Content on Mac Mini, XBMC/Plex streaming to Apple TVs/Roku?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jshbckr, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Anyone have experience with a setup like this?

    My plan is that have my newsreader auto-download and extract, into a front-end like XBMC or Plex. Then the other TVs in my house would have jailbroken AppleTVs or a Roku box running an XBMC or Plex viewer.

    The Mac mini would be primarily connected to my basement "man cave" TV. I'll watch movies from it, but it won't be used as an everyday computer. We already have MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in the house for that.

    If anyone has done something like this, how is the performance? Would you recommend dual-core? quad-core? I have 8GB of 1600MHz RAM to throw in and will probably bump up the drive to a 90GB SSD and 750 or 1TB 7200RPM media drive (these are parts I have lying around from past upgrades).

    Just looking for some direction when it comes to the processor. Could potentially need to stream a TV show or movie to an AppleTV while watching a movie on the Mac mini itself, is that possible?
  2. josephyancey, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    josephyancey macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    I have an almost identical setup to the one you described. I use Plex Media Server along with a newsreader (PM me for apps to feed content to the newsreader) on a a dual core AMD Phenom II with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB drive running Ubuntu. This computer is in a closet with just a power and ethernet cable running to it. All of the apps that I use can be controlled through a web browser so there is no need to ever actually touch the computer.

    I'm able to feed content to several devices at once without issue. I use a PS3 in the living room with ROKU boxes throughout the rest of the house. The PS3 can pull content from Plex even though it doesn't have a Plex app as well as allowing us to watch Bluray movies in the LR. Plex also has a nice app for iphones, ipads, and android devices too. I've found that running a PC as your direct frontend can get a bit flakey. The "Wife Approval Factor" went WAY up when I switched to dedicated media devices as the frontend and a media server just as a backend. The PS3 and Roku allows for us to have our streaming content as well as Netflix and Hulu on all TVs without the hassle of fighting with a mouse and keyboard connected to the TV (because with a PC as a frontend you can't ever get away with JUST a remote - something will break).

    You seem concerned about the CPU. A 2.4Ghz Core2 Duo will let you transcode a 1080p stream or a couple of SD streams at once. My Dual core AMD Phenom II is plenty beefy.
    Plex has a decent amount of documentation about processor speed here:
    and here:

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