Newbie Mini-to-HDTV questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Biscuit411, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Biscuit411 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    #1
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    I've been lurking for awhile and want to pull the plug soon on a Mini/HDTV setup. What I want is fairly simple: Mini-out HDMI to HDTV so I can watch online content (we only have basic $15-a-month cable) and my kids can play games and pop in the occasional DVD.

    I see most of you guys go the Plex/Boxee route, but wouldn't I be ok just ripping some of my kids favorite DVD's into iTunes via Handbrake, then letting them run Remote from my iPhone? I'm not a big HD nut, as my current tv is about 18 years old and I'm running my coaxial basic-cable straight in.
    I'd be fine cutting cable completely and
    just seeing what stations showed up on an antenna feed.

    So, am I on the right track? Missing any key elements? Again, I'm no HD fanatic, so standard-def is ok for me. As long as it doesn't look worse than my 'current' set-up.

    Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh yeah, any new Mini revisions slated before Lion comes out? That's when I plan on buying...
     
  2. lythium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    IL
    #2
    The mini was just recently updated a few months ago. Probably wont see another update untill well after Lion.
     
  3. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    chances are that your $15/mo basic plan includes the HD feeds for your local stations. An EyeTV Hybrid can record/convert TV shows and dump them right into iTunes.

    don't limit yourself with SD. Depending on your current TV, watching SD on a new (presumabably large screen) HDTV may actually look worse than what you're used to. No need to watch SD when HD is likely already included in your basic cable package.

    In the end, your new HDTV will likely come with a QAM tuner which will tune into the HD channels. You won't be able to record, but you'll be able to watch.

    Also wanted to put in a plug for AppleTV2 as an alternative to Plex/Boxee. I have one and it's pretty slick. I've put an old Dell laptop to work as an iTunes server. It sits in the basement and houses a bunch of kids' movies I've ripped from our DVD collection. The aTV2 is in the family room and is so much easier to use ... don't have to find the DVD (sometimes it's in the van). Popping discs in/out is so 20th century.

    You don't need a powerhouse computer to run as an iTunes server. It just needs OS X 10.5 or WinXP SP3. iTunes 10 won't run on anything less, so that's why I can't use my old iBookG3 as the server.
     
  4. Biscuit411 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    #4
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    That's good to know about HD local stuff coming over basic cable. I figure I won't need an ATV2 because I'd just keep everything on the Mini.

    I feel your pain about iTunes 10 needing 10.5 or higher. My current PowerPC G5 (which the Mini will replace) won't run 10.5 either. Such is the computer age...
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    The main issue I had(have) with using a Mac as the media center is that there's really not any good way to operate it (note - I don't have an iPhone or iPod touch). I had thought about using Remote Buddy and a Wii remote, but I never got around to it. Besides, they took so long to come out with the Mac mini that I wanted, that I just gave up.

    Are you sure your G5 won't run 10.5? Are you confusing Leopard with Snow Leopard? Leopard (10.5) should run on all G5s and many G4s. Snow Leopard (10.6) is Intel only. The only problem is that legit copies of Leopard are hard to find at a fair price. Most eBay sellers want to gouge you for $150 or more.
     
  6. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #6
    Are you serious!!?? I just trashed a family pack with one good license left. :(
     
  7. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #7
    Consider XBMC. I also tried Plex and Boxee. In my opinion XBMC is the best, Plex is a close second, Boxee is a distant third.
     

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