Mac Mini HTPC 50" Plasma

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rslonee, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. rslonee macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    Hi all. This is my first time posting here and I'm looking to buy my first Mac and I'm considering a 2.4ghz Mac Mini so that I may use it as a HTPC connected via HDMI to a 50" Samsung 720p 60hz Plasma.

    I want to be able to use both DVDs, media stored on the internal/external hard drive, networked media.

    My main question is will the Mac Mini display well on the 50" Plasma? The next question is I plan on using Plex. Does Plex support AVI, MP4, MKV files with ease?

    Thanks for any support all! :)
  2. sbeezy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    St. Louis Area
    How it looks may ultimately depend on your TV, but generally it looks fine. Keep in mind it will not be as sharp as a monitor however because most graphics used in your apps were not built with a 10 ft. viewing experience in mind. Apps like Plex were built with this in mind and which is why the GUI still looks great 10 ft. away.

    Not saying that other Apps will have horrible resolution, but something like typing a paper or sending an email will probably not be the best experience on such a large screen.

    If I were you, I would not plan on doing everything on a 50 inch plasma. Things like Plex or maybe music composition are fine, but day-to-day computer tasks seem to be annoying on such a large screen. Maybe consider two different outputs if your setup allows for it.

    Good luck
  3. Secrets macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    I use a mini for the same purpose. As far as media goes it will look great on the Plasma. I would consider the picture quality on a 2GB 1080p resolution episode of Eg Lost to be superior to the HD feed I get from cable. A 8Gb movie file will be close to a Blueray. The Blueray will be better however the difference is slight enough that I havent used my Blueray player in well over a year.

    For large MKV files you need to use Plex as VLC is hit and miss the bigger the files go (Over 8GB rarely works smoothly). It will also play Avi files, but i havent specifically checked it with MP4's. I have yet to find a video format that won't play in plex, But if you do come across one VLC is always there as a backup.

    It will play files from the network or an external storage system with ease too.

    On the resolution for non HTPC applications it is more than workable. I browse the web all the time looking for media, but i find that i need to zoom on the screen to be able to see the text. Of course thats because i am viewing from across the room rather than because of a patchy image. Adjusting the resolution will aid this, but i leave it on 1080i permanently rather than switching over and back from browsing to media playback.
  4. rslonee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    Thanks for the advice! I took the leap and purchased a magic mouse, bluetooth keyboard, and 2.4ghz refurbished mac mini from Apple/Ebay this evening! I appreciate your advice and I'm excited to install Plex and check out my new HTPC!!!

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