iMac or mini for TV??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by arcticmonkey227, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. arcticmonkey227 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #1
    I am looking to use a new mac as both a computer and a tv in my living room.
    After doing some research i found the EyeTV Hybrid to get TV to a computer, so that's not a problem.

    Do you think it's a better idea to go with a new 24" iMac mounted to a wall as a tv or a mac mini hooked up to a LCD screen? I would use the extra hard drive space of the iMac for video but I'm not sure whether the screen's large enough.
     
  2. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    Mac mini & a nice HDTV. While I love my iMac 24" AL+Glass there is no way it could replace my main TV.
     
  3. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #3
    the TV in there now is only 26 or so inches
    so 24" wouldnt be much of a downgrade

    and im worried that the mini just doesnt have enough disc space for my video needs...

    thoughts?
     
  4. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    How much space do you need? You can open the Mac mini if you are confident and replace the HDD. You can get 250+ GB 2.5" drives now.

    Anyway if you think the iMac will do you I say go for it, they are fantastic machines.
     
  5. fredsherbet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Hertford, England
    #5
    a mac mini with hdtv is gonna be much more flexible, since you can potentially plug anything into the screen, such as a games console or tivo/sky+ and external USB drives will give you the storage you need....

    you just gotta decide what you wanna do with it, and whether the mac mini will cut the cake :)
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #6
    You can get a 500gb FW drive for as little as $145 shipped. Get the mini, big HDTV, and an external HDD.
     
  7. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #7
    do you know if there's a way to toggle between cable and the mini if i go that direction? I mean does the HDTV switch from one to the other via remote, or do i have to do it manually? That's probably the deciding factor for me now
     
  8. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2007
    #8
    oh and one last thing
    would it be easier to stream movies i wanted to watch with bonjour from another computer, or would having them physically put on the mini be better?
     
  9. krose0307 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #9
    You should be able to switch between the two easily with your remote. I had a mac hooked up to my tv back at school and all I had to do to switch between cable and the computer was press the input button.
     
  10. 00bolt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #10
    i use my 46" Sony LCD as my tv and computer monitor. I have some bluetooth wireless keyboard/mouse and it works out great. No more bulky desk, just put keyboard mouse on coffee table and thats it!! works great....
     
  11. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    #11
    Since the mini doesn't have "n" wireless, you'll need ethernet to get a perfect stream. With "g" wireless, you'll notice a few jitters now and then, depending on the quality and bandwidth of the movie you're watching. As long as you're wired, there's no need to have all of your movies on the mini.
     
  12. nkawtg72 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #12
    my two cents

    i personally think the mini, for the purpose you've described, would be a better choice. FW400 is plenty fast for adding external storage for additional video content (MPEG 1,2,4, etc).

    The Mac Mini and Airport Extreme Base Station both now have 10/100/1000. With the money you save getting the Mini and not the iMac you can also by the Airport and have yourself a gigabit network and wireless-N. I agree that wireless-G will have issues with streaming video content.

    I've always been a fan of wired networks over wireless, and have been using my 10/100 network to stream ripped DVDs (MPEG-2) from my PowerMac G4 to as many as 5 separate Macs AT THE SAME TIME (playing in Apple DVD player on the other Macs) without even a hint of a problem.

    One of these days you'll have room or money for a larger TV and the Mac Mini will give you the ability to simply upgrade your TV and not your whole setup.

    I'm knew to the forums and I'm wanting to start a post (if one isn't already going) that gives details to people about ideas for integrating their Macs into home theaters, tv rooms, whole house video distribution, etc.

    Keep a look out for my upcoming post. In the meantime good luck to you.
     
  13. nkawtg72 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #13
    oops

    one other thought. using the Mini with a TV would mean you'd not have to by the TV device for the Mac. That's even more money you'd save to go toward a good TV.

    a buddy of mine uses his mini with his 50"+ DLP projection TV. Looks fantastic. has his HD Dish box hooked up to it also. he uses his DV camera to convert the analog video to DV and get it into iMovie to record programs and edit them.

    this is all stuff i taught him and what i'll be putting into my future post.

    later folks
     
  14. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    #14
    Welcome. I'm looking forward to it.

    I just got a mini for use as a HTPC and it's working great so far. I have most of my "content" on my Power Mac and stream the movies, music, photos, etc. from it to the mini. Back in January, I ordered an AppleTV but cancelled the order before they began shipping, deciding that a mini would be far more versatile. I waited for the C2D upgrade before buying.
     
  15. nkawtg72 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #15
    i think the AppleTV is great, but i couldn't agree with you more.

    it serves a great purpose for those who want something that "just works." but i've been doing all that and more long before the AppleTV ever came around.

    i've got several Macs, so i had one to spare for my electronics cabinet. someone else may only have the one computer and an AppleTV would work good for them (not to mention cheaper than an additional computer).

    my opinion is that a product that blends a Mac Mini and an AppleTV into one would be better suited to the higher-end needs of many home theater owners. it would allow for 3rd party programs that are tailored to a users needs along with the seamless integration.

    to keep this all inline with the original posters question...i think the mini is a much better choice for most people who are wanting to integrate their Macs with their Audio/Video equipment.
     
  16. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    Use my mini for a HTPC. Works great, even play a few games on it. Get a mini over an imac, as you can always hook up the mini to your new system in the future, an imac may be a waste of screen if you end up with a bigger tv.

    Either way, BT keyboard and mouse is an excellent addition.

    Could always get a cube......
     
  17. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #17
    macmini + ministackv3 = robust interface options

    The mini definitely seems like the more modular solution.

    What's more, you can increase HD space, use a 7200rpm drive, and even add eSATA and additional Firewire ports buy outtfitting your mini with a miniStackv3

    There's also one poster who pimped out his mini by adding the macpro wireless n card. If you feel like you can get the case open, it shouldn' be too difficult after that to do it yourself. Though I agree with another poster, I always prefer a physical connection over wireless when its doable, anyway :)
     
  18. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2007
  19. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #19
    I'd do what this guy says. Get the mini and do the stack if you want a physical connection to a larger hard drive. I have a MBP and when I connect it to the TV for video, it works great off of a network drive because it has the wireless 'n'. I really wish the mini had the wireless 'n' because I'd buy one just to have connected to my TV full time. Streaming video over the 'n' network works great and I can keep my ripped DVDs on the network drive.
     
  20. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2007
  21. Omad0n macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #21
    did a search but coudln't find who upgraded their mini to the N standard. Any link and who the got the wirless upgrade card from? I'm tempted to do it to my mini, though I'm sure it violates the warranty.
     
  22. arcticmonkey227 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #22
    i just found out that the mac mini can only support displays of up to 23"
    if i get, say a 42" plasma as a screen, will the resolution be terrible?
     
  23. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #23
    depends on the resolution of the 42''....the reason the Mini can't power then 30'' is because its high resolution(its meant for Pro work)

    Your 42'' will be 1080p max....the Mini should be able to power that I think.
     
  24. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    #24
    The resolution of a 23" computer display is 1920x1200 which is beyond the resolution of the largest HDTV. The mini drives a 23" computer display just fine so you'll have no problem.
     
  25. balahir macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Sweden
    #25
    I have a new mini C2D connected to a Sony 46" X2000 full HD LCD, and have full resolution (1920x1080) on the screen. Looks great. And yes, I also have my mini as a media center (prefer that instead of HTPC...). Just go ahead, get the new mini.
     

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