Mac Mini G4 as apple tvesque media centre?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ViM, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. ViM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I've been using my mac mini less and less since I got my iMac last year and now that ive bought a msi wind i haven't used it. Is it possible to hook up the mac mini to act as a media centre that has integration which is as good as the Apple TV? Atm I store my ripped dvd's and tv box sets on an external server if i hook the mini to a plasma is it feasible that it could stream without hiccups? Also since the mini doesn't come with a remote can I use an ipod touch to control movie playback? So for my purposes is plex better or frontrow?

    specs of mini
    1.25 ghz 512 ram wireless g
     
  2. IrishMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    #2
    I've got my 1.42 mini hooked up to my 42" Panny plasma using an Apple dvi-vga adaptor. It works nicely. My mini doesn't have wifi so its plugged directly into my network modem. Streaming media with a G network will be ok I think for music and photos etc. Probably be ok for certain video media but HD video will probably tax the bandwidth too much and will therefore be unwatchable. I download video direct to the mini at the moment but I am looking at getting a Synology DS207 NAS box which will store all my media, especially video.

    I control my mini using sharescreen in leopard with my powerbook but will be looking at a remote control option. I might go for the solution described in this blog post:

    http://blog.cristianobetta.com/2008/08/17/use-apple-remote-on-a-g4-mac/comment-page-1/#comment-1086

    I do recommend you upgrade the ram to 1gb to improve performance. Also install Perian, VLC, MPlayer and Flip4 Mac WMV to make sure you cover all the codec options. I haven't used frontrow yet myself but thats because of the lack of a remote and the fact I'm waiting to setup my NAS. Plex won't work as its Intel only.

    Overall I've been very happy with my setup. Most video torrents look pretty good these days and display very well on my tv. It does struggle with HD mkv file content though but thats down to the processor and video card. A Core 2 Duo mini is needed for that.
     
  3. ViM thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Well i just stumbled across remote buddy and it seems to work quite well, at least on my macbook which im testing it with. But atm im having two problems with vlc. Maybe i need to get more ram.

    Firstly it doesn't seem to be able to play files from my external server, its just a black screen. Whereas quicktime plays it fine, surely it should be the other way round!?

    Secondly ive added the files to the playlist but for some reason remote buddy doesn't show it under the vlc player library in the interface. Anyone know how to fix it?
     
  4. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #4
    It will play DVD quality movies fine but it doesn't have enough power to play HD video.
     
  5. minicrazy592 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #5
    I have had a similar issue with VLC. Sometimes I will get a picture with no video, but sound or the other way around. What I do to fix it is just either restart VLC or try reopening the file and if neither of those work I just restart the computer.
     

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