Mac Mini Home Theater.. Switch?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AustinMuise, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. AustinMuise macrumors newbie


    Feb 23, 2013
    Canada, NS
    Before I get started with all this I just want to say my current setup so all of you know what I'm working with.

    I currently have my Mac Mini, Hooked up to a 42" LG 3D TV, with paradigm surround sound, I use my iPhone or iPad around the house with the app 'Remote' to turn on music on my surround sound with my Mac Mini wherever I am in the house.

    The question I wanted to ask today, is the same question I've been asking myself for a long time.

    The Mac Mini I have hooked up is 2011, upgraded 8GB of RAM and has a 1.5Tb external HDD hooked up to it with about 1000 movies on it. I also pay for Netflix every month and because I use my TV as a monitor I use my Mac Mini to load Netflix.

    I'm trying to decide whether I should buy a Apple TV or not.. I like to own everything Apple, and that is my goal one day to have everything Apple. That being said I wouldn't mind adding a nice little Apple TV box into my Home Theater, but is there any actual benefits if I was to do that..

    So far from all the posts I see, my Mac Mini can do just about everything the Apple TV can so I don't really see the point.

    But if there is something that I am missing and could really help me out I would be happy to throw some money down and buy one. I would consider JailBreaking it to if that's what is necessary to run all the good stuff.

    Also I don't know if it matters but I can JailBreak I iPhone/iPad as I have done that before and I'm still on a JailBreakable software. So if ther are any 3rd Party Apps on the Apple TV that I need my iPhone to communicate with I can do that.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. xp0z3d macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    Apple Tv3 can not be jail broken so far. Another thing is if you have a dedicated Mac mini connected as media server then you absolutely don`t need Apple tv but if you have another tv in another room and wants to stream iTunes , Netflix etc then its a option.

    If I could afford to buy Mac Mini , I would buy that and use as media server and probably trash ATV. With ATV you will be limited to stream whatever apps are there plus only content that can be played by iTunes and I think Mac Mini can play MKV , Avi etc which iTunes won`t.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    With your Mac mini setup, you don't need the ATV. Your mini can do much more than the ATV can. I use a similar setup, using the mini with both an external display and a HTDV via HDMI. I use Plex to manage and deliver movies, music videos and TV shows to the HDTV, or to any computer or iPhone in the house. Plex plays far more media types than would work with the ATV or iTunes. It also automatically downloads metadata, movie posters, subtitles, etc. and I can use an iPhone as a remote control.
  4. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    I moved my Mini away from the TV set (headless in a closet actually) and put an Apple TV in it's place. I much prefer letting the Mini feed content to the Apple TV than running it directly from the Mini. For the rare instances that I need the Mini to do something that the Apple TV can't, I just AirPlay from the Mini to the Apple TV.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    You'll get much better picture and sound from netflix using the aTV
    with the aTV, you'll get 1080 and dolby digtal surround sound on movies that have it. (and possibly the new super HD, if your network provider supports it)
    on the mini, it's 720, and stereo sound, and I think the amount of movies in HD is less than the aTV.

    I have an aTV and mainly use it for netflix, i've rented a movie from apple a couple times.
    most of my media is handled by plex, and for that, i have a mini hooked to the TV also.
  6. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    Unless you hate the Netflix interface on the Mac mini website

    You don't need the Apple TV

    But if you had another tv then yes
  7. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I have both. My mini is a whole home media server, with every TV having its own Apple TV. I can bring up the mini on the 60 inch screen in the TV room, but its rare as I just prefer the convenience and ease-of-use of the Apple TV.

    And none of my ATV 2 or 3 are JB (as far as I know the 3 has no JB yet) as the standard features provide me all the functionality I need for media sharing/streaming/renting throughout the house.

    I did JB my th old ATV1, but that was just to enable video Airplay on it.
  8. blanka, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The Mini is a so much better media player:
    - Native MKV playback
    - Blu-Ray playback with 20$ external USB drive
    - 24/25/48/50fps support
    - DTS decoding in software
    - Gaming

    With your set up, the Apple TV is a total waste.
    Don't know Netflix (europe is wild west for paid downloads, but heaven for bittorent downloads), but here I still walk to the video store to rent a blu-ray. :) Better selection (as in SMALLER but good), better quality, they prevent me from renting crap and cheaper. And good for the legs. But I'm probably one of the few that has a decent up-to-date rental shop in walking distance, as they say they are the only of their kind in a 30km radius.
  9. AustinMuise thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 23, 2013
    Canada, NS

    Thanks for all the replies everyone, following these decisions I decided I am not going to buy one.
  10. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    Good call. If Apple ever opens up the ATV platform to developers like they did with iOS devices then it might be worth picking one up at that point. It has a potential to be an amazing device. Right now it's merely good, but it doesn't do anything a dozen other different devices can't do (including the Mac mini).
  11. Macminifan2 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Roku with plex

    I also have a Mac mini as my home theater PC. It is hooked up to the tv, but I rarely use it as a direct feed. I mainly use plex to feed movies to the rokus and iPads throughout the house.

    Roku has a lot more apps and video services than Apple TV. It does not currently have air play.

    I also use an elgato product to record movies and tv shows off of my cable box.

    When I do use the Mac mini as a direct feed, it is usually for web based videos.

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