Mac Mini HTPC Issues

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by amsure, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. amsure, Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010

    amsure macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2010
    Hi All,

    First off, please let me say I had initially posted this question in the AppleTV Home Theater forum but I'm not sure if this is the more appropriate forum.

    Just got my 2010 Mini 2.4 with 4gigs of ram with the intention of running it as a HTPC/media centre plus DTV recorder.

    Loaded up my usual software like VLC, Perian, EyeTV, flip4mac and so on and hooked it up to my Sony Bravia via HDMI with resolution set to 1080i/p. Here is when I encountered some issues that maybe the more experienced HTPC users might have some insight on as I'm new to the HTPC arena so I could be doing something simple that is causing these issues.

    1. When I turned on the Elgato hybrid and go to full screen I noticed that there were some sync issues and overall, the picture quality was pretty average (grainy), even for HD content. Previously, I had been using a PS3 with playTV to watch TV and do some recording and picture quality and audio were perfect. I checked the signal quality on the hybrid and it said signal strength was 100% so I'm stumped as to why the PQ is pretty average. Is it a characteristic of the Elgato and normal for me to get the experience I am having?

    2. I haven't played with Plex yet but tried playing some video files via VLC and again, PQ was pretty average (grainy and occasional pixilisation), even for 1080 rips. These files played great on the PS3 and an Oppo that I borrowed so I'm not sure if its because of VLC and if Plex will give better results.

    Has anyone else encountered these issues as well?

    Any input or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.



    Have played around with settings and have tried different resolutions and still having the same issues as above.

    Ran Plex as well and it made a small difference in terms of picture quality on playback of files where it was less grainy but still not great.

    The Elgato playback is still pretty bad though. Tried increasing buffer and so on but no change.

    Also something I forgot to mention earlier. Using a wireless KB with the mini and I notice that there is often a lag between keystroke and it being registered on the screen. Don't know if that is significant or not.

    Hopefully someone here has some feedback as it is getting a little demoralising.

  2. ThinIce macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    I don't know what advice to give you to fix the issue but I have not experienced any problems using my 2010 mini's as an HTPC. I frequently use Elgato ETVHD and do not have any problems. The eyetv recordings look as good as the original to my eyes although I am not using the eyetv as a tuner. I mostly use PLEX to play back 1080P MKV files that I ripped with MakeMKV. The quality has been outstanding. I hope you find the issue. Best Regards
  3. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have to agree with ThinIce. I would maybe try a different hdmi cable, or try the mini on another hdtv if available. I have my mini connected to a 60" Sony XBR3 and the picture quality is nothing short of amazing in my opinion.
  4. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    Although I cannot use Plex as I have Flash 10.1 I strem Netflix very often and pretty much all the content is flawless. My mini is hooked up to my Vizio 42" HDTV via HDMI.

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