Kodi on old Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by satchmo, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. satchmo macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I'm debating between picking up a used Mac Mini (pre-2012 old design) to use as a HTPC.
    Hopefully I can find something for $100 or so. But I'm wondering if the video card in these Mac Minis might be getting long in the tooth.

    Would I be better off going the Android TV Box route? These can be had for about the same cost. I would think these would have more current GPU and video decoding.
     
  2. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    It could probably do it. But for greater format support pick up an Nvidia shield tv.
     
  3. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Thanks, but $300 is a bit more than I want to spend.
     
  4. archer75, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

    archer75 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I believe it's $150 in sale. They are including the remote now which used to be extra. Bestbuy sells them too.
    You're probably looking at the pro model which is $300
     
  5. iccb macrumors member

    iccb

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    #5
    If U want only kodi, I would suggest raspberry pi 3 with openelec.
    With hdmi-cec it's really usable with your tv remote control.
     
  6. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #6
    I've got a Sony Android TV, it works better with Plex on my iMac than Kodi did when I tried both.
    Would suggest that if you are not getting a new TV, that the Razor Forge Android TV box will work well and handle media and games for a longer time than the 2011 mac mini has left in the lifecycle.
     
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #7
    While I never liked the interface of the Nvidia Shield TV, I believe it delivered some of the best results for movie playing with both DAS and NAS. Also the AC WiFi was particularly good (in 3 different instances tested in different homes). It does have room for improvement but over all, excellent with its native player, Kodi and Plex.

    I have used Mini's as HTPCs in the past and the only thing I will say is skip OSX if you are into HD audio and opt for Linux or Windows install. OSX does not support DTS-Master etc. and I don't see any time soon that Apple will get off its "marketing platform" to offer it. If you don't care about the audio and find DVD level of audio acceptable, then OSX might be the ticket.

    As for me, I'll remain happy with both NVidia TV shield and hope down the line I can once again build a great HTPC when the guts make more sense and draw less energy.
     
  8. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #8
    You can get bitperfect in the mac app store for that level of audio detail.
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #9
    Bitperfect, best I can see doesn't have anything to do with playback of DTS-Master found on various media (movie) files. Also, it makes reference to not being able to play certain audio without the use of DACS that on its own site says are rare/unavailable for OSX. This app might be very nice and well to do for audio files but certainly not movie files. Perhaps I was unclear in my post.

    NVidia Shield TV can play HD audio found on film/media files and no time soon will we see OSX supporting it unless additional hardware is added in the mix and DACS.
     
  10. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #10
    I've switched to OSMC on the Pi and saw a lot more improvements in functionality, haven't played with Pi3 yet but will definitely get it when they release a new Kodi image that takes advantage of the Hardware on it.
     
  11. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #11
    Additionally now that I have returned to my mac, you can find DSD-master the creator app which goes with bitperfect.

    You will also find that Android TV supports 5.1 surround sound, and that every mac since the Quadra840AV has the ability to support the processing of HD audio. You should find that HD audio should be capable of being processed on any mac model from 2011 or newer.

    I broadcast the first internet video concert when I was a teenager, there is no prize for guessing which ancient mac model was capable of handling audio/video live streamed for 24 hours over 33.6k dialup without a flaw.
     
  12. archer75, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    archer75 macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Android TV can support 7.1 bitstreaming of DTS-MA HD/Dolby TureHD(and by extension, atmos) depending on device. Nvidia shield does this.
    Yes, a mac has the hardware for bitstreaming HD audio however it does not have the software support. There is no way to take a bluray rip on a mac and bitstream HD audio to your stereo receiver.

    For home theater the shield is the way to go. In addition to HD audio bitstreaming it also supports h.265, 10bit, 24fps and HDR.
     
  13. phrehdd, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #13
    Macs (using OSX) don't play back 96/24 files at 96/24. They play back down-sampled. Even Apple acknowledges this. As for DTS-Master (again example), you cannot confirm that BitPerfect handles these audio streams for various media formats such as m2ts files, ts and mkv etc. Then again, when it comes to playing compressed formats of music files such as mp3 and aac, Bitperfect might manipulate the files to provide "adjusted and more pleasing sound" but that is no different than say, the software Dirac and what it does for iPhones.

    When a movie contains HD audio streams such as DTS-Master, various software players will take the core of DTS and use it for playback as it cannot play the full DTS Master stream on OSX. So in essence these players can "handle" DTS-Master but don't play back full DTS-Master. I suspect if* Bitperfect handles DTS-Master, it would do similar or convert to PCM.
     
  14. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #14

    DSD-Master, the creator app for Bitperfect creates the PSM files in the DSD format for Bitperfect, along with hybrid DSD files for bitperfect and iTunes.

    I have yet to convert my extensive iTunes library, as there is a lot of other apps I purchased before the exchange rate changed the prices, along with the upcoming GST charge on digital purchases later this year.
     

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