Mac mini morph?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Is Apple ever going to make a true media center? Could the Mac mini morph into the Apple TV? Here's what I'd like to see:



? Larger version of the Mac mini with Santa Rosa Core 2 Duo 2 GHz

? Broadcom or equivalent H.264 decoding chip

? Blue-ray combo drive (reads BR discs, writes to CD/DVD)

? Large hard drive

? Twin DTV tuners for recording one channel while watching another

? HDTV HDMI out with 5.1 stereo surround sound out

? Apple TV Front Row 3 interface with new remote

? AirPort Extreme 802.11g/n, Bluetooth

? Wireless keyboard with integrated Multi-touch trackpad

? Interface rapid switching between Front Row and Mac OS X

$999



What this would be is a Mac, an Apple TV, a DVR, and a Blue-ray disc player all rolled into one media center. If Apple initiates downloadable movie rentals, you should be able to order them via Apple TV or this Apple Media Center.



If the Mac mini is going to be discontinued, I'd like to see Apple TV become this Apple Media Center. Apple TV needs to be more than it is.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    I have mentioned before that I see the Mini being replaced by an Apple TV Pro, however I'm sure there will not be a TV Tuner in it; and a fair chance there will be no Blu-ray drive (although I would like both features).
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Obviously if Apple is serious about TV then they will have to have digital television tuners in their boxes. The AppleTV as it is now is a hilarious joke, you can't even channel surf with it let alone record live television.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Obviously if Apple is serious about TV then they will have to have digital television tuners in their boxes. The AppleTV as it is now is a hilarious joke, you can't even channel surf with it let alone record live television.



    or they are waiting for cable card 2.0
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Obviously if Apple is serious about TV then they will have to have digital television tuners in their boxes. The AppleTV as it is now is a hilarious joke, you can't even channel surf with it let alone record live television.



    Apple has absolutely no interest in getting involved with TV programming beyond selling the content themselves. iTunes is their only and final word on how you get your media from them.



    I've been enjoying the heck out of my AppleTV since the day it came out. "Channel surfing" and "recording live TV" have the moth-ball smell and sound of "VCR" and "TV dinner" to me. Welcome to the 21st century. Subscribe to a bunch of video podcasts (ones YOU like, not ones some programming person at NBC thought you might like), buy your favorite shows at iTunes (unless you watch 3+ hours of TV per day, it's cheaper than a cable subscription) and enjoy it all on your computer, iPod, iPhone, and TV, seamlessly. What part of Apple's digital media strategy don't you understand?



    Of course AppleTV could be improved. We need more shows available on the iTunes store, more movies (way more!) and we could definitely use HD video. It's all coming. But thinking that a TV tuner or a DVR is what AppleTV needs is... what was it, "a hilarious joke"?
  • Reply 5 of 14
    applepiapplepi Posts: 365member
    I don't think either will happen. In fact if the mini does get discontinued, I think it will be based on the idea that Steve doesn't like people hooking their minis up to their TV's. I get the impression that's why he created the AppleTV to begin with, to thwart people from using minis on their TV. Otherwise he would have just started selling the mini as a great entertainment system and gave front row a lot more umph.

    Ultimately I think he wants everything to come back to the desktop. hence the Apple TV's tie to the desktop for syncing and downloading. They are still a computer company after all.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post


    They are still a computer company after all.



    Not any more. I believe (although I don't like it) that Apple no-longer considers itself a computer company. iPod once created a halo to sell more Macs, but actually iPods sell themselves and the associated services make money too. Apple don't need to sell computers to survive any more, hence they dropped the 'Computer' from their title.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by killerapp View Post


    Obviously if Apple is serious about TV then they will have to have digital television tuners in their boxes. The AppleTV as it is now is a hilarious joke, you can't even channel surf with it let alone record live television.



    At 200,000 units sold last quarter, I doubt AppleTV is considered a joke. AppleTV is what Apple feels a Media Center should have. I disagree on some of their points, but, overall it works well. An EyeTV plug-in would make it perfect for my purposes.



    In any event, AppleTV does represent the future for this form factor. I think the Mac mini we knew and ignored will go away soon.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gordy View Post


    In any event, AppleTV does represent the future for this form factor. I think the Mac mini we knew and ignored will go away soon.



    Minitower replacement anybody? I'll piss in my pants I'll be laughing so hard if they do release a minitower (or an something like it) tomorrow!
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nevenmrgan View Post


    Apple has absolutely no interest in getting involved with TV programming beyond selling the content themselves. iTunes is their only and final word on how you get your media from them.



    I've been enjoying the heck out of my AppleTV since the day it came out. "Channel surfing" and "recording live TV" have the moth-ball smell and sound of "VCR" and "TV dinner" to me. Welcome to the 21st century. Subscribe to a bunch of video podcasts (ones YOU like, not ones some programming person at NBC thought you might like), buy your favorite shows at iTunes (unless you watch 3+ hours of TV per day, it's cheaper than a cable subscription) and enjoy it all on your computer, iPod, iPhone, and TV, seamlessly. What part of Apple's digital media strategy don't you understand?



    Of course AppleTV could be improved. We need more shows available on the iTunes store, more movies (way more!) and we could definitely use HD video. It's all coming. But thinking that a TV tuner or a DVR is what AppleTV needs is... what was it, "a hilarious joke"?



    DVRs do things that are pretty important for a lot of viewers that are pretty much impossible within Apple's "digital media strategy", the least of which is giving us sports programming. I don't even want to know what Apple would charge for a season of high-res basketball games, while Media Center offers a lot to the average sports fan by just plugging your cable connection into any midrange PC. Being able to "time shift" live events and skip all the commercials is an important "21st century" feature that Apple doesn't have any answer for yet.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Minitower replacement anybody? I'll piss in my pants I'll be laughing so hard if they do release a minitower (or an something like it) tomorrow!



    The minitower argument, once again, has failed. I said AppleTV was the future for this form factor, not for the minitower niche. I don't think anyone wants a minitower. I used a Mac mini, and I was unimpressed.



    For what it's worth, I didn't think Apple would make a phone either, so, what do I know?
  • Reply 11 of 14
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gordy View Post


    I don't think anyone wants a minitower. I used a Mac mini, and I was unimpressed.



    I don't understand. A mini TOWER and the mini would be two totally different products.



    You may not be impressed by the Mac mini but lots of people love them. I guess those people are not trying to run pro applications on minis and are very satisfied. I use a G4 mini at work and it's perfectly adequate for my particular needs.



    To me, the beauty of the Mac mini is that it's not very expandable. It's like an iMac without a screen. You can (with some difficulty) up the RAM and hard disk a bit and that's about all. When you buy one, you should know your limits. Perhaps not knowing, is why a few people like you are unimpressed. They're either gamers, video pros, or those who like to run lots of applications all at once.



    People like that DO want a mini tower (if they can't afford a Mac Pro). So I don't understand your statement, quoted above.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    [nevermind]
  • Reply 13 of 14
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rolo View Post


    Is Apple ever going to make a true media center? Could the Mac mini morph into the Apple TV? Here's what I'd like to see:



    ? Larger version of the Mac mini with Santa Rosa Core 2 Duo 2 GHz

    ? Broadcom or equivalent H.264 decoding chip

    ? Blue-ray combo drive (reads BR discs, writes to CD/DVD)

    ? Large hard drive

    ? Twin DTV tuners for recording one channel while watching another

    ? HDTV HDMI out with 5.1 stereo surround sound out

    ? Apple TV Front Row 3 interface with new remote

    ? AirPort Extreme 802.11g/n, Bluetooth

    ? Wireless keyboard with integrated Multi-touch trackpad

    ? Interface rapid switching between Front Row and Mac OS X

    $999



    What this would be is a Mac, an Apple TV, a DVR, and a Blue-ray disc player all rolled into one media center. If Apple initiates downloadable movie rentals, you should be able to order them via Apple TV or this Apple Media Center.



    If the Mac mini is going to be discontinued, I'd like to see Apple TV become this Apple Media Center. Apple TV needs to be more than it is.





    $999 seems like a pretty ambitious price for what you listed. I think it would be fair price for what your asking, but I don't think Apple could market this machine successfully.



    And Also. It aint gonna happen.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Minitower replacement anybody? I'll piss in my pants I'll be laughing so hard if they do release a minitower (or an something like it) tomorrow!



    This is what I am expecting tomorrow. The 17" iMac not getting redesigned leaves a sales void and the Mac mini is not upgradeable, as far as gamers are concerned, so discontinuing the Mac mini and introducing a mini-tower will definitely spur sales.



    1 - Core 2 Duo (2.0 GHz minimum)

    2 - RAM slots, should be four (4GB max)

    1 - SuperDrive (no Blu-ray or HD-DVD)

    2 - 3.5" hard drives (second drive as BTO, no RAID)

    2 - FireWire 400 (1 front, 1 back) no FireWire 800

    3 - USB 2.0 (1 front, 2 back)

    2 - PCI slots (graphics card plus whatever), might be only one, but should have two.

    1 - ethernet connection

    plus the other standard items like audio, wireless, Bluetooth, etc.



    Like the Mac Pro, there will be a base model you can configure that will start at $1099.
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