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tranp
2nd January 2009, 07:20 PM
I want a device to use as a media front end to my music and downloaded video content.

I am interested in an Apple TV, but I have a just a couple of questions...

1. Can I store my entire music collection on it? (I plan to upgrade the HDD to 500Gb)
2. What's the video performance like on it? I won't be watching much HD stuff.

Scubasnaps
2nd January 2009, 07:36 PM
I think you'll find that these questions have been covered extensively in other threads - just search for Apple TV and read the threads. You'll find a number of options to modify the ATV using patch sticks etc.

gumby08
26th February 2009, 04:09 PM
I use Apple TV, streaming from my iMac as my media centre and find it pretty much meets all my needs.

So...what are the advantages in using a Mac Mini as a media centre over the Apple TV? As the Mac Mini is considerably more expensive, I'm sure there must be something obvious that I'm missing.

Could someone fill me in? :)

matthewk
26th February 2009, 04:10 PM
To get the aTV working properly you need to hack it. Whereas no such problem with MacMini.

Hacking an aTV is pretty easy apparently with all the guides on the net about it.

denwol
26th February 2009, 04:44 PM
You do not need to hack it.

Problems I have had with setting up a mac mini:
I just cannot get the resolution right. I have to change the resolution of my movies for it to be correct. I only have a SD plasma. This may not be the case if you have a TV worth thousands.
I cant get full surround sound to work within frontrow
You need a kbb and mouse to do most things that you can not do outside an apple tv
You need adaptors for it to have the same sound quality as an apple tv.

For the expense of a mini, I'm starting to think they are overated for what you would do with it.
Just IMO

DagrtheSnide
26th February 2009, 05:27 PM
I didn't encounter any problems setting up my Mini,

Resolution was picked up straight away on my 40 inch SD LCD TV,
I don't have surround sound but I hear Plex and an optical connection to a amp works,
Plex can be solely controlled by the Apple remote or a Logitech one.

A big plus for the Mini is the power and ability to play 1080p DTS mkv files using Plex.

IMO the Mini is way beyond in capabilities compare to the underpowered aTV, depending on your needs and wants of course.

ninja
26th February 2009, 08:33 PM
Get an Apple TV.. Thats what it is made for! Save your money and dont get the big one. You can stream your entire library so long as itunes is always open on your main computer..

f1_power
26th February 2009, 08:39 PM
After using and owning both - I would say Mac Mini all the way

2 sec setup, automatically detected my 32" Samsung LCD via DVI > HDMI cable and no need to convert files etc. I control it using ARD use it as a DVR with my EyeTV and use Front Row.

szim
26th February 2009, 08:53 PM
Another advantage of the mini is that you can do all your normal computing,web browsing, etc. on your television. I am not sure that ATV can do that.

ninja
26th February 2009, 09:03 PM
It has to be said that the Apple TV is considerably cheaper.

samuelowens
26th February 2009, 09:13 PM
Another advantage of the mini is that you can do all your normal computing,web browsing, etc. on your television. I am not sure that ATV can do that.

Which means your TV becomes a 'monitor', which may also have the side effect of making the 'work-related' portion of your web browsing etc on your telly tax deductible.

Also, you can whack all sorts of other codecs on the Mini which makes it a better HTPC option IMO...

zillatron
27th February 2009, 08:23 AM
I have both!

The mini serves as an iTunes server of sorts, I have a big FW hard disk connected for the iTunes and iPhoto library's (all backed up with time machine of course).

AppleTV is built for connecting to the TV and it does that job really well. Consider the iTunes store interface on AppleTV over the way you would access using the keybaord and mouse on the mini.

Wireless n streaming works great, even with HD content. AppleTV's auto-syncing is 'set and forget', it's quite capable of managing what content is stored on the local hard disk. I have the 30gb model but have 500 odd gb of content, its never been an issue.

Another benefit of having both is the ability to have a HD TV tuner attached to the mini, combined with EyeTV and an IceTV subscription you can rack up scheduled recording and have EyeTV automatically convert the recording and drop it into iTunes - which then, by magic, appears in AppleTV.

Hope this helps :thumbup:
Z

dche5390
27th February 2009, 09:15 AM
Mac Mini for everything - simply because its ready to go. I found hacking the aTV too much effort. That was an expensive lesson.

Was not a fan of the UI of ATV.

zillatron
27th February 2009, 09:21 AM
I found hacking the aTV too much effort. That was an expensive lesson..

Why did you need to hack it?


Was not a fan of the UI of ATV.
Compared to FrontRow?

Z

Japester
27th February 2009, 09:30 AM
I have an Apple TV for music, podcasts, ripped TV shows and photos. I have a PowerMac G5 for EyeTV and movies (ripped as VIDEO_TS folders). I find the combo works well. The Apple TV is the most convenient, which I why I convert my TV-on-DVD to H.264 files, but the G5 can play anything, so I don't have to convert stuff that I download but don't intend to keep.

This two-device setup works for me because I am serious about my media and have a lot to manage. If you aren't that serious and you've invested time and money in iTunes, Apple TV is a good choice.

micaros
27th February 2009, 10:01 AM
Why did you need to hack it?
Z

Hacking the Apple TV can allow you to add extra functionality. I guess the most likely reason to need to hack the ATV is to be able to play certain video file types without the need to convert them (hacking brings lots of other goodness though - and is much easier to do than it used to be).

zillatron
27th February 2009, 10:28 AM
Hacking the Apple TV can allow you to add extra functionality. I guess the most likely reason to need to hack the ATV is to be able to play certain video file types without the need to convert them (hacking brings lots of other goodness though - and is much easier to do than it used to be).

Thanks :thumbup:
I knew about adding in extra codec support and stuff...I was more wondering about what are peoples motivations for doing it. Given how easy AppleTV makes viewing media on the TV, I see the barrier to be at the point where you get the media - not in the system you use to play it back.

I can understand why Apple don't support other codecs out of the box, but then I'm happy to convert whatever video I add to iTunes. Turbo264 for non-HD and VisualHub for everything else, if you already touch the file to rename and add metadata, converting is a tiny step in the process really...

But then not everyone has metadata and pureist OCD like I do ;)

Enough rambling from the AppleTV fanboi for one thread I think :P
Z

RustySpanner
4th March 2009, 11:24 PM
Mac Mini + EyeTV + iPod / iPhone = heaven.
Me and mates can watch youtube, DiVX/XViD/whatever burned to CD/DVD/USB, websites, normal DVD's, TV, you name it. Schedule, record, fast forward and rewind high def digital TV. Using iPod touch running Apple Remote app is just the best thing ever. I select music from a gadget in my pocket and it comes out of the big speakers... awesome!
Apple TV is just too limited in what it can play. iTunes doesn't have everything we want, so we have to look elsewhere, and Apple TV just can't cover enough of those options. Until Apple opens Apple TV up to developers and makes an Apple TV app store, I won't touch one.

marc
5th March 2009, 01:24 AM
Problems I have had with setting up a mac mini:
I just cannot get the resolution right. I have to change the resolution of my movies for it to be correct. I only have a SD plasma. This may not be the case if you have a TV worth thousands.
Interestingly, the Mini was harder to set up than a MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro, do to the graphics hardware. Since the graphics hardware has now changed, the Mini might be easier to set up with some non-full HD TVs (the problems seemed to be mostly with 1366x768 res TVs and some SD TVs).