Connections for hometheater use

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by onomike, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. onomike macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2011
    My new base mini is on the way, and it's main purpose will be as an iTunes server. It would be a bonus if I can use it to replace an old machine as noted below. My music is encoded lossless and is stored on a NAS. I have an Airport Extreme base station and several Airport Express units to extend the network around the house. I get about 7mbps throughput via wifi, although it will sometimes slow to about 3 mbps. I have a couple of connection options and would be interested in opinions of the pros and cons of each.

    Option 1 is connect the mini in my home office and stream media to three Atv2s and 2 additional AEx speaker connections. One of the Atv2s is part of my main Yamaha-powered AVR. The mini would be connected via usb to my NAS. An Atv2 would be connected via HDMI (can also connect via toslink if that delivers better sound quality). An advantage is that the mini would be connected to a monitor in my office and I can dump an 8-year-old windows machine. The concern I have is will the audio and video be compromised, either in quality or due to buffering issues?

    Option 2 is to connect the mini via HDMI, toslink or both directly to my Yamaha. The mini would be connected via wifi to my NAS; I probably could move the music library to the mini but the NAS needs to stay in the office. I would then stream to the Atv2s and Aex speakers. I lose the office PC functionality, but do I gain anything in sound/video quality?

    Appreciate your opinions. Are there other connection options?

  2. drmark macrumors newbie


    Jan 5, 2012
    I use XBMC to do all my video and FLAC music files. Run it through an HDMI cable to my Pre-amp.

    It does it all and handles high rez files.
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  4. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    You've described all digital outputs for audio. Sound quality should be identical if the Yamaha is always doing the decoding. If the HDMI output works for audio, there is no reason to double-up with the toslink.

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