newbie here - Need Help With Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by adamcarvell, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #1
    im currently a pc user but machine is old and slow so im looking to switch to a mac mini.
    I only want internet encode and burn movies etc .however can you plug the mac mini into the hdmi port and play your films etc.
    software to play mkv on the mac mini?
     
  2. Unami macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Location:
    Austria
    #2
    yes, you can (use the hdmi port).
    you could use VLC for .mkv playback.
     
  3. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #3
    thank you vlc player runs ok on mac ? other software I use is uttorent gom player and convetxtodvd anyone tried those ?.
    oh and should I wait for new mac mini release or buy current model.
     
  4. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #4
    what's the best display about 24" screen prefer glossy screen rather than matt ones?.
     
  5. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #5
    hi does anyone use there mac mini to watch videos on there tv via the hdmi port if so is it any good ?.
     
  6. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #6
    Yes, people everywhere are doing this.
     
  7. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    Dec 15, 2013
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    warwickshire england
    #7
    and the play back is good on the TV ? I intend to do this rather than burning to dvd disk
     
  8. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #8
    The current mac mini is far superior to any dvd or blu-ray player as far as playback is concerned, it will use your big screen TV as an external monitor at 1080p with zero problems. It will amaze you how awesome it is.

    utorrent and all the conversion software you could ever want or need to illegally download, subtitle, remux, reencode, and otherwise convert and play back all your moviez and gamez and other warez work flawlessly and in most cases better than on a Windows platform (this is true of VLC as well) and as an added bonus, you won't have to worry about getting computer viruses on all of those shady download/torrent sitez!

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #9
    Use XBMC for playback of MKV's. It is much more responsive software with good hardware decoding. Try skipping through a 10Gb MKV with VLC. Horrible experience. XBMC is also better in customising subtitles and putting them in black bars when possible.

    Monitor's are tricky. For example, 99 out of 100 films are shot in 24p. Yet 99 out of 100 TV's and monitors do not offer native 24p (23.976) playback. Most TV's upsample to 100 or 200Hz, that is OK, but not perfect. Monitors are often 60Hz and that causes a lot of judder.
    I found a 27 inch 1920x1200 LCD screen that does 47.952 (double 23.976), 50 and 60 Hz, so I can watch films, PAL and NTSC content judder-free, but it is very RARE.

    ----------

    You bet it is! DVD is the most horrible invention if we look back from a Blu-Ray era. 2/3 NTSC telecine and 104% speedup for PAL that were normal on DVD are the worst nightmares to movie directors and photographers ever. Not to mention the increased detail when moving from 480i/576i to 1080p
     
  10. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #10
    thanks guys for the replies xmbc what is that ? one further question monitor im looking to replace my old hp 20" glass fronted one . looking for a 24-27
    " like the thunderbolt but cheaper version preferably with a vesa mount up to £200 any recommendations?.
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Mac Mini will do quite well to serve up your files but of course there are some considerations.

    I too believe XBMC to do an admirable job with handling media files and outputting to a decent TV.

    Things you should consider -

    1) Your TV and how it handles various input (is it capable of handling the types of media you have (frame rates etc.).

    2) Audio - you never did mention what you use for out. OSX does not handle HD streams within media files per se. XBMC can use the core and pass it through to your TV or AVR. As example DTS-MASTER will become DTS upon output from HDMI on your Mac Mini. The only way the Mini will output the HD audio streams is if you use another OS such as Windows or Linux.

    3) Mac Mini and TV handshake. Learn the term EDID. You might set up your Mac Mini to output 1080p and then have issues playing non-1080p files due to the TV not being able to negotiate on its own the file format (such as 1080i or a different frame rate). There are* tweaks to handle this if the situation arises.

    4) I am a huge fan of XBMC on the Mini with any OS that uses XBMC. However, the output is NOT superior to quality blu ray players such as Oppo when doing streaming. Most people wont notice the difference so don't be deterred from using the Mac Mini - just be aware.

    5) If you decide to use XBMC or VLC or Plex -take the time to read through their respective forums on how to best set up your system and avoid some pitfalls. XBMC and Plex forums have many people who will be more than happy to end a hand helping out with issues.

    6) MKV - this is a would be universal "wrapper." What is inside can be many things and as such you may find some files play better than others. The more you can standardize the easier things get for setting up and tweaking your system for excellent play.

    7) If you must* absolutely have HD audio playback, again XBMC is a terrific option but change the OS on your Mac Mini, run your HDMI out to an AVR/receiver then to your TV.

    Enjoy
     
  12. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #12
    Ha ha ha, I highly doubt you are communicating with kindred videophile soul, Blanka. I am 100% sure that the OP will be more than happy with 100-120Hz TV.

    What was the make and model of that LCD screen? Do you know of any projectors that can do native 24fps playback?
     
  13. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #13
    hi my tv is a Panasonic plasma 720p with a Panasonic home theatre kit was hoping the sound would just work through that . the monitor I want is just for internet etc not to watch the movies on .
     
  14. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #14
    I use an Acer AL2723W.
    Horrible design looks (I decased it so now it is a plain metal box), but it has a static contrast of 1:1500 (huge, look into real figures!), good viewing angles, a brightness up to 500cd/m2. I really like the gamut, it is between sRGB and AdobeRGB. It does deliver some extra pop, welcome with films, modern white-LED LCD's look grey compared to it, but it is not too much like on my 100% AdobeRGB LG W2600HP. And it accepts variable input rates in the 47-72Hz range.

    Don't measure it, it is not for DTP-like accurate work, but subjectively, I never had a better image. I found it to be the smallest TV that did accurate 1080p 24p playback in our small house, and because of the 1200 pixel vertical, I can always put the subs in the black bars. It also has a great 4:3 visible size, as it is 16:10. Nice for vintage video games.
     
  15. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #15
    would the audio just work through the hdmi or do I have to connect it another way?.
     
  16. adamcarvell thread starter macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    warwickshire england
    #16
    out of interest how do others with mini mac's connect theirs to TV's to play files etc. ?.
     

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