Mac Mini – Obsessive HTPC thinking

I can’t get the Mac Mini out of my head and some quick browsing today has led me to all but pre-order it immediately. All elements that might seem to be missing from the ideal HTPC configuration can easily be solved with the help of third part products.

Current Plan

  • Mac Mini – Faster model, but just 512MB…debating on super drive needs, it might just be nice to have the option.
  • Apple composite/S-Video adapter – direct to my 34″ Toshiba HDTV via Composite Connection
  • M-Audio Transit to enable digital audio out to my stereo
  • Griffin just came out with the Firewave which is another digital surround sound option
  • iTunes for Audio – nice!
  • I can either use the eyehome for video playback or instead just go with VLC, Quicktime or Mplayer. Pop in a DVD and it’s on!
  • I just discovered a great new remote from Macally that allows for remote mousing as well as simple App control.

As mentioned earlier the EyeTV 500 now supports digital cable (hell yeah!) and OTA broadcasts. Optional… I was also just checking out a Miglia Director’s Cut 2 to use as a video/VCR out from my HD cable box to archive those programs I might not be able to initially capture and archive for certain reasons with the EyeTV.

There’s also a very cool program called DropDV which will let you convert MPEG2 to DV for editing. Bye bye commercials for permanently archived TV.

Another option is to run MythTV directly on the Mac Mini. Using the same parts to enable TV capture and digital audio out, I’d be able to have a standard media center UI which is something I mentioned yesterday that I thought was definitely missing to make this whole thing easy to use without a keyboard and mouse — at least after the initial set-up. The set-up certainly has a much higher geek quota, but seems to be worthwhile for the end game.

This could be really slick!!

6 Replies to “Mac Mini – Obsessive HTPC thinking”

  1. Have you looked into the EyeTV Wonder USB 2.0? I think that would be an inexpensive addition to the Mac Mini Home Theater.


  2. Of course! I think if I read the specs correctly though it’s a analog only…the EyeTV 500 series is over a firewire connection and lets you record HDTV which is a serious goal for my system, since I am already doing that with a cable issued DVR.

  3. The first thing I thought when I saw the mac mini was media center. Please keep me informed on how this goes. Also, what are you using for storage of all your DV?

  4. I don’t blame you for having the Mac Mini on your mind. It’s a cool package at a great price.

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