Apple’s new MacBooks are mobile HDTV media centers

“Apple’s new MacBooks look fantastic, especially the black one. But there’s more two [sic] them than just great looks. They are, in fact, Apple’s mobile HDTV media center. When the Intel Mac mini was launched at the beginning of March, we speculated that it was Apple’s HDTV media center. At the time, there was some debate over whether it was powerful enough to play and record HDTV. There were also concerns about whether the integrated graphics was up to the job. There’s no debate now,” The HDTV Tuner writes.

“I’ve spent the afternoon playing with a black MacBook and the HD QuickTime trailers and videos look fantastic on that glossy screen. Using that screen to watch movies, there’s no point in choosing 1080 content as it has to be scaled down, whereas the 720p movies fit the screen almost perfectly. The MacBook can, however, drive a 23in display at up to 1920 by 1200 pixels, so if you fancy hooking it up to, say an Apple 23in Cinema Display, you could quite happily watch 1080 content,” The HDTV Tuner writes. “Now, you won’t necessarily want to use the MacBook as a means to watch HDTV at home, but as a media center for watching and recording HDTV on the road, it’s great. Just add a TVMini, a copy of EyeTV 2, ad a pair of USB-powered laptop speakers or headphones, and you’re good to go. So, Mac users now have the mac mini to use as an HDTV media center at home, and a MacBook for the road. Nice.”

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

The HDTV Tuner’s “Mac mini HDTV Media Center” article is here.

Introducing the super-fast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook.  Starting at just $1099
Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.

Related articles:
Reader report: 1080p 24fps playback on Mac mini Core Duo plays fine – March 03, 2006
Apple’s new Mac mini: perfect for HDTV – March 01, 2006
Apple Mac mini’s Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics Core reviewed – March 01, 2006
Old Apple Mac mini G4 vs. new Mac mini’s graphics and video specs – February 28, 2006


  1. Also: The El Gato stuff is 300+ additional dollars and yet another external device. Needs to be integrated.

    In addition the ultra cool Apple monitors would be MUCH better if they had a second DVI or HDMI connector on them to use as a dedicated HD monitor. Would make them much more viable for Joe Consumer to justify if it could do multiple duties straight out of the box (like as a monitor for the HD PVR from their cable company).

    MDN: hundred – They’d sell hundreds more 30″ displays that way.

  2. Off topic, but has anyone tried the newest VLC update?

    Is it me, or are all my vids on the ‘full screen’ mode have fully crisp resolution … like almost HD resolution on my 17″ eMac?

    Curious to what others have seen.

    Also .. VLC is much smoother than QT, which often pauses images while playing

    Sorry for the threadjack.

  3. VLC vs QTP:

    QTP is using CoreImage to resize the video – VLC is not. Its using its own built-in resizing algorithims to display frames.

    This is also why you see a difference between VLC and QTP with regard to interlaced videos and whatnot – each is using a totally different method to do deinterlacing – if its being done at all.

    Honestly, I am a fan of the QTP because it tends to smooth out imperfections in video such as banding, noise, and other compression artifacts. I don’t particularly like the deinterlacing capability of QTP compared to VLCs, but honestly, its all a matter of preference.

    Also – QTP should use less CPU because its using CoreImage – but honestly, wtf cares with core duo processors?

  4. Driver,

    Could not an HDTV at 720p or 1080i serve directly as a Mac mini monitor? If you run two monitors, it splits the graphics card’s RAM (64 MB) in two. Therefore, it would not have enough performance to play back full 1920 x 1080 HDTV files.

    Has anyone tried using an HDTV as a computer monitor? Surfing the web or using your e-mail program? Of course, it’s good for Front Row apps.

    Also, don’t the new MacBooks and the Intel Mac mini have the exact same graphics chip?

  5. The MacBooks have been added to the “Get a Mac” section of the Apple website, which only features Intel-based Macs. Its kind of sad that the campaign basically pretends that the Power Mac G5 doesn’t even exist. I hope they can get the Intel-based Power Mac out in time for the Paris Expo, since they’re undoubtedly losing out on the professional market at the moment.

  6. b is totally right… Apple’s goal is content on demand. that’s why we don’t have an FM tuner or sat. rad. in the iPod, why we won’t have a TV tuner in a Mac, and why video recording will soon be considered old-fashioned. the future is downloading the music and shows you want when you want them, and apple knows this.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.