Mac Mini 2.1 for Living Room

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Rusty3000, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Rusty3000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #1
    Hi there, been looking round the web all day at the possibilities of using a 2.1 Mac mini to stream movies to my tv.

    I would be looking at a 1.83ghz/2ghz core 2 duo with the ram upgraded to 3gb (maybe 4 as I am aware matched ram runs slightly faster but this mac can only access 3gb).

    I have a Samsung hd TV with two HDMI ports but one is named a HDMI/DVI. (Can anyone shed any light on what this means as it looks like a normal HDMI?) and a 2.1 LG sound bar with an available optical port.

    My main confusion comes with connecting the Mac mini to the TV/sound bar. Is the Mac mini capable of transmitting sound through the DVI port? Or am I better using the 3.5mm/optical out on the Mac mini to connect direct to the soundbars optical port? If so does this require an adapter of some sort? Is there a way of connecting the macs DVI to my HDMI/DVI that will transmit sound as my soundbars other optical port runs straight to the TV so would pick up sound that way?

    Any help is much appreciated! Cheers, Russ.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #2
    That Mac Mini cannot output audio through its DVI port. You will have to use the optical out. You'll need a mini-TOSLink to TOSLink adapter for it.
     
  3. Rusty3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 27, 2014
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    Midlands, UK
    #3
    Thanks for the fast response!

    So something like this: http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/1m-toslink-mini-toslink-cable.html from the macs optical out to my sound bars second optical port and then a basic HDMI to DVI cable to my TV like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B000GDI6FC?pc_redir=1398540811&robot_redir=1 should see me good?
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  5. Rusty3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  6. blanka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #6
    Go for a 2009 Mini any time. That one has HD decoding for flawless HD/BluRay playback, things you can forget with non 9400M models before.
     
  7. FastEddy macrumors regular

    FastEddy

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    #7
  8. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    @Rusty my late 2009 Mini cannot output sound through the mini-display port out (I have an HDMI connector for picture £25 from Apple) so I use the headphone jack plug sound out connected to the TV audio-in with a splitter (jackplug to AVI costs about £3). This works well for streaming movies etc. You could do the similar with your soundbar connected sound direct to it or via TV.

    You might also consider an Apple TV and streaming content from an iPhone/IPad if you have one via AirPlay, not quite as flexible but cheaper. The Apple TV (£100) can output sound through it's HDMI, their are rumours of a refresh with greater functionality, app store etc.

    By the way my late 2009 has 8GB RAM now, you can do this after a firmware upgrade available over internet from Apple. It used to run really badly with just 2GB so you might consider the late 2009 model. It runs Mavericks well.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
  10. Rusty3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 27, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #10
    Unfortunately my budget can only stretch to a 2007 model. My MacBook is used as my every day computer and this one is more of a luxury as I hate having wires across the room when streaming from the MacBook to the TV and won't be used for anything else. Maybe web browsing very occasionally. I'm planning to up the ram to 4GB (well 3gb technically) at some point as well.

    Also I would prefer the Mac mini over Apple TV as my MacBook Air doesn't have a disk drive so would be nice to have a computer in the home that can access data from a CD.
     
  11. dbanderson1, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    dbanderson1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    #11
    Mini -> Tv -> Soundbar

    You can also try running the audio via hdmi to the tv and then run the sound out from the tv to the stereo. Some tvs have optical out some don't. Analog should suffice as you are using 2.1. I'm assuming that your sound bar also has analog input. This way you also should be able to watch live tv or whatever is plugged into your second hdmi using the sound bar.

    EDIT: Just realized you meant 2,1 was the version of mac you were looking at and had nothing to do with 2.1 sound bar, so you don't have hdmi. I wouldn't spend more than 100 bucks for something that old... there are plenty of other ways to stream movies. As far as optical disk drives go, usb ones are like 40 bucks. I second the other posters idea of just using apple tv, the interface will be better on an HDTV too.
     
  12. simonsi, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014

    simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Auckland
    #12
    I have a mid-2007 I use for just this, I use the PC input on the TV (46" Sony LCD) and use the headphone-out from the Mini for audio (or BT headphones).

    Storage is an external WD My Studio 2 2TB

    You can easily run the Mini without KBD, we just variously control it with a BT mouse, screen sharing to my MBP or via the Rowmote apps on either iPad (usually in trackpad mode), or iPhone (usually in Remote mode for play/pause)....all works great.

    Mine has 4GB installed and addresses 3GB, runs Lion which is the latest it will support.
     
  13. jezzy macrumors member

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    Jan 12, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #13
    Been there, done that. I've gone from a G4 mini, a 2006 1.83, a 2010 hdmi, and now back to a 2009 which is ideal. The 2009 is relatively cheap (about 100$ more than a 2.1 model..) but the difference is worth saving for.

    No not skimp and buy a 2006/2007 model, especially if your considering 1080p content. A 2006 + new cpu + new ram will come out to a 2009 price.
     
  14. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, England
    #14
    Hi Rusty,

    I've got a mac mini 2,1 with 4gb ram running on an LG 60' plasma @1360x768. It plays 720p content fine with VLC. I've not tried with 1080p files I don't think, but I know I've got a couple of 1080p blu-ray rips, I'll try them tonight and let you know how they play if you like. Obviously it can't display 1080p, but it still has to process it.
     

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