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PSUDude

Mac mini for the living room

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Ok, seeing what Uncle Sam is giving back to me, I decided to get a Mac Mini to replace my Apple TV in my living room. My plan is to use teh Mac Mini as my media center (sans DVR-have one already), but also use it as another computer occasionally. What I mean is if I see something on TV and want to learn more about it, just put the TV screen in PIP, and look something up on the computer rather than run upstairs to my Imac. I plan on linking my mac mini and Imac via ad hoc wireless connection (the reason I use the wireless now on my Imac is for the Apple TV, so it wouldn't be different I guess). I have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse on my Imac, which I would move to the living room and get a wired keyboard and mouse for the Imac. I do have a few questions:

 

-on my tv I have 2 HDMI ports (used now for my satellite box and PS3), 2 component ports (one used for the apple TV), and a RGB port. Should I get an HDMI switcher and share that port between the PS3 and mac mini, or should I look into hooking it up via component or the RGB port? Also where is a good place to look for cables?

 

-I am debating using the mac mini as the media server-moving all my media files to it, but I need to know is it possible to do that while still syncing my Iphone on my Imac? I move music on and off of it often as well as download podcasts, and would I still be able to do that if I have that on my mac mini. I am debating this since I don't plan on using an external drive on the mini (no room on my surge protector), so would it be wise to just stream the media info from the Imac?

 

these are a few questions I have right now, just wanted to get some info. Thanks in advance

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Connection... Listen to this (read the comments too) then ask some more if need be. Of course that covers the previous generation Mac mini - and it's Home Theatre focussed - but there are things to be learned. (You could even listen to this - preferably before the first one.) In the last MacCast, which covered the latest Mac mini, Adam said he would try and do yet another special - handy given that it has two video ports with both being different to the previous model. Whatever the case you can't connect any Mac mini via RGB as far as I know - not even with Apple adaptors.

 

Media server... The simplest solution is to stream to your Mac mini. Media referenced by iTunes can be anywhere but your iTunes library can only be in one place - so in your case that should be on your iMac (where you connect your iPhone) with the media being on your Mac mini if wished. (You might consider a NAS solution - ideally a dual drive (i.e. RAID) one such as this - providing, that is, you have an Ethernet port spare on your wireless router.) It's not clear whether you plan to keep your Apple TV (which may make things a bit more complicated) so say whether or not you will so that you can get appropriate advice. N.B. You can stream non-iTunes audio to your Apple TV via this.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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