How would you use 12" powerbook as media center?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tirexstorm, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. tirexstorm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #1
    I have a 12" powerbook gathering dust. The original plan was to sell it on ebay and buy an Apple TV. However, it doesn't seem like there is much demand for the older laptops, so I am considering using it as a media center using a mini-dvi to dvi to hdmi adapter.

    Would anyone here recommend this? I figure that I would removed most of the software from the laptop. Add an external hard drive. Install transmissions to download tv shows.

    The biggest drawback is the lack of remote control on the older laptops. Bluetooth mouse would work I suppose. Any software that people suggest as an interface? Any hardware that you reccomend?

    Or should I just get an ATV and hack it?
     
  2. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #2
    I'm not convinced a G4 could drive a HDTV as a 'monitor'. I'd say sell it and get an appleTv
     
  3. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    It absolutely could...just perhaps not with full HD content. My 1.5/G4 12" was hooked up all the time to my 1680x1050 monitor and I watched 720p stuff on it all the time. 1080 files were choppy, though.
     
  4. tirexstorm thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #4
    Did you use front row? Did you use any type of remote control, or a bluetooth mouse?
     
  5. iObama macrumors 6502

    iObama

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    Nov 16, 2008
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    SF
    #5
    I wouldn't use a 12" PowerBook G4 for a media center. Get the :apple:tv.
     
  6. tirexstorm thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #6
    I just started playing around with it, and so far, so good. What problems do you foresee?
     
  7. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    I didn't use frontrow...I just used a kensington (I think) usb remote control (many more features than the apple one) and a wireless mouse to do more complicated things. Sometimes if I was just playing music through my speaker system I'd just leave the wireless mouse over the itunes volume slider and carry it around to use the wheel as a volume knob. Classy, no, functional, yes. Dorm room solution. :D
     
  8. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #8
    My 1GhZ G4 cannot playback 720, I played with a setup not so long ago having a keyboard and mouse connected to it and running with the lid closed and I used a Wii remote to control frontrow but I would choose a :apple:tv over that any day
     
  9. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I had a 1.5...maybe that made the difference? I didn't see a spec noted in the op's post.
     
  10. tirexstorm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #10
    mine is 1.33ghz.

    how do you check for the resolution of the file you are watching? i just watched an hdtv.xvid-lol file of The Office and it worked just fine. How would I look up the resolution of that file?
     
  11. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    Southern York County, PA
  12. tirexstorm thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #12
    make it a mac mini and you have a deal
     
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #13
    If opened in QuickTime, press CMD+I and it'll list all the info.

    However, I'd buy an Apple TV - just be prepared to re-encode all the TV shows you download. It took me over a month to encode my collection (94GB's worth) of TV shows.
     
  14. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #14
    You could use Plex instead of Front Row for the media center software.
     
  15. tirexstorm thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #15
    I am still considering the ATV. Can't you install perian on the ATV so that you do not have to re-encode? Can ATV's read from a USB hard drive?

    A big reason that I prefer a computer over the ATV is so that I can use sling player (connected to a tv at my parents' house.)
     
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #16
    You can "hack" it so you can play any format you want.
     

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