1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Mac Mini and AppleTV

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by supercooled, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    This is going to sound like a blog entry but it's part vent, part cry for help. I bought an AppleTV thinking I could store some of my movies/music library on it for occasional viewing but was caught sleep walking when I read it was not possible to do so without another machine running iTunes. Apart from the cumbersome process of hacking the AppleTV via patchstick, I conceived of another idea of using a Mac Mini (haven't acquired yet) to do the streaming duties and also manage my growing collection all at once. I won't be using the Mini for any other purpose except to delegate files to my machines. This is the plan, however, how efficient would it be to also have it act as an AppleTV replacement and therefore I can cut down on the redundancy not to mention hydro bill. It's a 1.66 Core Duo w/2GB.

    I'm just kicking myself for not researching the AppleTV a little more thoroughly before jumping in head first and now have a pang of regret.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Depends on the TV really. The component and HDMI options on the Apple TV pretty much make it universally compatible with recent televisions. The Mini, however, only has DVI. By not having component, that takes quite a bit of the compatibility away. There's a good reason the Apple TV has it...
    If you have a HDMI/DVI television you're probably ok - there can be some hiccups with certain sets that require some freeware to set up the image right. If your only option is DVI to VGA, then prepare for some tweaking for sure...
  3. macrumors member

    Why do you need another machine running iTunes, except for getting the media onto the ATV in the first place? If you have another computer, then you should be able to sync the ATV, turn off the computer when you're not using it and then use your ATV. The next time you turn on iTunes, your ATV will sync anything new over and you have more to watch/listen to.
  4. macrumors regular


    That was my impression of how it worked. I can't see the computer needing to be on, except to sync the devices.

    But if not, it would be an unmovable obstacle to my own purchase of the :apple:TV.
  5. macrumors 68020

    The AppleTV was design specifically so you do NOT have to have a machine running all the time for it to work.

    That said I have a similar setup with a mini feeding an apple TV (among other chores I have the mini doing). if you have a need for a home server that is running 24/7 (TM, NAS, G router..) then I would get a mini for these tasks. Otherwise I'd look into why you need a machine always running for the AppleTV and change your sync options/viewing habits accordingly.

    Keep in mind that even if you can connect a mini to your TV, the interface is not optimized for that task. You will have basic access to your iTunes library via Frontrow, but you will need to manage it through a traditional desktop UI. The AppleTV UI on the other hand is much more functional via just a remote.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Fortunately, thats not how is works. Synced content plays from the AppleTV HDD, and the rest (usually older content) will be seamlessly integrated into the list and streamed when your PC is on.

    For example, if you have it set to sync the 5 newest episodes of a TV show onto the AppleTV you will only see those 5 when your PC is off. However when the PC is on, you will see them all.

    You also have a good amount of control over what is synced and what is streamed.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    I'm so confused. All I see is iPhoto for my options to sync via iTunes. I can't get any other content on the AppleTV except photos or stream it vai AppleTV's shared directory. How do I go about enabling the AppleTV to sync movies, music?

    Attached Files:

  8. macrumors member

    you should have a part of the main ATV window that looks like this:

    See picture.

    Attached Files:

  9. macrumors 6502a

    That's the problem! What you see in my screen capture is what I see. It's absolutely barren! Might be something wrong methinks.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Thanks for the help guys. Went ahead and restored it to factory mode. It seems to show up now.
  11. macrumors member


    cool.. glad to hear that. you should also have tabs now at the top that allow you to sync various stuff over.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Yes, everything is present. I'll be using VisualHub to encode feverishly. Is there a thread that lays out the best settings for VisualHub for the ATV? It's going to be a mix of 720p and ordinary resolution files. Right now I'm just leaving it at the factory preset for ATV.
  13. macrumors member

    I am using Handbrake, so I can't help you there. I am encoding my movies in a format compatible with ATV and iPhone.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Mind sharing? I am using the same files on my ATV and Touch which I suspect is going to waste on the Touch. For instance, for a 1h30min file, it's 1.3GB which is very wasteful. What resolution is a good compromise?
  15. macrumors member


    I took the preset for iPhone, made it strict anamorphic (picture settings button) and then set it for 2-pass encoding. This way, I can use the file in ATV and on my iPhone. I watched one of the movies last night on ATV and for me, it's more than acceptable. I am not so sensitive for exemplary picture quality, I just wanna watch a movie. I also like this way better for me, because I don't want to have a specific file to only watch on the iPhone; takes up too much space and adds more steps to getting something on my iPhone from ATV.

Share This Page