Apple Tv 1 or 2 or Mac Mini

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goofygames Offline
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Post: #1
I am looking to upgrade my whole media centre and am wondering if a Mac Mini would be any better to run than an Apple Tv 1 or 2. Would be running XBMC with external hard drive and maybe Plex also.
Any suggestions or opinions would be greatly appretiated.
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jhsrennie Offline
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Post: #2
Well yes, a Mac Mini would be far better than an ATV1 or 2, but then it costs (about)five times as much.

I have several Mac Minis, both the old shape and the newer unibody model, and I absolutely love them. They look brilliant and work exceedingly well. Leaving aside the cost, they are the best HTPC I have ever seen. But, and there are several buts ...

All but one of my Minis were bought on ebay because the new cost is just stupidly high. You're paying a massive premium for the (brilliant) design. Even on ebay the most desirable model, the unibody with a supadrive and NVIDIA 320M GPU, still sells for £400-450. Also note that the current model does not have a DVD drive (and you can't fit one) and also it uses an Intel GPU that is not a patch on the NVIDIA 320M and which may give problems with DXVA if (like me) you use Bootcamp/Win7.

JR
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goofygames Offline
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Post: #3
I was thinking of selling the imac and just using one of these plugged to the tv. So i would like the dual core i7.
What is the Bootcamp/Win7

Never mind, just googled it.

I am looking for a long term fix and eventually get rid of cable all together. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to the mac mini.
(This post was last modified: 2012-02-14 11:49 by goofygames.)
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jhsrennie Offline
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Post: #4
I can't think of any disadvantages to using the Mac Mini other than a severly lightened wallet.

JR
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eg4190 Offline
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Post: #5
I just set up XBMC for my dad on a Mac Mini he bought about 2 years ago and never used. If one completely discards price as a factor, there's really no comparison -- in terms of ease of setup and UI performance, the Mac Mini is a much better system than the Apple TV. The box looks pretty in an AV rack, the machine is silent, the install takes a couple minutes and the Apple remote works in XBMC out of the box.

The reason people will try to talk you out of this setup has solely to do with price -- it's at least twice as expensive as a home-built mini-ITX Core i3 setup, which would offer comparable performance. The Mac Mini is an HTPC that's priced itself out of the market.

The Apple TV is $99, but you have to jailbreak it, which can run into a few snags depending on how recently the current firmware has been released. You can mess up the entire system if your wife/significant other/houseguest chooses to upgrade the firmware when you're not around. The relatively feeble processor in the ATV2 also makes for a much choppier browsing experience and you can't run some of the prettier skins.
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goofygames Offline
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Post: #6
Thanx for the replies. Guess i need to start reading that info now. What do i all need to do to install XBMC on it.
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bossanova808 Offline
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Post: #7
Any major reason to go Windows7 on it rather than just run OSX XBMC? I have one spare (2007 with integrated graphics) with a broadcom 70015 in it - works very well with the OSX version but I run about 7 windows boxes at home and am much more comfortable in Win in general...

My XBMC stuff:
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sams0n Offline
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Post: #8
the apple tv will also use less power and the netflix player is better. other than that the mac mini is better.
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goofygames Offline
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Post: #9
So which program do i put on it? Have been reading and some later posts say Buntu yet others say Live yet there is the osx version. Does anyone know which is best and why?
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sting2010 Offline
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Post: #10
I have xbmc eden beta 3 running on OSX Lion and have no issues - I see no reason to move to a different OS when everything runs perfectly well out of the box with the mac mini - highly recommend this as a HTPC. It is connected via Hdmi to my denon receiver which has dual outputs - one connected to a projector and other to a 1080p tv - the mac mini works flawlessly with my Harmony One remote as well. One major reason for me for purchasing the mac mini for my HTPC was how quiet it runs - no noise at all - I tried different options, DELL PC etc and the fan noise was ridiculous. Keep all these factors in mind when considering your HTPC - best of luck
(This post was last modified: 2012-02-16 06:33 by sting2010.)
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aaronb Offline
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Post: #11
I have all 3. Agree with jhsrennie that the Mini is the best HTPC you can get, but you pay a premium for it.

ATV2 has limitations: limited remote functionality, struggles with some heavier skins, and still some crashes here and there. But it's also tiny, silent, $99, and you get a very nice Netflix box (also MLB.tv if that's your thing) as a nice side benefit

ATV1 works great, full remote capabilities, does a little better with skins (at least with reFocus which is what I use), and if you use Crystalbuntu the entire OS is optimized specifically for the hardware.

I'd say Mini > ATV1 > ATV2, though some of the benefits of the ATV2 might outweigh the downsides enough to make them equal or ATV2 better depending on your personal preferences/needs.
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goofygames Offline
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Post: #12
sting2010 Wrote:I have xbmc eden beta 3 running on OSX Lion and have no issues - I see no reason to move to a different OS when everything runs perfectly well out of the box with the mac mini - highly recommend this as a HTPC. It is connected via Hdmi to my denon receiver which has dual outputs - one connected to a projector and other to a 1080p tv - the mac mini works flawlessly with my Harmony One remote as well. One major reason for me for purchasing the mac mini for my HTPC was how quiet it runs - no noise at all - I tried different options, DELL PC etc and the fan noise was ridiculous. Keep all these factors in mind when considering your HTPC - best of luck

On which platform? XBMC for Mac or is there a different version I need to download from the downloads page?
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bossanova808 Offline
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Post: #13
Anything special you needed to do for the Harmony?

My XBMC stuff:
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aaronb Offline
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Post: #14
bossanova808 Wrote:Anything special you needed to do for the Harmony?

You set up the Harmony as a Plex remote in the Harmony software, and then you can configure joystick.Harmony.xml to customize the buttons to your liking
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sting2010 Offline
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Post: #15
goofygames Wrote:On which platform? XBMC for Mac or is there a different version I need to download from the downloads page?

xbmc for mac os
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