Jump to content

Questions about a Mac Mini "Apple TV Media" version


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1
New_Switcher3647

New_Switcher3647

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Just Joined
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
I'm new to the forum, so I apologize if this post is in the wrong place.

I am a new Mac convert. I have switched my laptop to a Macbook and my desktop to an Intel iMac. Now that I've seen the Apple TV in a local Apple store, I want to get a Mac running in the living room for my 50" widescreen HDTV.

I like the Apple TV, but I believe a Mac Mini would be a better choice. In fact, the Mini would do everything for me that the Apple TV would do, except for the following:
  • HDTV resolutions
  • Component and HDMI connections
  • Apple TV menu (which I like WAAAY better than the Front Row interface on my other Macs)
  • Non-integrated graphics without shared memory.
Additionally, the Mini plays DVDs as well as other media formats (using QT plugins). With the addition of a TV Tuner (available from a few companies), I can add PVR functionality to the Mini which the Apple TV can't do. Of course, since it is a full blown computer and not just a "media sreaming device," I can surf the web, check and send email, as well as run any OS X application on my widescreen HDTV utilizing a wireless keyboard and mouse. This would be the ultimate Mac Media machine.

Therefore, I'd like to know the following...
  • Can I get a Mac Mini to display the Apple TV interface instead of Front Row yet still keep all other OS X functionality intact?
  • Can I add a DVD menu item (like Front Row has) to the Apple TV menu? I see that someone has added their own menu item using a hack.
  • Since my HDTV uses DVI instead of HDMI, the missing HDMI / Component connections shouldn't be a problem. However, I don't know if the Mac Mini can natively display 720P resolution. Anyone know the answer?
  • Since the Mini can be configured with a large hard drive or can have a large HD attached externally, streaming isn't an issue; therefore, would there be any benefit to modding a Mini with the newly available 802.11n AirPort card?


#2
rollcage

rollcage

    InsanelyMac Legend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:That way
1-2: You might want to consider something like MediaCentral from Equinox. It would be able to handle all you media needs, including the TV tuner. (Depending where you live...)

3: I think you should be fine there.

4. The biggest hard drive that the mini will ship with is 160 gb. You could do a self upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend it. You could add an external HD using the USB 2.0 ports, or the firewire port. About the streaming, you can't get it with a 802.11n card, and you won't be modding it to have one...

#3
Urbz

Urbz

    La cr�me de la cr�me...(?)

  • Retired Developers
  • 837 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, QC, Canada
1. yes, wait on it a few more days (weeks at most) and it will be in the wild for everyone to do.
2. Probably eventually, but not at this time. Still, you would be able to keep the other functionality on there, and that really fixes the problem. especially with RemoteBuddy.
3. Not sure, but I think the mini will detect the native res of the display and add the option to the system preferences. Otherwise, there is 3rd party software that does this.
4. I'd say go for it! you can totally mod it yourself. The mini can be a great media server, and with the atv software, things really get interesting. In a few weeks, it will all be possible, so just hold off from doing anything until then. you could decide instead to get an atv and external storage if they get the usb working, for example.

#4
hemiola

hemiola

    InsanelyMac Geek

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 182 posts
  • Location:USA
I have had a Mini as a Media Center for almost year now.

Works great with my HDTV ... i have a few external drives hooked up to it, tons of movies, etc.

I also am anxiously awaiting the Apple TV interface :-)

#5
New_Switcher3647

New_Switcher3647

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Just Joined
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

1. Can I get a Mac Mini to display the Apple TV interface instead of Front Row yet still keep all other OS X functionality intact?

2. Can I add a DVD menu item (like Front Row has) to the Apple TV menu? I see that someone has added their own menu item using a hack.

3. Since my HDTV uses DVI instead of HDMI, the missing HDMI / Component connections shouldn't be a problem. However, I don't know if the Mac Mini can natively display 720P resolution. Anyone know the answer?

4. Since the Mini can be configured with a large hard drive or can have a large HD attached externally, streaming isn't an issue; therefore, would there be any benefit to modding a Mini with the newly available 802.11n AirPort card?


Okay, from what I found in these threads, it looks like we can so far do the following on a Mac Mini:

- Replace the Front Row interface with the Apple TV interface
- Add a menu item that exits the Apple TV menu back into OS X
- Remove existing menu items that may not be wanted/needed
- Play Items located on the Mini's hard drive, including usually non-supported formats
- Use a mini-DVI to DVI adapter to output display to HDTV

Now, all I'm looking for is the ability to do the following:

- Stream content from other Macs (or do I just use iTunes sharing)?
- Insert a DVD menu item into the Apple TV interface (just like the exit item) so I wouldn't have to exit the Apple TV interface to play a DVD
- Add a menu item that will allow me to run the EyeTV software and interact with a Miglia TVMax
- Add menu items to go directly into Safari and Mail
- Add the ability to add other menu items with alias' to other OSX applications

These additions will turn the Mini into a full-blown media device that can do the following on my HDTV:
- Play iTunes content (either loacally or streamed after adding the 802.11n mod)
- Play DVDs
- Watch and record analog cable TV
- Check and send email and surf the web
- Use any other OS X application installed on my Mini using my TV as the display device
**ALL FROM THE APPLE TV MENU**

Any idea when we'll be able to do all of this?





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

© 2017 InsanelyMac  |   News  |   Forum  |   Downloads  |   OSx86 Wiki  |   Designed by Ed Gain  |   Logo by irfan  |   Privacy Policy