Resolved Mac mini, Plex and network access questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cooa99, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. cooa99, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

    cooa99 macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    Ok, I have now got a Mac mini 2011 lion server ..... it is setup all working fine!

    My intended usages are:-
    1) To replace an old dell laptop I have behind my LEDTV - so i will be installing windowx xp with fusion/parallels to do what i currently use it for
    2) My first mac so looking at getting comfy with this OS
    3) seeing what it offers as a semi replacement for my PS3 (i barely paly games..)

    My current set up is a Synology 4drivebay NAS, PS3, iphone, Ipad, touchpad and Sonos. All my audio are in mp3 format whaile all videos are a mixbag of formats of avi,divx,mp4,mkv, iso … … I am not particularly sure I want to convert them all to Itunes format

    So I Hurried along to the plex website to download and I am confronted with 2 softwares
    1)Plex media centre
    2)Plex Media server

    What is the difference between the two and which do I need?

    Remote Desktop
    Apart form being able to use the Mac mini for media I would also like to log in remotely from my Ipad or other Windows laptops in the house.
    I am aware that it looks like there are a few vnc clients about ... but they also seem to get slated for sluggishnes .......
    What are the best applications for these?

    I have the Logitech wireless anywhere mouse. This mouse can perform on any surface!. The Apple magic mouse is rubbish in comparison.

    please can you think of a similar and cheaper wireles mouse that i can use for the mac ?

    Connect to home pc's/network
    I dont have a static IP address on my home broadband.
    what are my best options (not necessarily cheapest ) to access my home network from outside ?


  2. sbeezy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    St. Louis Area
    1) If you don't already have vmware/fusion....I would suggest just getting the trial. I had it installed and never used it. You can usually find a way to do everything you need in OS X. I am just now using VMWare Fusion again so I can host some servers while I study for some certs. Other than that, I never use it to emulate a pc.

    2) Plex media server is used to host/serve up your content.

    Plex media center client (Laika) is just a client used to access your content.

    You are going to need both in this case since one machine is doing everything. The cool thing is you can access it from just about any other pc/mobile device/GoogleTV/certain samsung TVs & blu-ray players on your home network if you wanted. You would just need to install the media center client on the machine and it will work. With the new myPlex feature, you can even access it remotely from an outside network while you are away.

    One last thing, if you are going to use Plex for your media, don't bother converting anything. It will play just about anything you can throw at it.

    3) Not sure on remote desktop options from your iPad. Check the app store and Internet. My guess is you may find something that let's your iPad control certain apps your Mini may run (i.e. Plex), but may have a harder time finding an app to let you control the entire system. They do sell remote controls that can act as a mouse so that may help. I bought a trackpad and keyboard as I mainly use my Mini for Plex. For Windows you must use VNC. It is painfully slow though and I never found a good solution. Not sure if this has changed in Lion, but don't get your hopes up.

    4) Is the mouse bluetooth? I don't see why it wouldn't work if so. Wireless USB should work for most as well. Check Logitech's web site to make sure they included mac support for your model.

    5) If you just need your Plex content then just use myPlex. Simple to set up. I haven't streamed a video over an outside network yet. I'm doing that later today.

    6) Last thing, consider throwing some RAM at the Mini. It will help you run more than one app at a time.

    Best of luck
  3. allaw macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2009
    For remote control, you may try logmein. There is a free version that will let you control your mac mini from any other PC that has an internet connection. If you want to control it with an iPhone or iPad then you will need to get the apps respectively, then you will be able to have the desktop shown on your remote device. It's a great interface.
  4. cooa99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    cheers guys,

    I have a Synology NAS, PS3 and Samsung LEDTV (with LAN)

    I have flex installed now and it looks good.

    I have 3 issues.

    1) Plex media server is not showing up on my PS3 or TV. Do i need to make some additional setting changes on the mac mini?.

    2) Plex Client display on Mac mini via Samsung TV Audio problem :- I set the mac mini to output sound via HDMI . it somehow seems to be intermitent, some time i get sound via hdmi sometimes it does not work. any clues?

    3) Mac mini display via Samsung screen sluggish mouse cursor :-
    Some how the cursor seems to be sluggish on the screen

  5. sbeezy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    St. Louis Area
    Hey sorry it's been a while, but just getting back to reading replying to this.

    1) I don't think it will work with PS3 from other threads I've read. It was built from the XBMC framework so don't plan on PS3 ever playing too nice at any point. It should work on Samsung D series TVs or Blu-ray players I think. If your TV is of an earlier model, the Plex client will install but will not work properly. The guy who wrote the Samsung app didn't code for older models and understandably so.

    2) I don't remember setting my audio to HDMI. I thought I just did built in sytsem. I'll have to check when I go home tonight. I don't remember the audio being difficult to setup though. I am connected via HDMI to the TV which then has a speaker bar connected via digital link. What type of speakers/audio setup are you using?

    3) Try the latest update. Maybe it was a small bug that got addressed. If that doesn't work, maybe it has something to do with the Refresh rate. Again, I don't recall any problems in this area during my setup.
  6. ltdel macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    New to the Mac Mini. I setup the Plex an now have trouble viewing the news from News list and IMove list will not play.. Could really use the help...


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