Apple TV or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mossimo, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. mossimo macrumors member

    mossimo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #1
    I am looking to build a mac-centric home theatre, I have neither device and I was looking for some advice from some peeps that have used either one in this type of application. Any thoughts are greatly welcome.
     
  2. Volante macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    What kind of videos do you want to play? SD, HD 720p, Full HD? Do you need/want subtitles? DTS Support? mkv, avi, mov, mp4?
     
  3. jarenado macrumors regular

    jarenado

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    I would wait to see if they refresh the mini, and then get a mini, you can do everything and more that the apple tv can do from the mini.
     
  4. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #4
    Depends on what you want.
    And in agreement to the op, wait to see what the updates have in store.
    But they may also update the Apple TV.

    Think of it this way, if you're using your Mac Mini on your living room TV, do you really want everybody watching you and looking at what you're typing?
    But if you do end up getting the Mac Mini get the low end model and just use it at like gatherings and for casual internet browsing.
     
  5. TomP80 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #5
    AppleTV = nicer, easier to use interface

    miniMac = much more flexible device, but interface is not as easy in a living-room setup.

    Basically, if you want a system in your living room that can do everything your computer can do, then go with mac mini.

    If all you want to do is access your itunes media, and aren't too bothered about the ATV's restrictions on video file type, then go with ATV. You will save yourself a few hundred dollars as well.
     
  6. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #6
    I'd go with Apple TV for the pure simplicity, then with the money you would have spent on the Mac Mini, get more storage, with 1 TB sata drives @ $120, it's a must-buy.
     
  7. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #7
    Simple. If you want your missus to be able to use it get the AppleTV. If you want to have added capability and like to fiddle get the Mini.

    I have an Apple TV and my wife and kids love it.
     
  8. stockds macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #8
    Personally I find the AppleTV to be a little lacking. Visually nice - but I don't like everything tied to iTunes.

    So the ATV has now been replaced with a Mac Mini running (PLEX www.plexapp.com). I find this much much better and supports physical DVDs so I was able to scrap my DVD player as well. Plus it's just as easy for my wife and small kids to use. The integration with IMDB, TVDB and Gracenote is fantastic.

    I'm now just waiting for a Mac update to include BluRay player or a third-party bluray slot loader at sensible money.
     
  9. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #9
    Honestly now doesn't seem to be the right time to buy either one, since both have been without an update in over a year.

    However, I prefer the Apple TV in terms of a media hub, because even though it is Apple's "hobby," there has been a steady increase of new features since its release.

    Put the money saved into more storage.
     
  10. mossimo thread starter macrumors member

    mossimo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #10
    Update?

    Thanks everyone who posted. Helpful advice. Both seem to have their merits BUT as some of you have indicated NOW isnt the best time to get either. I think i'm going to wait for the update and reevaluate. With that being said I think I'm leaning toward the mac mini. UNLESS i could use my current macbook and use that as an excuse to get the new "AIR" when that updates. Anyone know if thats a possibility and if so what do i need for it to display on my 58 inch Panasonic Viera plasma tv? here are the specs on the TV http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-viera-th-58pz750u/4505-6482_7-32487806.html Privacy isn't an issue as i'm a happy bachelor:D I am antsy to get this H-Theatre going, anyone know when these updates (MAC MINI APPLE TV AND THE AIR) are likely to happen?
     
  11. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #11
    To connect your MacBook to your TV what you need to do is make sure you TV has either a VGA input, it will probably work if it has a DVI input but I'm not sure if there are a whole lot of TV's with DVI.
    Then all you need to do is buy a Mini - DVI to VGA adaptor.
    After that all you do is get a VGA cord.
    Note:
    1) If your TV has a DVI input then you could get a Mini-DVI to DVI adapter and get a DVI cord.
    2) If you really want to make your living room a Apple/Mac-centric then you should go ahead and buy an Apple Cinema Display; but your current TV already looks really nice and expensive and you can't watch TV on the Cinema Display.

    The updates are expected to happen within the next two months.
    We expect to see an update in their Notebook line in October (14th?) and possibly the desktops in November.
    If the Apple TV gets updated it will most likely happen when the desktops get their update.
     
  12. TomP80 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #12
    The other thing you have to think about if you are going down the path of hooking your MacBook up to a TV of that size is video resolution.

    The graphics card in the current range of MacBooks has a max resolution of 1900 x 1200, which will give you better-than-bluray resolution, but i'm pretty sure the older MacBooks don't go up that high though - and might be stuck at 1280 x 800.

    Oh - and also audio. Pretty sure a macbook will only output audio in 2-channel stereo, wheras a ATV or a Mini-Mac will give you full 5.1 surround.
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    All iterations of the MacBook do 1920x1200 and can display 1080p content.

    All Macs, including the MacBook, and the Apple TV do optical audio. This means they can do 5.1 digital surround, but they are not restricted to 5.1. If the content has 7.1 or 9.1 or 2.0, it'll do all of those as well - provided you have a receiver capable of decoding True-HD, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD or DTS with the number of channels encoded in the audio file.
     
  14. TomP80 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
  15. mossimo thread starter macrumors member

    mossimo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #15
    Decision made

    Well thanks to caveman, i will be most likely buying a new laptop to replace my current macbook which will be serving as the brain of my mac-theatre. Thanks;) I really really want a new AIR but love my macbook, this way i can 'justify' getting a new portable and keep my macbook to run my theatre system. I already have a 20 inch ACD which i will keep to plug my new AIR into for home use. i really love using a portable mac to plug into for a virtual wireless desk top utilizing bluetooth KeyBoard, Mighty-Mouse and a ACD set up for home use. Truly the best of both worlds.
     

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