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New TV module for the mac mini

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jon stallard, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    It's on the Apple website: http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObj...3wKtQwElmw62/0.0.11.1.0.6.23.1.12.1.4.0.0.1.0

    It's about the size of a small packet of cigarettes (much like the twinhan) and looks self powered via the USB. Significantly for this mac mini user, it has a remote control. It also has a small magnetic base antennae but if it's like the twinhan one, then it's best used as a novelty magnetic thing. Curiously, I wonder if the twinhan alpha can now support the remote control on a mac (i.e. software has been upgraded)?

    The other new item I noticed recently is from Lacey (sp?) which is an additional hard drive not only shaped like a mac mini but designed with a recess on it's top so the mac mini sits on top of it and is thus integrated.

    Just need a front end to pull it all together I reckon (a proper one, developed by apple).

    Mac Jon.
     
  2. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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  3. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    Yes, that's the ones, pretty good eh. My only slight reservation with the TV eye is that it say's it includes one years free subscription to it's online epg service. Which kind of implies that it wont be free after that? On the other hand it does add that audio can be captured and turned into music files for listening to in itunes for example. The last time I recorded anything from the radio (which is what I'd use it for) I had great fun trying to hit the pause button on my tape deck before the DJ spoke at the end of the record. I dare say there are more sophisitcated techniques these days:)

    Would it be better to buy the external drives with a USB2 or firewire connection? I've nothing else that connects to my mac mini via firewire so that would be favourite. However, could you configure the hard drive to be read on both mac and PC (I've no PC with firewire)?

    Jon
     
  4. Maff et1

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    Firewire is better as the computer has less work to do. Firewire cards for PC's are cheap (I just got one, clearance stock from www.cableuniverse.co.uk for 4 quid).

    I've got a lacie P3 USB drive and am fairly impressed with the build quality (I had another DOA but that happens).

    I'm thinking of the formac ( www.formac.co.uk ) drives myself, not stylied nicely but stackable, and upto 800Gb, they do a half terrabyte at about 220 quid - http://www.dabs.com/uk/shopbybrand/formac/ProductView.htm?quicklinx=3NQZ

    Now that I've given my (admitedly limited) input, can I ask a question? I'm thinking of a mac mini for my projector (Toshiba ET-1), for dvd mpg playback etc, stupid idea?

    I was going to use firewire drives for storage and an ATI remote for control. My PJ is only standard res however (856x480), will it be a problem getting a good (or any) picture. And any recommendations for front end software?
     
  5. TopMeTom

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  6. cwick

    cwick
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    Jon,

    EyeTV comes with a years sub to TVTV. It's a third party EPG service, and I think it's about £15 a year after the first year expires. It's not essential - the EyeTV software has an on-screen EPG (limited) - but it is handy being able to schedule recordings from anywhere on the 'net (a couple of times I've used the website from work to schedule something I've forgotten about).

    You'd also find the EyeTV software & remote a lot better than the iTele application you're used to with the TwinHan, and EyeTV has built-in MPEG editing and DVD export tools in case you want to archive stuff.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  7. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    Thanks to everyone for the replies, great links Phil btw. It seems that Lacie are not the only ones building equipment based on the mac mini footprint. I still think that one decent front end to pull all the applications together will make the mac mini THE media pc for the home. The bottom line is ask your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/partner which one they would prefer to be nestling under the TV? There's no question. Even if the on board graphics prove not man enough for HD, another stackable module with a killer graphics card built in plus say another hard drive still only leaves a box 100mm or so tall.

    Still wearing L plates as far as the mac mini is concerned but every time I use it, I become even more impressed by the way it's software does things. And as a bonus, I discovered last night that there's a whole bundle of really good photo's as part of it's background/screensaver picture library (some great black and white stuff). I can find the desktop photo's but not the screensaver ones (I would like to print off some of the 'beach' pictures) so can anyone tell me how I find where these pictures are and if they are printable please?

    Jon
     
  8. TopMeTom

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    The only problem that I has stopped me so far is the lack of digi sound out.
    And for the money you could pick up a whingedows(yuk)pc.
     
  9. Maff et1

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    Not that small though - I originally spec'd up a mini-ITX as I have an old (600Mhz) one for e-mail server etc. To get that small you have to go for laptop drives, which rapidly ups the cost, then add in the OS and your getting closer to 700 quid.
     
  10. Georgio

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    I've been pondering a Mac Mini media centre setup for ages. The new pricing of the top-end Mini and the availability of the EyeTV USB2 DTT device make this slightly more attractive, but I have two questions:

    1. Would it be possible to use two EyeTV USB2 DTT's on a single Mac Mini to get the equivalent of a twin-tuner PVR? I think there are two aspects to the question - will the USB2 bandwidth be adequate and will the Elgato software support it?

    2. What are the drawbacks of EyeTV USB2 DTT compared to the EyeTV 410 - its Firewire equivalent?

    There's a third issue, already referred to in this thread - what have Apple got in the wings in the way of media centre support and when will they release it? Rumors are flying that something will be released this year. I'd guess that it will include TV recording and viewing software and maybe analogue TV input and digital conversion, but they're unlikely to provide hardware support for DTT, since it doesn't exist inthe U.S.

    Georgio
     
  11. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    To pick this thread up again,what output to amps for digital sound are you guys using?

    (still waiting to get a mini!)
     
  12. cwick

    cwick
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    Georgio - not sure about two USB2 devices, but I do know that the Elgato software handles two firewire devices, so I guess it's just down to the USB2 bandwidth. If you ask Elgato, through their support pages on their website, you'll get a response. I've found them to be very responsive (takes a day or two, but they always reply).

    Phil - I'm using an M-Audio Transit right now, shortly to be upgraded to a USB Off-Ramp (a tweaked Transit).
     
  13. Georgio

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    Thanks, Cwick, I asked Elgato and here is what I learned. Helpful, but not very definite:

    Cheers,
    George
     

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