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I have a Mac Mini Server currently. Used my last Mini for Plex, but now use ATV's around the house and stream from the Mini.
Plex is straightforward to set up and works great with Media in different places as can seamlessly link them into one library if you like. I went for ATV's in the end, so that I could use the Mini for other things too. Used to get annoying when I wanted to convert something and somebody was trying to watch at same time. Also had some pop ups to say the conversion was complete, that would sit on top of the Plex viewing which annoyed family too.
If you're using solely for viewing at any time then its a superb system to use and I would still do so now!
I don't see why not. My content has been split up and changed over time and worked fine in each scenario.
I have had stuff on the internal drive, a USB drive, a FireWire drive, a NAS drive over the network and currently an external ThunderBolt drive. The beauty of Plex is hat you can set up different libraries for each storage device or lump them all together. If you set up a TV Shows library, you can then add the source folders to that library. They could theoretically be a number of different folders over equal number of different drives...for every TV Show to show in one section on screen. Same for Movies too.
It really is a great system to run. It grabs all the Metadata for you too, just make sure that you name the content in the right way for it to match correctly. Easily done.
I use a base 2012 i5 Mac Mini as a Plex server and have no issues with it streaming to 3 x iPads and 1 x Samsung TV simultaneously (I'm sure it'd easily cope with more).
The standard 4GB is plenty for what you have in mind.
Just as I'm considering a Mac mini for home theatre duties after a poor showing with a Lenovo Q190 I stumble across this very thread. However I am sure I have read that Mac minis cannot bitstream over hdmi HD audio. Is this correct? If so then my search continues
Just whacked 16GB in my 2012 Mini and what a difference it makes woop. Also Plex FTW, couldn't live without it. Streaming any of my TV Shows or Movies over 3G to my phone while at work is awesome haha.