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Mac mini as HTPC?

Audio 6000N Play

dotMac

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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
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I was just wondering whether anyone here use Mac mini as a HTPC to drive a FullHD HDTV?

If yes, can you let me know the pitfalls you have so far encountered?
Or any limitation that I must be aware of?
Did you had to buy a Streamer or Win HTPC as a supplement to Mac?
Did you had a need to install Windows? If so why?
If anyone has considered mini and gave it a pass? If so, I would appreciate if your can let me know the reason for that.

Additional Info :
1. I am considering it over AppleTV as I can use the full blown OS for other activities. Snow leopard anyways has the FrontRow.

2. I am aware of the fact that I can get a streamer or an assembled HTPC for lesser price. But I am one of those Mac guys ;)
So lets just reduce the scope of discussion to just positives/negatives of Mac mini as HTPC.

3. I use a Mac Pro and a MacBook and these Macs are capable of playing all formats of the SD/HD files I have downloaded so far. I mostly use QT X+Perian and VLC as backup. But never used a Mac mini and hence not really sure.

4. I am not a gamer and wont miss the PC games.

5. Planning to use it occasionally as a PC for browsing, emailing, chat, Xcoding ;)

6. One downside I have noted is that it misses the Bluray drive. And probably I cannot upgrade the stock super drive to BD Drive. Its not critical as I am planning to get a standalone BDPlayer.

7. I do not want to install Windows even over a Virtualization software.

8. The mini will not have any other monitor. HDTV will be the sole display and it will be occasionally accessed via remote desktop from Macbook.
 
Last edited:

dotMac

Active Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
246
Points
28
Location
India
@bansal
Thanks for the link. I had gone through some of these reviews and that looked promising.

Reviewers just look at features, spec.
I was curious to get inputs from anyone here who has actually used it and lived by it.

I am actually considering buying a used 2009 mini without HDMI. I was planning to use the optical-out for multi-channel audio and use a mini-dvi to HDMI adaptor for video.
If I don't get a 2009 mini for a good price, I may go to a Hackintosh or a 2010 mini.

@Raghav,
My understanding about Apple's vision about AppleTV(or iTV) is bit different. IMHO, Apple views the iTV as a medium to get content from iTunes store to your HDTV. So if one gets content heavily from iTunes store, iTV is the best device. So unless you hack around, thats going to be it.
With the new device, they will be trying to bring support for Apps(if rumors are true) to the TV. I am very curious on how they are going to do it as none of the iTouch interface will be available. Gruber would add : Unless Apple gives a iPhone kind of a remote with iTV ;)

Mostly I will give it a pass or add it along side my HTPC ;)
The HTPC I am looking for has to have a full blown Mac OS X running. Thats one of the main criteria for me. Anyways my purchase will be after Apple's September media event. :)
 
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