Apple TV or Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by klrobinson999, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. klrobinson999 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    which should I get for my home theater?
    I see pluses and minuses for each.
    does the normal "Front Row" work well and look good on a regular TV screen?
  2. iPodcollector macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2009

    I use the ATV at home all the time, its easier as it is built to be used without keyboard and mouse. It just works. It works with only 720p, which is adequate, but not good. The major selling point is that you can rent movies and tv-shows directly on the ATV.

    Even my wife use the ATV, and shes a novice:)

    Buy the ATV, but be aware that an update may come soon, its nearly 3 years old, and due for an upgrade.
  3. emjoyner macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    Depends on your home theater

    We have both a mac mini and apple tv's at home.

    If you have a nice home theater, with a large screen, not being able to get the full quality out of your video files might irk you. I use the Mac Mini in our setup with a 65" screen. I use Plex on that box, and can play encoded blu ray via MKV and it looks great. I could not do this with the AppleTV. The Mac Mini is not as simple to use as the AppleTV (although it's pretty basic), but I'm always there when we watch videos. If I wasn't always there, I would likely lean in the AppleTV direction.

    However, as far as other setups in the house, the AppleTV is king. Super easy to use, good quality, and great as a media distributor.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    No one can give you good information without you telling us what types of content you plan to use. Do you have 1080p? Blu-ray? Files with DTS audio? These are the types of information you need to provide.
  5. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If you want higher quality stuff 1080p and internet, then go mac mini. However you will have to use a mouse and keyboard, so it won't be just a remote.

    If you are fine just streaming 720p and playing music and don't care for internet and other computer like aspects of the mac mini, get the apple tv.

    I had the mac mini and its nice, but a lot to use. I went to an Apple TV that did 90 percent of everything, only thing I really lost was the internet, but most times I had my laptop next to me anyway, plus a Mac Pro in the other room.

    Plus apple tv is much cheaper.
  6. emjoyner macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    While I agree on the need for a keyboard and mouse, there are lots of options here. I control my Mac Mini in one of two ways. First, you can use the apple remote to control frontrow and Plex, you just have to launch them. I actually use my iPhone and the Airmouse software to control everything, and it works great.
  7. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    What are your needs?

    It is impossible to answer - for me the Apple TV is a better solution for others the Mac Mini is their solution.
  8. xplnusa macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2009
  9. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    I originally moved my old mini in as an HTPC and had it log directly into a Managed account that started Plex. Everything was controlled by the remote.

    I then gave my mom that old mini and replaced it with an AppleTV. It does everything I did with the mini (I don't have any 1080p content, though). It doesn't run Plex, but it does run XBMC which is the code Plex forked off from.

    It uses the same IR remote as the Macs.
  10. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    IR unfortunately. I wish more remotes would go in the bluetooth direction like the PS3 remote. So nice to not have to point it exactly at a certain spot in order to do anything.
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    For all those with an iPhone I recommend Rowmote, great app that let's you control almost every multimedia app on you Mac via WLAN.
    No need to point at the device any more and easy switching between applications.
  12. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Mac Mini. I store my movie collection as .ISO files. That way I can burn them out to disc any time I feel like it. Mac Mini you just double-click on the .ISO and then DVD Player will start to play it. Easy Peasy.

    With the ATV, it does *not* support .ISO files, or any sort of raw DVD format. You have to spend hundreds of hours transcoding your DVD's into lower-quality formats for playback on ATV. No thanks.

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