ATV or Mac Mini for home theatre?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cbdboz, Nov 2, 2015.

?

ATV4 or Mac mini for home theatre hub

  1. Mac mini all the way

    18 vote(s)
    62.1%
  2. ATV

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  3. ATV ... If Amazon prime added

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  4. Other

    1 vote(s)
    3.4%
  5. Mac mini & ATV combo

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  6. Mac mini & other combo

    1 vote(s)
    3.4%
  1. Cbdboz, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015

    Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #1
    With the recent launch of the ATV, and confirmation that PLEX will be available in the App Store, I am wondering if this weakens the argument of having a Mac mini for home theatre.(https://blog.plex.tv/2015/11/02/plex-on-the-new-apple-tv/)

    I have a Mac mini 2012, Atv3, Roku and Amazon Fire stick.... The reason for all the streaming devices is the user interface to access content, as well as the different media that each streaming device offered.

    The Mac mini allows me to access all this content via browser but not in the same user friendly way...as well as streaming/download services that are designed for computer/iPad and iPhone only ( and where drm does not allows AirPlay or Mirror to Atv)

    Now I recognise there is still the issue of Amazon not being available on ATV4, but worst case I could always use AirPlay. As such only benefit of Mac mini would be on the drm content that can't use via ATV4.


    I know the Mac mini has numerous advantages from a pure computer perspective, however... As a pure Home theatre device.... Would you all trade in the Mac mini for a new ATV ... And if not, why not???

    Cheers.
     
  2. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #2
    Btw.... Let me know if you feel this question would be better posted on the ATV forum ( wasn't sure if can double post?, and was looking for feedback from Mac mini users ideally...)
     
  3. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #3

    The votes seem to indicate Mac mini... But would love to get some commentary as to why?
     
  4. Trixster macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #4
    Actually, I´m thinking about switching from the mini to an atv, mostly for the added appstore and gaming possibilities, but also cause it´s easier to switch between streaming services. The mini would still act as a backup server for my work aswell as housing all plex contents and stream that to the ATV and other plex clients around the house. But rather then using it with my tv I would have a screen and a barstool somewhere else to make it easier to operate when needed (i.e. when updating my plex library and using spotify). I don´t really like using it in OSX from the couch as my sofa table is so low that you have to crouch to use the mouse and keyboard... Which makes every singel task (from unzipping rar archives to surf onto netflix) a nightmare... :)
     
  5. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #5
    Well, if you want to watch a streaming service, Apple TV is a great choice. If you want to do anything else, well...

    I live in a part of the country (here in the US) where internet service is fairly expensive, slow, and (for some folks) not even available. My own network connection still drops out fairly regularly. So streaming can be a nightmare at times. Given that, and that I already have a fairly large library of DVDs, I've generally stayed with purchasing my video entertainment on disks. So yeah, having an actual computer (that can easily be connected to external DVD / BD players) works well for me.
     
  6. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #6

    I'm guessing you would have the same streaming issues with a Mac mini as with a streaming device as underlying internet speed is the same.... But not sure I follow the point on DVD/BD players... As why would you not just bypass the Mac and go straight to the tv?

    For me, I was thinking that having plex via the ATV4 would remove one of the key reasons for retaining the Mac mini as a HT device ... but, I am assuming that the pled client on ATV4 still needs to read from a server... Which would sit on the Mac mini...
     
  7. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #7
    This would be my direction at the moment... Mainly for the user interface, ease of switching between apps, etc.... And using a remote is so much easier than mouse and keyboard from the couch..

    The only disadvantage I would see is lack of Amazon prime, and (for uk) the ability to use SKY GO which won't work on streaming devices (direct or AirPlay)
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    But you have a Fire TV Stick, so that doesn't seem like a significant disadvantage.
     
  9. iceman42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #9
    you can't download the whole game to the atv if its more than 200mb.so you will have to leave ur atv on all the time if you are playing games on it. it only downloads the first few levels of the game when you start off.i would not buy it if you want to do some gaming on it.if you want to save even more money just get the atv 3
     
  10. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #10
    True.... But it would seem Mac mini advantage over ATV4 ( for HT purpose) is that it can access and play all content... Amazon and sky Go etc.... And you have Bluetooth keyboard etc, but it lacks the User interface advantages of the ATV4..... I.e. Mouse, keyboard and webpages ..(from the couch ;) ) rather than apps and remote.

    To me Plex was a major reason for Mac mini... But if now available on atv4 without a jailbreak, then it would seem the Mac mini as a HT hub may no longer be as compelling a proposition

    .... But I'm sure there are other good reasons out there.... Hence the thread..

    Cheers
     
  11. iceman42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #11
    i would pick a mac mini over a atv 4 any day
     
  12. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #12
    Ok.....but why ...in relation the home theatre purpose only?
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    I also own a 2012 mini and was eyeballing the new ATV. After informing myself and checking the ATV out in person I will certainly stay with my mini.

    The mini gives you countless more options for streaming, organising and accessing media.

    The ATV is a pathetic (not so) little device in comparisson.
     
  14. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #14
    My TV won't allow me to watch iTunes purchased movies via the mini; HDCP nonsense. ATV has no problems.

    Personally, I have both the ATV3 and mini hooked up and a Synology NAS in the background. Overkill perhaps, but this setup will last me years to come above the few years it has already served.

    *Edit - the ATV(3) is cheap enough for people to buy+try and if it doesn't work out then just reconsider options from there. I don't see why this has to be an either/or situation...
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    The ATV3 is a decent deal now.
    Only 50€ here.

    Your mini should play itunes on any screen. I'd harrasse apple until they fix it.
     
  16. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #16
    Right, which means streaming is awful no matter what you use. No difference between ATV / Mini here.

    I do seem to get a better quality picture when playing a DVD off my Mini than when playing a DVD from a player hooked directly to the TV. But otherwise, yeah, both ATV and Mini are essentially an unnecessary extra step here. So again, no difference between them. ;)

    True. But in this case, the ATV is once more an unnecessary extra step, only this time between the Mini and the TV.

    So yeah, if you're going to have a real computer manage any of your media in the first place, you might as well hook that real computer up to the TV. And once you've done that, the ATV becomes redundant...
     
  17. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #17
    I cut cable almost 4 years ago and have used a 2012 mini since.

    I don't have Netflix, certainly not Amazon or use iTunes, yet I stream everything and could watch anything I want.

    Kodi + projectfreetv + letmewatchthis + navi-X.

    Just get the Apple remote, set those up, and you're good to go.

    I've gone the ATV/roku/Boxee route years ago - and the mini with that set up is unbeatable.
     
  18. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #18
    This is a good point from Santabean2000.

    My "Other" vote means Both. ATV is not so expensive that this has to be an exclusive choice. Even the gen 4 device is an affordable accessory.

    We use both. :apple:
     
  19. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #19
    I use a Mac Mini as the hub of my home theater setup because it allows me to store all of my music, photos and videos in the same place that I view them. I can also use it to watch videos on Amazon or other websites that aren't supported by ATV.
     
  20. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #20
    I do the same thing with my Mini ... however, since it is actually idle most of the day/night, I also have a RAID array connected to it and it provides Time Machine backup storage for all the other computers in the house over the ethernet connections or wireless.
     
  21. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #21
    I'm really curious - why the need for both?

    I mean, you could get the Apple remote, use the kodi interface for Netflix etc and have essentially the same thing, I would think.
     
  22. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #22
    Not all of us live in the States. I just don't have that many good steaming options.

    My media options include websites and other stuff that can only be viewed via a 'real computer'.

    Yet, grabbing my phone and navigating the ATV for other things is a lot more convenient than working the mini.

    Horses for courses.
     
  23. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #23
    Fair question David58116.

    There is no need for both. We simply use both devices (and more!) for convenience. While both of us like the ATV interface, my wife prefers it. I have no problem with accessing content on the Mac and directing it around the residence but she tends to prefer the local control offered by ATV and other set top boxes. Right now we use 2xATV, 2xFire TV Stick, and the mini. The ATVs are a gen 2 and a gen 3. My wife loves the Amazon gadgets as well because they fill gaps in the ATV ecosystem for her.

    ATV 4 is next! :apple:
     
  24. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #24
    That's maybe what I should do... I just put in an internal ssd in the Mac mini, and was going to use the 1tb hdd for the media files.... And possibly partition for time machine backups for other machines.... But I will look into having an external raid array connected as well as this gives me more expansion options. ( however.... If the content is on an external... Does this also allow it to be backed up via time machine... Especially if the external is in the same raid array as the back up destination disk?)


    .... Beginning to think that MM remains an integral part of HT set up, and AtV is a nice add on for User interface benefits.
     
  25. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #25
    Yes, Time Machine allows external disk partitions to be backed up onto other external disk partitions. So far as I know though, it has no provision for backing up a partition onto the same partition. I'm not sure that would even make sense, as the main value of Time Machine is having data backed up onto two separate physical devices. :) (And if you're planning to construct a RAID array, do you even need Time Machine? RAID levels 1 and higher should all be able to tolerate the failure of a single drive without data loss...)
     

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