Will Launchpad give the simplicity of e.g. a Roku?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Greenone, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #1
    Hello!

    My new and first HDTV is internet-capable but doesn't have apps built in. I'm clueless as to which streaming device to get though am obviously leaning toward a Mac Mini for all the extra abilities. The Roku had me tempted though cause I really liked the idea of turning on my TV and quickly seeing a bunch of fun apps to choose from, right off the bat (or just a click away). I read that Apple TV doesn't have a lot of the apps I like (Pandora being a big one, aside from the fact it has something similar through iTunes).

    I'm not into the whole hacking thing. If I get a Mac Mini it would seem I could get whatever apps (shortcuts?) I want (?). Is that possible by using Launchpad which I've never used but have heard about? I've also read you can only get all the cool apps if you have an ipod or ipad but not an apple PC which seems ridiculous.

    I was told the app or shortcut (not sure of terminology) for Pandora is called Pandora's Box. Is it hacking to use it? Some stuff I'm reading seems to indicate it is...I'm totally confused. If I had the latest OS Lion I could check myself on my Macbook Pro but I don't see the point in paying $30 to test it if it comes with the new Mac mini for free (if I end up getting it that is).

    Advice? I'd like the Mac Mini if it's true that I can utilize this Launchpad and get a Pandora icon/shortcut/app/widgety thing to pop up. ;)

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. qCzar, Sep 6, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011

    qCzar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    SFBA, CA
    #2
    How does it not have Apps built-in? That's a first for me. Would you mind sharing your TV Model or Series?

    For your case, I think a Mac Mini is overkill. If you want apps like Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, etc get a Roku or a modern day Blu-Ray player as they all come with apps. Make sure, however, you get a wifi enabled and not a wfi ready player; for the wifi ready you'll need a wifi USB dongle or an ethernet cord, as a result I think the wifi enabled are worth the extra money. If you Skype frequently with relatives or friends, some even support Skype Video Calling.

    I agree that a Mac Mini is nice - I have one and a WiFi Enabled TV (Vizio XVT37SV, 37" LEDTV) - and rarely use the Mini for HTPC purposes aside from iTunes Season Passes and YouTube (no YouTube on my TV Apps). I'm not a heavy Pandora user but I do open Pandora on my TV from time to time. Mostly though, I run iTunes and use my iPhone with Apple's "Remote" iOS Application.

    I'm not a heavy Launch Pad user - neither the dock as I use Spotlight Search (CMND+Space) to open all my Apps - but for the times I used it, it's a great way to centralize applications. But, everything the Roku can do you can do in Safari and I believe Pandora is one of the few web based media services with a desktop client; I know Hulu had one for a short while. If Pandora still uses a Widget, just set up three finger swiping and swipe right until you view your widgets.

    However, with the right universal remote you can control both your TV and your WiFi Enabled Blu-Ray Player (with internet apps) so you'd only need one remote for both opposed to the Mac Mini where you'd need to find a surface to place the keyboard and trackpad. Yes, a trackpad. Along with the MagicWand, you're set. But with how the TrackPad works, you'll need a hard surface to use it unless you get comfortable double taping to click instead of pressing like you do on their laptops; it's a configurable option.

    You'll be more versatile with a Mac Mini, but I think you'll be happier with a WiFi Enabled Blu-Ray player. Or, if you already have some form of a Blu-Ray player and/or don't wish to upgrade, a Roku box will suit you fine.
     

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