Mac Mini htpc multipe drive setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Tilpots, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #1
    So in a couple of months, I'm finally ditching cable and going the Mac Mini htpc route. It'll be the current low end: 2.26, 2GB RAM and 160GB HDD. I'm getting an Elgato Hybrid tuner and a wireless keyboard, not sure which one yet. Then there's the external Hard Drives... Currently, I have a 500GB external drive partitioned to hold my Time Machine backup of my MBP (which I'm trading in for the mini) and my Apple lossless music collection.

    My plan is to keep only the operating system, family pics and movies and applications on the internal drive. Then, buy a 1TB external FW800 drive to hold Elgato recordings and the music collection. And finally, use the 500GB external I currently own for a Time Machine drive, backing up everything but the EyeTV recordings and losing the partition in the process to access the full capacity.

    Does this sound like the right way to go?

    Will Elgato's EyeTV be able to read and write to and from the FW800 without issue? Or does that need to be an internal drive?

    I'm not really asking for drive recommendations, there's plenty of that, I just want to know if this setup will work, or if your setup is better and why...
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    FW works great with the Eye TV tuner. USB doesn't. I had this exact setup prior to building my hackintosh HTPC. Just beware, there may be issues with trying to record with the Eye TV and watching video (e.g., Plex) concurrently. I had this problem with the 2 ghz GMA950 Mini, but it might not be a problem with the current Minis. Just something to think about.
     
  3. Tilpots thread starter macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #3
    Thanks, Cave Man.

    I was looking at the Plex forums yesterday and noticed they've been working on EyeTV integration for some time. Hope this is something they include soon, but not sure it would help with the issue. Also Cave, do you watch your EyeTV recordings thru Plex or thru the EyeTV software?

    I plan on splitting the cable and sending one signal to the tuner and the other straight to the TV to get around the single tuner issue, but not being able to watch a recorded show while recording another would be really inconvenient. So assuming this doesn't work (realist, not pessimist) with the new Mini, how would one get around this? Cable box DVR's do it, so I wonder what's the main difference? Graphics card maybe, the 9400m isn't capable?

    Anybody out there with a new Mini actually tried to watch a recorded show while recording another off the same external FW800 drive with EyeTV?
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    I almost always watch my recorded TV shows on my Apple TV. I have the Eye TV recordings set to be transcoded and added to iTunes so it shows up on the Eye TV. I sometimes use the Eye TV software for playback (e.g., sports at 720p/60fps). I never use Plex for TV recordings. I can't help you on your cable - I only have a roof-top antenna.
     
  5. Tilpots thread starter macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #5
    Thanks for the info. Hope the Plex box is still working out for ya.:) Once I get the setup, I'll update this thread when I see if it works. Still going to be awhile though, waiting for my trade-in value to be credited...

    So while I'm still in the research stage, hopefully some of you other Mini owners will chime in with your experiences setting up storage for htpc use.
     
  6. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    #6
    Not using EyeTV but I do have an OWC Mercury Elite dual FW800 HDD external enclosure for my storage.

    My 2.0ghz Mini has a 500gb internal drive for the OS, ripping/encoding, Vuze, iTunes and iPhoto. My external enclosure has a 1tb and a 1.5tb drive. I use the 1tb drive for storage of all media and the 1.5 tb drive is partitioned with 1tb/500gb so that I can back up my media drive and the internal drive. I don't use time machine because I don't like the way it is constantly tapping the processor during backup and could never figure out a workaround to decrease the intervals. I use Carbon Copy cloner instead which backs up my internal drive once a week and the media drive every 2 days.

    If and when I outgrow my media storage drive I'll probably go w/the OWC raid 5 enclosure or Drobo. We'll see what's on offer when this happens.
     
  7. dekinseattle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    #7
    just this past weekend I got my Mini - just got the 2.26 GHz one with 2gig memory (may upgrade this down the road ... ) this baby runs like butter!!

    I have EyeTV, Plex, Hulu Desktop installed on the Mini - currently my media library is still on external drives attached to my iMac on the other side of the room - but as of next weekend I should have a Drobo so that will be attached to the Mini via FW800

    My set up also includes a AppleTV and Roku - I sorta figure that if I'm recording from the EyeTV I may not want to be running other programs so I have the options available to me - plus these items were already on hand when I got the Mini --- I've had my AppleTV for almost 2years now and got the Roku when I cut ties with my cable provider about 3 months ago -

    Plex is great ... still learning the interface but once you figure it out it is great ... ScreenCastOnline has a great video that was very helpful in setting up the TV Show and Movies apects ... and Plex's FAQ's on TV Show names was helpful too

    with how sweet this little Mini is I wonder why this isn't more main stream ... ???
     
  8. Tilpots thread starter macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #8
    I've checked out that exact enclosure and really like it, just don't know that I have the funds for it and the drives... Same goes for the Drobo. I really like how you are using the 1.5TB drive as a backup for both the other drives, it makes perfect sense. I still got sometime before purchase, so I'll keep an eye out for any specials on the enclosure, drives or the Drobo.


    Thanks for the tips and congrats on your purchase! If possible, could you experiment for me when you get a chance? I know it's the holidays so only if you have free time. If you could, try to record a 1080i program on the Mini to one of your connected externals (move from iMac to Mini first) as you playback a 1080i file on the same external that EyeTV has already recorded using the EyeTV software. This would go a long way to answering my and I'm sure many others questions. Any details you could offer would be mucho appreciated!!!
     
  9. dekinseattle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    #9
    I placed the order for the drobo on 12/24 - per newegg it did 3-day UPS shipping and the order shipped out on Thurs night - but UPS is showing estimated delivery on 1/4...??? I'm truly hoping to get this by Friday - and I'll let you know ... like I say though my intent is to be able to avoid this sort of set up mainly due to the fact that I previously owned the :apple:TV and Roku devices prior to even contemplating really doing the Mac Mini set up -
     
  10. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #10
    I see your Hackintosh mentioned in your sig... if you don't mind, what's your exact set-up? I may want to go this route instead of a Mac mini.
     
  11. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #12
    Lol. Wow. Apparently I shouldn't read the forums at 2:00 a.m. :rolleyes:

    Thanks. :)
     

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