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mkatz 05-16-2012 11:45 PM

mac mini use to stream internet content to HDTV?
I'm hoping to set up a simple HDTV setup for a second bedroom in which I do not have access to a cable jack. I do have a strong, relatively fast (20Mbs) WiFi signal. What do I need to stream content (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube...) to a 1080P HDTV (LED, 40-46").

I've not yet purchased any components. I suspect options include use of a mac mini, appleTV, HDTV. Would use of a "smart" HDTV help or be preferred? Money is not a major concern.

Running cables through walls is infeasible. All suggestions appreciated.

mrplow 05-17-2012 03:02 AM

You can get Netflix and YouTube on AppleTV, connect to the TV with HDMI, connect to you're wifi. Job done.

If you want Hulu you'll have to consider jailbreaking if you go down the AppleTV route. While do-able this adds a level of complexity.

In this case, perhaps consider a ROKU box - Same story as far as connectivity goes but native support for Netflix, youtube and hulu/hulu plus.

As far as a Mac Mini goes it'll do all you need and more but doesn't have the instant on simplicity that a dedicated solution like the ROKU or AppleTV has. It does have flexibility and power on it's side. You have a full blown desktop OS at your disposal so browsing, watching video, email etc etc is all there.

All comes down to what you want. We don't have such a wide range of streaming video providers in the UK so the AppleTV choice was a no brainer for me. And I know it needs no messing about with for the family to use. Just a simply remote, easy on, easy to use.

indychris 05-17-2012 09:49 AM

I have two TV's connected to Mac Minis. For each I have a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad connected with this: Twelve South (12-1101) MagicWand Connects Magic Track Pad to Wireless Keyboard: Electronics

Admittedly, the $29.99 price tag for this imported plastic tube is absurd, but it does what it is supposed to and it actually does it pretty well.

I have and Elgato EyeTV unit connected to each and use Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, etc. The system works very well, plus we can browse the web, check e-mail, etc. without having to pull open a separate computer.

If you ONLY want TV, honestly a Mac Mini might be a bit overkill, and many have complained about the lack of BluRay on the mini, but for me it does exactly what I want and I wouldn't want anything else.

Deckyon 05-17-2012 10:12 AM

I have a MacMini hooked up to my main TV (65" 1080P HDTV) in my living room. I have all my iTunes media on it and Home Sharing set up and working and am able to stream to any Apple device in my house (MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone). Control everything through my Logitech Harmony One remote.

In my bedroom, I have a 27" 720P HDTV hooked up to an Apple TV2. I can stream everything from iTunes, NetFlix and more.

As my main computer is my MacBook Pro, I dont care about surfing on the Mini or anything outside of Media Center applications. Since my entire DVD collection of Movies and Shows is in iTunes, I have a DVD player that is fairly worthless for anything but Blu-Rays.

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