old interlaced video files) which is a great feature.

And I have too many videos to want to want to go through all the XBMC or Plex stuff. I like to have the Mac desktop so I can see all the drives and go right to the file I want to play. It may not be as "pretty" user interface wise, but it's a lot faster finding files.

But, for now I use my iMac to watch videos anyway. I haven't had a TV in close to 8 years. I may buy a big screen TV this year. If I do I'll buy a Mac-Mini to feed it video.

As always, YMMV.

ive only got half a gig of media, so we are totally different ball parks!
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 02:06 AM   #27
henchman
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Mac mini and roku boxes with Plex.
Then lay way to go.
Forget Apple TV.
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 04:48 AM   #28
blanka
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Originally Posted by Sue De Nimes View Post
Strange concept of a "Pro Workstation" you have there.

2.3Ghz or 2.5Ghz Dual Core i5 doesn't sound very pro workstation to me.
Might not sound like that, but work on it. I bet that 90% of people who work on boss-bought computers, would become way more productive with a macmini. Even if it says i5. I never had a better machine on my desk (that trophy comes partly because of the connected NEC W301PA screen).
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 05:38 AM   #29
Ifti
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Originally Posted by ianrip View Post
the main point is "do you want your Mini to running 24/7"

if not

get a NAS and use that as the main Media library, you can then access the NAS with whatever device you are using at that time.
Depends on the NAS and the HDDs within it.
If you have a 5 Bay NAS, like I have, then when on its probably consuming the same, if not more, power then a mac mini!
Again, with the Mini you are still able to share and stream files to any of your devices also.
I'm actually in the process of selling my NAS setup and replacing it with a new Mac Mini server - for me it'll be a lot more flexible, and will probably save on power also.
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 09:12 AM   #30
Sue De Nimes
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Originally Posted by blanka View Post
Might not sound like that, but work on it. I bet that 90% of people who work on boss-bought computers, would become way more productive with a macmini. Even if it says i5. I never had a better machine on my desk (that trophy comes partly because of the connected NEC W301PA screen).
None of that makes it a "pro workstation"

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Old Oct 22, 2012, 09:27 AM   #31
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I've got two minis as media centers, one connects to a TV and DVR (to transcribe broadcasts for future viewing) and the other to a monitor by our exercise machine. They generally run Plex and are controlled with remotes (Logitech Harmony One in the first case). These are older, base models with DVD drives so those can be used as well. And Safari is used to stream Amazon Prime and websites not supported by Plex.

A third mini acts as a central file server for Plex and other services for our Macs. It has 5.5TB of drives plus a "toaster" for bare drives to back up the system. This system runs 24/7 for over 2 years now and consumes 70 watts of power, most of which is to spin the drives.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 04:21 PM   #32
PaulKemp
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So, does anyone have issues with transcoding on the mini 2011? I have the server one with i7 and plex 0.9.6.9. Its the plex server and the client besides my tv. The fans really kick in when transcoding, and i had a 2007 model here the other day, and it wasnt really any louder. Any tips greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:48 PM   #33
HFields
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I'm thinking about picking up a mini to replace an old media center pc that I use to manage my music and movies. If the primary use is viewing Movies and managing my iTunes library this years base model is probably sufficient correct?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:56 PM   #34
Rhinoevans
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Originally Posted by lulla01 View Post
Out of nowhere today I had the brilliant idea that instead of putting movies on my USB drive and plugging it into my ps3, I could buy a mac mini and attach a nice 3tb HDD and store a massive collection of movies and shows. Since airdrop, it would be easy to manipulate and populate my media library. I would connect it to my 60 inch TV with HDMI and probably download software like XMBC. Anyone with any experience? ideas? setups? I would really appreciate any kind of criticism and feedback. I don't know if it will get used enough to justify the 800 or so dollars i would probably spend on gear but it would be awesome to sit down and have a huge collection of movies on call. Another issue i worry about is fan noise from the mac mini and hard drive. Post away.
If all you want is a Media center, the MAc mini is way to expensive!

Just get the WD Live TV Hub, which act as a server, has 1 TB internal HD, and 2 USB ports for extra drives. On sale you can find them for $179. I have 2 and they work great.

The have less expensive media players that do not act like server and no internal HD for around $89.

If you truly want just media center, Mac mini is WAY overkill just to run XBMC.

The WD does all files types (MKV included), and does music, and photos witha very nice interface.

Online stuff as well, Netflix, ect.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:12 AM   #35
mrichmon
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I've been using a Mac Mini as a media player since about 2004. First a PowerPC model, then two generations of Intel models.

Current configuration uses a 6 disk NAS for media storage. Previous setups used multiple firewire attached external drive enclosures.

The most used software is iTunes (using the iOS Remote app), Remote Buddy (to give me a multi-app 10 foot interface), Hulu, Connect360 (export media to Xbox), Safari (streaming from websites), and Jolly's Fast VNC (remote access from laptops).

I run my media machine without a keyboard or mouse attached and rely on VNC for most access. An older setup used a white Apple bluetooth keyboard with the media Mini but the keyboard became much less useful after I added a Harmony One remote to the system.

Since the media mini is the only hardwired machine that I leave powered on at all times it also hosts various home services. VPN service, local DNS primary, update server, etc.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:13 AM   #36
Runnernorth
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Is it possible to use a Mac mini with one or two LaCie 2big thunderbolt hdd as a mediacenter/player AND as a server/"NAS" at the same time?
Would it be possible to run windows 7/8 with XBMC as mediacenter and at the same time stream to other users on my LAN?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:54 AM   #37
Uplift
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I'm in the same boat.

I paid around 260 for a QNAP NAS (and thats without storage), it's a big ugly black thing that's loud as hell even when doing nothing, it takes 2+ mins to startup and shutdown and takes up too much space sat next to my TV, i've resorted to leaving it switched off most of the time due to the vibration it causes.

I've just registered with iTunes Match so now i really want another Apple TV for downstairs.. i was thinking it may be a better idea to scrap the ATV and QNAP, with the money i make off qnap plus with money i'd spend on the ATV3 i could buy a mac mini and use that instead? yeah i'd need to upgrade the disks at some point but i'm not storing much anyway.

You guys mention the new mac mini being over kill, if i was to grab 2010 model with the 2.4ghz core 2 duo off ebay (much cheaper) would that stream HD content OK? (wired)
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:58 AM   #38
mrichmon
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Originally Posted by Runnernorth View Post
Is it possible to use a Mac mini with one or two LaCie 2big thunderbolt hdd as a mediacenter/player AND as a server/"NAS" at the same time?
Yes. You could export the storage space using NFS, AFP, or SMB.

Quote:
Would it be possible to run windows 7/8 with XBMC as mediacenter and at the same time stream to other users on my LAN?
It is not possible to run OS X and Windows on the same machine at the same time unless you run Windows in a Virtual Machine. The performance of virtualized video is significantly slower than native hardware so it is likely to be a problem for running XBMC in a VM.

You can run XBMC under OS X and steam to other users on the LAN.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplift View Post
You guys mention the new mac mini being over kill, if i was to grab 2010 model with the 2.4ghz core 2 duo off ebay (much cheaper) would that stream HD content OK? (wired)
I'm currently using a 2.26GHz Intel Core Duo 2 with 4GB RAM to playback video from a NAS without a problem on a 1Gb/s ethernet. The same machine will handle reading from the NAS and streaming out to an iPad client.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:14 AM   #39
Runnernorth
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[QUOTE=mrichmon;16331568]Yes. You could export the storage space using NFS, AFP, or SMB.



It is not possible to run OS X and Windows on the same machine at the same time unless you run Windows in a Virtual Machine. The performance of virtualized video is significantly slower than native hardware so it is likely to be a problem for running XBMC in a VM.

You can run XBMC under OS X and steam to other users on the LAN.[COLOR="#808080"]

Thx mrichmon, very appreciated
The reason for running win 7/8 is that it's the only way to bitstream HD audio, OSX can't provide it, I was told ....
But again ,
If I'm only running win7/8 and not OSX, then it would be possible to stream to other users??
Kindly
Jan
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:33 AM   #40
mrichmon
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Originally Posted by Runnernorth View Post
If I'm only running win7/8 and not OSX, then it would be possible to stream to other users??
If you are only running Windows then there is no problem streaming to other users via XBMC.

The problem is if you want to be accessing the attached storage when booted into OS X and when booted into Windows on the server. Stick with one OS and streaming together with NAS access is easy. Try to setup so that the external storage can be accessed from both operating systems on the server and you end up in a world of not very good compromises.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:26 AM   #41
Runnernorth
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You're very kind, thx for your advice! I'm sure I'll be back when I've done my purchases (at the time when the 27" BTO iMac will be available..... New mini, new iMac, LaCie 2big thunderbolt... Can't hardly wait any more :// )
Kindly
Jan
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:29 AM   #42
Uplift
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Originally Posted by mrichmon View Post

I'm currently using a 2.26GHz Intel Core Duo 2 with 4GB RAM to playback video from a NAS without a problem on a 1Gb/s ethernet. The same machine will handle reading from the NAS and streaming out to an iPad client.
awesome thanks
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:44 AM   #43
Sir Ruben
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I recently tried airplay mirroring my mac in my bedroom to my apple tv box in the living room. Using a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad I am able to use my mac on my livingroom tv as if I were sitting in front of it upstairs which is fantastic.

I notice that if I open up a movie in quicktime it airplays perfectly (audio and video) on my TV meaning that I dont really need to use my network drive anymore.

So I know airplay mirroring from the mac works fine with Quicktime, but what about movie formats that Quicktime wont play? Can I watch something through VLC Player with the same impressive results whilst using airplay?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:58 AM   #44
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This is always something that intrigues me, people want a 600+ machine that will be mostly dumb and used to do the same thing a cracked ATV and decent NAS box setup will do for half the price...and you have the benefit of just using an Apple Remote and simple interface, not to mention the ability to store and backup everything to one central location and potentially have access to said info from anywhere in the world.

What's the attraction...? I mean if you already have another Mac.

Just seems like a waste of money really.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:53 AM   #45
here2rock
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Why not just get an Apple TV3? I can understand if you you want to have multiple uses for Mac Mini otherwise it is an overkill as suggested by many.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:59 PM   #46
the4thletter
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Lightbulb by the way !!

for all comments concerning that the mac mini is overkill, realize that this thread is about one aspect of what the mini is capable of... who has a ps3 and went out and brought a bluray player...only a fool...of course we r gonna use the mini for a whole lot of other things cause, guess what...thats what its made for, we only want to know the best way to get the most out of our media.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 02:34 AM   #47
Runnernorth
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+1
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:01 AM   #48
blanka
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I run a Mini 2009 as media center and it delivers an awesome experience. I think my 2011 model is overkill, but the 2009 hits the sweet spot.
  • The 9400M delivers enough power for heavy FullHD codecs
  • It still plays DVD's (yeah, I rent them!)
  • It has 5 USB ports
  • I use an Equinux DVB-T stick with The Tube for live TV, awesome experience with time-shift and back-in-time recording (you can record a program when you think it WAS cool).
  • I run XBMC to play all media and IP content plugins
  • It runs all modern browsers
  • You can MAME on it pretty well
  • uTorrent runs great on it
  • It has optical out

So instead of all previous boxes, I now have 1 screen with 1 HDMI cable and a MacMini and a 5.1 receiver (they don't sell basic 5.1 amps with DTS/DD/PCM decoding). All controlled with 1 BT keyboard.
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