Advice Wanted: Mac Mini 2011 + Blu Ray + TV Tuner + Turbo GPU

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nylonsteel, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. nylonsteel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    Need some advice –
    I’m thinking of getting my first Mac – Mac Mini 2011-i5
    Want to use it for Home Theater/web surfing/email
    1) How can I get it to play Blu ray – with least hassles
    2) How do I get a TV tuner hooked up – I will not use cable service but will watch over the air stations like PBS
    3) I don’t play games much but may be interested – Can I hook up some sort of external graphics processor device to increase the GPU performance
    >Thanks in Advance<
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    1) There is a way to be able to natively play blu ray but IIRC, you really need a pretty powerful system and getting it up and going isn't simple. What you find most Mac HTPC owners do is attach an external BD drive, rip blu rays into .mkv files and then either play those using VLC or other media software (PLEX, xbmc) or encode them into .mp4 or .m4v (allows native playback on :apple:TVs without jailbreaking it and also results in a much smaller file, i.e 30 GB for .mkv vs. 3-5 GB for .m4v). I personally go the latter route and am very happy with the results, both when viewed using the Mini or on any of our 3 :apple:TVs.

    2) I'm sure there a few options available but the ones I've seen mentioned most often are the EyeTV products from Elgato.

    3) Why not just get the mid-level machine with the better GPU rather than spend the money on an external option?
  3. vert18 macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2010
    1. Buy an external blu-ray player and read the web how to get it to work with apple's OS..lots of luck..
    2. hook up an antenna connect it to a tuner device that's hooked up to your mac that's hooked up to your tv.
    3. I doubt it, buy the upgraded version of the mac mini(the one with the better gpu)
  4. jwhazel macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    1.) Attach external bluray drive, install windows 7, install PowerDVD + Slysoft AnyDVD HD
    2.) Buy an EyeTV hybrid
    3.) No
  5. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Like others have said, there's really no easy way to play Blu-Ray media on OSX. However, I would recommend considering a truly digital media setup.

    Whenever I get a DVD or Blu-Ray, I immediately rip it to my HDD array. The array is connected to the network, which means I can watch my content wherever I want, on whatever I want, whenever I want.

    Currently, I've got about 1,000 full DVD disc rips and 300 Blu-Ray full disc rips. I can play any of these on my Popcorn Hour (or Mac Mini, if you're so inclined) with the full menus. I also encode each of these movies into an iOS-compatible format. This way, I can stream any of these movies to my iPhone and iPad.

    To me, anyway, it's just not worth it dealing with physical media when storage is so cheap.

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