Solution to TV watching, photo and video editing needs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Glacierfox, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Glacierfox Guest

    Mar 29, 2013
    Hi, I've been following this forum for a while and decided to create my own thread for my current situation and computer needs.

    My personal computer needs are pretty basic. I like to bring my camera with me (Olympus OM-D) and shoot both photos and full hd videos. I'm currently unable to import, edit and store all this footage (I do have some external harddrives though) because I only have an 11" Macbook Air (mid 2012). I don't see myself spending a lot of time editing footage on any computer, but I would like to be able to at least combine video clips, add music etc. to make it a little bit more polished and enjoyable before I show it to friends and family. I also rely on my tiny 11" MBA for school.

    I'm currently also not very happy with our TV watching solution. We decided to cancel our cable and subscribe to cheaper internet based solutions. I recently sold our Windows based HTPC due to horrible noise-levels, and now we currently only have an Apple TV3 that we temporarily airplay our content to via my iPad mini and our MacBooks.

    I have considered two solutions that address all the needs described above:
    - Mac Mini or some custom built Windows PC (I prefer Mac) combined with my 51" Samsung Plasma to solve all the above
    - Sell MBA and get a 15" rMBP or some different laptop instead, although this doesn't help us improve our TV situation at all. This means we would have to figure out something else here (unless we get used to airplay).

    We don't have room for a desktop setup in our apartment, so the way I see it I can either get a more powerful laptop or a HTPC. I'm still in school so having a laptop is essential, and I would certainly benefit from a larger screen. I just don't want to waste any money on gear I really don't need.

    So what do you think I should do? All ideas and suggestions are very much appreciated.
  2. enigma2118 macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2006
    Well, you've had a HTPC before, and have found "internet solutions." Seeing as you know you're way around in this land of internet TV, I'd say to solve your TV problem, just get something powerful enough to run that stuff. XBMC for example. The Raspberry Pi can run that, and it's only $35. It's a tiny bit sluggish compared to the Apple TV 2. You have a 3, but it's not going to help you when it comes to stuff like XBMC. Can't be jailbroken.

    But, yeah, for the TV, get yourself a Raspberry Pi, or some old computer that can run that stuff smoothly. Shouldn't cost too much. Some people use a mac mini for the TV. Seems a bit overkill to me. Some old thing off craigslist should do just fine.
  3. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I have a custom-built Mac doing the same thing that you describe, but it's really a personal preference. I'd be fine with something smaller/cheaper running XBMC or Plex, but they're no where near as functional/user friendly (read: wife friendly) as a full fledged desktop, especially if you plan on doing some video editing.

    My vote goes for the Mac Mini.
  4. Glacierfox thread starter Guest

    Mar 29, 2013
    We really prefer watching TV this way because then it's possible to watch everything on our MacBooks, iPads etc. when and where we want to. I have considered getting something like a Raspberry Pi, but one of the channels that I subscribe to rely on something (I think it's Silverlight but not sure) that isn't supported by XBMC or linux.

    I guess the Mac Mini is a little overkill just for the TV-aspects. The question is if it is possible to comfortably edit photos and videos on a 51" plasma in the living room or not, the few times I need to. Doesn't seem ideal, except regarding the costs. A huge benefit is having all the media directly connected to the viewing area of course, but I don't imagine it being very ergonomic. Or even practical when others want to spend some time in front of the TV.


    Good point regarding user-friendliness. Also, the Mac Mini is very flexible and usable in other ways when needed. What do you use to control your computer when you edit footage?
  5. chadamorrill macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    The Apple BT keyboard and trackpad. B-Day gift a while back. I love the combo, though I will say, depending on how far back you'll be sitting, it's rather annoying to use for long stretches of time.

    How big is the TV and what resolution? Mine is a 37" @ 720p res, and it's hard to work from the couch. For more time-consuming projects, I actually set up a card table right in front of the TV cabinet to operate from. Sounds silly, but it worked.

    For everything else, we just leave the k/m at the TV cabinet and queue up everything before sitting down on the couch. That or VNC from the iPad :)

    EDIT: Sorry, see now that it's 51"
  6. Glacierfox thread starter Guest

    Mar 29, 2013
    Sounds good! :)

    When I think about it, maybe it being a little cumbersome to use over longer periods of time is good thing. I don't want to spend too much time on the computer on my spare time anyway. Also, I realize that having something to store all my media under the TV is kind of important.

    I think Mac Mini is the way to go for now. If it doesn't work out for some reason I'll just sell it. Never been a problem before :p. And maybe do the same with my MBA. 11" is a pain for school work.

    Thank you for the inputs!

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