Mac Mini vs Apple TV - benefits?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by amammad, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. amammad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #1
    I was looking to buy my partner an Apple TV for Christmas but it nows seems they like the idea of having a fully functioning Mac and bluetooth keyboard hooked up to the TV instead.

    Aside from gaining the full MacOS functionality, what are the main downsides of going down the Mac Mini route rather than Apple TV.

    Opinions are MUCH appreciated.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    Downsides? You mean upsides.

    You get an actual computer. The Apple TV is very nice, but it's not as good as the Mac Mini.

    Yes, it's been hacked to run OS X; the hardware sucks even more than the Mini's! Go with the Mini.
     
  3. amammad thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #3
    Oh okay. Sound good! :)

    The idea is to use the mac mini as a home computer (just for surfing/email - nothing intense) and a kind of hub for iTunes and a few movies.

    Thanks
     
  4. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #4
    This is something that i have contemplated for a while also...

    but what is the recomended video output for the mac mini... it has dvi i know but should we use dvi - hdmi cables or some other arrangement?
     
  5. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #5
    DVI and HDMI are basically the same thing. I just use a DVI->HDMI converter on the back of the mini and then a regular HDMI cable to the TV.

    I had an Apple TV, but I got tired of having to maintain its precarious balance of hacks. Also, it can't really run OS X in a media center -- there's no sound and no ethernet!

    I sold my ATV and bought a Mac Mini, with which I use Plex -- and it's fantastic. I wrote a couple posts about my experiences on my site: http://rogersmj.com/tag/plex/
     
  6. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

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    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #6
    Is the video output not inferior? I thought I remembered reading that the Mini couldn't compete with Apple TVs HD output? :-s
     
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #7
    No, that's completely untrue. The Mini can output all the way up to 1080p without a problem. HD videos look just as good on my Mini as they did on my ATV.
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    Mini is substantially superior. It can handle Blu-Ray rips, the ATV cannot.
     
  9. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #9
    Listen to the lastest Maccast. They have a whole episode about this.
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    Plex on a Mini is far superior than the Apple TV. You get many more codecs, DTS audio (as well as DD AC3), integration with iTunes and iPhoto, music and many other things.
     
  11. Mr Kram macrumors 68000

    Mr Kram

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #11
    just for clarification, are we talking about an intel based mini?
     
  12. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #12
    Very important if you want to run Plex, which requires an Intel cpu. From what little I have seen of Plex so far I am not in love with it; it is just a more modern version of XBMC, which got the job done but was nothing to brag about. The Plex menus are still the same as XBMC. And it still requires a lot of setup to get things right.
     
  13. Mr Kram macrumors 68000

    Mr Kram

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #13
    all my video is already converted for ATV, so plex isn't really an issue. i would probably use front row 99% or the time. are the older mini's sufficient?
     
  14. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #14
    I would rip all of my DVD's to video_ts and use Front Row or Media Central. I think a Mini G4 should be more than sufficient (but maybe not for HD), but you would need to add a remote control to it (unless you used a keyboard, of course).
     
  15. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #15
    Food for thought, another thing that's nice about getting a Mini instead of an :apple:TV is that the Mini can take advantage of things like Hulu.com and Netflix instant view. Both of these would work better if you have a newer machine. (Netflix isn't available at all for PPC.)

    We have a Mini here as a media center. We watch TV using EyeTV and movies from Netflix (DVD or instant view). It works wonderfully.

    Personally, I would never consider the :apple:TV because it's much more limited.
     

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