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Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BrittQ, Feb 17, 2009.
Will a 1.83 Core Duo w/ 2GB ram be able to do the work of a HTPC - play HD video files?
Should work fine.
I often use mine to play HD MKV's on my TV using VLC. (mini thing to dvi, dvi to hdmi, with seperate sound cable)
Probably don't need 2gb to do that but at current prices there is no reason no to, I would upgrade if I did not already!
Playing over WIFI is not recomended, it causes stutters though minimally. (N may be viable but the core duo's did not have it)
Also playing off disk can cause stuttering, though less than over WIFI.
I think VLC only uses 1 core, the machine will get hot but nothing to worry about. (probably best not to put it on kindling though)
For reference my mini can play 720p with occasional stuttering but mostly ok and that's a 1.5 core solo!
With Plex or XBMC it will play 1080p m4v content just fine. Any other software will choke with 1080p, even at moderate bit rates (10-15 mbps).
I was waiting for the mini to get updated. But my wife wants a new macbook. So I was thinking about using her current 1.83 as the htpc instead.
I plan on connecting my drobo to it and using plex.
But, not if it will stutter with Blu ray rips...
The two biggest issues working against you are (1) the small L2 cache of the Core Duo processor and (2) potential bandwidth problems with outputting through the mini DVI port. Only way to tell is to give it a try, but I suspect you'll have dropped frames with m2ts files from Blu-ray rips.
hhmm my 2.16GHz Core Duo finds it somewhat hard playing them (CPU usage is always around 100%), yours is a considerable amount below mine, just expect there to be some stutters on very high detailed scenes!
I have yet to rip Blu ray, but it's the next step in my setup. Would it make a a difference if the Bly ray files were compressed down to 15gigs each?
no they would be quite alright for viewing, and at that bitrate would probably be around the maximum capacity that your MB could process in real time anyway.
I had a 1.83Ghz MB hooked up to my 52" for a bit and it worked fine. I since moved to a 2.4Ghz Black MB for aesthetic reasons, but your 1.83 should work fine for 1080P files.
Silly question but could you output a 720P format????? 5 years ago 720 P was the best in HD output and unless you are on a 60 inch or biggrer I really doubt that you will ever notice the difference. Just saying your resolution will be slightly down but on a 50inch or smaller display you would be hardpressed to see the drop
always go for the best!!! and atm best = 1080p. so we are basing it off that.
I would have to dissagree on "the best". I would ask have to ask what screen size brittQ is working on. If it is anything less than 60" your eye will really not see the difference.
I will use a horsepower analogy. It would be like saying you have 2000HP in mustang,camaro, whatever car you like. Compared with someone who only has 500. 2000 is obviously better, but could you get that HP to the ground and make it work. The 500 HP car would actually work every bit as well if not better.
Just saying, if the mini might struggle with 1080p why not decrease the bitrate to a 720p where it would have no problems and you really can not see a noticeable difference.
We all know this as it's been discussed ad nauseum over the last couple of years here on the forums.
The issue is that it's far easier to get 1080p content (from Blu-ray rips) than 720p content. The output option is irrelevant because it still has to be decoded as 1080p. Most of us do not want to transcode from 1080p m2ts files down to 720p as that is a lossy step. You can, but it's not desirable for some. Doing so can result is very nice 720p content if you use Handbrake and its constant quality or 5500 kpbs ABR during the transcode - certainly better than Apple's offerings.
My 1.83 Core (1) Duo mac mini does great as a HTPC. It has 2gb ram and is attached to a Drobo.
That said, I don't really do or have any HD content on it, so I don't know if it would choke on that.