Creating an OS X / Plex Home Theatre Box (HTPC)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Doju, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    Hey guys, I have a WD TV HD right now, and while it's nice, I'd much rather an HTPC for reasons such as being able to download it right there and simply having a nicer interface.

    I used to use Plex on my MBP, so I know that I love this app. Plugging my MacBook Pro into my TV every time I want to watch a movie is not preferable, so I considered a Mac Mini.

    In Canada, the cheapest Mac Mini is around $550. I really am shying away from spending half a grand (I could have bought a much better TV with that extra cash) on something to play movies on.

    So, what are my options? Is there a hackintoshable PC that will play 1080p video in a small box? (Acer AspireRevo looks nice, but I don't know if it can run OS X.)

    Or, is there a PC home theatre app like Plex that looks and works nice (Boxee is ugly as sin, so no there). I really prefer OS X, so I'd like to shy away from this.

    What are your suggestions? Is there a cheap, old Mac Mini that I can buy (that outputs 1080p) for less than $400 CAD? Or is there a Hackintoshable HT PC? Or is there a nice PC app?

    Really would like a nice HTPC. Cheers guys.
     
  2. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    #2
  3. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #3
    Check out Cave Man's Home Theater Plex Box.

    His version is probably a little more than you'd care to spend, but I'm sure you could gain a lot of info from the thread.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
  5. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #5
    Oh, that's a good price on the mini, I may consider that.

    Thanks for the XBMC tip too. I would use that definitely if I had to, but I'd still prefer to have OS X if I had the choice, if not only because I'm more used to it and the simplicity of it (imo).

    I have some things to consider then! Any more tips?
     
  6. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #6
    Just get the mini, its an expensive option but its a really great machine for HTPC'ing.
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    If you're not planning to multitask Blu-ray playback with recording/encoding with Eye TV then a 9400m Mini's the best route to go.
     
  8. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #8
    What about if I'm downloading a lot of HD movies from iTunes. Can I then watch a 1080p (not 720p) movie without hiccuping at the same time?

    Does the 9400m even handled 1080p video well?
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    Downloading will be minimal on the system. On Macs, the gpu has very little to do with video playback. The exception to this is Quicktime playback of videos encoded in h.264, at which QT now has hardware acceleration.

    Unfortunately, I have no hands-on experience with a 9400m Mini, so I'll defer to others who do.
     
  10. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    #10
    No problem. You can try getting a refurb mini to cut cost but other than that I would suggest building a Hackintosh HTPC. Googling Hackintosh HTPC gives a ton of results.
     

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