New Apple Mac Mini: HTPC and DVArchive station? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I am thrilled and stoked about Apple actually making and delivering the new, hevily rumored Mac Mini!

http://www.apple.com/macmini/

Coupled with an Eye TV tuner or similar, and speaking DVArchive, I think this will be an excellent rack-top box to complement Replay. I was looking into spec-ing a small form factor HTPC for MythTV as my second tuner (I'm only paying lifetime once). I think this puppy will be more quiet, smaller and far more aesthetically pleasing.

I am going to be there is going to be a small boom in AV and PVR add-ons for this little platform.

Nice job, Steve and Jonathan Ive!

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post #2 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 02:58 PM
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The only gotcha is going to be the internal drive. It's laptop-style 2.5" drive. Which means it's only gonna be 4200rpm, and capacity is maxed out at 80GB. You could add an external FireWire or USB drive, but then it wouldn't look as cool. :)

Also, the 32MB video card is a little anemic. But I'm sure I'll be getting one of these anyway. Sigh. :)

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post #3 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 03:06 PM
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One of my associates just said, "You are so getting that". It'll be hard convincing the wife. I just bought one of the 20" G5 iMacs.

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post #4 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 03:13 PM
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Hmm...I wonder how well these things could run industrial equipment. We have been using Windows CE.Net based devices at work to run some of our custom-built instruments and devices. For the price, perhaps its worth a look as an embedded computing option.

If Necessity is the mother of invention, then Laziness is surely the father.

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post #5 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 03:52 PM
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I like it a lot. Were I interested in upgrading at this point, I'd be all over it. But, I'm afraid it will suffer the same fate as the Mac Cube.
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post #6 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 04:35 PM
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The Mac Cube was very expensive. For the price of a Mac cube ($2000), you could get a more capable and expandable "workstation" model.

The miniMac is inexpensive. It is not competing with the PowerMacs. It is not even competing with the iMac.

It will not suffer the fate of the Cube.

The Grocers' Apostrophe, an AVS Forum tradition.
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post #7 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 05:19 PM
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I agree with chmilar. The Cube was a great design, but horrible execution for sales. I think the mini Mac will sell extremely well.

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post #8 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 07:02 PM
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I think the timing is excellent as well.

The litany of security experts in the press and on TV extolling the virtually virus-free security of Macs vs. Wintel has really reached a crescendo.

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post #9 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 08:53 PM
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Have you folks checked out the new EyeTV 500. http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv500# It does HDTV and uses the program guide from Titan. Couple this with an Eyehome and the new Mac Mini and you have a pretty nice system.
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post #10 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by plyons10
I think the timing is excellent as well.

The litany of security experts in the press and on TV extolling the virtually virus-free security of Macs vs. Wintel has really reached a crescendo.
And Microsoft jsut announced yet another security patch today as well. Nice timing. :)
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post #11 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by davester2
Have you folks checked out the new EyeTV 500. http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv500# It does HDTV and uses the program guide from Titan. Couple this with an Eyehome and the new Mac Mini and you have a pretty nice system.
Unfortunately the mini is a single G4 processor. It seems that it works best with a G5 and preferably a dual processor unit. At least that's what the EFF review indicates.

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post #12 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by davester2
Have you folks checked out the new EyeTV 500. http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv500# It does HDTV and uses the program guide from Titan. Couple this with an Eyehome and the new Mac Mini and you have a pretty nice system.
EyeTV 500 would be perfect if Elgato repackaged it in a 6.5"x6x5" case to match the new Mac mini.

Since the Mac mini has only a 40/80GB internal drive, for practical use, you would have to add a FW or USB2 external HD to make is a useful DVR...
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post #13 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hdshark
EyeTV 500 would be perfect if Elgato repackaged it in a 6.5"x6x5" case to match the new Mac mini.

Since the Mac mini has only a 40/80GB internal drive, for practical use, you would have to add a FW or USB2 external HD to make is a useful DVR...
Big deal. What would that add?...$150 for 250 GB extra? Have to agree with you that it would be more stylish to repackage the EyeTV 500. However, what's the competition...Windows boxes? hahahahahaha!
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post #14 of 48 Old 01-11-2005, 10:49 PM
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Does anybody know what the EyeTV navigation is like in comparison to ReplayTV? The low price of this box and the new mac mini seem to put a really useful HDTV PVR in the realm of economical. Can you do 30 second skip on this thing? It's pretty nice that you can easily rip high resolution copies to DVD, but we ReplayTV users need to have our commercial skip functions.
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post #15 of 48 Old 01-12-2005, 07:38 AM
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The problem with the El Gato is that it won't change the channel on your cable box. So, it's for antenna use only. Still, as the EFF review linked above mentions, buy now if you want to get in before the Broadcast Flag mandate is active.

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post #16 of 48 Old 01-12-2005, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by madSkeelz
The problem with the El Gato is that it won't change the channel on your cable box. So, it's for antenna use only.
Or regular cable.
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post #17 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 11:24 AM
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Wow! How delightful to find a serious Mac discussion (other than about DVA etc.) in an RTV forum!

MethodMachine: Don't forget that Mac OS X is Unix "under the hood", so that might make the Mini even more enticing for industrial control.

Re the Mac Cube: I'm an original Cube owner, and I've got to tell you there's a lot of life in those Cubes today, with a thriving third-party upgrade industry. Consensus in the Cube community seems to be that the Mini 1) isn't going to cause Cube owners to jettison their machines, especially if they've already been upgraded, and 2) as was noted in this Forum, the Mini doesn't fit in the same place in Apple's lineup that the Cube did in 2000. Apple is aiming the Mini at a really different (for Apple) niche.

Finally: as near as I can tell the Mini is essentially the guts of an Apple laptop re-layed out on a square PC board (and, of course, without a builtin keyboard and display). The use of a laptop hard drive is a key limitation.

I think it will be wildly successful in Apple's intended niche -- getting PC-using iPod owners to try Macs.
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post #18 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 11:40 AM
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I just popped for a 1.25 GHz / Superdrive mini. I'm a web-developer, a huge Mac-head, actually a Cube owner (I did in fact jettison one of mine for the mini). Until this week I had a 450MHz Fanless Cube running as a print server, file server, and DVA server. For what I sold the Cube for ($500) - I move laterally to a faster, smaller, warrantied machine. I added the Superdrive, just because I could. I'll probably void my warranty within a week and crack it open to see what's cooking. If Dell puts that 100gb drive on sale again, I'll probably plop one of those in, max out the ram, and add Airport (WiFi).

I'm pretty pumped.
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post #19 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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That's freakin good to hear, Johnny!

I had a very hard time holding off from buying one right now. I certainly don't need one, as I have multiple home-built Linux machines doing what I need, and my TiBook 550 managing mail and OS X duties. But, when Tiger comes bundled with the Mini, I'm right there. I always like to wait for Rev. B on new hardware, too.

I haven't seen any new machine develop this kind of buzz in a long long time. Write back ad let us (or just PM me ) know how you like it when you've gotten a chance to play with it.
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post #20 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 12:53 PM
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If/when I get a MAC, this would be great!

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post #21 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 01:03 PM
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You know, Boulder, I was just thinking that you and I seem to always end up on the same side of the fence. Not surprising that you're a (sometimes) Mac user.

Quote:
That's freakin good to hear, Johnny!

I had a very hard time holding off from buying one right now. I certainly don't need one, as I have multiple home-built Linux machines doing what I need, and my TiBook 550 managing mail and OS X duties. But, when Tiger comes bundled with the Mini, I'm right there. I always like to wait for Rev. B on new hardware, too.

I haven't seen any new machine develop this kind of buzz in a long long time. Write back ad let us (or just PM me ) know how you like it when you've gotten a chance to play with it.
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post #22 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Some people see the light, and the rest just stumble around in the dark, it seems.

:-D

The first Apple I used was a Mac 512K in 1985. I bought a 1MB Mac Plus in 1987, and cracked teh case, adding 4 x $100 sticks of 1MB SIMMs. and a fan. That $2000 Mac Plus still works today. I've also had a Mac SE/30, and a great IIci that was upgraded to an 80MHz 68040. That piece of hardware also lasted 15 years, and may still be running today.

I was a Mac user and hacker since well before System 7. I remember the whole "multitasking, we don't need no stinking multitasking" arguments. I became a NEXTSTEP admin in 1992, and that led my career for ten years. I was an OpenStep administrator at FannieMae in Washington, DC. When NEXTSTEP became OS X, I was right there, playing with developer releases of Rhapsody.

So, yeah, you could say I'ma Mac guy. More accurately, I am a total NEXTSTEP guy, and the Mac finally caught up to the future Steve Jobs created in 1988. I wouldn't touch Macs if it wasn't NEXTSTEP/BSD under the hood. YellowDog on sexy Apple hardware is also a completely suitable solution.

With the Mini and iPod Shuffle announcements, I'm really sorry that I sold off all of my Apple stock (years ago).
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post #23 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 10:04 PM
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I started on a Apple ][ e WAY back when. I moved onto a Mac Plus and then a Mac SE/30--which still works and was upgraded with a 250 MB hard drive. We then got an LCIII which is still in use as a print server. We have a bondi blue iMac which is retired. I tote around a 550 TiBook and just got a 20" G5 iMac. I am seriously thinking about the mini just for the hell of it. Yeah...I like Apple.

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post #24 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Creech
I started on a Apple ][ e WAY back when. I moved onto a Mac Plus and then a Mac SE/30--which still works and was upgraded with a 250 MB hard drive. We then got an LCIII which is still in use as a print server. We have a bondi blue iMac which is retired. I tote around a 550 TiBook and just got a 20" G5 iMac. I am seriously thinking about the mini just for the hell of it. Yeah...I like Apple.
Now that is a stuffed SE/30! I never heard of 1/4 terabyte compact macs!

Creech, do you know of anyone hiring UNIX and network dweebs in Westminster/Broomfield/Boulder?

You sound like my kind of geek, and I need a job, badly! :mad: :eek:
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post #25 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BoulderGeek
Now that is a stuffed SE/30! I never heard of 1/4 terabyte compact macs!

Creech, do you know of anyone hiring UNIX and network dweebs in Westminster/Broomfield/Boulder?

You sound like my kind of geek, and I need a job, badly! :mad: :eek:
MB not GB! 1 quarter GB SE/30.

I don't know of any jobs off hand, PM me with your email addy tho.

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post #26 of 48 Old 01-13-2005, 10:52 PM
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Well, since we're posting our history:

Chronologically:

* = Still own

Performa 637 (dog)
Powermac 6100
Blue & White G3 (started as 350Mhz, ended as 500Mhz G4)
Powermac 8500
Powerbook G3 400Mhz
* G4 Cube (started as 450Mhz, now 1.2GHz)
iBook G3 500MHz
DP 500Mhz G4
DP Quicksilver 1Ghz
Powerbook 550Mhz
* Powerbook 800Mhz
DP MDD 1.42Ghz
* iBook G3 900Mhz
Second G4 Cube 450MHz
* DP G5 1.8GHz
Mac mini 1.25GHz

I think that's all of them. If I was less tired I would go into all the specs.
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post #27 of 48 Old 01-14-2005, 11:43 AM
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I really dig the Mac mini ... but I've already got my dual2ghz g5, 12" powerbook, 20" imac and an old beige g3 running a small website ... maybe i'll have a use for the mac mini eventually.

The hard drive, as mentioned, is a laptop drive and while you can only upgrade to 80gb through apple, there are 100gb laptop drives on the market now. I think seagate has a 2.5" 100GB 5400rpm drive for under $200, maybe even $150?

The only gripe i've got with it is that it's video card is only 32Mb, meaning when Tiger comes out, it wont be able to do many of the new visual effects provided by CoreImage and CoreVideo, which require 64Mb of video.

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post #28 of 48 Old 01-14-2005, 01:40 PM
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Since we are comparing our Apple/Mac history, I'll state mine, though not nearly as extensive, I still have my Apple //c ($1200 of Bar Mitzvah money in 1984) in the original box in the attic, last fired up about 8 years ago, but working okay.

My Power Computing Powerbase still gets turned on every now and then. It's maxed out on RAM (160MB), upgraded video, and doing fine with a 40GB HD.

When it came time to upgrade, I tried the build-your-own route and my main computer is now WinXP based. I still keep up with multiple Mac mags and websites, though. I sold my Apple stock a couple of years ago. Fortunately, what I bought has done as well as what I sold, so I don't feel too bad about that.

However, this new Mac mini may be what brings me officially back into the fold (though I never considered myself out of it either). I will be getting a iPod shuffle to join my 3G 10GB.
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post #29 of 48 Old 01-14-2005, 01:52 PM
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Not nearly as much history in the Mac world as you guys but ...

My first Mac was a G3 iBook. I liked it a lot but was disappointed I couldn't use iDVD and FCP with it so I scrapped it for a dual 733 QS.
It was nice but eventually I missed the portability and went to an aluminum powerbook 15". Honestly though I still miss the 12" iBook, the battery life kicked butt.
Soon I will have a Mac mini so that will be Mac #4. I am building a history of getting Macs in the 3 short years since I first saw the light.
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post #30 of 48 Old 01-14-2005, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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OMG, Vasu, did you win the lottery or something? You have Macs like some of my friends have motorcycles. That's an impressive stable.

I misread, Creech. You're right, you said 250MB (I still remember when that was huge. I remember paying $10/mb for a 40Meg HD for my Plus.

I helped my friend order a G5 1.8GHz today. I'm still limping along on my 550 TiBook. Of course, I'm using my 1200 Mhz Athlon Linux box for most things (DVArchive) right now.

I'm hoping that when Tiger ships, the Mini will get a RAM bump, or the will recompile or recode CoreImage to run better on the 32MB Radeon chipset. After all, there are now going to be millions of these minis out there.

I am biting my tongue, hiding my credit card, and holding off on a Mini until I can get Tiger with it, so I don't have to buy itfor my TiBook as well. And if they boost the video by then, all the better. When it gets warmer, I'll be playing with my motorcycle and road bike more than computers, anyway. I just need to get through the winter....
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