Is this Mac Mini suitable purely as Apple TV server

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MoodyM, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. MoodyM macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    #1
  2. nollimac macrumors regular

    nollimac

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    #2
    If I were treating my parents with a Mac Mini, it would be the late 2012 model...most likely an open box discounted like the Mac Mini I got myself.
     
  3. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I don't know about the iTunes 11 compatibility side of things, but in terms of hardware, that box should be fine for what you've described. If the movies are already going to be in an iTunes-friendly format, the box doesn't need to do anything CPU-intensive. It will just be acting as a file server.
     
  4. Jambalaya, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

    Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    You are asking the right question, sort of. Have a look at what OSX iTunes 11 needs and then see if that's supported on that machine.

    The reason I say sort of is you don't need iTunes 11 to drive AirPlay to an Apple TV, you do need a reasonably current version though.

    FWIW my late 2009 machine will do what you want, 2gb ram isn't enough really it will run like a dog (as mine did before recent upgrade) increase to 4 at least

    Do you parents have the ATV already ? If not you can buy a Mac Mini with a display port out and connect it straight to the tv via display port to hdmi connector and with audio out for sound (assuming its an older mini as newer ones have hdmi out with sound)
     
  5. MoodyM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    #5
    If I connect Mac mini straight to TV, what software would they use for accessing movies, etc, in iTunes?
     
  6. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The tv is the computer screen, you just hit play and full screen ! I switch between having my mini connected to tv this way (80% of time) and using it as a desktop with monitor for work.

    Also by the way if you are connected direct to tv you can use any player, I use VLC

    If I'm honest connected to tv is more reliable as ATV can drop out (Wifi issues?)
     
  7. MoodyM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    #7
    The Apple TV and Mac mini will be wired to router and I need a very simple interface for my folks to be able to use
     
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    #8
    My iTunes server is a 2006 Core Duo Mac mini (a year older than the one you asked about). It works fine as a server, even though it couldn't play most of my movies itself. The Apple TV has a nice interface - and the combination works great for me.

    A.
     
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    I'd really consider a 2009 or newer. 2009's are the oldest that can run Mavericks which means it will be able to run all current versions of iTunes. The 2006 and 2007 Mini's can only run Lion so if Apple drops support for older OS's it might not work anymore.

    As far as I know though, iTunes 11 can run on Snow Leopard and newer though, so theoretically it should work (for now).

    Edit: I would really not recommend hooking a Mini to a television for use by people who aren't at least somewhat technically inclined. Using an AppleTV as the playback device will provide a much simpler experience.
     
  10. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #10
    My iTunes media server is an original Apple TV running Leopard - you don't need a powerful machine or the absolute latest version of iTunes just to stream media. iTunes 10 is the oldest to support Home Sharing, which is all that is needed to stream to an Apple TV, and it runs under Leopard.

    Generally, I would agree with you that the latest that one can afford to get is the best, but in the case of this, the computer is essentially a glorified file server, its job can be done by practically any machine that can run iTunes 10 or later.
     
  11. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #11

    I agree that the processing power isn't an issue. Heck 2GB of RAM is more than enough (probably even 1GB because who cares how slow the OS is).

    But, how long until there is something required in 11 such as a change to Home Sharing? My point is simply, I wouldn't buy the absolute minimum unless you are willing to take the chance of having to buy all over again in a few months. A 2009 can regularly be had around here for 300. I will also point out that the older the computer, the more likely it will die due to cap failure or other issues.
     
  12. MoodyM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MoodyM

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    #12
    Thanks guys but in the end I managed to get the latest 2013 Mac Mini with a student discount (meaning 3 year AppleCare too) for £448 instead of £499
     
  13. Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

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    Oct 31, 2013
    #13
    If watching flixster for UV digital copies or ( if based in UK) using sky GO via the Mac mini, will the signal still work to the TV screen...or does it get blocked for. DRM reasons ( as per when trying to use iPads and airplay / mirroring etc)??
     
  14. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I don't know the answer for sure as I don't use those services BUT the tv is just the Mini's screen/output device so if it works on the Mini with a normal monitor it should work fine I think. If you just give me your sky username/password I'll test it for you :)
     
  15. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #15
    You can get any cheap windows pc that will be cheaper to use, plus you can put internal hard drives of any size too as the library grows. No external storage required. Been running itunes on mine for years with zero problems.
     
  16. Delmar macrumors 6502

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    Texas
    #16

    Yes, that Mac Mini will work well as a file/media server.

    I use a Early 2009 Mac Mini for my file/media server & it works great. It is connected to my Denon AVR-E200 & plays on a Vizio 55" LED TV in the living room, movies look & sound great. We have a ATV1 in the bedroom that is served by the Mini. It's so simple to use that even my wife can use it when I'm not home:eek:
     

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