background: I recently switched from the Microsoft world to Mac in October 2008 when we bought our first Apple product, an iMac computer. Our family has bought several iPods since and really love Apple products. We are never going back. I now want to build a Mac Mini-based HTPC in mid-April, and would like to ask for advice and opinions from those here who have done it already. We don't have cable and watch mostly PBS over the air. We are not big movie watchers, the selection of stuff on iTunes has most of what we want, and I think building a DVR to record PBS content will get the rest. In addition, we have a Nintendo Wii and will hook that up to the HDTV also. Below is the hardware/software spec I'm planning. Being new to OS-X I do have a series of questions though. I might not know some things that are common knowledge to long time Apple users. plan: * Computer new Mac Mini - will use the low-end as the base, but maximize memory and use an external HD 2.0 GH Intel Core 2 Duo upgrade to 4 GB memory 120 GB hard drive (undecided on mouse & keyboard) * Display We are considering either a 46" or a 52" HDTV. Most likely option is: Samsung LN52A550 52in 1080p -or- the 46" equivalent. Other options are Sharp Aqous, or maybe Sony. * Storage Want to use an external HD, since the computer will use the smallest harddrive. Something with either 500 MB or a 1 TB. Don't know which connector firewire vs. USB vs. ethernet cable. It must also be quite. Here is what I'm currently considering. Newer miniStack v3 - 750 MB with FireWire 800 - 32 MB cache. ~$200. * Network AirPort Express * DRV EyeTV hybrid * Software FrontRow iTunes EyeTV * Extra Nintendo Wii questions: A) Does anyone have experience connecting to the Samsung 550 series HDTVs? I saw a PC (VGA?) connection for video on the back. We are going to use the built-in speaker on the TV, so connecting audio is also a question. B) Can the Mac Mini play full 1080p content. Most of our stuff will be less than that, but I'm trying to get Planet Earth in full 1080p, since my wife likes that series. Could it play an MKV in 1080p? C) Where to run iTunes? I get quite a few podcasts for the iPod, BUT we also want to use iTunes for getting TV and some movies also. These are two different uses. The iPod stuff should be on the iMac in the office, but it seems the TV and Movies should be on the Mac Mini in the living room, and it of course all should be on the external HD. Could you run iTunes on the Mac Mini on an external HD and then share it over the network, so the iPod can synch up with the podcasts? D) What are the other options for an external HD? E) Is it possible to burn iTunes TVs/movies to a DVD so we have a backup incase the external HD fails?