Upgrade purchases for Mac Mini in HT setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by SureShot, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. SureShot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #1
    I'm just trying to make sure I don't forget anything here when it comes to setting up a new Mac Mini for my HT. My list so far includes...

    1. TosLink Female to male connector - is this needed?

    2. Optical cable to connect to adapter above for 5.1

    3. DVI Male to HDMI Female - Did I get this one right? (I already have a spare HDMI Cable)

    4. Upgraded Ram & Hard Drive - Will any 2.5 drive work inside the mini? Also, will any 204 pin ram work? The reason I ask is I would like to shop around for the best deals and want to make sure I'm looking in the right place.

    Lastly - any suggestions for making this the best HT set up possible? I'm guessing Plex is a must, but is there anything else I should look into?

    :apple:Thanks everyone for your help :)
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #2
    you can replace items 1 and 2 with a toslink to mini plug cable...

    just go to the toslink cables on monoprice and scroll down.

    any 2.5" SATA hard drive should work.

    I would buy RAM from a company like OWC. They always have good prices, lifetime warranty, and it's guaranteed to work with the mini.
     
  3. SureShot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #3
    So you mean this cable?

    And thank you for your answers!
     
  4. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    yep, that one works, although you may want to consider a shorter cable (that one is 12ft long and could create unnecessary cable clutter, i have a 3 footer and that's more than enough for me

    PLEX is awesome and you'll really enjoy it. The learning curve is steep for the first couple of days but once you get rolling it's easy as pie and tremendous eye candy.

    depending on the size of your media collection you may want to invest in an external hard drive. I use a collection of WD Green 1 TB drives in external enclosures (i don't trust the all in ones)

    anyways, enjoy your new media center!
     
  5. mohanman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #5
    Can a mac mini play a 1080p mkv file? Thats all I want to know. I used to have a mac mini but sold it on ebay, it choked on 720p files, but it was almost 2-3 years old.

    I just want to know so that I can play on buying one. Also, if I were using plex, would it prevent any pop ups from occurring?

    Thanks
    Mo
     
  6. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    PLEX handles HD content wonderfully. Anything you get off the internet should be fine. If you are ripping your Blue Rays just make sure to drop the DTS when you are muxing. Other than that you should be fine.

    Also, i forgot to mention, a harmony remote is fantastic for controlling PLEX and everything else under the sun. As far as keyboard and mouse duties check out the Logitech Dinovo Extreme Mac Edition Keyboard, its fantastic, and if you hunt for awhile you can get a decent deal, i paid $110 for it on sale on Amazon.
     
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #7
    don't drop the DTS if you have a receiver that decodes it... DTS works fine.

    you won't be able to use DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD, though
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    There are a number of variables in this, principally the bit rate and frame rate. Undoubtably, a 2 gHz Mini can play most 1080p files, and most parts of those that have very high bit rates (e.g., Iron Man) or frame rates (e.g., Indiana Jones 4) straight from the Blu-ray rips. Of the 50 or so Blu-ray rips I have, my 2 gHz GMA950 Mini played all but 4 without any problems.

    I don't understand this. What do you mean by pop-ups?

    I think you mean extract the DTS (and AC3) core from DTS-HD (and True-HD) when muxing. Plex handles AC3 and DTS just fine for passthrough.
     
  9. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #9
    yep :) thanks! I know you are the Blue Ray Ripping Master Blaster!
     
  10. mohanman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #10
    Man Plex is kind of complicated. I don't think my parents would be able to figure it out. I'm just worried that if you have Plex in fullscreen, and os/x has a pop-up of some sort, like update this software, or that software, then it would minimize plex or something like that. That would totally ruin the experience. Then you would have to go get the keyboard, click here and there.. what a pain. Also, when I'm in watch my videos, not my movies, how do you view album art? Because I put the movie I want to watch with the name and name.jpg in the same folder, but it keeps showing me a folder in My videos.. again not movies.

    Mo
     

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