ATV vs Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cynics, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #1
    Long story short I'm planning on buying another AppleTV OR a Mac Mini. However I'm curious to hear from those you that have both and use the Mini for like you'd use an AppleTV.

    How is the video/audio quality in comparison for streaming web based content (Netflix, HBO, Hulu, etc)?

    Is there any functionality to use AirPlay from an iOS device on the Mini?

    If I were to use a Mac Mini is there any spec I should upgrade too knowing that its only going to be used for playing media and light computer use (iMessage, Safari, email, etc)? i.e. Faster processor, more RAM, etc

    What keyboard with built in mouse cursor control comes highly recommended?

    Anything I should just know about before doing this, things I'm not asking?

    Excuse me for asking a question I know has been brought up often but through searching questions I have are from threads that are fairly old.

    Thanks in advance. Btw, I may or may not wait for the new Mini. I'm in no rush so I can wait as long as I want.
     
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #2
    I use my mini to watch all of my streaming content, and it works great for that purpose. Both the mini and ATV have sufficient graphics power to play full HD content. Both have HDMI/Optical audio output so I'd call it even. As long as you have decent reception with a 802.11n or wired ethernet setup, you should be set. Your streaming experience is much more likely to be impacted by your ISP speeds and any throttling they might do on websites like Netflix.

    To my knowledge, there is no built in AirPlay functionality built into OSX. I think there is third party software to do such a thing but honestly I'm not really familiar. If you are thinking of using the mini for messages/email/web, the basic model will do just fine.

    I like using the apple keyboard and trackpad, so something like this http://www.amazon.com/MeshWe-Bluefi...&sr=8-1&keywords=apple+keyboard+trackpad+tray looks like a really slick way to interact with the mini from the couch.

    The mini is a nice little machine, but I guess you have to decide if the additional OSX features is worth 6x the price of an ATV + an input device
     
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #3
    You cannot use the Mac Mini for Airplay. If you have another Mac, the ATV will probably be a better choice.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #4
    If you want to stream media to a Mac Mini as you would with an Apple TV, look into AirServer. It works rather well for it.
     
  5. cynics thread starter macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the info so far guys.

    While looking for keyboards I've decided to order a wifi keyboard and I'm going to try to just Airplay mirror my iMac to my AppleTV. Using a wifi adapter type keyboard I can move around the adapter with an extension USB cable if range is an issue.

    My question for my cheap solution (albeit maybe temporary) is when mirroring a Mac via AirPlay does content (Netflix for example) use Dolby. 5.1? Or would I lose that?
     
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #6
    If you want a machine that does all, and for a very long time (>10 year), with zillions of uses and totally flexible on the software part: get a Mini
    If you are a movie purist that dies for proper 24p support and DTS center sound, get a mini
    If you want a quick fix that works smooth as butter on the GUI, and you're more of a spinster with a new gal every 2 years: get the ATV. It will die on you in 3-4 years, not because the hardware fails, but because the software will render it useless.

    And if you already have an iMac: a HDMI cable for the iMac will deliver better than the ATV does. In the end an ATV is nothing more than a wireless HDMI cable.
     
  7. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #7
    Intelli -- Does Airserver support Desktop Mirroring? AKA if I'm on my Macbook Pro, can I stream my OSX desktop to a Mac-Mini or or PC running Airserver that is connected to my TV?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
  9. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #9
    How's the quality? Does it lag a lot?
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #10
    The quality is very good and it can be better than the Apple TV's. It doesn't lag very much, about the same as the Apple TV does. Of course, the network type and speed it critical to minimizing lag.
     
  11. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    If you have an iMac I would suggest you stick with the ATV and wait and see what Apple may release in terms of an updated ATV if you want to upgrade something.

    I have both ATV and Mac Mini and the Mini is often connected to the TV for general use and for media streaming. Both work well but obviously the Mini is more felxible but if I had to space to have the Mini located permanently elsewhere with it's own monitor I would just steam to the ATV hewnce my suggestion. I don;t have enough media library to warrant the Mini as the full time library manager. I do find the ATV can drop out when streaming from another device (I assume hosue WiFi issues).

    I use APple magic mouse and wireless keyboard with my Mini and they work very well inc when it's connected to the TV
     

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