Mac Mini to become a digital hub?

I found this article the other day which suggests the mac mini might evolve into a media center type device.

I have never even considered buying a mac mini, because I need something with a bit more grunt, but if it was useful as DVR/media centre/ etc. then I would snap one up in a second.

Wouldn't be a huge leap, I mean, minis have been fitted into cars and living rooms for a while now, but I'd love to see Apple actually release a mini version that was made for such a purpose.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
i don't like the 3.5" drive thing. it would suggest to the public a U-turn. it wouldn't be a mac mini any more. it'd be mac slightly-bigger-than-a-mini
 
Lt Major Burns said:
i don't like the 3.5" drive thing. it would suggest to the public a U-turn. it wouldn't be a mac mini any more. it'd be mac slightly-bigger-than-a-mini

lol, true. although surely they can fit a 3.5" without needing to enlarge the mini. I mean, it's only 1 inch. There has got to be a way to compress the other components to compensate for the larger drive.

Perhaps I'm being naive; it's probably more complicated than that.
 

texanpenguin

Registered Penguin
Thank The Cheese said:
lol, true. although surely they can fit a 3.5" without needing to enlarge the mini. I mean, it's only 1 inch. There has got to be a way to compress the other components to compensate for the larger drive.

Perhaps I'm being naive; it's probably more complicated than that.


Have you ever seen the inside of a Mac mini? The only way they could introduce a bigger HDD (or a bigger ANYTHING) would be to shrink EVERYTHING ELSE. Which would be a huge expense (especially with things like RAM, where non-standard is not a good idea). And when you say "it's only one inch", well it's one inch more on the HDD platters. Which manifests itself about threefold in volume. A 3.5" HDD is enormous next to a 2.5" one.
 
aah. so I was being naive :)

how much bigger are we talking? I mean, a 3.5" would certainly bring the cost down and disk space up, which is good. unless it's a lot bigger, I think it may be worth the trade-off imo.
 

kainjow

Registered
Either way, the Mac mini is still a small computer! You can't really complain about its size.

I have a feeling that if they come out with an Intel Mac mini in January, they will sell an insane number of them! Not only will the consumers want them madly, but developers who can't afford to rent a $1000 computer, will go after them also!

Apple's a freakin' genius ;)
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Maybe such a home entertainment device would _not_ be called the Mac mini and would maybe not even replace it?
 

Reality

Registered
I would love a Apple DVR. I hope it has wifi support too or something so that it can broadcast to other macs or even accept veido/picture feed from one to display on the TV.
 

gwynarion

I stole the Sun
I have to say that I'm not all that eager to see Apple release a DVR. Consumer Reports (magazine) had a piece about DVRs in a recent issue and their general assessment of them was that it is not worthwhile to buy one. Their reasoning was that the technology and the features and the services that they tie in to are changing so rapidly that anything you buy will be quickly out of date. Their stated preference is toward renting your DVR from your cable or satellite company.

Now that being said it is entirely possible that Apple will design and release a DVR which will change my mind. I was completely uninterested in MP3 players until Apple came out with the iPod and revolutionized the product category. And I would like to see something similar to a Mac mini but with FrontRow built in and connections for high end audio and video equipment. Maybe they could create such a device that tied in with the DVRs you rent from your AV provider, I don't know.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Hm... A Mac mini with FrontRow... My home entertainment system today is this: One 300 GB harddrive contains all my movies (handbrake-ripped to MPEG-4 by myself, so I don't have to search through my DVDs). I have to connect my PB to that drive as well as the video projector and the Dolby Digital system in order to watch a movie. A Mac mini with Front Row could simply be "always there"... On the other hand, that'd almost be too expensive only for that task, no? ;)
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
mmh, I found this out from this article:

http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0511macmini2.html

Not withstanding the pseudo-elitist comments about the Mac mini, mine has served me well as my main computer and a true digital hub. Hell, I'm even running Lightwave and making animations with ease. The new mini will (obviously) have a bit more 'umph' and be Intel-based, a-hem, upto six months earlier, or so the article says. I hate to say to a certain member here, "I TOLD YOU SO", but I did say over and over that they would have Intel Macs on the market BEFORE the conference next year.

I think it will be a great machine, shame about Front Row, it's great for Mac-made media but if it only plays videos which are compatible with Quicktime (perhaps someone can clarify this), it will be useless for my own needs, I have to rely on VLC.
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
Front Row plays DVDs and will be able to play content from the web (as it works for trailers today).
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
fjdouse: You're aware that the way you've said it it's much more aggressive than if you just had come and said: "Fryke, I told you so..."? I can admit that my assumption was wrong - no problem there. (Besides, only because the rumour-web thickens now about an intel-release in January, it could still be _wrong_...) ... And what pseudo-elitist comments are you talking about? Be more specific, please...
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
fryke: little off topic questions:

1) how much space does 100 dvd's take up ripped into mpeg4?

2) why not h.264?

3) how long does it take you to rip a dvd feature on your powerbook?
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
1) We can probably go for 1G/DVD if one does not need the highest resolution (DVD is NO high resolution, it's just better than VHS).
2) H.264 is a variant of MPEG4
3) I don't want to answer for Fryke, but this takes very, very long. Therefore during some time, people may use real DVD and not rip the content. The other way to access the movie is over Internet. And if you think bandwidth will not be sufficient, I suggest you try to play trailers on Front Row. And who has a good Internet shop for multimedia content ?

Now, it's clear that within a few years the Mac CPU will be strong enough to rip DVDs in real time.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
and beyond. when did computers get powerful enough to rip mp3's in realtime and beyond?

i've now ripped Romeo+Juliet, American Psycho, Fight Club and Scarface into h.264 mpegs. they're averaging about 1gb, and taking between 5 and 7 hours. it depends, if i put my processors onto Highest then it goes about 12 fps, reduced is about 7 fps.
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
[begin off-topic
Fryke: Yeah I should have just said it, so I will... Fryke, I told you so, didn't I? A lot of people were saying it would be at the time of the next conference, but simply listening to his exact words, in plain english (As an Englishman I can claim to have SOME knowledge of my own language even if it was said by an American) reveals that they will be already on the market by then. I got shot down for saying that, I still hold to that view. We'll see how it develops, and one of us will be right, the other will owe a beer ;-) (But I don't drink)

As for the pseudo-elitist comments, that's not you my dear friend, it's a general elitism which is found here, hence why I rarely bother logging in nowadays. Mac minis and eMacs get quite an unfair battering off many people here, and there is an air of elitism among G5 users. (I could state why I think that is, but, that really would upset too many, I don't want that) That's the impression I get and a friend was saying the same only a few days ago and we've never discussed this site before. But that's something we can discuss privately if you wish, it's not an attack on you ;-)
[/end off-topic]
 
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