Originally Posted by tsvisser
I would actually like to see a Mini that is smaller, perhaps without a built in optical drive, that always runs Front Row 2.0 or in the background, and that approaches the price of the Apple TV. perhaps they can discontinue the Apple TV then. Of course with a minor update to the graphics chip and its faster processor, it should be able to do 720 and 1080 HD material. a DVD drive with a 3.5" HDD bay could be offered as an accessory, either stackable or placed side by side in a living room system.
Originally Posted by Mr. H
Er... That is
not quite. Apple TV has a modified Pentium-M, very little RAM, and a small or medium hard drive option. Apple TV only runs a Front-Row "like" interface, no applications (w/o hacking). You cannot add accessories to an Apple TV such as an Eye TV capture device, mouse, keyboard, cameras for video chat, etc...
Originally Posted by JeffDM
Exactly what do you do with regards to OS upgrades or large software installs? Leaving out the optical drive doesn't make any sense for a non-mobile machine unless it's a not going to be used as a computer. Even for a mobile computer it doesn't make sense yet to drop the optical drive.
In the sense that a Mini in a typical desktop application, sure you would probably want a drive. You can load the OS in target disk mode, however. In instances where I'm installing 6 to 12+ Apple TV's, if I were able to install 6 to 12 disc-less Mini's instead, they would be centrally managed and any major OS operations would probably be done in shop where I'd either target disc it or attach a drive. Thank god for Apple Remote Desktop's unlimited client license! It would be nice to have a cheaper box to throw around in place of the cool, but limited Apple TV.