mac mini or appletv?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dwd3885, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #1
    i recently purchased an hdtv and already have an iMac. I am interested in streaming or at least hooking up either an appletv or mac mini to my hdtv and watch video on my tv through that. just for tv shows or movies. What have most people done here? i understand the refurb appletv is like $279 and a refurb mac mini is around $250 more.

    Any thoughts on which small apple device to buy?
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    I have a mini which I use with OSXBMC as an HTPC and I have a couple of extra FW400 disks attached for storage as well as Time Machine backups for my other Macs around the house. Its a bit more fiddly to set up and operate than an :apple:TV but if you are not going to be using iTunes to get the content, I think its a better arrangement.
     
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

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    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I have an AppleTV and stream all of my content to it through my time capsule. It works great plus you can rent HD movies on the AppleTV.

    I did run into one bug when I hooked up an airport extreme base station as a wireless bridge. It didn't seem to want to sync with iTunes. I'm guessing that something is wrong with that base station though since it is the very first 802.11n model that Apple sold.

    I would recommend the AppleTV unless you plan on surfing the web or doing other things on your new TV.
     
  4. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #4
    i guess if i got the mac mini i'd need to get a dvi to vga adapter. but that isn't an issue. i probably won't be surfing the net on it, but i could go to sites like abc.com and watch video in full hd from the website, instead of purchasing from itunes or downloading a torrent. so that counts as surfing the web i suppose.

    i think the mini would be more complete media center option, where as the appletv would be mainly a streaming option..idk.

    any more thoughts?
     
  5. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #5
    The only thing you would miss out on with a Mini would be HD move rentals. They're only available through an AppleTV.
     
  6. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816

    jackiecanev2

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I'm about to trade my ATv in for a mini. I don't rent movies often, but I've got a ton of mkv videos. :)
     
  7. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #7
    i've heard that the whole experience is better on the appletv. as in, all you need is the remote, no keyboard, etc. you don't need front row, and front row doesn't work as smoothly as the appletv application. any thoughts on that? making me lean towards an apple tv instead of a mini.
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    The biggest advantage of a Mini is that you can run XBMC on it. It is the best playback software available in terms of decoding power. Quicktime, even with Perian, is pretty weak in comparison.

    The biggest disadvantage is the interaction needed with the Mini. ATV has it beat in that area. AC3 passthrough is also easier to work up on the ATV.
     
  9. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Ask Apple
    #9
    Is your content you want to stream compatible on the AppleTV w/o additional actions (e.g. transcoding)?

    http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

    If the answer is no, then you'll rue the day you bought the AppleTV...Best case, you could cobble up something in Automator to do it - but even then you have an issue with a generational loss of quality.

    Edit to add: I recall reading about a company that will send you out a flash drive with some extra codecs on it for the AppleTV, but thats another 50$ and interfaces changes.
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
    Comes with the mini.
     
  11. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #11
    that's sweet. hopefully if i buy it here on macrumors it will be included too :)

    is there such thing as a dvi>hdmi converter? is the best way to connect it through the vga? what about sound
     
  12. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Dec 10, 2004
    #12
     
  13. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
    #13
    Yes, the converters for DVI > HDMI do exist, and are pretty cheap from monoprice.com, about 3 - 5$. Incidentally, I run my computer DVI through a 4 port HDMI switch and use a hybrid cable, also from monoprice, that has DVI on one end and HDMI on the other (cost: ~7$). For sound, the Mini has an optical out, so you can use any fiber-optic cable you like, so long as it has the adapter on the end, which all seem to do.

    Hybrid cables (DVI and HDMI)
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10231
     
  14. M4CBOOK macrumors regular

    M4CBOOK

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    Jun 16, 2008
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    Beaumont, TX
  15. chelseasian macrumors regular

    chelseasian

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    #15
    In getting a mini, which would be a better model? The 1.83 or the 2.0?

    I am curious as I think the main purpose of the mini will be as a media center some what. Hence do I even need to "pimp" it up i.e. increase the RAM etc.?
     

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