Tell us your Mac Mini media centre

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tmanto02, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. tmanto02 macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2011
    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

  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    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.
  3. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    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.
  4. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    -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.
  5. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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
  6. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I would love to see pictures of this. I want to have a multi speaker house set up eventually.
  7. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
  8. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    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.
  9. Jdable macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    I've been lookin at drives, what kind do you have?
  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    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

    LaCie Slim Blu-ray

    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

    Enabling AHCI for Windows on 2011 Macs:

    Tuner Salad:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Schedule A Tasks:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Disable / Enable Hibernate:
  11. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    This one:

    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:

    It tucks nicely under the my iMac, on the foot of the stand.
  12. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2011
    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?
  13. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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:

    Here's the open rack:

    From the back:

    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.
  14. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Looks spaced out pretty well, but does it get warm at all being under the stairwell? Do you have any extra fans running down there?
  15. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    No heat problems. With the HVAC unit in there it stays pretty temperate throughout the year.
  16. MysteryStep macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2012
    -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
  17. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    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?
  18. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    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
    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
    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

    ATV2 to Vizio 42 inch lcd

    ATV2 to 20 inch LCD

    spare bedroom
    ATV1 to 20 inch LCD

    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.
  19. Chippy99, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    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


    Benchmark DAC-1HDR & Audiolab AV32R192BP


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


    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.
  20. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    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.
  21. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    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.
  22. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    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.
  23. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX

    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
  24. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    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.
  25. slomo86, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

    slomo86 macrumors member


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

    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

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