Mac Mini as a Media Centre

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jgbr, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. jgbr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #1
    Does anyone know any really good sites for advice on turning mac mini into media centre?

    I have a problem of linking it up to a 37inch HD screen, that i get alot of "jumping" in movies or blocking.

    I am never sure how to re render movies... mpeg 4 ends up being blocky on screen. I just can't get the same as a stand alone dvd player...

    advice please.
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
  3. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I'm using my Mac mini as media center pretty effectively. It isn't very powerful, I have a 1.5ghz intel core solo model. Mine doesn't have any stuttering or quality problems, its hooked up to a 46" 1080p Samsung. Which version do you have? Is it PPC?

    I use Syncopation to keep my music in sync, and drag over all my movies onto an external its hooked up to. I use a combination of iTunes and straight Front Row controlled by an Apple remote and the Remote app for iPod/iPhone.
     
  4. jgbr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #5
    Its hooked up to 37 inch Philips.

    A DVD in and it stutters, if i convert a dvd or movie into mpeg 4 264 , it blocks up. I can not figure out what the problem is.

    Its a latest mac mini.
     
  5. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    That's pretty strange. What kind of connection are you using to you're TV (dvi/vga)? By jitter do you mean that the computer is locking up for a second, or that the video looks kind of shaky?
     
  6. jgbr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #7
    I am connecting via displayport to hdmi.

    All video files, stutter and are "blocky". its random.
     
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    Does it also happen if you connect a "normal" screen to the Mac mini (either mini DisplayPort, of mini DVI)?

    I use a Mac mini 2.26 attached to my 40" Sony Bravia (via mini DVI to HDMI), and it is absolutely perfect.

    I used to use a Core Duo 1.66 GHz, and that only had problems with the highest of bit-rates on a 1080p movie.
     
  8. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #9
    OP: Look into Boxee(requires an account to use, but its free and its worth it ;) Really nice and solid on the Mac (cross platform too ;) )

    as for hooking up to a TV, either DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI and use the DVI or convert it to HDMI or use the VGA adapter and lookup pinouts for VGA >> Component
     
  9. Durandal549 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #10
    I agree with the Boxee suggestion. You could try VLC as well. I find VLC is a much smoother player than apple's dvd software. I had an issue were dvd's would freeze and only catch up if I changed the windows size, it was odd. But VLC or Boxee never do that.

    Just doing a breakout cable from VGA to 3rca is not going to work. It is true that you can run a component signal down a vga cable to a breakout. However VGA is an RGB signal but component is YPbPr(or sometimes YCbCr) so just changing the pinout is not going to change the signal. Most projectors will know the difference and adjust; but most TV's won't know the difference.
     
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #11
    The OP's behavior is abnormal. I have my mini plugged into a 47" HDTV at 1080p and it doesn't jump. Even with 1 gb of ram it never "jumped".
     
  11. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #12
    Handbrake does this on some DVDs. Reinstalling VLC can fix this most of the time. Another reason why VLC is fail.
     
  12. motownflip macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #13
    I have a current model mini and I've decided to give up on the idea. I now have it up for sale. Nothing wrong with the mini. I guess it's just way over my head. Good luck though.
     
  13. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #14
    I connect my 2009 mini with mini display port to HDMI.

    I do this in windows to watch blu-ray movies. It worked twice flawlessly, on my new Samsung LED TV!

    But now an error message comes up after 30' seconds!

    "I am using powerdvd 2009 Ultra edition"

    I assume its something to do with blu ray, its permissions and mainly the mini display port to HDMI port conversion or its Certificates?

    So its not the ideal media centre :(

    Dose anybody have any ideas,
     
  14. stix666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    #15
    I am amazed no-one's mentioned Plex so far. Vastly superior to VLC for playback of hi-def files, and a much nicer front-end than front row.

    I use Plex with Blu-ray movies encoded into MKV containers - there are no problems with playback (2009 mini, 2.0Ghz, 4Gb Ram)
     
  15. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #16
    You will need to decrypt the BD to remove the HDCP protection.
     

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