Using MacBook as media pc?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by detz, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. detz macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    I was going to buy a mac mini...but then I heard they might come out with new ones in January so I'm waiting. On top of that I want the new 17" MacBook Pro when it comes out so if I get that then my old MacBook will be around collecting dust. Instead of getting a new macbook and a mac mini maybe I can use my old macbook(less than a year old) as the media pc I was going to use the mac mini for but is there a way to run it with the lid closed? With this hurt the computer? Would I be better off trying to sell it and getting a mac mini?
  2. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I am no expert. But I believe there is no way to keep a macbook active with the lid closed. At least, I've never figured out how to do it with mine. However, this may not be the case if you are directly feeding video out. I'd imagine you can keep the lid closed when feeding video directly to a as long as you feed the video directly to your TV...i think it might be possible...

    ...others who know more should probably chime in tho...
  3. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    There are apps you can use to keep the MacBook on when the lid is closed. Insomniac and Coffee are two I can think of off the top of my head. You can use the MacBook as a Media Mac. It is capable of outputting HD and 5.1 surround.
  4. marklight macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006

    if you shut your lid... the laptop goes to sleep. if you have an apple remote... just hold down one of the buttons (can't remember which - usually I just tap them all haha) and it wakes the mac up.

    I suggest looking into the media center program "plex" not only is it great- and ever improving, but it has an option to put your computer to sleep which is nice.

    A year old macbook should be able to handle 1080p video and such with no problem.
  5. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    It's not really the playback I'm worried about, I use it to watch HD movies now so I know it works. My concern is leaving the lid closed for ever while playing HD movies that really heat up the CPU. I don't want to melt or fry anything from extended use.

    Anyone know of any write-ups on how to remove the screen?
  6. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    Anyone else have any experience with this? I'm really thinking of just using my macbook for my permanent media center/server but I want to make it small and look good with my other components.
  7. purplesaber macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    I would love to see if anyone has experience with this too. I have a 2 year old Macbook and when it's time to upgrade I would like to have it be my media server/HTPC -- if it could be done with the lid closed it would be much easier to slip it in with the media center.

    I looked at Insomniac but I saw some complaints about it writing itself onto the computer in such a way that it can't be removed. I'm not an expert, but that gave me pause.

    I think the Macbook can stay awake if you connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to it. I don't want the keyboard and mouse plugged in so I haven't figured a way around that, but it does imply that Apple considers it safe to run the Macbook with the lid closed.

    Anyone who can share if and how they are doing this?
  8. obey908 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 21, 2008
    San Francisco
    before i got my apple tv i ran my macbook pro with the lid closed. Had no problems with heat or anything
  9. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    turn it on when it gets to the apple shut the lid and alls good aslong as the primary display is ur tv and it completely shuts off the screen. instead of the programs that keep the display on. And when i say primary the dock is on your tv.
  10. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    ^ yea, the MBP is aluminum, and the MB is polycarbonate. Remove the screen? Does it bother you to just leave it on and feed the video to another source?
  11. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Running lid-closed DOES NOT damage current Mac laptops. If it did, Apple wouldn't have included the ability to run in clamshell mode.
  12. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    Lets hope so, watching HD movies puts a loan on the CPU for a long time...

    I wonder if I can get $800 for my macbook, it would be nice to trade it for the mini since I think it would fix better with the rest of the electronics. Hopefully we'll see the prices of the mac mini when they are released in a few weeks.
  13. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    yea i tried with my macbook as a media thingy and didnt work out too well, why not just buy a apple tv unless if your gunna use the mini for other.
  14. AstonM macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2007
    I run my macbook in clamshell mode when outputting to my 24" monitor at school and my 37" TV at home, use an external keyboard and mouse, pressing a key will wake it up when connected to an external monitor. I use this for regular use, as well as HD video. Heats up a little bit, but I've been doing this for over a year and have had no problems with my macbook. BTW, it still gets regular use (im a college student, so i take it to class and the library). If you're really worried, wake up the laptop in clamshell mode, then open the lid a little, keeps it a bit cooler and your screen stays off. Hope this helps.
  15. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    I guess I will try it before I break down and buy a mini, if the specs are really good on the new ones I might have to break down and buy it anyways. It would be nice to replace my server with the mini too so it would play a dual role as my server and media player.

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