Moving from PS3 Media Server to a Mac Mini with Plex?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by quicksilver77, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. quicksilver77 macrumors 6502

    quicksilver77

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    Currently I stream media (videos only at the moment) through my older MBP C2D Laptop using PS3 Media Server. I find the PS3 is loud and annoying so thinking of picking up a new generation Mac Mini to run my Media Serving Needs. My Equipment list is:

    Pioneer 5080HD 768p Plasma
    Yamaha RX-V3900 AVR

    The rest of the equipment does not really matter. Thinking of hokoing it up by HDMI through the AVR to the plasma. Want to run Plex as my media front end. Now I also have an Acer Windows Home Server box kicking around with 1TB drive in it. Is it possible to use that on the network as a type of Media Storage that can be accessed by the Mini through Plex? Should I just use the WHS box as an archive unit? I know I will fill up the mini's HD fairly quickly.

    Also I usually watch 720p MKV files through my PS3 so would I be fine doing that on the mini as well using Plex?
     
  2. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #2


    Well if you want crippled overpriced hardware and less useful functionality than you have now then it sounds like you have a plan!

    I would say the lack of BRD on the mini is a killer but you sound like a torrent downloader (720p MKV's) so maybe not... :rolleyes:
     
  3. quicksilver77 thread starter macrumors 6502

    quicksilver77

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    #3
    I download TV shows we can't get here in Canada through torrents. The rest I watch in HD through SAT. So you are saying that a Mini with a Plex front end is more crippled than my current set up?
     
  4. Seydlitz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #4
    Sorry, but that is so trollish that I have to step in.

    The PS3 has a big disadvantage as it needs a media server to function beyond it's standard Bluray/DVD player functionality. Codec support is so spotty that it doesn't gualify as a fullfledged stand alone media center. Add to that that it doesn't have good media center software.

    This means that pricewise a PS3+server combo is certainly not competitive, not even with the current price hikes in the mini.

    The best solution would be using both the PS3 (bluray support!) and a standalone media center. The media center can be solved in a few ways:

    1. A proprietary system like a WD-tv or a popcorn. This works quite well unless you need SSA subtitles (Anime uses this). This is the cheapest solution.
    2. buy an Atom system like the Asus 1012 and put linux+XBMC on it. The biggest disadvantage would be configuring the remote ^^. This would set you back ±2-300$. It can play most things and can handle SSA. Considering there are complete Linux HTPX images for these systems it's quite userfriendly (some caveats for the remote, but it's doable)
    3. Create your own HTPC by buying components. This is quite expensive if you are going for SILENT. Once again go Linux+XBMC. ±400-1500$ (depending on your wishes^^) It can play most things and can handle SSA
    4. Buy an AppleTV and equip it with a Broadcom HD decoder card. This asks both some hardware tinkering as living with beta-software. 100-200$ It can play a lot, but 1080P is stretching it. It handles SSA fine (like any XBMC/Plex solution). I reccomend technical skills and the willingness to upgrade/tinker a lot.
    5. Buy a Mac mini, install XBMC or Plex. This is fire and forget, but rather expensive. It can play most things and can handle SSA. huge Blu-ray rips (25GB+) have some issues, but unless you use those it can handle everything.

    Option 1 and 2 are the best bang for the buck, in which an Anime fan would have to dismiss option 1. Option 5 is for the lazy people like me who are done with tinkering^^. Keep in mind that compared with a non-atom HTPC the mini isn't that expensive, especially considering it's silence.
     
  5. Bitgod macrumors regular

    Bitgod

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #5
    I went the lazy route. :) Plus I love spending money and thought the new mini is sexy. Plus a friend was planning on getting one for plex too, so that got me interested in it. So now I have 3 computers on my desk, my main PC, the mini that I have connected to my TV, and an Atom system running Ubuntu that's mainly acting as a file server. I have a 1TB + 2TB drive in the Atom box and have it all connected up on a gigabit network.
     
  6. tom.bcn macrumors newbie

    tom.bcn

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalonia
    #6
    I made a similar change, though with different TV and AR. Believe me, having Plex connected via HDMI to your home theatre setup is miles better than transcoding with PS3 Media Server. That aside, OS X on a 40" TV is lovely. I'm typing this on my TV now. My iMac is almost forgotten.

    Ignore the anti-Mac Mini user. Go for it!

    My only word of caution: I'm now investigating some serious RAID NAS stuff. I have, in effect, opened a new branch in my tech purchasing possibilities. I mean, we're all chasing perfection, right?
     
  7. tom.bcn macrumors newbie

    tom.bcn

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalonia
    #7
    By the way, the standard short form for Blu-ray Disc is 'BD', not 'BRD'.
     
  8. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #8
    The idea of a mini is really attractive for the TV with plex. I just wish the entry price were lower.
     

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