Originally Posted by sean_w_smith
THats because you dont care about HD audio. HD audio makes the mac mini another over priced also ran. It also complicates the driver issues tremendously. Even on my mac mini the plex is not nearly as stable as the C-200 and it still has more rendering issues. Was trying to watch the PBS documentary ken burns jazz the other night and again last night. Plex, XBMC and Boxee wont even render the menus. The ohter issue with the mini as a HTPC is remote control. The remote control eye in the Mac is limited and creates some interesting challenges compared to the PC.
The tradeoffs are still there. a mac mini is 2x the price and missing function compared to a ION PC lets say. For that extra money you get less options and more stability. Seems the 2 of the 3 is still applying. With an ION HTPC you can get more function, less cost and less stability.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the mac mini is not an outlier on the price performance curve. It fits well.
Well, it's true that not requiring HD Audio simplifies a lot. I don't quite agree with the remote control issue. Remote buddy makes things really interesting from a remote control point of view. Moreover, nothing stops you from using a Harmony One, for example, with Plex or XBMC.
I have a nice Ion based system ( the shuttle) next to the Mini. It's great, but I did have to hunt down an MCE ir receiver. No big deal, just a nuisance. In any case a small keyboard+trackball ( ioGear makes a neat one) seems to be best for XBMC on the Shuttle. I haven't noticed any stability issues with it and it's running Windows 7. It just works. Much like the Mini. You could even add a Blu-ray player if that was something important to you.
I have run into things that my C200 wouldn't play but XBMC on the Mini would. Had nothing to do with high end videos and PCH fixed the issue in a firmware upgrade.
I also use my Mini for other things, so it's not just a media player.
Hard to say too many negative things about the C200. It's an excellent unit.
I just think that an HTPC is perfect for someone who will also use it for things other than media player stuff. Between it, a laptop and an iPad I seem to have work, video, photos and music covered. No real hassles. The i/o issue seems to be a source of confusion. There doesn't appear to be a standard compared to the Mini.
Not sure which Mini you have but the latest Minis seem to be able to handle anything ( well except for disks). Don't know about HD Audio. In fact the price of the C200 has gone up to the point where if you add the internal wifi (great by the way) and a hard drive you are approaching the cost of a Mini.
My feeling is that HTPC's start to get less stable the moment you want to record with them. Otherwise, I have had mixed experience with media players from Asus and certainly that ST600.
In short, XBMC on a Mini or passively cooled PC, gives you a great media playing experience (well HD audio not considered) and provides you with the option of using it for other things. No more having to deal with these pathetic browsers that they keep trying to stuff into media players.