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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - Q's about iMac


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Bhealy

 
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I'm going to get a iMac soon.

Thing is, I like my mouse and keyboard. I can still use my MS intellieye mouse with the Imac right?

I like my old keyboard, too I don't really wanna throw it away and get a new lightweight keyboard. The iMac's don't have a p/s2 port on the back so I'm wondering if theres a usb - p/s2 adapter out there.

Or maybe I'm just going to have to find a good heavyweight keyboard that doesn't move when you start typing on it. The keyboard I have now is about 15 years old and works like a charm. Very solidly built thing.
Most new keyboards are lightweight plastic p.o.s.
Is the Imac keyboard really good? Heavy and sturdy?

I'm also mainly interested in HD playback. Like 264 and mpeg 2 files.
And I have an HDTV; so I ALSO want to watch my HD files on my tv.
I have an xbr960 with hdmi and a firewire port.

I was also thinking of getting a Mini just for playing those files on my tv.

Sorry bout the long rambling post, but I just don't know what to buy right now.
I want an Imac definately but not sure what model to get.

I need alot of help here.
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mac57

 
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There are lots of PS/2 to USB adapters out there, so don't worry about that. You can use a Microsoft or Windows keyboard with most Macs, but you miss one or two really important keys, like the media eject key. On an iMac this may not be that critical, since you can always eject the media from the desktop anyway.

Apple's basic keyboard is reasonable - not great, but reasonable. Apple's basic mouse, the so called Mighty Mouse is - in my opinion - pretty bad. I replaced it right away when I got a Mac. Went for a nice wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse combo. The Mighty Mouse seems to engender either love or hate. There are lots of folks on both sides.

It sounds like you want a new iMac and Apple's new Apple TV, not a mini. The Apple TV (see their web page for details) looks like a slimmed down mini. It receives streamed media from your iMac and plays it out onto your TV. Get an iMac, the new Airport Extreme (802.11 draft n) and an Apple TV box and you will be set!

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Bhealy

 
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I'm such a newb at all of this I should know more. See , first thank you for the reply. I got a new computer about 2 years ago and I got a new video card 1 year ago. Both are showing their age now with High def material.

I looked at the Apple tv thing and I got the impression that it JUST works with iTunes. Well the stuff I want to watch on my tv includes much more then what I have from iTunes. What are the resolutions of movies and shows on iTunes, they can't look that good on a 1080i HDTV can they?

The apple tv recieves ANY kind of streamed media? Or just iTunes stuff?
If it plays avis and 264's and .ts files then it's a winner for me. If not then its a deal-breaker.

Whats the Airport Extreme all about?
I need this information in laymans terms because it's all new to me.

I've had my microsoft intellieye for a long time now, it uses a laser , it doesnt have a ball. And it's great for me. It's wired of course. It's native usb but I have a usb/ps/2 adapter for my machine. It works fine. I dont need a mac mouse.

Whats the story about the mini? Is it a middleman between an Imac and my HDTV? Or is it supposed to be a computer directly connected to a tv?
Do I transfer files from my computer to the mini to watch on my tv?
Or do I just have the mini AS my computer using my current keyboard, monitor (10 years old) and mouse? And I could use the firewire from the mini to the tv directly? Do you have a choice of hooking up a tv OR a monitor to the mini? It seemed to me on the web site like it was simply supposed to replace my current computer then pipe High Def directly to my tv via firewire or hdmi. Then I read that people have their tv's hooked up directly to it.
So that confuses me.

I definately want an Imac. My ultimate goal is to watch my HD files on my HDTV with out messing up my tv.
Do iTune movies and shows look good on HDTV's?

Couldn't I just get an Imac and use a firewire cable from my iMac to my hdtv to get HD tv and movies onto my tv? Do I even need a mini?
Or I could get a mini dvi to dvi and a dvi - hdmi cable to go from a mini to my hdmi on my tv *oh my headaches* : )
Help a newb out lol
Thanks
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I'm afraid I can only help with some of this, since I don't watch ANY sort of TV from my computer.

First of all, the Airport Extreme is simply Apple's brand for a WiFi capable router. The Airport Extreme supports 802.11, 802.11g and the new draft (not yet fully certified industry wide) 802.11n. The "draft n" version is important because it allows transmission of up to 100 Mbps over the air, the same speed as many of today's wired routers. The fact that it is not certified industry wide is of no consequence if you buy "draft n" routers and "draft n" capable computer from the same vendor, in this case Apple.

802.11g, with its top speed of 54 Mbps, was said to be just BARELY able to handle streamed TV adequately. 802.11n is said to do a very nice job of it. That is why Apple released both Airport Extreme and Apple TV together. You need both for a good experience.

The Apple TV is clearly aimed at streaming TV, but will do audio media as well. According to Apple's web page on its connectivity:

http://www.apple.com/appletv/connect.html

it is capabile of HDTV up to 1080i - note the "i", not the most demanding form of 1080, which is 1080p.

Again according to this website, it will only stream stuff from iTunes, but remember, iTunes is really just a media management program. This doesn't imply that it will only play stuff you bought from the iTunes online store. It will definitely play MPEG4's ripped from DVDs for example. I have done that myself.

Re the mini, it is a full fledged Mac, as I am sure you are aware. So it is a free standing computer, rather like a PC, needing only your keyboard, mouse and monitor to work. It is the low end of the Mac line, featuring slower processors and shared memory graphics. It makes a great general purpose Mac, but don't plan on using it for really demanding stuff.

I'm afraid I can't help much further - I am not aware of ways to directly connect your Mac to your TV via firewire or other techniques. This doesn't mean that you can't do it, just that I am not aware of it.

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
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Bhealy

 
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Right now I have a router that handles 2 computers wired to it and 1 notebook wirelessly. It works great. What WiFi do for me? Just give me more bandwidth? Would that help in speeding transfers of HD files to a mini?

Well Apple tv has the right connections, but it's too limited in what it can handle, i think. I just tried to drag and drop some tv files into iTunes and they won't go. Mpegs go but that's it. I need more then what iTunes gives me.

I don't care about audio-only being played through my tv speakers.

All I would want for the mini is to put my HD files onto it's hard drive from either my current pc or my iMac when I get one.
Then hook up the mini to my tv via hdmi or firewire and play hd files from the hard drive.

Either run Hd files directly from my iMac via firewire or from the mini.
These HD files won't run in iTunes.

Even tho the iPod has a tiny screen Heroes and 24 look perfect on it. Not too dark or bright. Are the apple monitors attached to the iMac just like that? Basically a bigger version of the iPod screen?
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Alexis

 
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The iMac monitors don't have much in common with the iPod screens, but are top notch TFT panels. You won't have a problem with them at all.

The Apple keyboard is actually quite heavy and sturdy, but you can use any mouse or keyboard with a USB cable. PS/2 USB adaptors are cheap and easy to get hold of - most new keyboards comes with them in the box.
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Bhealy

 
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Well I'm under the impression that most of what Apple uses is top-notch.
I've always had that impression, btw.

But now that iMac's do windows, it opens them up for me. Plus I figure I'll learn what OS X is all about. The main thing is just simply watching tv shows and movies on my hdtv.

Well when I buy my iMac (not sure when I'll drop the plastic yet) I'll of course try the apple keys, but I'm pleased with my current board. So I can't lose that way. My current mouse is usb native so nothing to lose there either.

I'm thinking now I'll get a iMac for day to day computing and a mini to play stuff on my hdtv via dvi --> hdmi.

But that could change at any time : )
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