Mac-Mini Entertainment Center/Remote Options

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Th3taJ, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Th3taJ macrumors member

    Th3taJ

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Milford, NH
    #1
    I love my PS4 and it's a great gaming console, but it really doesn't suffice as an entertainment center and I feel like an Mac-Mini would be a great addition for watching movies and shows that I store on the device. In the future I'd like to invest in a Mac-Mini when the next models are released and I was wondering if any knew if this device works with a TV Remote or if my only options are keyboard and mouse.
     
  2. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #2
    I use an iPhone or iPad to control mine. A combination of Romote Pro, Splashtop, and Roomie Remote. You could probably do some basic functions once a program was launched, but I am not sure how you would control the mouse with a typical remote.
     
  3. Th3taJ thread starter macrumors member

    Th3taJ

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Milford, NH
    #3
    Oh! :) I didn't know you control a Mac-Mini from an applications. :eek:

    I also found this keyboard that might be a great solution for what I'm thinking about.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  4. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #4
    I have a Logitech mini keyboard (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-920-...67575&sr=8-17&keywords=logitech+mini+keyboard ) that I often use with a laptop that is plugged into a TV in the bedroom, but I prefer using the iPad/iPhone with the mini. I guess it is because I don't always want to use the TV display when using the mini ( running Fidelia music app for example), so I have gotten used to going without an extra keyboard. I do prefer the larger keyboard that you linked over the mini keyboard (which is harder to use), though. However, I don't really have the space for more gear by my spot on the couch.

    The Roomie Remote app will control every device in my living room, launch apps in OSX, and run macros, so I prefer it to use it over a keyboard plus remote. I keep my mini in my office and just connect to it via wifi.
     
  5. seinman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    My Mac Mini is older (2007) but it has an IR port which is compatible with my Logitech Harmony remote. It's pretty neat, but limited: it only controls volume and playback, by default, because Front Row is no longer included in OS X. If you install Plex or XBMC, you can use it to select media to play as well, making it function a lot like an Apple TV. I don't do that though, I use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to use the computer the way it was meant to, and once I have a full screen video playing, I sit back with the remote and use that to control playback.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    I use one of these: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...0_003070_WIRELESS_KEYBOARD_WITH_BUILT_IN.html

    [​IMG]

    The trackpad is poor compared to my MacBook Air - but what do you want for $30? ;) Logitech does not officially support this on the Mac (no software to configure it) but it works fine anyway. The only issue was the press-to-click was way too sensitive. After doing some Google searches, I found a trick to disable this feature though.

    The volume keys work, but there aren't any of the other dedicated function keys from a "real" mac keyboard. I was able to use system preferences to map a couple of them however. Multi-touch works for zooming and scrolling, but is not very smooth. Unfortunately the Mac thinks the trackpad is a "mouse", so you don't have a lot of control over this.

    Note that it isn't bluetooth, it uses a receiver that must be plugged into a USB port. I had problems with mine since the mini is located inside a closed cabinet. I used a USB extension cable to move the receiver out of the cabinet and all was well.
     
  7. StevenB14 macrumors regular

    StevenB14

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    I have been using Mobile Mouse for iPhone and iPad when I have my MacBook pro plugged into my TV.

    I love it. You should check it out.

    http://mobilemouse.com
     
  8. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #8
    Wow, that looks nice. I use a K800 lighted wireless keyboard, and the Apple Trackpad. Love it. But all in one might be better. The media keys on this keyboard do work for the Mac. My universal remote is programmed with the IR remote commands for the Mini, but I never seem to use it.
     
  9. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #9
    I've always been a fan of remotes with "hard button" over using the phone. It's nice to be able to pick it up and use it without looking at it. instead of trying to find an app, and the looking at the screen so you hit the right button.

    you can use remote buddy. It lets you customize the remote to work with any program. and comes preconfigured to work with many popular programs.


    You can use it with an IR remote like the apple remote or any of the programable remotes out there.
    Or a bluetooth remote like a wii-mote or the newer harmony remotes.



    full listing of supported remotes on their page


    plus having an actual remote is nice when others have to use your system. they can figure out how to pick it up and hit play, as opposed to having to remember to hit the "P" key to play.


    also look at plex for a media server app, once setup it's pretty seamless to use to watch your shows and movies.
     
  10. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #10
    Got a Mac Mini running XBMC and I use the Apple TV Remote. Powers it up from sleep mode, XBMC has settings options that allow me to power it down or put it back in sleep mode as well.

    Works really well.

    I did look in to a Harmony remote, but thought I'd try this option first and it does what I need it to do.
     
  11. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #11
    I usually prefer a hard button remote, too, especially with a DVR. However, I think it depends on how you use your mini.

    I don't usually want the display (TV) on when listening to music, so I make an exception where the mini is concerned. With the iPhone, you don't need a TV on (assuming your mini is feeding audio to a receiver) because you have access to iTunes via their Remote app (built into Roomie remote, as well), Rdio via their app, Spotify via Remoteless, etc... so I often would rather just have one remote, iPhone or iPad, that does it all. This is especially handy if you have separate zones and aren't always in the same room with the mini.

    The problem with just a regular hard keyed remote is the lack of a keyboard, which would be less handy for internet surfing, searches, etc.. If you are only using the mini for Plex and watching movies, a hard button remote may be enough, though.
     
  12. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #12
    I use a Magic Trackpad as my primary controller. I also use the Remote app on an iPod touch, as well as a wireless keyboard, but the trackpad sees 95% of the use.
     
  13. bananafranco macrumors member

    bananafranco

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Location:
    Frankfurt
    #13
  14. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
  15. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #15
    I programmed my Onkyo receiver remote as Apple remote. Works great.
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    I think the Harmony Smart Remote is the best of all worlds... you can use your iPhone as a remote control or the hard button remote and you get Harmony's unmatched device library to make setup simple. Their IR blaster hub is also very well designed. It's great for controlling your TV, AVR, and preferred Mac home theatre app (e.g. Plex).

    I also use an app called TouchPad for general keyboard/trackpad control of my HTPC Mini. It sports an i0S7 style look and feel with a dark mode or light mode. However, remote screen sharing of the Mini from my other computers, is my preferred way to manage the Mini. This way, I keep the main account dedicated to Plex, and login remotely via another account to manage it.

    These are the simplest, most effective tools IMHO.
     

Share This Page