AppleTV vs. Mac mini for entertainment center

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tveric, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. tveric macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Looking to hook up something to play my mkv files on my plasma. If I get the Apple TV, I get component out and and save some $$$. I'm comfortable with the idea of hacking the AppleTV to run a full install of OS X, and I can play mkv with Perian on my current G5, so I'm thinking playback would be no problem.

    My question is, is it worth the extra $$$ to get the mac mini? I'm not looking to do anything besides play video, and I notice that the mini's graphics controller is some generic on-board Intel chip. Does anyone know if the AppleTV actually has better video output than the mini, or is it basically the same, if you install OS X on it?
  2. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I opted for AppleTV because I wanted a simple way to have the same content in 4 different rooms.

    If they'd address the surround sound issue, I'd recommend it whole-heartedly. Until they do, I'm afraid I can't. I'm still happy with my purchase, as long as the surround issue is addressed before I add AppleTV to my actual theater room.
  3. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Ok what about audio, I am planning on getting mac mini for entertainment and server. What are the audio options, I have a digital audio connection?
  4. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Will the mac mini put out surround sound, though? I know I want one of these for my HD TV, I'm just trying to gather info on which would be the BETTER choice.
  5. Carrot007 macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2006
    I'd have thought the apple tv would be a litte underpowered for playing HD MKV's since it will get no hardware assist.

    I'm currently using my macbook for outputting MKV's at 720P (well ok, 1360*768) on my TV and it works great. However I do plan to get a mini at some point for the job (loads of reasons, battery runs down fairly quick, laptop is better used as a laptop).

    I also think the mini will do 1080P whereas the apple tv will not.

    The mini is a much better machine and you get the bonus of not having to hack it to make it do what you want.
  6. tveric thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    What does that mean, exactly? Doesn't the mini use an onboard graphics chip? How is that better than what the AppleTV offers?

    Also, I don't need 1080p, as my TV won't play it anyway, and the content I have in mkv is all 720p or 1080i.

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