media center mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tderemigis, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. tderemigis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #1
    ive always wanted to set up a media center mac, but even after researching for what seems like the longest time im still unsure. i currently have a macbook, and old ibook g4 whose hard drive just went up. I have stuff on an external hard disk now and will be getting more eventually. Im just not sure what to get to run the system. choices are: iMac (g4, g5, intel), or mac mini.

    while i like the idea of front row on my tv, i dont think id like for the tv to be my only choice of display. thats why im looking into imacs,so i could set up a media kiosk of sorts. and with the kiosk idea ive always loved the imac g4 design.

    i also would like to be able to utilize front row too. which is why the intel macs appeal bc of the built in ir.

    would i be better off going with a mini with video out split, to the the tv and a video display or an imac?
     
  2. pscoble macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Petaluma
    #2
    Heres my familys: 1. 60 inch HDTV 1. MacMini 1. 750GB HDD with about 300 movies on it and tv shows 1. Apple wireless keyboard and mouse 1. Couch.

    There you go. I think that set up is more or less the best media center ever. We had a Apple TV but abandoned it because you can do so much more with the MacMini (web browsing is one of them). Really I would recommend this to anyone interested in what you are kind of looking for.

    To ask one question though, why do you want a second screen for the computer?
     
  3. tderemigis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #3
    i think id like the second screen so that i could basically use the tv for other things while using the mini still. such as have a game on the tv, and listen to music from the mac.

    ive always had the mini as my idea of what i wanted to do, but recently ive gotten on the imac kick, and im really a sucker for the imac g4 design.
     
  4. salvatore macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    How do you watch TV with this setup? Through the Mini or by switching to the input for a STB on the TV?
    I have a Comcast HD receiver and am curious how Id be able to emulate your environment.
     
  5. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #5
    If I was you, I would wait and see what Steve has for us on the 15th, instead of wasting your time worrying about this now. According to some of the rumours out there right now, the Mac mini and :apple:tv could get rolled into one come Macworld, and that would probably be the ideal system for your situation.
     
  6. pscoble macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    Petaluma
    #6
    Through ways that involve questionable methods in some cases. My friend has ways to get a lot of shows and movies but we also use slingboxes and hand breaking each others netflixes. In a few years this will be the main method of getting content (accept a little more "legalishesque").
     
  7. pscoble macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    Petaluma
    #7
    I agree with that as well because I would stay away from the ATV currently.
     
  8. salvatore macrumors member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #8
    So you dont use this to watch live television? Don't worry you needn't reveal where you get your content. :)

    Tom B: Im definitely waiting, but curious about the concept.
     
  9. pscoble macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    Petaluma
    #9
    No we don't really, we don't watch any dvds either, or care who wins the format wars because in a few years it won't matter in the slightest. However if you don't care a lot about the HD quality (all the content I have is DvD quality so it's not bad) I would do something similar to what I have done. I'll answer any questions about a set up like this if you like because I believe it is a lot better then any other option at this point in time and I personally feel very strongly that this is a great idea.
     
  10. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #10
    Couldn't you just set this thing up with the same TV and then just shift inputs between component and rgb (or whatever your mini or whatnot is on in input) and swap between the two depending on what you want to watch? That's what we do in our main room. We have a media computer station for emulated games and movies/tv shows and a comcast dvr box... and just switch between the inputs, is there something i'm missing on what you are asking?

    In my bedroom I have a computer set up and have a hdtv stick with eyetv lugged into it so I can watch all my downloaded material and recorded material and live tv depending on what I want.

    So if you want to watch live tv and don't have a dvr or something I think this is a good set up so you can record content directly to your computer as well and not have to do any input switching...

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. pscoble macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    Petaluma
    #11
    True this is currently the most viable set up. The way I see it though it is not as intuitive and takes up more HDMI ports which I need for gaming consoles.
     
  12. salvatore macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #12
    The input switching is what I was referring to, which sounds like how this would work. If I could watch TV through the mini (or other mac) Id consider the expense, but having to switch inputs defeats the purpose for me since Id really only be setting it up for the novelty of doing so.
     
  13. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #13
    well I'd go ahead and grab a good HD stick. I think Pinnacle is one of the only brands made for mac, and then go ahead and run your cable through that into the mini. I like this set up cause it allows me to use the mini as a DVR and record things directly to the mini with eyetv and other software (I believe there is other stuff out there) and convert what I want and build my library directly.

    Granted a more expandable mac would be more ideal so you could house everything neatly together, but those stackable mini drives are pretty great, but in the future I want to take a more expandable mac for this purpose so everything can be stored in one nice nifty mac enclosure, I'm considering a g4 case even with a mini and drives in it...

    Anyway, I am moving after a graduate and that's my plan for my set up one that happens. :)
     

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