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Mac mini as HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Pulsar, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Pulsar

    Well-known Member

    Jan 19, 2003
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    West Midlands - Stourbridge

    I know this topic was discussed when the Mac mini was announced, but I would like to hear from people who currently use a Mac mini as a HTPC. I am considering using one for DVD playback on my plasma. My main concerns are:

    Ability to set custom resolutions such as 856*480.
    Quality of DVD playback software
    Ability to output DD and DTS via optical or coax digital connection

    I would probably use the box for other things such as web browsing, iTunes and iPhoto, but DVD playback would be the main use. I have heard mixed reports about the standard DVD player, and have heard that maybe VLC is better, but has anyone compared either to a PC DVD player like TheaterTek or WinDVD?

    Also, when is the new OS expected? I hear that this should improve media playback on the Mac, am I right?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.


  2. Oblivion

    Standard Member

    Feb 23, 2002
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    Milton Keynes

    I have just got my Mac Mini, plan to use it as iTunes Server. Im new to apples so I'll tell you what I can.

    856*480 res can be chosen under the display settings, although on my PW6 I found it to be far to large to be usable. There are plenty of wide screen resolutions to choose from though.

    DVD playback seems ok at first glance, but haven't done much to compare, so can't really comment.

    The audio side of things is just plain stereo. You would need some sort of usb / firewire sound card with a digital out to get DD/DTS

    The new OS Tiger is due out soonish, although it seems on mac forums that there is some doubt over the ability of the minis video card being able to handle the new OS.

    Just some tips i have found befor you buy.

    It is possible to upgrade the minis memory to 1Gb yourself - much cheaper then what apple will charge for the upgrade.

    Get a D-Link USB bluetooth adapter. Again much cheaper than the apple route.

    I will say one more thing. having used windows for many years, I was amazed at how you turned the Mac on and it just worked. Found my BB connection 1st time. Bluetooth adapter worked without me having to do anything other than plug it it. It the found the bluetooth apple mouse and keyboard with no problems. Fulll marks.

    Hope this of some help

    Paul H

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