my first mac entertainment inquiry

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ambientexposure, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. ambientexposure macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    i have been wanting to use my tv as a media center for a while now & the wii just isn't cutting it.

    i have been trying to weigh my options & have been reading over several posts to compare my options.

    what would be the benefit of having any of the following:
    apple tv
    mac mini
    blue ray with wifi & apps
    roku 2

    i understand that netflix & pandora are common for all, but what which device has better benefits?

    i like the idea of a mac mini connected to my tv, but i have no idea if menu functionality or video quality is worth it?
  2. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    Well if money is no object then of the items on your list I would say the Mac mini running plex, with a 8TB nas and an Ext blueray player (for ripping)

    Why is simple you can play any video format you want and still have a full featured web browser.
  3. DrEnalg macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    East Bay, CA
    I would agree with that. You just described the exact "if money is no object" setup for me - I'd go with the Mac Mini (although I would trade XBMC for Plex).

    Aside from that, if you want to avoid the hassles of jailbreaking and still get some respectable functionality, then I'd probably go with the Roku. From what I've seen, it looks reasonable.

    I actually really like my ATV2. Jailbreaking took a little work, but I need my hobbies and I felt like I learned a lot of interesting stuff along the way (how to use some basic Terminal commands, the nature of the iOS file structure, etc). And now the thing can do one helluva lot.

    I'm not impressed with the functionality of Blueray players out there as media centers.
  4. ambientexposure thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    thank you for your input! for a long time i was set on a blu ray with app functions but i too have read the horrors about menus & usability.

    i like the option for internet radio as well as web browsing. would it be pointless to have both apple tv & a mini just to have a dedicated netflix app? i guess my worry is the loss of quality using a web browser on a mini on the big screen.
  5. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    A Mac Mini running media center software such as PLEX can do everything an :apple:TV can do, except play any iTunes purchased video, due to DRM. In those cases, you'll just have to watch using iTunes or Quicktime. It's unfortunate that Apple removed Front Row from Lion as in SL you could launch Front Row right from PLEX to watch any Apple DRM content.

    There are tons of media plug-ins available in PLEX (Netflix, Pandora, ESPN3, etc) so you wouldn't need to watch in a web browser.
  6. ambientexposure thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    thanks! i was purchasing a macbook pro i7 next month & have decided to use it instead of a mini, since it has an hdmi adapter option. that way i know i will still get the laptop use out of it instead of just a mini waiting to be used.

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