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Desktops (Apple) Hardware

Mac mini All About Movies? 787

Posted by michael
from the could-be dept.
bikerguy99 writes "Robert X. Cringely, who had a good nose for the Mac mini from the very beginning, has published another bit of his thoughts on PBS. This time he speculates that Mac mini is all about movies - his thoughts on the subject are quite logical and provide intriguing insights into Apple's interest in producing a cheap headless Mac in the first place."
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Mac mini All About Movies?

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  • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:05AM (#11439629) Homepage Journal
    and most won't even hear that marketing.

    of normal joe's that is. for others it's a good start for a small computer if you either want it to be a mac or don't care about the os(but it's just a start still, if you just want to view movies on the tv you're better off buying a stand alone player or heck, even xbox.. and most people won't ever edit movies).
    • by dn15 (735502) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:09AM (#11439649)
      That may not be how it's marketed, but why would they do that if such a store doesn't exist (yet)? If someone wanted to use the Mac mini as part of a home entertainment system, its size (and presumably low noise level, though I've never seen one in person) make it perfect for such an application.
      • by Golias (176380) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:30AM (#11439734)
        Let me give you an idea of how quiet this little sucker is...

        Most of the time when it's in operation, the fan does not appear to run at all, meaning it's as silent as a laptop.

        By way of comparison, the eMac has a big, slow-turning fan (about 4" wide) in order to ensure fairly quiet operation. It's quieter than some of the amps in my music studio... When the fan on the mini does engage, it's actually somehow quieter than the massive fan on the eMac.

        The loudest component on the whole darn thing is the DVD drive, which is far from the loudest drive I've heard, but still about what you would expect from a slot-loading computer drive.
    • by freemacmini (852263) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:58AM (#11439871)
      They pretty much had to make a product like this. You had mac cubes selling on ebay for four to five hundred dollars a piece. Obviously there was a pent up demand for a small, cheap mac with no monitor. It's actually the ideal home server.
  • Interesting Bio (Score:2, Informative)

    by enoraM (749327) *
    There's an interesting Bio of Robert X. Cringely on the conferencing page of the Broadcast Engineering Conference 2003. http://www.chiariglione.org/leonardo/conferences/p rograms/nab2003.htm [chiariglione.org] .
    He seems to be at least somewhat close to Apple, HDTV and MPEG :-) and I just decided to buy this little thingy.
    • Re:Interesting Bio (Score:5, Interesting)

      by a-aiyar (528921) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:32AM (#11439745) Homepage
      A little addendum to Cringely's bio:

      In case the sentence, "... he taught for several years at Stanford University..." leads anyone to believe that Cringely was on the Stanford faculty.

      Cringely was a graduate student at Stanford, during which time, he TA'ed a few classes. He never finished graduate school. Since then he has claimed (and then retracted) that he had a Ph.D. and had been an Assistant Professor at Stanford. When confronted, with the truth, he first opined that he thought being a TA was the same as being an Assistant Professor, and then removed the Assistant Professor and Ph.D. bit from his official bio.

      Caused more than a little stir in academic circles in 1998. Here's the link [stanford.org] from the Stanford Daily online from 1998.

  • by catwh0re (540371) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:10AM (#11439656)
    All they need to do is just listen to the rumour mills and create the product that gets the most fan fare....

    Apple employee: They seem to want the mini to act like a video iPod
    Jobs: But that's just stupid, the drive it's so tiny!
    Apple employee: They think that once the movies are compressed for downloading in AVC that they'll be both high quality and small file size..
    Jobs: Excellent, I'm a genius. We'll release in Spring, now sue think secret for springing the idea early, we don't want anyone copying our genius today.

  • What? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Capt'n Hector (650760)
    www.apple.com/trailers works fine... I don't know what he's talking about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:16AM (#11439674)
    It must be nice to be cringely. Just make a different totally random prediction every week, and you'll be hailed as a visionary because just by the law of averages at least some of your predictions will turn out to be true, sort of, eventually.
  • Could work well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kuwan (443684) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:17AM (#11439678) Homepage
    But one of the problems is a lack of HDTV tuner. You could get Elgato's EyeTV 500 [elgato.com] to make your Mini Mac into an HD PVR but you're still lacking 5.1 digital audio. I don't know what you could do about that. If you're spending the $$$ to get an HDTV then you probably already have, or would want to get a nice 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. You wouldn't want to be stuck with stereo from you Mini Mac.

    I'm not sure Cringely's HD movie service would catch on either. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it would be very successful. One thing is certain though, a lot of people are going to have a lot of fun and do some cool stuff with their Mini Macs.

    --
    Join the Pyramid - Free Mini Mac [freeminimacs.com]
    • by opusman (33143)
      Another big problem is lack of a remote control. I guess you could get a USB solution but it seems like they would have built-in an infra-red port if they really wanted this to be part of a home theatre solution.
      • They could include a link to the Keyspan Express Remote [apple.com] on the Accessories [apple.com] page for the Mac mini.

        I would rather it be some kind of RF remote though.
      • Well, if you get the Elgato EyeTV 500 HDTV recorder then it comes with an infrared remote.

        --
        Join the Pyramid - Free Mini Mac [freeminimacs.com]
    • Here's the 5.1 part (Score:4, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149) * on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:31AM (#11439739)
      Just look at the Accessories [apple.com] page, for the M-Audio-Transit [m-audio.com] AC3/DTS TOSlink adaptor.

      And, it's also an input!

      I was confused by that exclusion as well. But I really think they were just trying to make the box as cheaply as possible and realized most users would not need 5.1, so they could let it be a separate device.

    • You could get Elgato's EyeTV 500 to make your Mini Mac into an HD PVR but you're still lacking 5.1 digital audio.
      As well as the CPU horsepower necessary to decode the video that the EyeTV recorded. If you read the system requirements on Elgato's website, the EyeTV 500 requires DUAL G5s to playback HDTV at full resolution. Single-processor G4 mini-macs, although nice computers for what they are, need not apply.
      • The playback software for Elgato takes no advantage of any hardware acceleration.

        So, it may be possible to play back content with better accelerated players...

        A friend has been forwarding me results of a test someone is doing with the EyeTV 500 and Powerbook 1.25GHz (roughly the same specs, probably a fair amount of memory). At first he was able to get just shoppy playback, but after some tweaking (forget what that was) was able to get stable playback, of at least a SDTV feed (not quite full HDTV). So t
      • That's because today's video cards have all sorts of neat video acceleration features which for some reason, ElGato has chosen not to use. Perhaps Apple won't release a needed spec (as it would probably cause no end of trouble with Core Video/Quartz Extreme, etc.)
        HDTV playback, IIRC, is well within the capabilities of a 800 MHz Pentium III. If Apple decides to embrace HDTV, the miniMac will be able to play it back..
  • Dead on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Golias (176380) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:18AM (#11439687)
    This is one of Cringely's less-original flights of fancy, (lots of people have been suspecting that iTMS could expand to movies for some time now), but also one that seems to me to be very on-target.

    My mini arrived at my office via FedEx on Thrusday, and I've been setting it up for exactly the same purpose as almost everybody else I've heard from who's buying one: It's going into the media room.

    A $300 digital tuner called the EyeTV gives me PVR features, and a $60 USB break-out box gives me DTS sound for DVD's. (The G4 solution can't quite do 1080i in full-screen mode, but I only need 720p anyway...) The DVI port is compatible with the wide-screen projector I'm planning on buying next month. In spite of the relatively light-weight video card, it plays World of Warcraft nearly as well as my AMD Frankenstein box with a 256 MB GeForce card.

    So this thing is already serving up movies, TV, music, and games, and will be just about the only media device in the room (I might consider moving the X-Box into whatever room my old TV goes to.)

    However, like many geeks, I also sometimes watch downloaded materials. I'm not as big on bootleg DivX's as some folks, but the occasional anime "fan-sub" has found its way onto my HD, and there's also plenty of legit stuff out there, such as "Red vs. Blue."

    If it was possible to click on a movie or classic TV show in the iTMS, and download it as an MPEG2 stream for a reasonable price, even if it took overnight to get it, I would probably snap it up.

    I passed on the DVD burner option for the mini. I figure I can get a better & faster double-density burner sometime down the road as an external firewire option. If this movies-on-demand feature of iTMS actually comes to pass, I might find myself buying a burner sooner rather than later.
  • by the pickle (261584) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:19AM (#11439689) Homepage
    At least, that hard drive in there isn't. It's a 4200 RPM laptop drive.

    Also, maybe it's just me, but doesn't 40 GB or 80 GB seem awfully small for the storage of feature-length HD video? We're talking what, 10-20 movies at best?

    For there to be a true digital DVD library device, hard disk storage prices are going to have to come down to a fraction of what they are now. Time will provide this, but right now, it doesn't seem like the hardcore movie buffs -- who seem like the target market for something like a digital DVD library -- would be satisfied with the comparatively tiny amount of storage available in the 2.5" hard disk form factor. A Mini with an external terabyte of storage would be better, but that's going to more than double its price.

    Maybe I'm just not getting it, but I really think Cringely missed the boat on this one.

    p
    • If you're really a hardcore movie buff you could just get an Xserve RAID [apple.com] to go with it. : D
    • by Rhys (96510) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:54AM (#11439850) Homepage
      So what you're saying is that your internet pipe is faster than your hard drive? Tell you what I'll go buy you a nice 15k scsi disk, you buy me a new internet connection, k?

      On the other hand, if you assume Cringely is right and that it's for downloads AND that those downloads will be faster than going to the rental store, you're left with only a couple obvious things:

      1) Streaming. You'd be buffering for the 15 minutes of going-to-store then play and rely on the buffer.

      2) You'll need a big pipe. The rate of 3-10Mbps for a dvd video (dunno about HD video) isn't likely to go down too much more with other compression. On the other hand, with cable companies talking about upping their service to 4Mbps or 6Mbps, and baby bells trialing FTTP that's approaching feasibility.

      I'd mark it as more a 2k6 thing than 2k5 but who knows maybe it'll take off as a driving force behind FTTP. I'm sure I could figure something to use my bandwidth there for since I'm not a huge movie watcher.
      • I dunno about you, but I'd like to keep these videos around longer than 48 hours. I don't "rent" songs on the iTMS, and I wouldn't want to be "renting" movies on the iMVS, either, unless it were a LOT cheaper.

        Streaming is fine for the latter, but we already have infrastructure for this. It's called your pay-per-view channel, and it's available in HD. (It's too bad the Onion doesn't have old archives on-line any more, or I'd take this opportunity to link to their classic "Gateway Introduces $5000 Computer T
        • by n8_f (85799)
          Sorry, the hard disk concerns are crap. The 4200 RPM drives Apple is using can sustain aroun 15 MB per second. In comparison, HDTV has a maximum data rate of 2.4MBps (19.2Mbps) and Blu-ray has a maximum data rate of 4.5MBps (36Mbps). The hard drives won't be a problem.

          I've never had music skip on my iPod mini and the issue wouldn't be the speed of the hard drive, which on any iPod is at least 3MB per second (do you have any MP3s encoded at 3145728-bit? Mine generally max out at 320). Instead, it wou
    • by dmarx (528279) <dmarx@hus h m ail.com> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:55AM (#11439853) Homepage Journal
      Also, maybe it's just me, but doesn't 40 GB or 80 GB seem awfully small for the storage of feature-length HD video? We're talking what, 10-20 movies at best?

      If the MPAA gets its way, you'll be renting these movies, not buying them.

  • For a computer to encode HDTV video to disk requires at least a 2.4ghz machine, and, I assure you, a Mini does not have a 2.4ghz processor.

    If you want a nice machine to run an HD recorder, look elsewhere.

    • Recording HD is easy. Hook up the tuner (or the set top box) to the mac via firewire. The bits come in (HDTV is digital), they get written to the hard drive. An HDTV recorder requires very little horsepower, although playback requires either the able assistance of a modern video card (for motion compensation, iDCT calculations, etc) or a rather fast general purpose CPU.
    • by NotoriousQ (457789) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:36AM (#11439762) Homepage
      HDTV encoding is done at the source. If you have an HDTV tuner then what you get is the raw MPEG-2 stream that the station sends -- no need to encode. The camcorders do their own encoding right before they write down the stream, otherwise there would just be no space.

      So you do not need a faster processor, just a bus and HD fast enough to get the stream. Playback of HDTV on the other hand may take some juice, but should be easily handled by most modern processors including the mini.
      • Well, there may be room for heroic optimization yet, but there aren't any G4 machines that can decode 1080i MPEG-2 in real-time. Not a problem on my dual G5, certainly.

        Maybe they're limited by the limited FSB on the G4?
    • Slight correction -- it requires at least a 2.4GHz-equivalent machine. You're right that the mini-mac can't do it, but a 1.8GHz G5 iMac just might (I haven't tried it though, so then again it might not).
    • 2.4GHz eh? So it doesn't matter if it's 2.4GHz Celeron, 2.4Ghz Athlon64 or 2.4GHz 8088?

      Seriously, staring that the MHz is completely pointless. You simply can't compare different CPU-families based on their clock-speed. P4 clocks alot higher than Athlon64 does, yet Athlon 64 mops the floor with the P4. How can that be? Or do you suggest that 2.4GHz Celeron is faster than my 2.2GHz Athlon64?
  • This comment seems unnecessary and strangely placed. FTA:
    Here's my thinking, and it is just thinking -- I have no insider knowledge of Apple's plans, I haven't been diving in any Cupertino dumpsters, and nobody who knows the truth has told me a darned thing.
    I've got to wonder if it was even mentioned because of the whole Think Secret lawsuit. Are people who are spouting idle rumors and speculation going to feel the pressure to issue out-of-the-blue disclaimers? Sigh. The overly litigious benchmark h
  • It CAN be connected to a television with that DVI to S-Video or Composite adapter.

    Couple a Mini hooked up to a nice television and a wireless keyboard and mouse setup, and it would make a nice living room entertainment computer.
  • by tftp (111690) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:32AM (#11439743) Homepage
    First, an average movie would be about 1-2 GB if compressed really well. An average broadband user has probably 100-200 kBps download speed on average. This amounts to 3 hours of downloading per movie, at least. Non-geeks probably will be displeased.

    Second, the movies have to be purchased ($10 per download, for example) and stored on the HDD. The HDD is either 40 or 80 GB, making it capable of storing anywhere from 20 to 60 movies. What the customer should do after the disk is full?

    There are solutions to both problems, though. The bandwidth can be spread between users using BitTorrent, and the customer can be allowed to re-download the same movie at a later time, as long as he presents the same key to the web store.

    But for an average user a DVD player and a DVD store and/or rental place work just as well, and with much less hassle. iTunes works because it is easy. But downloading of a movie is anything but easy, at least so far.

    Possibly, though, Apple looks far ahead. But if they just wanted to set up a video distribution business they could have released some iFlicks software for Windows, this results in an instantaneous user base, no need to wait for anything built or sold, and they can have the video store running within days.

    • First, an average movie would be about 1-2 GB if compressed really well.

      I think it would be even worse (bigger) than that. According to Apple's H.264 web page [apple.com]:

      H.264 can create great-looking 3G mobile content at 50-160 Kbps, excellent Standard Definition (SD) video at 800-1500 Kbps, beautiful

      HD video (1280x720, 24p) at 5-7 Mbps and full HD video (1920x1080, 24p) at 7-9 Mbps.

      So at the lowest HD bitrate for 720p (5 Mbps), 2 hours of video would be about 4.5 GB. I think 6 CD's worth of data is more than p

  • Good one . I noticed last week i couldn't download quicktime just by itself. I had to download Itunes also.
  • it was interesting to see a representative from Sony with Steve Jobs at Mac World. the two companies have cooperated together in the past (the first powerbook, i think) this makes more sense as both companies seem to converge towards the same goal. that is, domination of home electronics.

    now if the next Mac Mini comes with a Cell Processor, you can easly distribute alot of High Definition stuff. Mac Mini Cells, that your PS3 can play with

    cool
  • The processing power for playing back those touted AVC H.264 movies should be borderline on the Mac Mini as this advanced media format is quite processor intensive. MPEG/ITU-T marketing papers have indicated that AVC/H.264 roughly takes 4x the decoding power for real time playback as MPEG-2 and AVC/H.264 offers the same quality at half the bitrate as MPEG-2. Using new builds of mplayer that support AVC/H.264 playback take up 70% of my G5's processor time at 420p, although other implementations take up less

  • I've always heard that online movies are compressed down to pretty low quality. How big would a two hour full HD movie be? Lots bigger than your typical DivX I bet. Your typical home broadband system would be hard put to download it in less than a day.
  • by bubba451 (779167) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:42AM (#11439789)
    I find it amusing that pretty much everyone is trying to push functionality onto the Mac mini.

    Now I'm as guilty as the rest, but has anyone stopped to consider that the mini is just a low-cost, small-footprint Mac aimed at potential switchers?

    I suspect that deep down, we know that's all the mini is, but we're just trying to find some kind of rationalization for buying one. (I'll admit it: I've been wanting to get one to act as a dedicated server for my iTunes Library, a function I think it'd perform quite well.)

    • by Admiral Burrito (11807) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @04:03AM (#11440119)
      I'm also amused by the "what is it for" crowd.

      I think it is aimed at exactly the sort of people who claim to know what it is for. It's a computer, so of course there are a bunch of things it could be used for, and the small form-factor gives you the all of the usual non-desktop options that SFF systems are used in. All of these people who are saying "it's for $foo" are really just projecting their own ideas, and will likely go out and buy one and use it for $foo. Those who are saying "oh wait, it can't actually be used for $foo, because it lacks $bar" will probably go out and buy one anyway, and buy the add-on required for $bar.

      The "it's for $foo" people must be working out great for Apple, as free advertising. All of the pundits out there (including Cringely) are collectively declaring more uses for the Mac Mini than Apple's marketing department could ever dream up, and spreading the word more widely than Apple's advertising budget could ever afford.

  • One bit I question...

    Besides, viewers will tolerate non-real-time movie downloads -- as long as they take less time than driving to Blockbuster and back

    For most people living in urban areas, video stores are all over the place. It's no more than a 15 minute trip the nearest Blockbuster, and I could walk down the street to the local place quicker than that. Even at a generously small estimate of a 1G download for a full length, full res HDTV over the average 1.5mb line is about an hour and a half. It's

  • The where is the remote control? I know you can buy stuff aftermarket, but any serious media center would require a remote control like 99.99% of the rest of the serious market.

    Take it for what it is, Apple is trying to take a stab back into the heart of the PC market with cheap and reliable machine for the masses. Is it a mystery to Mac fans why large institutions started dumping them in the 90's?

    It's about the money, plain and simple. I bought my Powerbook because it was relatively inexpensive and extre
  • I don't think so ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by x mani x (21412) <[ac.lligcm.sc] [ta] [esahgm]> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:47AM (#11439810) Homepage
    Reasons why Cringely is wrong:

    1. both models of the mac mini are currently shipping without support for either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. Cringely glosses over this stating that the mini will exclusively be for delivering online HD content.

    2. there is no IR/remote support on the mac mini, so no remote control. this is kind of a big and small deal at the same time. it would not have cost much for them to add support for this, yet it is a feature essential to media centers.

    3. the current mac mini models are simply not powerful enough to decode HD video compressed with modern MPEG-4, WMA9-level codecs.

    4. no component video out on the mini. Cringely once again glosses over this, stating that DVI is sufficient. while DVI does seem to generally work on DVI/HDMI and DVI/HDCP televisions, there are cases where it does not, and it is certainly not officially supported by most vendors. remember this is Apple, they're not going to push technologies that aren't officially supported. there is no evidence of HDMI/HDCP support on the mac mini.

    A lot of these could be fixed in the future, with an "upgraded" mac mini. but i just don't think it adds up. the mini doesn't even look like a home theater component. Cringely seems to be basing his entire theory on the Quicktime trailers site being down for an evening ... to me this is not even close to being a sufficient foundation to support his claims.

    I do hope one day Apple releases a media center solution. They are one company who could really shake things up and bring some attention to the media center concept, which I am totally into after installing Xbox Media Center (http://www.xboxmediacenter.com) on my modded Xbox. I just don't see this happening anytime soon, and in particular not with the mac mini. I sure hope I'm wrong!
    • Corrections (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149) * on Saturday January 22, 2005 @03:25AM (#11439973)
      1) I think it's premature to call out lack of support for blu-ray when there are hardly any players anywhere yet! I think Apple did announce support in Tiger. Already the Superdrive is BTO, probably a blu-ray drive could be added later as needed and become another BTO option.

      2) There is IR support, Keyspan USB remote which is an IR remote with a USB/IR receiver. Works by default with iTunes and the movie player. Is linked to from Mac mini Accessories page in Apple store.

      3) Check out the specs for Pixlet [apple.com] which lets you play back "movie quality frames" on a 1GHz G4. But really the video card in the mini is powerful enough to do the job for HDTV, you just need players than make use of it.

      4) Could use S-Video, though most real video people would cringe. I agree that is the major stickling point, I am OK as I have a projector but I have also heard of problems connecting computers to HDTV sets with DVi inputs. Perhaps Tiger will help in this regard.

      I think it's very usable now, but I tend to agree they may well release an updated version later with a little more bundling (like 5.1 built in instead of requiring a seperate adaptor).

      Sorry I didn't include more links to things but I've already done a bunch of responses, check those for more links.
      • Re:Corrections (Score:4, Informative)

        by MojoStan (776183) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @04:51AM (#11440237)
        3) Check out the specs for Pixlet which lets you play back "movie quality frames" on a 1GHz G4.

        Pixlet is a very high-bitrate codec that content creators are supposed to use to preview their video. According to Apple's H.264 FAQ [apple.com], a 1GHz G4 is needed to play "high-end digital film frames at 960x540 (at about 20 Mbps)." For those not used to doing the math, that's about 18GB for a 2-hour movie. An HD 1080p movie is twice as large and requires a dual 2.0GHz G5, but this doesn't matter because Pixlet is for content creation, not distributing HD video. H.264 is the codec for distributing HD video and will be included in Quicktime 7.

        But really the video card in the mini is powerful enough to do the job for HDTV, you just need players than make use of it.

        The Radeon 9200 [ati.com] is not even close to being powerful enough for HD. It does not have a VPU. Even the 9800 isn't powerful enough. Only the Radeons based on the X800 core [ati.com] have the technology (VIDEOSHADER HD [ati.com]) for playing back HD.

        I'd sure like to know the real system requirements (CPU and/or GPU) to play back H.264 video at 1280x720 and 1920x1080. I can't find them at Apple's site or with Google.

        Here's the Pixlet info from the FAQ:

        How does H.264 compare with Pixlet?

        H.264 and Pixlet are designed for different uses.

        Pixlet is focused on workflow, designed for digital filmmakers, animators and effects artists to easily review high-resolution image sequences on a standard PowerMac or PowerBook. Pixlet plays every frame of a sequence without frame-to-frame dependencies so that a media professional can scrutinize every detail of a sequence. Pixlet enables high-end digital film frames at 960x540 (at about 20 Mbps) to play in real time with a 1GHz G4 or faster Macintosh, while 1920x1080 frames (at about 40 Mbps) will play in real time on a dual 2GHz G5 or faster. This capability eliminates the need to invest in costly, proprietary hardware for the professional review process.

        H.264 is a delivery codec, optimized for high quality and efficiency. It leverages data that does not change between frames for more efficient compression. While Pixlet may require about 40 Mbps for 1920x1080 content, H.264 delivers 1920x1080 content at about 8 Mbps. This efficiency in H.264 enables delivery to and playback on a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to computers to HDTV and beyond.

    • Lets have a look on the accessories page [apple.com].
      1) well, are there any actual disks shipping yet? Besides, I don't see DVD's dying anytime soon.
      2) remote, yep there it is.
      3) probably not, but I'd love to see a mac mini running a mythtv front end, with a big file server hiding somewhere else out of earshot.
      4) component video, yep there it is.
      And you can even get 5.1 or DTS to your receiver.
    • by Yaztromo (655250)

      I generally agree that Apple isn't going to be targeting the Mac mini at home video playback for the masses (at least not anytime soon), but I do have to correct a few things in your post none-the-less:

      2. there is no IR/remote support on the mac mini, so no remote control. this is kind of a big and small deal at the same time. it would not have cost much for them to add support for this, yet it is a feature essential to media centers.
      But the Mac mini does have a Bluetooth option, and Bluetooth is argua
  • by multiplexo (27356) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @03:31AM (#11439993) Journal
    What are the chances? Yessirree, there's nothing like reading reposts of Cringely's craptacular punditry! That's news I can use!

  • by ponos (122721) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @04:26AM (#11440184)

    This is a simple question, but since I am completely Apple-illiterate I'd like to know for sure. Can I plug a nice USB audio card on the mini? Will it work? An Audigy NX would be a nice choice for games, a firewire m-audio would be nice for recording. Generally speaking, do PC USB peripherals work with apple computers or do I need "special" expensive Mac versions?

    P.
  • by michaeldot (751590) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @09:20AM (#11440931)
    Anyone found a FireWire drive that would sit nicely under a Mini?

    Or a case they I can put my own ATA drive in? With a 250 or 400 GB drive sitting under it, the Mini could make a rather excellent home server.

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