Setting up a mac product through home theatre ATV or Mini?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by buyusfear, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. buyusfear macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    I was trying to figure out where to post this, and since it is for my home tv setup, I figured I'd go here.

    What I would like to do is be able to have my home theater as an apple station aswell.

    Do I
    A) buy a mac mini and use to for itunes playlists, videos, internet usage, etc
    B) get an apple tv and broadcast from either my MBP or iMac
    or what other options

    Basically, I have computers for what they are, but I would like to be able to also use my home stereo and tv to see and here what I would if I were in my office

    (PS) I'm building a house, so I can do alot in terms of wiring. Yesterday I went and set up the wiring, and as of now thats all good to go, according to the audio guy. Now I just need to know what to go with

  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    I've done both actually. First, I had a Mini with HDMI adapter driving the set for video and to the stereo for audio. Then along came the ATV.

    I found the ATV to be better adapted to running the set than the Mini, so the mini still stores the Music, and will drive the ATV as a remote speaker. I do this because the Mini has voice control and can start a playlist by asking.

    Personally, I like that the ATV replaced a huge 400-disk changer, the rentals and TV shows are just gravy to me.
  3. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud

    I use both. The mini is my computer where I store all my media (Drobo FW 800) that is my media server for the home.

    The ATV is truly my ipod for the tv. I like to use the ATV for buying/ renting via the TV and which syncs then back to my mini.

    A very good setup for me.
  4. buyusfear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    Both is also what the audio guy suggested as well.

    I'm just such an apple TV noob, regarding why I should want one, resolution, etc etc

    Can I surf the net and such through apple tv--through the mini--? (Like using a wireless keyboard and mouse sitting in my kitchen or living room)

    Thanks guys
  5. Silv3rF0x macrumors member


    Jan 28, 2009
    Oklahoma, USA
    I have been waiting before I buy a ATV to see if there going to make or or change it. I have heard rummors they might. But I am in the same boat looking at what one I want to buy if I can just buy one for now.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I've now own(ed) both.

    The ATV was great if you only want to buy content from iTunes. I understand you can hack it, but I'm not really one to get into that as I lack appropriate time and patience. That said, the ATV served me very well but the Mini has served me better in 1 week than the ATV ever has.

    With the use of Plex and Front Row I can watch streaming media over the net, my purchased content housed on a NAS drive through FR, ripped DVDs on the same NAS drive accessed via Plex (smb connection), and I have an entire computer.

    With the use of a wireless keyboard and mouse or Rowmote ($4.99 iPhone app) I have everything that I need and 1080p to boot.

    I don't think I miss my ATV at all. I feel more free to do what I want with the media I choose. I am not stuck to only purchasing via iTunes but I have not been ripped of that option because iTunes loads just as well on the Mini and again all content is linked to a NAS box.
  7. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    I'd take a Mini running Plex over the ATV any day. The possibilities are almost endless, with the right software, compared to the ATV, which is so limited.

    If only I wasn't a broke college student I'd have myself a little home-theater setup in my room with my 32" LCD and a Mac Mini.
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I really recommend the Mini, especially an Intel with digital audio and you can use an DVI to HDMI converter to get digital video. Honestly the expansion of a Mini is a huge advantage over the ATV.

    As for using a keyboard/mouse to surf the web with a Mini (not possible on ATV) I really don't find it to be particularly satisfying. It's hard to read and the using a keyboard on your lap or on a coffee table is quite annoying. I recommend using a laptop via VNC to control the thing if you need to. Otherwise stick with an Apple Remote, or a Griffin AirClickUSB (which is what I use and enjoy). Also with a Mini you can download torrents, big +++ for acquiring stuff to watch.
  9. buyusfear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    So I guess my other question is whether or not the min will look good on a 52'' or 63'' TV?
    (right now my tv is a sony bravia xbr )
  10. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    Don't they make an app for the iPhone to use it as a trackpad for a Mac like the Mini?

    Absolutely. Your TV is 1080p right?
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Don't have an iPhone, but I soon will :)
  12. buyusfear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    Well, I'm looking forward to setting it up.
    Mind you I do have 10 months or so till the house is built, so a lot of thinking time, maybe apple will come up with something cooler)
  13. mpshay macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2008
    I currently have 2 Mac Minis and 1 ATV hooked up to Samsung LCDs in different rooms. I happy with both types, but would certainly pick the Mini if I had to choose. (My wife would probably pick the ATV because it's marginally less obtrusive and requires basically no maintenance)

    A Mac Mini running Plex with a Drobo (or Drobo Pro if you have the space & money) is a GREAT solution for almost any home theater.

    As far as quality goes, the Mini wins because it will play full Bit Rate BluRay rips!
  14. BPresley321 macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    If you have an iPhone/iPod, I would recommend Air Mouse for controlling your mini.
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I think there are only three reasons to buy an Apple TV:
    1. You need simplicity in operation and content protection (e.g., kids)
    2. You have two or more audio devices in your setup (e.g., TV audio and receiver)
    3. You cannot afford (or don't want to pay for) a Mini.
    If any of these are true, then perhaps an Apple TV is in your equation.
  16. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    If you rely on iTunes video content heavily... then ATV.

    Otherwise go with Mini/Plex and use a WHS box like the HP EX485 if you want it off the shelf with Mac support.
  17. Free-agent macrumors newbie


    Jun 12, 2009
    Lps Angeles
    consider DVD

    Another feature to consider is the lack of a DVD DRIVE on the ATV. I am sure you have a DVD or BluRay, but it is nice to be able to pop a DVD in without switching inputs.

    I also suggest "trial and error". If you are able to get both, do so and hookup them both up at the same time, of course different inputs. And see which one serves your needs better. I have both and lean more toward the ATV because of iTunes and YouTube. It can also be done on the Mini, but ATV is a lot easier.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I guess I kind of view Handbrake as antiquating such things.
  19. buyusfear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    Thanks for all the input guys.

    Regardless, I have a bluray player, which up-converts dvd's to 1080 resolution.
    I plan on and will be running everything into an amp, and then into the wall and out to the tv hanging on the wall.

    I just want to be able to use the mini as an ipod for the living room stereo. And as a spin off, use the tv as a screen for the occasional internet recipe, or photo show/ home videos (you will be able to see the tv from the kitchen.)

    Here's a picture of the show home (mine will be the same layout, but no built in entertainment centre, just a clean wall with flush mounted speakers and the tv.


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