Mac Mini / Apple TV Plan (opinions please)

Macman1993

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
337
16
I'm planning to set up a Mac Mini in an equipment rack in a house I'm building. I plan on streaming my iTunes library with about 150 legally acquired movies to 5 Apple TV's and any additional IOS devices in the house using home sharing. I know what I'm doing but I'm new to a setup this large, this is the equipment list I'm planning on buying, does anyone have any suggestions on what might be a better idea?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Equipment List
Mac Mini
USB Super Drive
Magic Trackpad
Wireless Keyboard
Apple Care
Apple Remote
Thunderbolt Cable


Mac Mini After Market Parts
OWC 8gb RAM
OWC 120gb SSD

Pegasus R6 6tb Thunderbolt Raid

Apple TV (x5)
 

Macman1993

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
337
16
Sorry about that, I meant to pull some of the less important things (apple care, thunderbolt cable, superdrive...etc) off the list since there're much less important in terms of what I'm asking about. The superdrive was just so I can use it to rip a dvd (I know a mac mini is far from perfect for ripping dvd's).

The SSD is just for loading the OS and any programs onto to keep them running fast. Since the thunderbolt raid is holding the iTunes library I didn't see the need to pay more for storage I knew I wasn't going to be using. Do you think thats a bad choice?
 

sbddude

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2010
894
4
Nor Cal, USA
I have a similar goal but different setup:

Windows PC
Core i3 2100T CPU
8GB RAM
320GB 7200RPM Drive
ASRock Motherboard with onboard HDMI
Antec Mini ITX Case ISK300-65 (external/silent PSU)


Synology NAS DS410 with 4x2TB Drives

Apple TV 2

Harmony Remote

HDHomeRun Dual Tuner

Software
Windows Media Center
XBMC

With this setup, I can watch Movies/TV on either the main TV connected to the PC or on the ATV2 (running XBMC). Metadata is retrieved automatically and I can stop playback and resume in another room. All of my laptops can also run XBMC. I can also use AirVideo and stream content to my iPad.

Total cost was around $1300, most of which is the NAS, which I also use for other file storage.
 

will waters

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2011
155
0
Great Britain
Too much

Hi

I think your setup is a little to complicated, and expensive for only 5 apple TV's, i would get if i were you:

1x Mac Mini server with 2x750GB HDD
Keyboard and Mouse etc.
Cheap disk drive, the apple one is over priced
External firewire 800 hard rive if needed (firewire 800 will be enough for what you need, thunderbolt in a nice idea but is limited by the speeds of the HDD's)

I would even say you need this, but having the server option is slightly more powerful and will likely last you longer!

SO what might even work:
1x 2.3GHZ mac mini, with 8GB of ram, and possibly SSD
External firewire 800 HDD
Cheap disk drive, the apple one is over priced
Keyboard, mouse etc

I hope this is helpful
Will
 

jaynone

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2012
63
0
Sorry about that, I meant to pull some of the less important things (apple care, thunderbolt cable, superdrive...etc) off the list since there're much less important in terms of what I'm asking about. The superdrive was just so I can use it to rip a dvd (I know a mac mini is far from perfect for ripping dvd's).

The SSD is just for loading the OS and any programs onto to keep them running fast. Since the thunderbolt raid is holding the iTunes library I didn't see the need to pay more for storage I knew I wasn't going to be using. Do you think thats a bad choice?
Doesn't the mini have an optical drive built in?

I don't think the SSD is going to make any difference in a server setup like this.

Seems a bit excessive really.
 

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
Doesn't the mini have an optical drive built in?
The current model mini lacks an optical drive. The mid-2010 model (and before) had an optical drive.

I'd skip the SSD. And a firewire raid would work fine for you and be less expensive. Thunderbolt stuff has the "look at me I'm new!" tax added to it right now.

Also - this won't be your only Mac (since it's going in a closet), right?

Just log into it remotely from your main Mac to do any work on it and skip the wireless keyboard and trackpad.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Why a Mac Mini? Save money and get parts instead. Build a Hackintosh if you for some reason feel you must have OS X running. Or is the thunderbolt raid something you really, really want?

Why are you getting an Apple remote? You get one with every ATV2 :)
 

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
Why are you getting an Apple remote? You get one with every ATV2 :)
If the poster has kids, he can never have too many apple remotes.

Our apple remotes seem to disappear all the time. I thought of glueing a brick to one...

The shiny silver remote can hide between couch cushions very well.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
If the poster has kids, he can never have too many apple remotes.

Our apple remotes seem to disappear all the time. I thought of glueing a brick to one...

The shiny silver remote can hide between couch cushions very well.
True, I didn't think about that. I've found ours in the most unusual places thanks to the little one, so I've set up the TV remote to the ATV2 for when the Apple remote is missing :)
 

obsidian1200

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2010
359
0
Albuquerque, NM
If not a cheaper DVD drive, why not just buy a blu-ray drive? There's a nice Asus external one, works fine with the mac, that usually runs at the same price point as the superdirve. Only problem is the drive is read-only, but unless you burn discs, that shouldn't be a problem.

Otherwise, a lot of good suggestions so far in this thread. You have a lot of options here :)
 

EvilC5

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2010
504
0
Hanover MD
I have a mid 2010 mini server with a fw800 drobo feeding 5 atv2's, 2 atv1's, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones, and a 2nd mini. Works great to stream anything in the house

I upgraded to gigE to speed transfers between mini's and love it.
 

jaynone

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2012
63
0
True, I didn't think about that. I've found ours in the most unusual places thanks to the little one, so I've set up the TV remote to the ATV2 for when the Apple remote is missing :)
I've slept on my ATV remote without noticing before. :D
 

Macman1993

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
337
16
Thanks to everyone who's provided feedback.

There's always a bunch of people in my house so I decided on the thunderbolt raid to insure that if 3 people start streaming HD video to an apple tv that the video's wouldn't start to stutter as the raid struggles to keep up with the demand.

I thought about going with a pc or a hackintosh and decided later that I was ok with the extra cost of an official mac. I killed the pc idea because I have heard nothing but bad things about iTunes for windows and being as I've used osx exclusively for the last few years I really don't want to get myself back into a windows environment. Additionally since I write in objective-c I really wanted a mac so I can write a quick program for a computer that I know will always be on and functioning as a home server. I also kicked out the hackintosh idea because I honestly don't have the time to put one together and in the event that something goes wrong or I need some support from apple I would want to be able to get their support.

Yeah the mac mini has no optical drive so I added one but will definitely look at non apple ones since apple's is overpriced. Are external blu-ray drives pretty good on a mac? I've never seen one in use so I'm curious about if handbreak will rip from one.

I threw the extra apple remote in there for the inevitable time when a remote gets lost and someone without an iOS device needs one.

Finally I just wanted to verify, the apple tv will accept 1080p video and will just down convert to the display right?
 

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