Apple Home Media Center Setup - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by genkiginko, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. genkiginko macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2007
    I have a white 20' imac and 42' pioneer plasma, but I want a seperate system for the bedroom. I will be using this system primarily for playing movies. In order of cost (from cheapest to expensive), the options I can think of are:

    Option 1:

    Mini Mac plus display- The ACDs look great but very expensive (still). I saw in other threads people recommending Samsung 22". This is a more troublesome set up b/c need keyboard, mouse, speakers

    Option 2:

    Basic 12" macbook plus display- same as Option 1, but gives portability if I want use a laptop.

    Option 3:

    15" or 17" MBP and watch movies off the MBP screen. Simpler than Option 1 and Option 2, but much more expensive. Of course, the screen will be smaller.

    Unless someone tells me otherwise, Option 3 seems to be a lot of money for what I intend to do with it, so....

    1) as between Option 1 and 2, is the extra $ for Option 2 worth it?
    2) what displays would you recommend around the 20-24" range?
    3) what software do I need to make Option 1 and Option 2 more user friendly as a media centre?
    4) for option 2, which macbook would suit my purpose? Harddrive space is less of a problem as I could buy an external drive or I delete movies over time. This question is really about performance as a media centre plus laptop for surfing, email and some photo editing

    (Btw, I live in Tokyo- apple gear are not cheaper here. You can buy stock through online stores for 10-20% cheaper than the apple store (from ipods to ACDs), but they don't seem to be official sellers- so buyer beware)
  2. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2007
    Balham, London
    I would go for the Mini personally. If keyboard and mouse are a pain, you could always set everything up with your iMac's KB and Mouse and then rely soley on the apple remote for watching movies on front row. If it's primarily for movies, 26" HDTVs are fairly cheap nowadays...
  3. bitty417 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    I have a Mac Mini mounted behind my wall mounted Plasma TV and I LOVE IT.

    Got an ATI RF remote to control front row and Equinox Media Central for playback, radio, even games. The remote works great and the mini does a perfect job of handling everything I throw at it.
  4. georgeoommen macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    does the apple remote allow you to eject dvd's from the mac mini's drive?
  5. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2007
    Balham, London

    Oh yeah... I'm not sure, but that might be a problem :p

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