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

mini - Mini for home theater users, is 1.66GHz enough?


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fleurya

 
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I'm planning to eventually get a Mac mini that will be used primarily for home theater application: music, movies, maybe TV some internet use. I'm not interested in BR/HDDVD, just DVD playback and maybe putting movies on an external HDD to store.

Will the 1.66 be enough to handle what I want or should I get the 1.83GHz? The price difference is considerable and I don't want to spend more for nothing.

Also, I may install Vista via Bootcamp because I think Media Center has more to offer, like TV recording, better remote and one interface for all options I want to access. Has anyone done this? Is there a program for Mac that can do everything Window Media Center can?

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dtravis7

 
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All I can tell you is this. I have a DEAD STOCK 1.66 Core Duo Mini. I have not even yet upgraded the RAM from the Stock 512MB. It runs 1080p HD videos DEAD smooth. In fact it's the best system in my house at playing 1080p. I am not talking HD DVD's or BR. Movies from Apple. Every video I play on it is smooth. I am using it on my Sony WEGA in the front room for video playback. Very happy with it. Only warning to you is the current 1.66Ghz Mini's optical drive does not burn DVD's. If that is important, get the 1.83 model.
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gilesjuk

 
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Same experience here, all Intel Macs I've tried have been powerful enough to display HD.

Where they differ is in seek times, faster drives, processors and more RAM all help when it comes to fast forwarding.

Install 1GB of RAM in a Mini and you have a nice media station. Get a Wiimote and use Darwin Remote if you want to hide the mini, it works over Bluetooth so no line of sight required.
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fleurya

 
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Thanks!

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do you already have a mac? thought about the appletv??
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gbar

 
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Hi there,
Although i've been a Mac user for a few years now i've never really done too much other than very simple stuff and am currently thinking about going the whole Mac mini entertainment centre type thing. Ideally i'd like to have a mini hooked upto a TV so i can record TV, watch DVD's, surf the net and also play back iTunes through my stereo system. Unfortunately i don't have a scooby how to go about this or what programs/hardware i'll need. Is this what Frontrow is designed to do? Not a techy type person when it comes to home entertainment stuff so if anybody answers please pretend it's a 5 year old you're talking to!
Don't plan on downloading films from iTunes at the minute so don't think the appletv is for me but i may be wrong
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fleurya

 
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I'm not interested at all in Apple TV. It doesn't offer functions I'm looking for like recording live TV or playing HD movies and shows that will actually look good on an HDTV.

The form factor is important and I may end up running Vista with MCE or a software alternative like MythTV which can do what MCE can. Front Row and Apple TV are just too limited. Maybe in the future when Apple catches up with MS on this front.

I found a good source for Mini info at 123macmini.com which has a lot of info on Minis and media center set-ups.

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gbar

 
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Thanks fo rthe MacMini Link i'll give it a go
gbar
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Another one I found that is good with specific HT info, but a little dated, is www.macminicenter.com

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jakeroberts

 
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If you can wait a few days to buy then I would see what happens at WWDC. There is talk of the Mini getting the ax and possibly replaced with something else.
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fleurya

 
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Yeah, but is that good or bad? If they discontinue and there's pent-up demand in the market from those either waiting to get one later or waiting for an update, the price for used units will be at a premium.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
Yeah, but is that good or bad? If they discontinue and there's pent-up demand in the market from those either waiting to get one later or waiting for an update, the price for used units will be at a premium.
I'm in that boat. I'll wait and see what happens then decide to either ebay mine or retire it as a media center.
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