Mac Mini media center

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jlreed1, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. jlreed1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, TX
    #1
    Just wanted to get everyone's opinion on this, I'm thinking about buying the Mac Mini server and converting it to a media center for my TV and what not. Just curious if y'all thought it'd be better to use something else or what you guys think. Also, would I be able to hook it up to a surround sound system?
     
  2. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I was considering replacing my HTPC a few months back when they updated the mini, and I really like the server but unless you have a separate DVD player or blu ray player, Id say just get a maxed out mini (not server) because its nice to have that dvd player especially if you use netflix... if you never watch dvd's or have a separate player then the mini server would be a really badass HTPC capable of handling just about anything you need it to. and if you wanted to download your movies you could hold A TON of them...
     
  3. DDave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I had a mini and loved it, but I would wait till they put a blu ray in it before I would use as a media center device IMHO. I know there are many that will disagree it though.
     
  4. the-oz-man macrumors 6502

    the-oz-man

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #4
    I use the HP MediaServer EX495. It may be way overkill for you want, but I have taken my entire DVD and Bluray library and converted it to iTunes format and store everything on my mediaserver and play through a couple different AppleTVs. The server is almost limitless in the amount of storage and has fantastic customer support from HP. I'm up to 4 TB of media (Movies, TV, etc) and that is all mirror backed up and runs smoothly over the network thanks to the C2D processors and 4 gig of RAM pushing stuff through the server.
     
  5. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #5
    Why would you get the mini server? Just get the mini.

    Here's what I did (works great)

    1. Get the latest, bottom of the line mini (you may want to wait a little bit, perhaps there is a refresh coming, I'm not sure)
    2. Upgrade to the most possible RAM (4GB for me - 2X2)
    3. Get a big external HD, hook it up via firewire 800
    4. Throw all your media on the external HD, link it to itunes
    5. I'd get a bluetooth keyboard and mouse; very convenient.
    6. Enjoy!
     
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    +1. I have the exact same setup, works great. Only addition I would make is to get Air Mouse app for your iPhone.
     
  7. SnowX macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    #7
    A Mac Mini Server would be overkill, since you wouldn't be using any of the features of OSX Server.
     
  8. slyreptile macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    Arizona
    #8
    If you must have OSX Server do what I did and buy a standard Mini and throw OSX Server on it. I have the top-of-the-line Mini (with DVDRW) running OSX Server. I run Plex and EyeTV with it and store all data on a NAS box (4x1.5TB drives currently running WHS, thinking of switching to FreeNAS). It works flawlessly and provides a centralized location for my other Macs to network with. I love it! I wouldn't buy the Mini Server as having that drive makes the Mini more htpc-ish.
     
  9. SeeMeRock macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #9
    How well does the EyeTV work as a DVR? Any handicaps that you can see?
     
  10. healeydave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #10
    Yeah, get a Mac-Mini, simply awesome!

    I wouldn't bother with the Mac-Mini Server but not because it doesn't have the DVD or BlueRay drive, because you simply don't need the server version.
    I've never put a single disc in my Mac-Mini. Who wants to bother with crappy media these days, you won't catch me buying a single Blue Ray disc either, I've wasted far to much money on ever changing media circus over the years, I will never go down that road again!

    Put Plex on to manage all your digitally stored media, iTunes Music, Pictures, TV Shows, Movies, Hulu, Netflix etc etc.
    Add the Aeon skin to go with it and it will show up any other system out there!

    If your the kinda person that doesn't have an issue with sharing someone else's tv show recordings, marry up Plex with SpearNZB and you can effectively season pass all your favourite shows, downloading them instead of recording in real-time and going down the messy tuner route etc!

    You then have a complete automated system for your TV with amazing synopsis and artwork to boot oh and no commercials since its already removed from the nzb.
     
  11. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #11
    Anyone have comments on Plex vs the latest Boxee?

    Also, the TouchMouse app from Logitech (Software for Mac + iPhone companion app, both free) are working superbly for me for controlling the Mini from the couch.
     
  12. healeydave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #12
    I used an AppleTV version of Boxee last year but I didn't like the interface.

    I know Boxee is another port of XBMC like Plex, but the UI is the most important thing for me, (closely followed by features of-course), and I think Plex with Aeon Skin is unbeatable at the moment.

    I'm sure there will be plenty of people who prefer Boxee too, but I think this is personal thing, one where the individual has to make the decision!

    Edit:
    I notice there's was a new beta interface on youtube (a few months old) which looks better than the last one I used, so I guess the Boxee poeple agreed with me too :)
    I might give it a second look at some point.
     
  13. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    +1 for Plex!

    Not only is the GUI of Plex much nicer and much more customisable than Boxees GUI, Plex has a better usability, too. Playing and editing content is absolutely straight forward (once you know about the C key ;)) whereas managing the media with Boxee is kind of laborious.

    But that's just my $0.2.
     
  14. trublood macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #14
    my friend used a Boxee and i didn't like it but i like plex though [​IMG]
     

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