AVS Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a box to add to my living room setup mainly for Plex and XBMC Kodi. I would like something that is local to the TV and works. I have a large collection of movies for the kids that I stream through Plex to the Roku, but I'm occasionally having issues streaming this from another PC on the network and when it doesn't work and small kids are waiting it makes for a big fuss.


So right now I want a box, local to the TV, that can play all the kids movies, install Kodi etc. MacMini seemed like a good choice because it can be had for $500, if you have an alternative I would love to hear it.


Thanks,
Detox
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,347 Posts
Is this just for one TV for the kid's stuff?
If it's for streaming the content on a PC to just one TV, there are inexpensive local solutions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
I am looking for a box to add to my living room setup mainly for Plex and XBMC Kodi. I would like something that is local to the TV and works. I have a large collection of movies for the kids that I stream through Plex to the Roku, but I'm occasionally having issues streaming this from another PC on the network and when it doesn't work and small kids are waiting it makes for a big fuss.


So right now I want a box, local to the TV, that can play all the kids movies, install Kodi etc. MacMini seemed like a good choice because it can be had for $500, if you have an alternative I would love to hear it.


Thanks,
Detox
Is your network all wireless? Do you have a central database?

Thing is, you have lots of options. You could buy an Intel NUC or a Shuttle PC for quite a bit less than a Mac Mini. You could also go with a ROKU box that has a Plex app for 4.99, but then you won't be using KODI (but it has tons of other legit Apps). I have a media server that hosts my files and runs PLEX, and then a couple Shuttle PC's for each TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,952 Posts
However,

If you want the mac mini,... no one should convince you not to waste money on it. They are fantastic.

I love mine though I got it free because it wasn't working at the time. (Still has a broken fan connector on the main board which causes the main fan to run at 5000 RPM but I correct that with software and the system runs 24/7 with no trouble.)

I always wanted a mac mini for my HT but after getting one the kids needed it more for homework and I couldn't keep it. It's very versitile.

Other devices like a Chromebox, NUC, or simply home made PC... do what you want for less money.

-Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,347 Posts
I have a media server that hosts my files and runs PLEX, and then a couple Shuttle PC's for each TV.
Which Shuttles are you using for the TV clients and what are you running on them.

I built an i3 Shuttle SH67H3 running Win-7 Pro as my 24x7 Media Server. It's great for running Mezzmo, TiVo server, etc. and controlling the disk farm for mass storage. But it is a bit too big to stick one in an entertainment center rack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
Which Shuttles are you using for the TV clients and what are you running on them.

I built an i3 Shuttle SH67H3 running Win-7 Pro as my 24x7 Media Server. It's great for running Mezzmo, TiVo server, etc. and controlling the disk farm for mass storage. But it is a bit too big to stick one in an entertainment center rack.
SHUTTLE SLIM XH61V w/i3-3225. I'm running KODI on it, but I could run a stand alone plex client if I want. I built these a couple years ago. I run Plex server on FreeNAS, but the KODI boxes connect to the media directories directly. We use Plex for iOS devices etc.

If I were to do a similar setup today, I'd stick with my NAS, which is rather powerful, and I'd probably buy a couple ROKU (not familiar with chrome box) boxes or something else that has Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc etc on it. This would be simpler setup and be easier for family members to use. I can install plex client's on the shuttle, but I like KODI.


oh and the one problem I have with the shuttle and haven't been able to resolve is turning the machine on with a remote. I think the newer one's can, but not this older one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,952 Posts
I may get lost in your descriptions but if you are running plex I can't imagine why you don't use a roku.

In my case I have a media server NAS and a separate Plex server for SD stuff... that's complicated but .. point being the Roku (3) does Plex perfectly... If you're running plex mainly I don't know what problem you have with Roku.
 

·
Registered
Emotiva XMC-2, Emotiva XPA-9 Gen3, JVC NX7, NHT VT-3/VC-3/VR-3, NHT iC4-ARC x4, HSU VTF-3 MK5 x2
Joined
·
270 Posts
Speaking as someone who has two Mac Minis that are used primarily as Plex clients (and a Plex server on one), I'm obviously a big fan. However, depending on your requirements, this may or may not be an ideal solution.

The biggest drawback from my perspective is that the Mac OS doesn't support hi-res audio formats like DTS-HD Master Audio. If that's not a big deal for you, you'll probably never miss it. Some people also have issues with the lack of 23.976 video support, but again, it's not a deal-breaker for most.

For me, the added benefit of also running iTunes, having convenient web browsing, remote management (via screen sharing), iOS device integration and other "minor" advantages that I get from a Mac Mini all add up to make it a nearly ideal solution for me. Other options may be less expensive and/or provide features that a Mini doesn't, but I haven't seen any that aren't without limitations of their own. At the end of the day, get what best meets your needs and fits into your budget.
 

·
Registered
Emotiva XMC-2, Emotiva XPA-9 Gen3, JVC NX7, NHT VT-3/VC-3/VR-3, NHT iC4-ARC x4, HSU VTF-3 MK5 x2
Joined
·
270 Posts
By the way, I also have a Roku 3 running along side my Mini, and I still watch 99% of my Plex content via the Mini. To me, the Roku picture quality isn't quite on par - though I readily admit that this is an entirely subjective evaluation. Now, if the rumored next-gen Roku box steps up its video processor (most likely to support UDH video) and adds support for the HD audio formats that the Mac OS will probably never enable, I strongly suspect that ratio will flip-flop.

If I were in your position, I'd be strongly inclined to wait for a couple of months to see what Roku might announce. A Mini is still an attractive option for a lot of other reasons, but if Plex is your primary interest/requirement, the next Roku box could be a game changer. The new Roku Plex client is definitely a huge step in the right direction; fingers crossed that the hardware steps up too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am currently using a PC in the house to host the Plex Server and I have a Roku running Plex in the living room. It's a wired connection and when it works it's great. The problem, is that the Server is 2 floors away, so anytime there is an issue (PC is off, server needs to be reinitialized etc) I have to go into troubleshoot mode while the kids (toddlers) are bouncing off the walls. For that reason I want something local to the TV that can act as the server/transcoder and player.


The MacMini being only around $500 offers convienence but I am unsure of it's limitations. Hence alternatives would be a greatly appreciated. What Chromebox is recommended? Or Shiuttle PC?


Thanks,
Detox
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,952 Posts
I am currently using a PC in the house to host the Plex Server and I have a Roku running Plex in the living room. It's a wired connection and when it works it's great. The problem, is that the Server is 2 floors away, so anytime there is an issue (PC is off, server needs to be reinitialized etc) I have to go into troubleshoot mode while the kids (toddlers) are bouncing off the walls. For that reason I want something local to the TV that can act as the server/transcoder and player.


The MacMini being only around $500 offers convienence but I am unsure of it's limitations. Hence alternatives would be a greatly appreciated. What Chromebox is recommended? Or Shiuttle PC?


Thanks,
Detox
Read some of the chrome box thread in this forum,... it's always near the top.

But, if the system serving the data is turned off for some reason... nothing is really going to solve that.
\
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top