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Mac mini htpc

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by gentlefury, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    I'm really considering getting a mac mini as a Home theater pc and using plex for media. Any else have this setup? Any opinions, is it fast enough, stable enough etc. Has anyone heard about apple maybe doing airplay for iTunes?

    Any info would be appreciated.
  2. King Hal
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    King Hal iPad Enthusiast

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    Yes, a mac mini is great for an htpc. Try Plex but for me it didn't really work and I've stuck with iTunes and Frontrow. The main problem with Plex is that it didn't pick up a lot of my music. iTunes has over 500 artists but Plex only identified a little over 400. I use the Remote app on both iPhone and iPad to control things.

    I recommend the Mini. I've used one for around five years and just upgraded to the latest server version.
  3. King Hal
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    King Hal iPad Enthusiast

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    BTW I stream to my iPad using StreamToMe
  4. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    I was thinking Remote or even Air Mouse would be good to control it from the iPad.

    Thanks for the info!
  5. NumbLock
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    NumbLock iPad Ninja

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    That idea is pure genius!

    Edit: and they come with an HDMI port! Sweet!

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  6. King Hal
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    King Hal iPad Enthusiast

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    Yes - hdmi goes into AV receiver and from there to 42" plasma, so I can play HD movies and great sound for music. An excellent solution
  7. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    I have the new Sony Google TV...I could plug it directly into the TV.
  8. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Man, Plex is AWESOME! And I didn't realize the Plex iPad app (which I already bought) has a remote included! Sweet! Found all my movies and shows and categorized everything. I will def use that on the Mac Mini.
  9. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Well, I ordered my Mac Mini and an external 2TB hard drive...that should hold for a little while!

    How is the stock 2GB ram amount on it? I figure it only has to do minimal tasks so that should be fine...any thoughts on upgrading?
  10. Dannyboy85
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    Dannyboy85 iPad Junkie

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    I had a last gen MacMini. Upgraded to 2gb ram it ran pretty fast! But the memory is pretty cheap off amazon...
  11. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    yeah I saw that...only thing is you have to replace both dimms. So I think im going to give it a try and see how it runs, if it needs more than 2GB I will up it to 8GB since I find it hard to throw away 2GB ran to only get an additional 2GB. I think it will be fine at 2 tho!
  12. Superbike81
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    Superbike81 iPad Addict

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    Have you looked into products from Popcorn Hour?

    I've got the A-110, and will soon be upgrading to the A-210.

    It's EXTREMELY simple to use, will play just about anything, has a great supportive community of developers, excellent support system, etc, etc.

    You can either connect it to your home network and map it to a computer, or you can install a hard drive into it (which is what I did) and then load files you download onto it through the network or via USB drive. It plays 1080p flawlessly, supports things like Netflix, YouTube, and other online services.

    MacMini starts at $699. Or you can get the A-210 for $199 + $100 1.5TB hard drive, still less than half price.

    Seriously, everyone that I have recommended these products to absolutely loves them.
  13. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    nah, i have no desire to have anything other than a mac. They just work really well. And i want to use plex. I also want it to be a real computer to play anything on it...codec and sites. Hulu...yes please.

    btw, amazon has mac mini for $612

    Oh and i already have a PS3 and a google tv...everything has a little issue...this way everything will work.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  14. Superbike81
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    Superbike81 iPad Addict

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    Ok, up to you.

    But of all the "media player" products such as HTPC, Popcorn Hour does just about everything the best. No it's not a fully functioning PC for internet and stuff, but that's what the iPad is for :)
  15. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Like I said, I already have a PS3 and a Google TV....both of which are viable media solutions....neither of which are nearly as robust as a full desktop in the footprint of a Wii.
  16. Superbike81
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    Superbike81 iPad Addict

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    Well, the Popcorn Hour products make both the PS3 and Google TV look like a 1980's Macintosh desktop computer.

    I understand that you want a fully functioning computer now though, and not just a media player. Just thought I'd make the suggestion.
  17. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    That was the idea! :)
  18. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Git my mac mini all set up in the living room. Even found an awesome app called remote buddy that let me pair my ps3 remote to the mini and control it!! I installed plex and boxee, they are great.

    Now, there are 2 things I need.

    1) a good ten foot ui browser. Basically if I could get the google tv browser it would be perfect. Scrolling in the google tv is painfully slow and the networks blocked EVERYTHING!

    2) is there a way to play Netflix on a mac at the same quality as the ps3?? I can't find one. Boxee and plex won't play HD. Just using firefox doesn't look nearly as good, even HD content. Is my total convergence goal busted? Do I still have to use the ps3 for netflix?

    Thanks!
  19. Dannyboy85
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    Dannyboy85 iPad Junkie

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    Silverlight doesn't play in HD?
  20. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Well, the only way I've found to play hd content is in firefox...which is annoying because you have to use a mouse, and it doesn't look as good as the ps3. Neither boxee or plex will play hd content tho.
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