Mac mini and Sony LCD TV.

WLeg

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Has anyone connected a Mac Mini to a LCD TV to use as the primary display ?

I’m thinking of getting one, and mounting it behind a wall mounted 28” Sony LCD via a mini DVI>HDMI cable, and using a wireless keyboard (any idea of range??)

My main concern is picture quality as its main use will be to watch movies....and for the kids..
 

Spinal

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I have 2 mac mini's in the server room - suffice to say, that only one ever came out of the box (and it was only for a few days).

Quality isn't THAT bad (in fact, if you install VLC and use 1024x768 dpi files its quite good); its just so limiting to have OsX running the system. If I were you I would get a barebones shuttle (or similar) and install a blu-ray or a DVDHD drive in it.

If you intend to just play DVDs and files you have saved in itunes somewhere else on the network, a Mac Mini will do the trick; but an original xbox will do the same thing for £25 (£25 for an original xbox off eBay + £0 for XBMC)

Michele
 

blackscooby

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I run my Mac Mini as my Media Centre connected to my Sony LCD TV. Very good quality connected via the HDMI. Downloaded most of my TV programme favorites.. Top Gear, Heroes etc. Use VLC and Quicktime Pro for full screen viewing.

I've got a USB external drive down behind the TV containing all by movies / TV Progs with a link such that it looks like my internal drive for ease of drive nagivation.

Highly recommended, especially with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

As I'm running it now. I've just ordered Leopard which is due out on 26th Oct.

I normally watch stuff in full size, my brother wasn't even aware he was watching something on computer until I changed screens.
 
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gaz_l

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I use a Mac mini as my daily driver at home. It's a very early one, the slowest of the range (1.25 GHz G4), and the onboard graphics won't set your pants on fire, but it would probably do the job. Mine's driving a 1440 x 900 widescreen panel, I just popped in a DVD and the fullscreen playback is perfectly watchable. The newer models have improved graphics, so I'd expect them to be better still.

The other thing to bear in mind is noise - the mini is very, very quiet in operation, one of the reasons why I love it. Would you want to watch a movie with a fan droning away in the background...

Cheers,

Gaz
 

blackscooby

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the mini is very, very quiet in operation, one of the reasons why I love it. Would you want to watch a movie with a fan droning away in the background...

Cheers,

Gaz

They are stunningly silent, the external HD makes more noise, and that's quiet !
 

NiallerS320

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Do me a favour, install your OS onto the mac mini then clone it onto the external HD (firewire or usb 2) you'll find the system a helluva lot more responsive, newer models are good enough for HD playback. Mini's biggest drawback is the slow HD they put in them.
 

blackscooby

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Really ? USB quicker ? I've got mine Cloned using SuperDuper to my external drive. I'm sure it feels slower using USB2 rather than it's internal drive. I've got a slow 5400rpm Fujitsu (OEM) drive as the <C> drive.
 

scotth_uk

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Do me a favour, install your OS onto the mac mini then clone it onto the external HD (firewire or usb 2) you'll find the system a helluva lot more responsive, newer models are good enough for HD playback. Mini's biggest drawback is the slow HD they put in them.

Or do what plenty of people (including me) did, and buy a decent 7200rpm drive for the mini. :)
 

Spinal

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Really ? USB quicker ? I've got mine Cloned using SuperDuper to my external drive. I'm sure it feels slower using USB2 rather than it's internal drive. I've got a slow 5400rpm Fujitsu (OEM) drive as the <C> drive.

Apple has historically had gripes with USB. If you take two boxes, a windows and an Apple box; plug in the same brand of USB stick and transfer the same file to-from it you will notice the Windows machine be faster.

This is down to the driver, the hardware for USB 2.0 supports up to 480mb/s (in burst mode) while firewire400 just 400 (continously though).

If you could get a FireWire 800 drive it really reduces the debate to nothing (at least until USB 3.0 comes out :p)

That said, the internal drive is still faster than a FW800 connection...
 

scotth_uk

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I'm using a FW800 external WD drive, and it's *very* fast. Much faster than any of the 4 USB external drives that I have. (y)
 

miro

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I went with a NAS - network attached storage (Ethernet based file server) and a dumb (driveless) decoding station.

The NAS serves the needs of the computing network and stores all of the media in whatever format you fancy. (Thecus, Netgear)

The playback hardware attaches to anything (LCD, plasms, TV, 5.1 sound) and reads the NAS like it was a local drive.

Some of theses playback units also come in a pocket version so you can install a laptop drive and use it in a car.

The idea of using Apple appeals to me but the prices are overboard.
 

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