Mac mini HDMI vs Apple TV Picture Quality

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by qcmacmini, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. qcmacmini macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Sorry if this has been covered before.

    Would there be any difference in picture quality between Apple TV airplay from my Mac mini, compared to directly connecting the Mac mini to my TV using HDMI?

    I'm only interested in 1080p playback.

    Both my Apple TV and Mac mini are connected to the same router using gigabit ethernet.

    The reason I ask is that my Mac mini is my primary computer, so I would prefer to keep it on my desk than put it next to the TV, however I would like to set up a database of movies and other content to watch on my TV, and would like to use a Mac to do this.
     
  2. qcmacmini thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2014
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    The Netherlands
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #3
    what are you playing?

    5 Ways to AirPlay From Your Mac to Your Television

    With media in iTunes, either purchased from iTunes or files you've added yourself, the aTV just grabs the file off the network and plays it, so it would be the same quality.
    Using this way you're able to browse your computer's library and select things to watch from the aTV. With stuff you've purchased from iTunes, you can stream directly from apple

    If you're playing files not in iTunes, airplay mirroring tends to be a bit jerky, beamer would be a much better option.
    **mirroring has to wait till the image hits your screen and it tries to keep both screens (aTV and mac) in sync, and it sacrifices a bit of quality to do this.
    **Beamer converts the file and sends it like it's coming from iTunes, it's able to read ahead since the file is coming off a disk, and can keep the quality up. it also allows you to use the 5.1 soundtrack if you have that capability.


    regarding the remote on the 3 options
    **mirroring, no control at all, both selecting the media to watch and controling it (pause, rewind, etc...) have to be done from the computer.
    **beamer, selection on computer, but remote can control once it's started
    **media in iTunes. you can select media and control using the remote.
     
  4. qcmacmini thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    Thanks for the reply.

    Haven't set it up yet, but planning on just playing movies and TV shows in 1080p.

    Sounds like beamer is the best option.

    Just wasn't sure if the quality would be inferior compared to the Mac mini HDMI output.
     
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    I haven't been able to notice a difference between Mac mini HDMI out and Airplay mirroring to an AppleTV.

    Not saying there isn't a difference just that I can't notice it on a 56" TV.
     
  6. qcmacmini thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6

    Thanks! Looks like the Apple TV option is the one to go for then.
     
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #7
    most people see it in fast pans, it skip frames so it appears jerky.

    and it's very dependent on a solid network connection.
     
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #8
    I'd hold off until you get some more opinions on the subject.

    What happened to me is I sold my 2012 Mac Mini that I was using as a media center in preparation for the 2014 model. In the mean time I was AirPlay mirroring my iMac to my TV and using a 25 dollar Logitech keyboard/trackpad. The 2014 was released and I wasn't that impressed and I found the mirroring setup up to be more then satisfactory for my needs.

    Plus I can easily mirror my other Apple devices too it.

    The biggest benefit to me is ease of use. I can mirror my iMac when I want to use it which I prefer for everything (netflix, hulu, crunchyroll, iTunes, Hbo go, other computer stuff) or other people can just use the AppleTV normally which is easy to use and no learning curve. Teaching someone to use a Mac isn't hard but many find it cumbersome when they just want to watch TV.
     

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