Mac Mini "G4" Apple TV Alternative

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by tronic72, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. tronic72 macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007

    I know there are lots of posts regarding using an Intel Mac Mini as a replacement/substitute for an Apple TV but I haven't seen it done with a G4 Mac Mini.

    I have a G4 Mac Mini gathering dust and I thought I might use it as a Media centre.

    My questions are:
    1. Will the video quality be the same as my Apple TV. I'll be using an Apple DVI to S-Video adapter.
    2. To my knowledge the G4 Mini only has a standard stereo Jack and not the optical/analogue jack the new Macs use. Will I be able to get surround sound with a canon to RCA adapter?

    If anyone has successfully done this I'd love to hear from you.
  2. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    Using S-Video is inferior to the component video connections on the Apple TV. However, if you were planning to use S-Video with the Apple TV, there wont be a difference. If your using a standard definition TV, component video is out of the question anyway.

    As for the audio, since the G4 Mini only provides stereo sound output, that's all your going to get from it. Your surround sound reciever probably has an option for upscaling stereo sound to "virtual" surround sound, but it's not going to be as good as "true" surround sound. I use the upscaling and it's not bad. In most cases its indistinguishable from the real thing.

    Given all that, I'd still go with the G4 mini for your entertainment centre. It wont cost you anything since you already own it, and it has a DVD player built in too so you can eliminate clutter. Plus, there's always the option of using it as a computer if you wanted.
  3. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    I'm using the oldest G4 mac mini (1.25) as media center.
    I needed to upgrade to 1GB Ram to make it work.
    I'm running eyeTV so that Apple TV is not a alternative for me.
    The harddrive is too small, so that I connected to a NAS (GB Ethernet), which can only be addressed by the mini with 100M-Eth.
    Therefore there are some short video breaks from time to time.
    But I can live with it because the G4 mac mini is very quiet. Every other machine (besides of laptops) are much louder - even the Intel minis.
  4. fkntotalkaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    Too slow for 1080p or 720p HD rips. Perfect for Itunes .h264 rips SD quality.
  5. wmealer macrumors regular

    May 7, 2006
    tell that to my 32" Sony Wega :p
  6. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    My Panasonic 32" SDTV has component. That's how we have our ATV connected.

    It can do matrix surround sound (e.g., Dolby Pro Logic I and II, and Dolby Surround).

    If he has a receiver capable of decoding the above matrices and the files are encoded in them, then he can get surround sound.

    I'm not following you. Is there a "false" surround sound?
  8. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    yes, recievers have a "virtual surround sound" mode that takes a stereo or mono signal and makes it a 5.1...
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You can buy a external USB or Firewire box (external sound card) that outputs optical / digital sound. Some companies that make them: M-Audio, Griffin, Behringer, Creative, Yamaha...

    I have not done research on this for awhile now so no recommendation. M-Audio works fine.

    Firewire ones probably cost more than your MacMini G4. USB generally are more affordable. You can get USB with optical output for under $100. (some around $30)

    Some examples:

    Edit: although most will work plug-and-play, some specialized sound cards may not work under Leopard.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Also as someone mentioned, G4 might be slow for HD material, but will play most formats fine (via VLC).

    I would put NES on it...

Share This Page