Mac Mini HTPC Bluray dream - not far off now, surely?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nickane, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. nickane macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I've been waiting since forever for a mac mini to come with bluray so that I can stick it next to my projector so that it can:

    upscale all my dvds capably
    record freeview/freesat/sky off an eyetv or other such gizmo
    DL rentals from Apple without buying an apple tv

    Now that it appears the MBPs and iMacs are getting BR at the next generation, how likely is it that the mini will too? Can the 9400m even handle BR playback? Anyone care to hazard a guess as to when the next mini will come out since its upgrade cycle has been erratic at best, nearing EOL at worst for the past 3 years?

    I'm guessing that if the iMacs get updated around the time of the MBPs after the summer, the MPs might get it as an additional feature at the same time, or else that will have to wait until early '09 and will push the iMacs/MBPs back some. The white MB meanwhile could get BR along with the mini around March maybe?

    How wishful is my thinking?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Does any computer Blu-ray drive do this?

    Really? It does?

    Just buy your own drive and put it in. It will be hundreds of dollars cheaper than Apple's BTO option, and you won't make a thread complaining about it when/if it happens because you'll already have done it.

    2010, Sandy Bridge.

    No change until Gulftown in Q1 2010.

    The white MacBook is being discontinued and will never have Blu-ray unless you do it yourself. Hasn't this been obvious over the past few months?
     
  3. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #3
    Says who? :confused:
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Hard to say... There's no proof of Blu-Ray in next generation Macs (yet). Also, OS X doesn't support Blu-Ray (or does it already?) yet so it's even harder to say. If next update brings BR to Macs, I think Mini will also get an option for BR or at least, OS X will support BR then so you can just swap the DVD drive to BR drive or use external BR drive
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #5
    Says Apple. Seems to be making them a lot of money, though, since it's cheap, so they kept it around for a bit longer. :p

    No one honestly knows this, but with the moves that Apple has been making, it's readily apparent.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Or Arrandale

    Q2 is more likely unless Apple gets them much earlier than others


    It may be no is or do you have some 100% sure proofs?
     
  7. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #7
    So you've took a wild guess again and stated it as fact. :(
     
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #8
    Yep, I was just going by the "every two years" approach.

    Seems to be a trend with Apple and Xeons... but was it really pushed back that far?
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    What I've read and heard, yes. Says mid 2010 in most sites. I think it'll change trillion times before actual release though. :D
     
  10. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    #10

    Arrandale covers both i5 mobile and i7 mobile, so which one are you in reference to? Honestly, I can see i5s getting used for most of the Macs, and the i7s being used on the MBPs and high end iMacs, and i9 being used on the Mac Pros/Xserve.

    Just Fyi,
    Dual Core Desktops - Clarkdale (i3, i5)
    Quad Core Desktops - Lynnfield (i5, i7)
    Six Core Desktops - Gulftown (i9)
    Dual-Core Mobile - Arrandale (i5, i7)
    Quad-Core Mobile - Clarksfield (i7) / Clarksfield XM (i7)
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_future_Intel_microprocessors

    Also, [​IMG] and [​IMG]

    @OP: Apple has never mentioned adding BluRay, but it is possible to hook up a Bluray drive to a Mac. Honestly, just get yourself a slimline bluray drive and swap it into your mini, and then you can enjoy it until Apple does add Bluray to the other macs.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    DVD Player.app already does this.
     
  12. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    1. I have no idea how they perform relative to BR players, but the original point of HTPCs was that they upscale better than dvd players. I would have thought a MM would represent good value for money in this regard, even if it wasn't as capable as a top-of-the-line BR player.

    2. Moreso than that the white macbook is getting axed, that's for sure. I admit, the MBPs are only "likely", but the iMacs are probable. "Something for the A/V crowd" and something mac fans have been clamouring for, could easily each mean BR (as they could a matte option, which one surely is), and dwarfs the likelihood of all other possiblities.

    3. I did not know that that was already possible. thank u for bringing it to my attention.

    4. Assuming that the mini gets the latest tech again, tho, right? If it starts languishing a year behind the MB again, it could get something different, at an earlier/later time, surely?

    5. MPs have gotten extra BTO options without ever receiving an upgrade per se (can only think of the original octo, and the raid card, but I'm sure there was a better example more recently).

    6. No. I don't get why that's obvious. What's obvious to me is that Apple is trying to appear to do whatever it can to counter its shareholders' fears that its high-end products will not sell well during a recession. It also seems obvious that Apple are pandering to the demands of their loyal fanbase like never before albeit with little fanfare, with the return of the 12" PB and matte screen option. The crazy thing is how similar their laptop line looks to how it was before the intel switch (with the obvious addition of the MBA). I think the MBA won't fill the WMB's boots in terms of value for money for years to come, and whatever you find to be obvious eludes me altogether.
     
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #13
    Ignoring all of the signs for the past year.

    See, that's the thing... it WOULD be. Two years behind, even.

    The fact that they have never not posted a record quarter since the start of this "recession" isn't enough proof for your shareholders? They have no fears.
     
  14. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    most of those things on my list are already possible. I'm looking for a compact one-box solution. Besides, how well does a 9400m upscale to 1080p on a current mini? The inability to play such files amazingly well is a deal-breaker for me, having waited so long anyways.
     
  15. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    1. Tallest Skil, the way you talk about "signs" that are "obvious" without explaining any further reminds me of every self-professed clairvoyant vagrant I've ever met.

    2. Sorry the article I read off the back of you last post didn't mention its place in the roadmap, and I assumed it hadn't arrived yet.

    3. Apple was going from strength to strength long before the recession begun and the iPhone's halo effect obviously has further reach than the iPod's did since the main triumph of the device is the interface and accompanying OS relative to other mobile platforms. Imagine how good the sales numbers would have been if consumer spending hadn't taken a massive dip. The White Macbook surely had a hand in those record-breaking numbers, anyways.
     
  16. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #16
    Aluminum unibody version of the MacBook, now MacBook Pro, drop in price of the white MacBook, shift in popularity to the 13" MacBook Pro.

    The discontinuation of the white MacBook is inevitable. It will happen.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Sounds like it might not happen anytime soon.
     
  18. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #18
    Yep, I don't know how to feel about that. I don't see a netbook and a tablet, but we'll have to see, like with everything.
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #19
    I know how to feel about it. It means you need to stop pulling these predictions out of your ass and misleading potential buyers with wrong information that you try to pass off as fact.
     
  20. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Well that was all very strange and mildly amusing (especially how Skil somehow managed to make the first post in the new thread and reinterpreted the article to fit with his prediction). But I'd rather not lord the recent rumours over him, since I find I agree with the bulk of his posts anyways, and this whole MB chat has all but hijacked MY thread about MY dream. If nobody minds getting back on-topic, can anyone tell me/have a guess at:

    1) how well the 9400m handles BR content (not just BR rips)?
    2) what the likely successor of the 9400m is (assuming it doesn't get left behind for another generation)?
    3) how well that would handle BR playback?

    Live the dream.
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    The 9400 is more than adequate for Blu-ray disc playback. It has MPEG-2, h.264 and VC-1 hardware acceleration, which are the three video codecs used by Blu-ray discs. The biggest problem is that OS X does not exploit those resources and it is hoped that eventually it will, either by passing that job to the 9400's own firmware or by incorporating OpenCL in a playback app.

    The other significant problem is the high-def audio (True-HD, DTS-HD). This is what bogs down the lower-end Macs even using Plex. What hast to be done now is downconverting those to Dolby Digital or DTS. In addition, it appears the Mini DisplayPort specification does not have audio lines to pass True-HD or DTS-HD to a receiver (thus removing that decoding responsibility from the computer). In other words, there's no way to get HD audio from any of the current Macs with Mini DisplayPorts.
     
  22. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    interesting. surprised to see the hardware acceleration still isn't in use. i remember hearing that after the nVidia switch. Maybe 10.6 will change that after a coupla versions. Obviously if the BR drive becomes a BTO option, u would think apple have to enable those features on the 9400m or whatever the chipset is at that time.

    As for the audio, however, I remember one of the biggest hurdles I used to face was getting 5.1. That part of the dream happened about 2 years ago. But by then I was already set on BR as the ultimate goal. I can live with the downsampled audio for now, as I have more of a stereo setup anyways (the mini will hopefully run that too, and free up my computer of the 100gigs worth of lossless files I have on it).
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    I just saw on the MacRumors home page that Apple officially indicates that Quicktime X uses the 9400m for hardware accelerated playback. Unfortunately, it does not support m2ts containers that are used by Blu-ray discs. So hopefully it is easy to write code (specifically ffmpeg) to take advantage of this as well so that we can see it in other apps, such as Plex.
     

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