Macbook pro as a media center

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macjonny1, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hopefully someone can help me with a few questions that I have. I was thinking originally of getting a mini to use as a media center (I don't care about DVR stuff or connecting this to cable etc), but then I started thinking about using the Macbook pro for the same thing. I would use the computer hooked up to a 52" LCD (Sharp D62). I would like to have the compute for use for front row, playing DVDs, and generally surfing the net/other computer tasks to use on the big screen.

    here's why I think the macbook pro would be a better choice:

    1) I could use it obviously at other times for a computer on trips and as general use moved around the house.
    2) I could eventually hook up an external high def dvd drive when they come down in price as it is powerful enough to do that task where the mini isn't currently
    3) Gaming performance would be better (I really only play WoW as that is the only game worth playing)

    here's some concerns:

    1) I'm assuming I could keep the lid closed and have a bluetooth keyboard/mouse 10 ft away and control it. I do not want the lid open and do not want the LCD running when I have it connected to the TV.
    2) General efficiancy with heat/etc having a laptop on at all times at least in hibernate mode

    Really, besides price, can the mini do anything the macbook pro cant? I'm hoping the closed-lid with bluetooth mouse/keyboard thing would work.

  2. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    What about apple tv that could work unless you can't wait.
  3. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2007
    I bought a MBP about a month ago, and quickly realized that it would make for a perfect media center. Front Row is amazing. The only problems I run into are getting Front Row and Quicktime to play nice with some of my video files. I'm new to Mac, so I haven't found all the codecs I need to get in order for Quicktime to play everything (thinking about upgrading to QT Pro) but VLC works for everything when QT won't. I have my MBP connected to my stereo via optical output, and it's also connected to my 24'' LCD. I use the remote to operate Front Row from my couch. Absolutely love it!
  4. macjonny1 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    First, to Techguy above, apple TV wouldn't work because I need a computer (apple TV is not a computer) and it would not play DVDs.

    What about the keyboard/mouse issues that I noted with the lid closed? Do you ever need to open the computer lid up when it is hooked to the media center or is everything operable? It does do bluetooth mouse/keyboard right?
  5. markjewiss macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Dunmow, UK
    I used to have my Windows PC 'do nothing' when I closed the lid so that I could have it connected to a larger display. Now using an MBP for work, and have changed my setup so that I use both the laptop screen and the external display to give me lots of space... had a quick look and can't find the equivalent setting in System Preferences to stop the MBP from sleeping when the lid closes - am assuming it's there somewhere, anyone?

  6. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    What you can do to is plug it in to your power adapter + the dvi port on your TV while the computer is sleeping. Do this while the laptop is off, and it should turn on and use only your TV as a display (the internal display should be off).

    If you want to turn it off, just put it to sleep. When you want to wake it back, click the mouse button and it'll come back to life, agian using only the TV screen. You need to keep the screen closed though or else it'll display on both.

    I used to do this on my LCD display and it always worked well.
  7. macjonny1 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Great news. Now, is there any reason to get a mini other than cost and size? Would it do anything at all better?

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