Tell us your Mac Mini media centre

tmanto02

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 5, 2011
1,146
328
Australia
Tell us your Mac Mini media centre setup, heres mine:

-2011 mac mini w/16gb ram and 128ssd + 500gb
-PLEX media centre
-51" Samsung plasma
-Pioneer receiver
-Logitech Harmony One remote
-3x 2tb fw800 drives for multimedia
-2nd gen Apple TV w/PLEX for bedroom

:)
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
78
Winnipeg, MB
2011 Base Mini, upgraded to 8GB RAM
Plex Media Center
42" Panasonic Plasma
Networked with Tivo via Switch for full-speed gigabit
Synology DS411+II NAS w/ 12TB

HippoRemote on iPhone 4 for remote touchpad/keyboard

Setup works quite nicely :) -I'm about to install the DVD Automator functions in it to be able to use it as a batch video encoder, too.
 

vastoholic

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,957
0
Tulsa, OK
Mac mini 2.5GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 500 GB HDD internal.
Connected to a Mercury Elite -AL Pro Qx2 with 8TB's of storage connected via FireWire.
AppleTV 3 connected to 37" LG LCD as well as my XBox 360 for games.
No big receiver as I don't have any speakers at the moment except for my m-Audio's connected to the mini.
 

swordfish5736

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2007
1,898
106
Cesspool
-2011 mini w/16gb ram, 64gb SSD & 500gb hard drive
-4 2tb drives hooked up via fw800 for media
-plex server and client in the mini
-50" Panasonic plasma
-atv2 in the bedroom with plex as well

the Hdmi board in my receiver died a few weeks ago so no surround setup right now. Deciding if it's worth replacing the card or if i want to get a new receiver.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
Rack system in the basement storage room:
- Headless 2009 Mac mini server, running iTunes
- 5 Apple TVs: 1xATV-3G, 1xATV-2G, 3xATV-1G, the three ATV-1G are hacked with RemoteHD mod to provide Airplay and VPN
- Sony receiver + Airport Express + multi-speaker switch, sends music to four speaker sets throughout the house
- Time Capsule connecting everything via dual band wireless
- 4TB OWC FW800 RAID enclosure
- LG portable DVD drive, for ripping and remote drive for MBA and Macs
- Epson AIO providing network printing and scanning
- An iPad to manage it all via VPN and remote app
 

vastoholic

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,957
0
Tulsa, OK
Rack system in the basement storage room:
- Headless 2009 Mac mini server, running iTunes
- 5 Apple TVs: 1xATV-3G, 1xATV-2G, 3xATV-1G, the three ATV-1G are hacked with RemoteHD mod to provide Airplay and VPN
- Sony receiver + Airport Express + multi-speaker switch, sends music to four speaker sets throughout the house
- Time Capsule connecting everything via dual band wireless
- 4TB OWC FW800 RAID enclosure
- LG portable DVD drive, for ripping and remote drive for MBA and Macs
- Epson AIO providing network printing and scanning
- An iPad to manage it all via VPN and remote app
I would love to see pictures of this. I want to have a multi speaker house set up eventually.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
I would love to see pictures of this. I want to have a multi speaker house set up eventually.
I can get some shots of the rack but it ain't pretty :) Home made shelves between to studs, mounted on a swing-away panel to hide the cords.

The real convenience are the Apple TV's and the Airport Express. They make it easy to provide multi-zone media throughout a house compared to professional systems--and I they're much easier to install, operate and maintain.
 

vastoholic

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,957
0
Tulsa, OK
I can get some shots of the rack but it ain't pretty :) Home made shelves between to studs, mounted on a swing-away panel to hide the cords.

The real convenience are the Apple TV's and the Airport Express. They make it easy to provide multi-zone media throughout a house compared to professional systems--and I they're much easier to install, operate and maintain.
Haha. I don't really care about how it looks. I'm not an AV guy so I'm not really familiar with how your set up is actually put together and works together. I know what I want, but I'm not completely sure how to go about doing it.
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
1,112
15
I currently use a custom built / modified 2011 Mac mini with very good results as my HTPC. It is the centralized media gateway for Live TV, DVR, Movies, Photos and Music. I encode everything with Handbrake to H.264 files in 720p for comedy and romance, and 1080p for action and sci-fi. I use bootcamp and leave the system on 24/7.

Below are the complete configuration, settings and links.

Tuner Configuration
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime-6CC-3X2
Signal Strength: 99-100% (-0.1db - 4.8db)
Signal Quality: 100% (34db - 36db)
Symbol Quality: 100%

Netgear ProSafe 10/100/1000 Switch
Motorola Signal Booster 2-Port BDA-S2

Apple Mac Mini HTPC Configuration
2011 Mac mini 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7
8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
512GB Samsung 830 SSD
1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400RPM

Logitech diNovo Mini
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/keybo...8?WT.mc_id=AMR_DR_Q1_FY13_SERP&WT.srch=1&ci=0

LaCie Slim Blu-ray
http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10539

Microsoft Windows 7 HTPC Configuration
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (on OCZ Vertex 3 MI SSD)
AHCI enabled
Disable Hibernate
Disable Sleep
Control Panel > Power Options > Balanced
Control Panel > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings
> Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after - 20 minutes
> PCI Express > Link State Power Management - Maximum power savings

Broadcom NetExtreme Gigabit Ethernet:
All Offload options disabled
Rx & Tx Flow Control enabled
802.11az EEE disabled

Microsoft Security Essentials:
Excluded D:\Recorded TV
Excluded .wtv files
Excluded ehshell.exe; ehSched.exe; ehRecvr.exe

Windows Media Center:
Tuner Salad for up to 12 tuners (currently use 6 tuners)
Media Browser & Neo Theme
Channel Logos

Scheduled Tasks:
Weekly restart of the HTPC (shutdown /r /f /t 0)
Weekly restart of SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime ("C:\Program Files\Silicondust\HDHomeRun\hdhomerun_config.exe" {tuner ID here} set /sys/restart self)

Two (2) Xbox 360 Slim 4GB extenders
Logitech Harmony One
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remot...devices/harmony-one-advanced-universal-remote

Links
Enabling AHCI for Windows on 2011 Macs:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/f...ing-AHCI-for-Windows-on-MBP-2011-now-possible

Tuner Salad:
http://mychannellogos.com/TunerSalad.aspx

Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Schedule A Tasks:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/schedule-a-task

Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Disable / Enable Hibernate:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/819-hibernate-enable-disable.html
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
I've been lookin at drives, what kind do you have?
This one:

http://www.amazon.com/LG-Portable-Super-Multi-Drive/dp/B001ECT5K4

From my experience with several brands, pretty much any portable DVD/CD drive will work with Macs. I've used two LG's in the past and both were marked as only Windows compatible.

For something sexier that looks pretty on a desk, I use this one with my iMac:

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Slot-Loading-Portable-SuperMulti-PA3845U-1DV2/dp/B0040UOP20/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339727195&sr=1-1&keywords=toshiba+dvd+drive

It tucks nicely under the my iMac, on the foot of the stand.
 

tmanto02

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 5, 2011
1,146
328
Australia
Wow I'm thoroughly impressed with everyones set-ups!

For those out there with a tv tuner for their mac mini, how does it go?

I want to be able to record tv however i tried the legato hybrid and the quality was terrible so I gave up. Is the HDHomerun better? Or should I just fork out and get tivo?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
I would love to see pictures of this. I want to have a multi speaker house set up eventually.
Wow I didn't realize how snug the rack was under the stairwell until I just tried to get some pictures :D

Here's the closed rack:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0506.JPG

Here's the open rack:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0499.JPG

From the back:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0504.JPG

There wasn't enough room under the steps to get a good length of the back side but I think its enough to see the cords behind the back panel.
 

MysteryStep

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2012
3
0
Oklahoma
-2011 Base Mini, upgraded to 4GB RAM
-Plex Media Center and Server
-2TB FW800 HDD
-42" Vizio Plasma
-Bose Cinemate II
-Nintendo Wii
-Xbox 360 Slim 250GB
-Logitech Harmony 700

____________________
:apple:Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" 2.2GHz i7, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD
:apple:Mid 2011 Mac mini 2.3GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD
:apple:iPhone 4s 32GB :apple:iPad 2 16GB Wifi+3G
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
1,112
15
Wow I'm thoroughly impressed with everyones set-ups!

For those out there with a tv tuner for their mac mini, how does it go?

I want to be able to record tv however i tried the legato hybrid and the quality was terrible so I gave up. Is the HDHomerun better? Or should I just fork out and get tivo?
The HDHomeRun Prime is a digital CableCARD tuner so the quality is whatever your provider delivers. Premium HD channels can be really good. My 720p handbrake encodes of bluray are more consistent in quality but comparable. FWIW, 1080p Handbrake High Profile is extreme close to Bluray, so no cable is going to come close until they send 1080p MP4. I believe charter's plus pack or something is doing H.264 MP4 but its causing issues on Sandybridge Intel HD 3000.

My next project is to get a Sonnet xMac rack and OWC Mercury Rack Pro. Anyone know the noise level of these two components? Can the Sonnet rack mount be removed for stacking?
 

EvilC5

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2010
504
0
Hanover MD
office
2010 Mini Server 8gb ram, 1tb internal drive space
drobo 8tb fw800
2x 3tb seagate goflex (1 for Eyetv, 1 for bluray rips)
eyetv hd with turbo encoder
audio engine D1 DAC to Audio engine A2's
Vizio 42 inch tv
Fios DVR
gigabit network

Living room:
Mini i5 with 8gb and 500gb drive
Audioengine D1 DAC
ATV3
Samsung Bluray player
Onkyo TX-NR709 receiver
2x Adcom 555 amplifiers
Martin Logan Accent i's
Velodyne HGS-10 sub
Martin Logan Fresco center speaker
Polk LS/FX surrounds
Samsung 55 Inch LED LCD
zone 2 outside, 4 klipsch outdoor speakers on patio and deck

Family room
PS3
xbox360
Wii
2x ATV2 (one for each TV, son can watch cartoons, and I can watch what I want)
Sony DA5-ES
Klipsch speakers
samsung 46 inch LED LCD (one side of the room)
Vizio 42 inch LCD (over bar)
HDMI over cat6 from cable box in living room to be able to get fios to basement with no box (fios app on iphone controls)
Airport express to sony powered speakers

bedroom
ATV2 to Vizio 42 inch lcd

Garage
ATV2 to 20 inch LCD

spare bedroom
ATV1 to 20 inch LCD

kitchen
ATV2 to 20 inch LCD

all can be controlled by iphone/ipad, 9 zones of audio if you count the bedrooms. if i felt like dropping a little more money, I would probably get audioengine D1's and A5's for the bedroom, kitchen, and garage, but its already a little too complex for the wife as it is.
 

Chippy99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
973
27
Okey dokey:

2011 Mini 2.3GHz with 16GB ram 256GB SSD and 1TB hard disk
iTunes & Channel D PureMusic, playing lossless CD rips and 24/96 HD audio
Apple remote app on iPad and iPhone

into

Benchmark DAC-1HDR & Audiolab AV32R192BP

into

Wyred4Sound SX-1000 monoblock poweramps (1,140 Watts per channel, i.e. quite loud :))) )

into

Wilson Benesch Curve speakers (front)
Wilson Benesch Arc speakers (rear)

Mainly use this for stereo. Pioneer KRP-500A Kuro plasma for the pictures when watching telly.

Oh. And a REL subwoofer, I forgot. And a logic harmony 900 remote as well. Forgot that too.
 
Last edited:

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,272
192
Howell, New Jersey
Okay A sony 46 inch led tv.
a sony bluray player
a 2011 mac mini
a pegasus r6
3 subs
5 diy mtm and mt speakers all focal cones and tweeters 5
2 channel amp plates for the speakers a diy stereo for 2 subs and a sub amp
A technics processor for sound.
a diy pc. and eye tv for recording.
a cabvison box
the mini the cable box the pc the bluray all go to the sony.
the sony feeds sound to the processor.

this is the den.
 

mentaluproar

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2010
1,731
130
Ohio, USA
2011 2.5 ghz i5 with AMD graphics and 8 gig ram upgrade
42inch LG led tav
XBMC Eden with the neon skin (I liked night better)
hipporemote on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 (although I am playing with constellation and XBMC remote)
home theater in a box system with a grinding fan that just won't die
apple bluetooth keyboard and touchpad with the twelve south magic wand
logitech C910 webcam and a bluetooth earpiece carried over from the previous mini (haven't worked reliably since the lion upgrade)
cyberpower UPS
3TB OWC mercury elite pro connected via FW800
enormous cooling fan on the back of the tv stand to cool the mac and HDD (that drive runs REALLY hot)

and an appleTV3 for when I separate the TV from the computer (when I move into a bigger place) Obviously, I love my shiny.
 

dcorban

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
913
28
There are some hardcore setups here.

I just have the Mac Mini 2010 (the last one with a DVD drive) running Plex, connected to a 50" HDTV and stereo receiver.

Why have people upgraded their HTPC to 8GB RAM? 2GB seems to be enough.
 

BFizzzle

macrumors 68020
May 31, 2010
2,443
0
Austin TX
Wow I didn't realize how snug the rack was under the stairwell until I just tried to get some pictures :D

Here's the closed rack:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0506.JPG

Here's the open rack:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0499.JPG

From the back:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13608245/DSCF0504.JPG

There wasn't enough room under the steps to get a good length of the back side but I think its enough to see the cords behind the back panel.


8lllllllllD ------ - - -- - -

is what that made me do


mines just the 2011 i7 2.0 ghz quad core server. upgraded with 16gb ram, and dual 256 ssd
42" lg LCD,
xbox 360 (of course)

ill move my mini to the desk where i have a 22" led, when i need to do serious work.

beats the hell out of buying a imac
 

vastoholic

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,957
0
Tulsa, OK
There are some hardcore setups here.

I just have the Mac Mini 2010 (the last one with a DVD drive) running Plex, connected to a 50" HDTV and stereo receiver.

Why have people upgraded their HTPC to 8GB RAM? 2GB seems to be enough.
For me personally it's because I still use my mini as my main computer as well working with Aperture and FCPX (only lightly for hobby use) and a few occasional games. It's my only computer at the moment, and it just happens to be my hub for streaming my music and movies as well.
 

slomo86

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2008
91
0
Turkey
MacMini 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo (Mid 2007)
OS X Lion
3GB RAM
120GB internal OWC SSD
2 TB External WD MyBook
Plex
60" Sharp Aquos Quattron :cool:
PS3

I also have a G5 that has a 1 TB drive. Along with my mid 2010 MB that is running Mountain Lion, I took out the optical drive and replaced it with a 500GB media drive. All are set up for sharing.

I am looking into upgrading to a newer Mini so I can run Mountain Lion. It plays 1080p pretty good but sometimes it will skip frames. But if I put the video on the SSD I have no problems. The SSD was the best purchase I could have ever made!!! :D
 
Last edited:

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