Apple’s new Mac mini a HDTV media center in disguise?

There was “no way that you would want to use [Apple’s old model] PowerPC Mac mini to watch HDTV. You could record it, but the number crunching necessary to play it back is beyond the G4. The Core Duo [Mac mini] on the other hand, should handle it with ease. The ability to play HDTV is critical for any machine that wants to be taken seriously as a home media center,” The HDTV Tuner writes. “The mini still doesn’t have a TV Tuner, but ElGato’s EyeTV 500 and Miglia’s TVMini HD will solve that problem.”

“So the Mac mini can now play HDTV happily. That on it own doesn’t tell us much. But it now ships with a version of but Front Row which can detect other Macs on your network automatically and stream music, video and photos from them to the mini, and Apple’s media remote control. Finally Apple has added information to the Mac mini pages on its website [here, scroll to the bottom of the page] that describe exactly how to connect the mini to an HDTV and how to set the resolution and other settings on the mini to optimise playback on a TV. It’s also provided links to a handful of third party sites which describe how to use the mini as a media center” The HDTV Tuner writes. “On their own, none of the improvements mean a great deal in HDTV terms, but together they suggest Apple is well on its way to turning the Mac mini into a high definition media center. All it needs now is to start selling high definition movies and TV shows on iTunes. Watch this space.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Kenny” for the heads up.]

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac mini’s Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics Core reviewed – March 01, 2006
Apple’s new Mac mini: perfect for HDTV – March 01, 2006
Videos of Steve Jobs introducing Mac mini, iPod Hi-Fi – March 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac mini ‘a good first step into the living room’ – February 28, 2006
Old Apple Mac mini G4 vs. new Mac mini’s graphics and video specs – February 28, 2006
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006

54 Comments

  1. I thought everyone was mindlessly moaning about how there’s “no way” the new Mac Mini can handle high definition ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”oh oh” style=”border:0;” />

  2. This article is a joke…the intel 950 is nowhere near the “speed” (hahah) of a 9600 Pro. According to extremetech, the 6200TC ($45 low low end card) trounces the intel 950.

    utter rubish…good luck playing 720 HD.

  3. Cubert, who cares whats in it so long as it does what you need it to do? The reaction to integrated graphics reminds me of the dud argument against using the Intel processor on principle, rather than basing the decision on facts. Intel is faster, simple as that. Integrated graphics are better (well at least for what the mini is likely to be used for ie a living room computer).

    It now supports HD which it didn’t before. Thats progress. Why does everyone care how Apple implements this change?

    Tim Coughlin
    http://timcoughlin.typepad.com

  4. People have been pointing out that, according to Apple, a Core Duo 1.83Ghz CPU is required to play back 720p HD Quicktime movies encoded in H.264. Is that relevant to HDTV playback?

  5. Hi-Def MPEG2 or H.264? The mini cannot handle 720p or 1080p H.264 according to Apple’s system requirements.

    Yes the mini can handle decoding MPEG2 but at 8GB per hr. for Hi- Def MPEG2, Apple won’t be selling 16GB HD movies for the Mac mini anytime soon.

  6. ANSWERS.COM have lost at least 20-30% of its value however, given the fact that it actually offers something Google or Yahoo does not…

    and given the fact it is an ADVERTISING company, just like Google and Yahoo.

    Yahoo is valued at $45billion
    Google is valued at $107billion

    Answers.com is valued at only $76 MILLION.

    This is definetly one solid company. It is gaining name recognition, and google seems to send alot of traffic to it. ( Every search you make on google, has a link to Answers.com )

    Answers.com has also made some improvements to its site recently, adding new advertising deals as well as new advertising features. Including a banner on top of their site which shows only once when you first visit.

    I would say ANSWERS.COM is a good stock to hold, it should do well even if the other hyped up stocks go on a decline.

  7. Everyone please be clear:

    Supporting a high-definition display resolution (1920×1080) is NOT the same as supporting hi-res video playback. This thing’s CPU and the intel graphics chip cannot reproduce even 1280×720 at 30fps, according to the published specs.

    You can connect it to an HDTV. You CANNOT watch HDTV or playback any other currently-existing HD material (including the HD movie trailers from the Apple site) on it.

  8. even the crappy web site ran in india ( REDF ) is valued at $65million.

    How can an american company backed by Google and American customers (ANSW) not worth at least more than that.

    Currently ANSW is valued at only $76million.

    I think ANSWERS.COM’s stock is headed to triple this year. It is a good LONG TERM stock.

  9. Yeah, the graphics card is crummy, but there’s more to it than just the performance hit the mini takes because of it’s use of an integrated graphics chip.

    The problem with integrated graphics is that it shares your physical RAM. There is ALWAYS a performance hit using that type of graphics system.

    OS X elegantly and efficiently uses unused processing power (and RAM) of the graphics card to handle many of the UI elements, freeing the processor to do the “real” work. So, when you use system RAM to handle those elements, it needlessly taxes the rest of the system.

    Taking away the speed and RAM advantages of a dedicated graphics card is also important because the mini uses a 4200 rpm laptop drive, which is slower than a standard desktop drive running at 5400 or 7200 rpm. Because OS X is so dependent on the hard drive to handle the system wide virtual memory, it’s yet another performance hit.

    The integrated graphics chip works counter to a lot of the elegance of how Apple has managed to use the ENTIRE system to squeeze as much performance, or rather spread the performance around the system as a whole, in order to let the slower G3 and G4 chips of the almost past do as much of the “real” work as possible.

  10. Before you run out and get a EyeTV 500, be aware that it’s not a HDCP compliant device.

    You will only be able to watch a few free “over the air” and ClearQAM (only HDCP DRM free) signals from cable.

    The cable companies also tend to encode their content with their own scrambling system to their boxes, so don’t expect to get very many channels from a bare wire.

    There isn’t a whole lot of HDCP free HD content unfortunatly. I get three to five channels of HD.

    It’s very nice to have it though, makes SD look like crap on my 30″.

    But I do advise you getting a EyeTV 500, perhaps two, because the media companies are trying reallly hard to get Congress to pass a “broadcast flag” for these HDCP DRM free channels so devices like the EyeTV 500 would require a license which the media companies then can restrict so their content (even free stuff) can’t get on a computer and over the internet.

    You should also get a EyeTV200 or two, reason for this it has component video inputs, there is a black market HDCP cirumvention device that will convert digital HD with HDCP to high res VGA, then with a VGA to component cable you can then import the HD content and record it using the EyeTV software into Quicktime for editing or burning to DVD’s.

    I also advise getting one of these last PowerMac G5’s, preferably a Quad, because the new Mactels have EFI, which basically steps between the OS/software and hardware, makes connections to the internet without the OS.

    Part of the Trusted Computing conspiracy of course, the clampdown is approaching rapidly and silently.

    You can learn more by visiting

    http://www.eff.org/

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