Mac Min vs iMac & AppleTV for home theatre

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by P4G, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. P4G macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #1
    Tried asking this question on the AppleTV Home Theatre forum, but had no response. Thought you Mac Mini guys might have a better idea.


    I currently have a 2006 iMac that runs EyeTV (utilising netstream) to record live television and then streams to AppleTV(1st Gen) (and XBMC).

    A couple of the issues with the current setup is that it is awkward to do live pause, and it takes a while for a recorded show to become available on iTunes. Other than that it all works pretty well.

    I have been intending to upgrade to add a Mac Mini (2011) attached directly to the TV and take over as the EyeTV recording machine. This would fix the two issues and would provide support for other digital streams such as iView etc.

    But I have been wondering whether I should just replace the iMac with the 2011 version and get Apple TV2 and use the AirPlay facilities to provide live pause, and hope that other digital streams will be covered by other hacks or airplay in the future.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. I like all OS's macrumors newbie

    I like all OS's

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #2
    I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I would think a Mac Mini would be the better of the two set ups. For one the Mini is FAR cheaper and they're due for an upgrade soon (new processors I think?) so they'll be very nice indeed.

    But the main concern I would have is iMac have a strong tendency to overheat after a while and just FRY the video card as well as the hard drive. My Grandpa got an iMac about 3 years ago and the hard drive started to fail last year, takes 15-20 minutes to boot off the hard drive and it won't boot from anything else. I've never heard of the mini doing anything like that.

    Honestly I would suggest a Mac Pro, they run so cool and so quiet its not even funny but the Mini would suit your needs just fine and would be very affordable, just make sure you wait till they bring in the newer model. :)
     
  3. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #3
    I have the 27" iMac, the Mini, and the Apple TV, and I use them for different purposes. The iMac is my workhorse machine. For video purposes, I use it to process TV shows and movies into Apple TV format to make them accessible to all of my Apple devices. It also has the storage for media files connected to it.The Eye TV HD is connected my satellite, then to the 2010 Mini, and then to my 46" TV. The Mini runs XBMC and does the capture of shows off the Eye TV. I prefer the direct connection to attempting to go through Airplay; it's completely reliable. Delays in response drive me nuts.

    You're putting in your calculation a bet that Apple/hackers will add features to the ATV. Given the track record, I don't think that's a bet I would make.

    I have never had heat issues with my iMac.
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    I vote for mac mini 2011 refresh.
    I also say wireless is a cr_pshoot I have 3 macs and all three use eyetv. they all link to a nas


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108042&Tpk=synology ds110

    I use the nas as a pack mule so to speak i can record on any of the three macs and dump it to the nas then any of the macs can play it.



    You could get 2 mac minis and that nas for the price of one imac.

    Also a 2009 2.26 mac mini will do what you want. They come up for 500 on the apple online refurb store.
     
  5. P4G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #5
    Thanks people, looks like an overwhelming vote for the Mac Mini, but sounds like there are some interesting set ups out there.

    Appreciate the input - thanks again.
     
  6. I like all OS's macrumors newbie

    I like all OS's

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #6
    Just curious as to what year it is, and average running temp under your typical application load? Because I've seen a couple really FRIED ones, like stuff on the logic board was melted and fused. Oh and typical boot time as well?
     
  7. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #7
    I'd agree that the Mac Mini is the best solution for a home theatre solution. It'll be cheaper than a new iMac plus the ATV2, and it can do more than the ATV2 (more sources for viewing is a big plus). However, if you intend to upgrade your iMac in the future anyway, it'd be more financially sound for you to go the iMac route, since an iMac + ATV2 is cheaper than a Mac Mini + iMac (assuming cost is a concern).


    I'm sorry to hear that about your iMac :( I personally never had that kind of poor luck with my nearly 5 year old iMac, but I can imagine how much those problems would suck.

    I think a Mac Pro might be a tad bit overkill for a HTPC... for both price and functionality. That's not to say it wouldn't be badass, though :D
     
  8. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #8
    I tend not to keep stuff for long. I've had a G5, a 24", a late 2009 i5, and have just purchased a mid-2010 refurbished i7. I use one as a stepping stone to the next and sell while they're still under Applecare, so every couple of years I have a new one. I do a lot of stuff with Final Cut Express, Handbrake, Makemkv, and various audio processing programmes. I don't check the temp, so I can't say. I live close to a lake, so summer temperatures are not bad, and my house has central air. The boot time on my last one had slowed significantly, though a clean install of SL fixed that. As an example of YMMV, my sister, who uses her computer in a hot room with skylights in the middle of the city and generally does Word, email, and web browsing, had the logic board on her 22" burn out after 13 months.
     

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