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Apple TV Discussion of Apple TV, the new revolution in watching television.

Apple TV vs Mac Mini


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ComboCasting

 
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Okay not comparing the cost of these two, as a mini would be about $400 more, but honetly wouldn't it be so much better to hook up a Mac Mini to my TV, rather than an Apple TV?

I could then watch a lot of internet TV as well, and surf. Am I missing something?
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bobtomay

 
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Nope, you're not missing anything. A directly connected computer is still vastly superior to any of the other available devices out there. Unless you want Vudu in HD. Must have one of the other devices for that.

I personally recommend a windows box for a HTPC vs OS X also.

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I have both connected to my HDTV. The AppleTV is great for iTunes stuff in that it's quick - just the Apple Remote and TV remote. Very convenient. For anything else, including internet content and YouTube, the Mini wins hands down. A downside is using the keyboard and mouse and TV remote from across the room in a Lazy-Boy with no table surface. The work around is Screen Sharing with a laptop. Still, the ability to use an actual keyboard to enter URLs is a big plus and of course you can watch just about any type of video format you like with VLC player and other free applications. Actually, since I paired a spare Apple Remote to the Mini, it's pretty convenient to play/stop/pause content as well.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComboCasting View Post
Okay not comparing the cost of these two, as a mini would be about $400 more, but honetly wouldn't it be so much better to hook up a Mac Mini to my TV, rather than an Apple TV?

I could then watch a lot of internet TV as well, and surf. Am I missing something?
Depends on what you want to do. I don't really want to surf the web on my TV or watch other content, I just want to stream my library so a mini would be a waste of time and money for me. Your requirements are different so it may be better for you.


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Nethfel

 
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I personally use an ATV2 right now as it suits my needs. Before I used a mini hooked to my TV - I didn't use a keyboard or mouse, and instead only used the IR remote - running Plex (or XBMC if you'd prefer that) on the mini. It played 1080p video encoded @35mbps without a problem. I only switched because the ATV2 fit better on my entertainment center and fit my needs better as I spend less time watching some of the other formats I used to and currently primarily watch video streamed from my iTunes library.

Keep in mind, I do have a lot of MKV files - to play those I either have to transcode them or use XBMC or Plex on the ATV2 (through jailbreak) but it's not as reliable for playback as the mini was.

I'm happy with my ATV2 for what I need. I a long time ago had a windows based HTPC, but since I didn't play bluray nor dvds through my HTPC, it was a waste for me as it was much larger then the mini w/ plea and didn't provide a better experience then the mini w/plex. As I moved to getting more through iTunes, the mini was just retired.

If you have a lot of files using various video containers, a HTPC (either a mini running OSX or Windows, whichever you prefer) is a better solution. If you need DVD or bluray playback functionality, windows is a better solution (DVD playback through plex or xbmc is kinda lacking in quality IMHO). If you use primarily iTunes as your source for movies, an ATV2 is a better solution.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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