Anyone still using a Mac mini as a HTPC?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by redheeler, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Some of us still prefer a fully-featured desktop computer HTPC, but at $800 even the base model Mac mini is hard to justify. It's telling that Apple doesn't market the mini's HTPC capabilities anymore, only the Apple TV is targeted at that market now. Really a shame that modern Apple seems so empowered to abandon previously loyal niche user bases due to pricing (eg. current 5,1 owners who have been priced out of the 2019 Mac Pro) and force them to look elsewhere for what they want or need.

    Is anyone here still using a Mac mini as a HTPC? For 1080p home theater setups the older less-expensive models (such as my base model 2012) still work fine, but I'm also curious if anyone has been able to justify the 2018 models for this use with a newer 4K setup when are cheaper PC alternatives available such as the Intel NUC.
  2. Audit13 macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Without proper frame rate switching, HD audio passthrough, HEVC decoding, and automatic HDR switching, I am sticking with my Windows 10 htpc with an nvidu GPU with my 4k tv.

    I wouldn't go with a nuc either due to its lack of madVR support.
  3. ScreenSavers macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2016
    Bloomingdale, GA
    I think for the price, and local video playback, the Intel Compute Stick with Windows 10 can’t be beat.

    I bought a Mac mini 2018 when it first came out (not the base model either!) and I wasn’t too impressed with it. I sold it and got a late-2015 5K iMac.
  4. Erehy Dobon macrumors member

    Erehy Dobon

    Feb 16, 2018
    I recently gave up. I had been using a Mac mini server 2010 but it stuttered playing back high bitrate 1080p content even though I had replaced the original drives with an SSD boot drive and faster internal 1TB spinner. It definitely could not play back 4K content.

    So I ended up replacing it with a $175 Wintel box. It works fine, even plays back 4K content also the TV is just 1080p. The content resides on an external USB 3.0 4TB hard drive, nothing fancy. I’m just getting used to the Kodi interface.

    There’s a Roku plugged into the AV receiver so for my mundane home theater needs, I have what I need without having spent a ton of money.
  5. gigatoaster macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2018
    Me too, I gave up. The Mac mini is only used for Roon & uTorrent. I use an Apple TV 4K with Infuse for TV shows.
  6. MrRabuf macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2019
    While I never used a Mac mini as an HTPC, I gave up on (windows) HTPCs over 5 years ago and would never even think about going back. They're too much hassle and Rokus, Apple TVs, etc have long since been good enough for me.
  7. Muttznuttz macrumors member


    May 21, 2014
    Still using base model 2014 Mini with an internal SSD upgrade. Plex, TM, Torrents. No problems. I run Plex and Infuse clients on ATV4. Okay some films take a little while to start but once going, all is fine. 1080 TV tho.

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6 July 7, 2019