Is Mini good enough for TV

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by John001, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. John001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #1
    Can I use a mac mini to watch TV, streamed over the net using Airport extreme, on a 37 or 42 inch TV?

    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    That depends on several things, principally the size and bit rate of the video. It cannot stream 1080p content wirelessly, but moderate bit rate 720p content streams fine. By gigabit ethernet, the Mini can do 1080p without any problem at all.
     
  3. John001 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #3
    Thanks very much Cave Man - I can use the ethernet option so it looks good.
     
  4. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #4
    When it comes to networks connected to home theater systems like the mini its always best to go wired. Get at least Cat5e cable. 100mbit is fine but its better to invest in a gigabit router (since the mini has gigabit ethernet) as that will handle ANY media you would ever throw at your network.
     
  5. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #5
    I use my Intel Mac Mini as a Tivo unit with Elgato's EyeTV. I leave the computer on all day long and it works great. I have never had a problem with the unit. I do agree about the streaming however, if you are going to do any streaming over 720, you are going to want to have it connected to a gigabyte router.

    -iGrant
     
  6. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    Can the mini play 1080i video (i.e. CBS) recorded with the eyetv well? Is there any way to play interlaced video on a computer over HDMI so it looks right?
     
  7. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I don't know how much video you have, but for my video library I'd be afraid of not having enough HD space. Yes, I did buy it all for those who shun Handbrake users...
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    Mine is connected to a 1080p projector by DVI>HDMI and my 1080i OTA broadcasts are fine.
     
  9. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #9
    I have to admit I do not have a High Def TV yet, its been on the list of things to do. As for space, it goes really fast so that is why I have an external USB hard drive, its 500gb right now but I just ordered a 1.5TB drive to replace it.

    -iGrant
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    Make sure you have a backup solution since the 1.5TB seems to have a high failure rate.
     
  11. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #11
    HAHAHHA yeah I know its called DVD backup!!!

    -iGrant
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    Boy, that's a lot of DVDs.
     
  13. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #13
    Tell me about it, its about 2 ~ 3 DVDs a week, thankfully they are dirt cheap.

    -iGrant
     
  14. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    it plays back perfectly smooth, as good as the original?
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Yes. It plays Blu-ray rips and they are much more demanding than any 1080i signal. Which Mac Mini do you have? Mine's the 2 gHz with 3 gb RAM.
     
  16. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #16
    none yet, but thinking about getting one for a media center/ DVR someday. Now if only elgato could control my satellite box. Does anyone make IR blasters for USB? I haven't seen any.
     
  17. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    This is the exact use I want a Mac Mini for. My "TV" though is only a 22" monitor. I have two tuners though to plug into it and I figure I'll use one with an antenna for HD and one for my cable.

    I hope a new Mac Mini comes out so I can find a cheap re-certified one from Apple.
     
  18. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #18
    I have a similar setup, I have two EyeTV tuners attached to my Mac Mini,the EyeTV 200 and EyeTV 500, one for recording OTA DTV which I love, and the second is for converting all the home movies of me when I was a kid to digital for my parents. I'm trying to get everything off of VHS and 8mm tapes that my parents have, and put them all on DVD.

    I have thought of upgrading to newer EyeTV tuners, but the firewire models just work so well for me, that I don't think I will anytime soon. I do this all on a Mac Mini with an external hard drive, and external DVD Burner attached. I have all my USB and Firewire slots filled, and I daisy chain the firewire. The Intel Mac Mini is a beast of a computer.

    I also use my Mac Mini to share my printer to everyone in the house and as a Network drive for our photos and everything so they are all in one spot to make backups easier.

    -iGrant85
     
  19. MoreBS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #19
    more about wireless vs wired...

    My plan is to do exactly what iGrant is doing, even though I don't even have the mini yet.

    So how would the modem/router airport extreme set up work to use the ethernet option for the mini, but still have the extreme setup for everything else?

    Update:
    Sorry - the old airport (spaceship) model does have an ethernet port on it - the new ones have more...

    I just never used it and did not remember it being there!
     
  20. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Abingdon
    #20
    I use the wireless card in my Mini, the only time I wish I didn't is when I have to do large transfers, but I can stream movies and tv shows from the Mac Mini to my Macbook with no problems.

    I thought about trying to hook up the Mac Mini to the Ethernet port but couldn't find a good way to do it.

    For my needs the wireless-g works fine.

    -iGrant
     
  21. Bidi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #21
    Excuse me, that I step in here. But I am about to buy a Mini 2GHz with 2GB of RAM (yes, there might be an update in January but anyway :) )and I know already, that it handles TV up to 1080p HDTV OTA very well. But I am thinking of buying an external BluRay-Drive and then I want to watch BDs using Windows and a Windows Player-Software. Would you think, the Mini can handle that up to a solution of at least 1080i?
    My Windows-PC now with a Athlon X2 5200+ and a onboard x1250 graphic device is unable to handle most recent BDs. Older ones ist ok with almost 100% load, but the new ones won´t work.
    What do you think?
     
  22. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #22
    There are bluray players well under $200 and a used PS3 is around $250-300. Is a usb add-on drive worth it, and will it even play the movies without HDCP in the mini?
     
  23. Bidi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #23
    That is no option for me. I have at the moment a windows htpc, which is capable of doing everything out of one box. The mini-version would be a better design and a smoother (because of mac os) system. However only if I don´t have to downgrade. There won´t be an additional box beside my tv. Either I can get the mini do it or I leave it just as it is. The additonal BD-Drive is already bought. I use it in conjunction with a iMac 24" and it works quite well.
    The hdcp won´t work with mini because it has no display port which is capable of hdcp. Anyway that doesn´t matter, because BDs would have to be run under a windows installation through BootCamp and windows doesn´t care about hdcp.
     
  24. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #24
    The Mini can play the majority of Blu-ray rips at 1080p with DD or DTS with Plex just fine, so long as they've had decryption and HDCP removed. Don't know about the Windows side as I only use it to rip 'em.
     
  25. detz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #25
    I'm doing this, I have the drives and setup ready just waiting for the mini. They might announce new ones in January so I'm waiting for that otherwise I would have it now.
     

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