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Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by msugarpants, Jul 23, 2010.
anyone using this mac mini in their home theater setup? Any thoughts and opinions?
I used to have a Core Solo that I think was a bit faster. It MAY play 720p material and will not play 1080p by any means.
If you are going to play DVD rips, etc, you will be fine.
probably no 1080p, but i never really thought about it. on my MBP with the 60" screen i only used 720p at best. Thanks. any other opinions or experience would be way helpful. I am concerned about the video quality going from dvi to hdmi vs. newer hdmi1.3 mac mini's
or maybe better off with an ATV flashed?
There will not be any quality difference. Don't worry about that, just worry about your source materials and your television.
It depends what you are going for. If you are at all serious about your media you wouldn't even think about the ATV. The only thing it has going for it is that it is cheap, but in my eyes that is about it. Once you start tinkering with a Mac mini you realize how much more you can do with it.
And if you were running an ATV like a mac (flashed) it operates at like 1GHz and doesn't even use a Core Solo chip.
I know several dedicated apple fans who have ATV's flashed and non-flashed units... with the new mini coming out our base PX cut the prices on the old minis then tacked an additional 25% off to make the base model $424.50 and the top model $507.00.
The ATV on base is $239.00 so even at almost double the cost I went with the prev gen top model mini for $507.00 as there is so much you can do with a real intel CPU @ 2.53Ghz, 4Gb RAM and a 320Gb HDD compared to much less than half the spec for an ATV...
...figure a way to work a mini into your HTPC setup, it will be better in the long run...
If you are considering buying it, don't.
It barely plays 720p, and is absolutely not future-proof.
Get at least a mini with the nvidia 9400M card, they all handle 1080p, and since Apple released support for GPU decoding of H264 on these cards (and Plex supports it), they are going to last for several years and play blu-ray rips without any major hick-ups.
buy it and upgrade the processor
My mini started it's life with a 1.6GHz core duo, and I got fed up with it stuttering through random files. It would play a file fine one day with mail open in the background, the next day, it would stutter. Installing plex helped, it seems to have much better codecs than perian. But it could now manage any 720p file I threw at it. Later, my 2.0GHz core duo iMacs gpu started acting up, so I robbed the processor and ram from the iMac and did a swap. My mini now plays 15GB direct blu Ray rips with full surround flawlessly through plex. QuickTime with perian installed and vlc still can't handle those files. Also it's running snow leopard now.
So it might be worth hitting eBay or craigslist to find a compatible processor or a cheap spares/repair early iMac and do your own brain transplant.
Yeah. I would strongly suggest NOT doing that. For the same amount of money you could probably sell your current mini and then just buy a new one. Sure, you may pay a little more for the new(er) mini, but at least you won't risk completely bricking your system and you will have a warranty to boot.
Upgrade the RAM. Upgrade the HD. Don't screw around with the Processor.