Mac Mini as HTPC

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dweez, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    I'm considering a Mini for the home theater. I've not had a PC in the mix up to this point, and am looking at the 2.3 ghz/Intel HD 3000 graphics model.

    My question is whether the graphics subsystem will be sufficient to display 1080p signals, from my cable provider as well as blu-ray and various file formats (.mkv etc).

    If you're using this model as your HTPC, please chime in and share your observations.
  2. LiesForTheLiars macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2011
    The on-board graphics plays 1080p fine, but I always go with a dedicated GPU if I have the option. The Mini is great for a home theatre setup.
  3. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    My guerilla-hacked 1st-gen Mac Mini Intel (macmini1,1) with C2D 2.33 GHz hooked up to my LCD big screen plays 1080p just fine in xbmc despite GMA950, so there is more than enough steam for this task in any current Mac Mini.
  4. LiesForTheLiars macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2011
    I use XBMC as well. Plays anything I throw at it.

    And yes it plays 1080p fine. The on-board graphics have been able to handle 1080p for quite a while now.
  5. Dweez thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Thanks all, your input is much appreciated. And the preference is Xbmx over Plex?
  6. LiesForTheLiars macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2011
    You can try both. Some prefer Plex.
  7. plejon macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    HTPC works like a charm.
    Mac mini 2.3ghz, Radeon HD 6630M, 120gb SSD + 500gb, 8gb RAM.

    Though my eyes are crap.
    So i'm running 720p on a 55" Samsung LED
    The Bullet train stand for the keyboard n track pad is amazing.
    I don't even use my work laptop at home anymore.
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The bezel on that TV is incredibly small. It looks gorgeous.
  9. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    Just re-posting my experience from a few threads down using a 2011 Mac mini 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 everyday as the main HTPC / DVR.

  10. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    I recently posted a fairly detailed overview of my Mac Mini HTPC setup, you may find it of interest:

    It centres around Plex Media Server and AirServer, and it works a charm! My Mac Mini is the 2010 model and plays 1080p absolutely fine.

    (Sorry if I'm not allowed to link to other forums - you can also find the entire article on my blog here)
  11. falterego macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2008
    Southern California
    Just to point out, the Mini will not do much with your cable signal without something like the Pinnacle TV for Mac HD Stick. I'm not personally familiar with the device or how it works, but several sites I've seen have given 3.5/5 stars. You'll be fine running 1080 videos you have on the Mac as long as you have the Quicktime plugins for the formats you're using, or an alternative player.
  12. TinHead88 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2008
    The Mac Mini is a great media centre. I use the 2011 base model.

    Plex is easier to set up and has some device streaming support that may be of use to some. However, I have found XBMC to be superior for consistent quality playback and support (i.e. development).

Share This Page