mac mini to lcd tv is apple tv really necessary.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gdeusthewhizkid, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I see tons of posts about the benefits of apple tv. I just dont get the big deal im considering purchasing one but im not sure if it will be a waste of mine. I can already watch bought movies from itunes and ripped content on my mac mini thru hdmi.

    Can someone please explain to me how is this different from a mac mini with a external hd attached to it. Please let me know

    Im thinking of making the plunge but i need to be sure.
  2. mpshay macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2008
    I've got both and I actually prefer the added horse power/features of my C2D minis over my ATV. The only advantage of the ATV as far as Im concerned is the HDMI port.

    The way I have my components connect they all go to the TV via HDMI and then I take audio out of the TV and run it to the receiver. That way I can use just the TV or fire up the receiver if I'm looking for surround sound. With the mini, I have to use a DVI-HDMI cable to send video to the TV and then a seperate cable to send audio to the receiver. Therfore don't have the choice to use TV only. Not a huge deal, but another step for my wife and 4 yr old daughter before they can watch video.
  3. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    With most TVs, if you run the HDMI to the TV and digital audio from TV to receiver, you’ll only get stereo. Most TVs only output surround using the built-in tuner. Of course, the receiver can convert the stereo signal to surround using Pro Logic, but it won’t be as good as discrete 5.1. This is why most people run the audio directly to the receiver.
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    It gets even crazier than that.. I have a 42" Sharp Aquos (from Costco) Hooked up to my ATV and a DVD player, both via HDMI, then I have optical output from the TV to my receiver. The crazy bit is playing a DVD I get full sound decoding (5.1) on the receiver, but the AppleTV doesn't output a thing... Mind you the TV audio works fine (and it's running over HDMI). I installed a optical from the ATV to the receiver which utterly confuses the wife and kid. :)

    Back on the OPs topic however, I have a Mini hooked to the upstairs TV with a DVI-HDMI cable and stereo audio to the TV only. In many ways I'm happier with the Mini than the ATV; DivX without hacking, DVD playback, etc. Of course you could get a lot of this with the ATV using a patchstick, and it's a slightly nicer form factor.

    IMHO both are equally functional when setup well (or in the ATV's case, hacked). The ATV saves you money, the Mini saves you headache.
  5. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON

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