Mac mini vs. Apple TV

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Im not sure if this question has been asked yet. What would be the benefit of an apple tv over a mac mini to hook up to my wide screen hdtv? I know there is a price difference between the two, but i just want to know if anybody has any thoughts on this question. I am leaning towards an apple tv right now but I think the mini with a dvd player is a real nice option also. Thanks.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Apple TV can transmit both audio and video over one cable (HDMI); the Mac mini cannot. At the present time, Apple TV's interface is slicker than Front Row, but I imagine Front Row in Leopard will look an awful lot like Apple TV's interface. Yes, it would be nice to have a DVD player right there rather than in another room.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,324moderator
    The Mac Mini drive is quite noisy though. I personally use an external tray drive for watching DVDs. If Apple had priced the Apple TV reasonably at $199, it would be an easy choice but they always have to go and price things just high enough for people to wonder if they are better off with something else.



    The Mini is too noisy, lacks HDMI, lacks a dedicated GPU for high resolution support and is double the price of the Apple TV. But, it plays DVDs and movies that won't play in itunes/quicktime like Xvid or DivX. Some people have said you can do this by using media links or reference movies but it doesn't work for me. Plus you get a whole Mac Mini to use as a second computer so you can even play some Windows games on your big screen TV using Windows and a wireless controller - you can even get a PS2 controller and an adaptor.



    The Apple TV is too expensive for the functionality you get. You'd be as well getting a PVR device with a DVD drive for that price. This way, you can burn your content from your computer and still be able to record your TV shows.



    Apple could've had a quite a good product in the Apple TV if itunes supported more movie formats and it was $100 cheaper.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Thanks for the response. I also believe that the apple tv is a bit overpriced for what you get out of it. I believe if it came with a DVD drive it might be worth it. So i think i might hold off on buying anything until the second version of the apple tv comes out. Or mabey the mac mini will have an hdmi port in the future. (doubt it).
  • Reply 4 of 6
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cbrenna1wa View Post


    Thanks for the response. I also believe that the apple tv is a bit overpriced for what you get out of it. I believe if it came with a DVD drive it might be worth it. So i think i might hold off on buying anything until the second version of the apple tv comes out. Or mabey the mac mini will have an hdmi port in the future. (doubt it).



    I don't remember there being any competion for a dedicated HD media extender, There's still an issue of not being any HD media for it yet. Maybe that will change once AppleTV ships. Terrestrial digital TV uses MPEG2, which AppleTV can't play without a painfully long transcode time.



    HDMI totally isn't out of the question for the mini, I think the Santa Rosa platform will support it, it's a question of whether Apple will use it.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    I use a mac mini with my 37 LCD TV, and its a great set-up. DVD through DVI is wonderful compared to SCART, And downloading material and playing directly is very sweet. Apple's movie-trailer site has some great HD material, and the future is definatly direct internett connection.



    Another thing is web-browsing on the TV, with the mini it's my first good web-on-TV experience.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    spindriftspindrift Posts: 674member
    I have been thinking of doing the same. It would be quite nice having internet on the TV. I was also thinking of having the Mini as a little local web server so the family can access cool stuff, advanced TV listings, recipes, games, chat clients, Skype etc from the TV. I'm still looking into the universal remote options to see if I can find anything that could bet better (more discrete) than a wireless keyboard with track pad.



    AppleTV does have some distinct advantages - HDMI, Component video, 802.11n and the way it works with iTunes. But if the Mac Mini had either HDMI or component video and 802.11n then there would be not contest and the additional price would be well worth it.
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