What hardware to go for.

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tha_lode Offline
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Post: #1
My first post here. Exciting stuff!

I'm looking into buying a new Mac mini, and I wonder:
1 gig ram or 2?

Also looking for different dvb-t receivers to hook up to this thing.
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Weavus Offline
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Post: #2
If you can wait a month or two I'd wait for the much rumored mac mini update that's on its way. If not 1gb should be enough for just XBMC.

As for a DVB-T I use and Elgato one with EyeTV which I quite like and would recommend. You can get PC ones that are much cheaper and can work with EyeTV however...
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iordonez Offline
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Post: #3
When you get your mini max out the memory, it will never hurt and you won't have to worry about it in the future... Unlike me who bought 2x512 chips a year ago and had to replace them with 2x1GB chips recently. I would have saved a bundle if I had just maxed it out earlier.
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cooper Offline
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Weavus Wrote:As for a DVB-T I use and Elgato one with EyeTV which I quite like and would recommend. You can get PC ones that are much cheaper and can work with EyeTV however...

Which PC DVB-T's work with EyeTV? Tried google, but didn't find anything.
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jeremymc7 Offline
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Post: #5
iordonez Wrote:When you get your mini max out the memory, it will never hurt and you won't have to worry about it in the future... Unlike me who bought 2x512 chips a year ago and had to replace them with 2x1GB chips recently. I would have saved a bundle if I had just maxed it out earlier.


Exactly. Memory is likely to be the cheapest this you can add. I got my Mini with the stock 1GB (2 x 512MB) and then just pulled it out and replaced with 4GB (2 x 2GB) and for only $70 ($35 each 2GB).

Sure the Mini (latest) can only address 3.3GB of the total 4GB. But it was just as much as replacing with 3GB (1GB + 2GB) plus also get the slight boost of matching pairs.

When you've got a Mini and you want to go 1080P you need also the power you can get. The 950 graphics can be a limiting factor otherwise.

Except for the added cost of the LCD and other components I think the laptops are better. Now if apple would only take the Mac Book Pro components and put then a Mini Pro we'd have something. But I digress.

=)
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tha_lode Offline
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Post: #6
A laptop eh?
What kind would I need then?
From what I understand the GPU doesn't need to be fast since all rendering is done in the CPU.

A plain Macbook with a busted display perhaps? (Is it easy to remove the screen without making the laptop looking like a train wreck?)

Aesthetically, the mini would look better next to the surround-receiver tho.
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jeremymc7 Offline
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Post: #7
tha_lode Wrote:A laptop eh?
What kind would I need then?
From what I understand the GPU doesn't need to be fast since all rendering is done in the CPU.

A plain Macbook with a busted display perhaps? (Is it easy to remove the screen without making the laptop looking like a train wreck?)

Aesthetically, the mini would look better next to the surround-receiver tho.

Correct at this time much is done via the CPU. And with the 0.4.5 release it's gotten that much more taxed if you're using software scaling for all material to 1080P.

To be fair not everyone is running 1080P, nor upsampling / scaling all material (including 720P) up to 1080P. But for me all the displays are 1080P and I prefer to feed them native.

The Mini is better looking though with a Blue Tooth remote or an IR>RF system you don't even need the computer visable. Even if your going to play DVD's you can always use a nice looking external DVD drive and just feed it to the computer via USB/Firewire.
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tha_lode Offline
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Post: #8
My tv only goes up to 1080i and I usually just set the resolution to 720p. Not sure I need the processing power of the macbook then.

I'm sure this setup will be outdated in three years time anyway so it doesn't need to be the final solution.
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jeremymc7 Offline
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tha_lode Wrote:My tv only goes up to 1080i and I usually just set the resolution to 720p. Not sure I need the processing power of the macbook then.

I'm sure this setup will be outdated in three years time anyway so it doesn't need to be the final solution.

A Mini will do you very well for 720P.
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tha_lode Offline
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Post: #10
Thanks. Now to convince my wife... ;-)
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Zeppo Offline
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Post: #11
Been using XBMC for over four years iirc and, well, greatest (media)program ever! Since I bought a MacBook and found out its out for Mac I tried it, and, well, its still the greatest (media)program ever, only now in HD! Smile

So, a Mini would do well for 720p. What version? In Europe the price-difference between the two is rather big. My TV can handle it (Philips 32 9632) through a Denon receiver (both audio and video), I tested that through my MacBook. All that Mini needs to do is get mkv @720p on my screen, at the highest.
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iordonez Offline
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Post: #12
My 1.66 GHz mini plays 720p content very well. I tossed in 2GB of RAM though to keep thing humming along smoothly.
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