Mac-Mini or Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by A4orce84, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. A4orce84, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

    A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    Hello Everyone,

    Had a quick question on what would be better for my needs: Mac-Mini or AppleTV?

    I don't think I'm looking for a full HTPC experience, but rather to do the following tasks easily:

    1. Be able to stream audio easily (itunes, spotify, etc.)

    2. Be able to stream video easily (netflix, youtube, any of my ripped DVD movies, or downloaded video content). I have a lot of content (movies) that live on my Macbook Pro that I'd like to watch on my TV if possible.

    3. Be able to surf the internet on my TV. I know I can either:
    3A. Have a functioning computer so I can surf the web on my TV (Mac-Mini).
    3B. Mirror my display so I can surf the internet on my TV (AT3 with airplay).

    4. Not only Stream photos, youtube, etc. from my Macbook Pro, but also iOS devices as well (iPhone 5s to be exact).

    I thought Mac-Mini would be the better setup initially, but now that OSX offers "Air Mirroring," I can mirror anything off of my Macbook Pro laptop to my TV...I'm not so sure anymore.

    I'm already in the Apple ecosystem with 2 Macbook Pros and an iPhone 5s, so I don't think a Chromecast or Roku would really make sense.

    If anyone has any additional comments, feedback, or advice, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

  2. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    Definitely the Apple TV. Assuming your MacBooks are new enough to use AirPlay to stream media to the Apple TV then its a simple choice. Better TV interface, most of what you want works without the use of a Mac and you can use your Mac/iPhone for anything else.
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I'm in the same situation. I even made a thread over in the Mac Mini section if you care to see some of the responses there.

    I already had an Apple TV though, so I'm giving the AirPlay Mirroring a try to see if it suitable of my needs. So far so good.

    There are some cons though. I have to walk into the other room to my iMac to turn on mirroring. Alert sounds still goto the iMac. Fractions of a second of lag (not a big deal but I can still notice it. The Macs display is on in the other room, I have the brightness as low as possible but the screen is on. I'm powering a Mac and a AppleTV.
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    With refurb Apple TVs going for $75, you don't stand to lose a lot by giving one a try.

    For me, after I got the Apple TV I realized I would also need a mini for an iTunes server. My library outgrew the 512gb SSD in my MacBook Air, and it was kind of a pain to always make sure it was on and running iTunes. Moving the library to the Mini allowed me to free up lots of space on the MacBook Air, but still access all my content wirelessly around the house.

    I hooked the mini up to an old 23" screen in the dining room and have the audio connected to my home stereo. This is a lot more convenient than plugging a USB audio interface into my MacBook Air, and it's always available.

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