Advice needed for a home theater solution.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stuaz, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. stuaz macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    So my current setup used to be an Apple TV and my Mac mini. I would leave my Mac mini converting files via handbrake. Unfortunelty the Mac mini would take longer and longer to convert until it finally gave up the will to live :-( it was a pre-intel mini so it lived a good life :D

    I would use iTunes on the mini and then watch via the Apple TV. It was a good solution for me and worked well.

    Since then I have been using my RMBP with a couple of USB drives connected and then use iTunes reading those drives. It works ok but I have to keep moving files around due to limited space on the RMBP and the need to having a locally installed music library.

    So I think I need to go back to the previous solution of having a server type situation rather than a NAS type situation.

    Any suggestions? Kinda want to avoid buying a brand new mini for £500 though :)
  2. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Buy a used mini on eBay? The '07-'09s go somewhere around the $150-$300 range.
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I just got a mini for this myself - it just sits there and runs iTunes. The library is on a fast 3TB USB 3 drive and everything is on gigabit ethernet. Works great. :)

    I could have used my old 2008 MBP as a server, but didn't want to spend any money upgrading an old machine so I opted for a new base Mini and expect it to meet my needs for many years.
  4. stuaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    It's tempting, but seems a lot to spend on a machine that will for most of the time be sat there...

    Perhaps as the other poster suggested I should look at used ones. Just wondered if the mini was the best solution really.
  5. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    Shaker Hts, OH
    I'm using my old 2007 mbp for an itunes and plex server. Works fine.
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I'm sure an older machine would be fine. As I said, I wanted a new one, with warranty and power to spare. I wasn't looking for the cheapest solution.


    And thinking along these same lines, if a 2007 machine is fine today, then my new mini should still be fine in 2021. :)
  7. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    My mid 2007 mini is still going strong and has no trouble dealing with my 3 Apple TVS. It just sits under the stairs running itunes. I rarely have to touch it and just copy new movies over the network to it.

    The only reason I'm thinking of upgrading now is it will not support future versions of OSX. It proved to be a great little machine :)
  8. stuaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    Yeah I wish mine lasted longer :-(
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    It's really tough to beat a Mini for your purposes. You want a small inexpensive device that can run handbrake tasks for hours on end, plus serve up iTunes content to an AppleTV. The Mini fits that bill perfectly.

    There are some NAS solutions out there, but they're not going to run Handbrake and their iTunes servers are audio only.

    Windows PCs can run Handbrake and serve iTunes content, but they don't come in a nice, small, cool package for the same price.

    I'd say pick up a used Mini or a refurbished Mini.
  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Go get a 2009-2010 Mini (the 9400M GPU is the bare minimum for GPU powered and thus near silect FullHD playback).
    Ditch the ATV and hook the Mini to your TV directly. No more conversion needs, movies finally play at the intended 23.976 fps and more control over subs, DTS playback etc.

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