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Topic # 28964 17-Dec-2008 14:31
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Can anyone offer any advice on the relative merits of either of these options for a basic HTPC/media server (the basics of storing and playing music, videos [eg DVIX] and photos)? I had been looking at a Squeezebox, but I calculate that for not too much more outlay I could have something which can do a lot more (esp on the video front), and will wear the probably inevitable loss in quality of sound (without a high-quality DAC anyway). I’m on a really tight budget, which is part of the eee’s appeal.  Specific questions:

* does one require an Intel-based Mac mini for this purpose, or will an older Power PC model do ok? (say, with 720P video)

* would the currently available eee Box work ok for this purpose (including playing 720P video), or am I best to wait for the (inevitably more expensive) new models of the eee Box, which will have an HDMI output and a dedicated video card? (see http://www.asus.com/news_show.aspx?id=13626)

* The idea is to use an iPod touch as the interface – can I be confident that this will work adequately with the eee Box? (via iTunes say) 

Anyway, would appreciate any advice that anyone can offer.
Many thanks 

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  Reply # 187477 5-Jan-2009 12:21
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Bump -

Anyone got anything to say about this?
I too am looking at getting an EEE Box to use as a Mediaportal client. SD only as no Freeview|HD available here :(




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  Reply # 187480 5-Jan-2009 12:33
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You'll need an intel mac mini if you take the mac route.

If you want best compatability with the ipod touch, go with the Mini, although I've tested Remote nicely with both windows and macs and it works fine. 

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  Reply # 187485 5-Jan-2009 12:44
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I have a Mac Mini as a media center, running Windows Vista Ultimate through Bootcamp. This is my default system boot. I've only booted Mac OS for the initial install, and last month to install updates.

It works ok as a Media Center - depending on how much media you have don't hold you breath though. After installing Windows you will only have a few GB free - 30GB in my case. I have 3TB of media on my Windows Home Server - so you get the idea.

As for Freeview, it does work. I have a Hauppagge HVR900 USB and use DVBViewer. Their latest version (4.0) solved all the problems I had with EVR for video and all channels work fine for HD - although for HD content sometimes it gets a bit jumpy. You will obviously want a faster one, the one I have is the 1.8GHz model.

I use a Microsoft MCE Remote Control and a Microsoft MCE Keyboard. These work via IR connected to a USB port. All fine - only use the keyboard in very rare occasions.










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  Reply # 187490 5-Jan-2009 12:56
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freitasm: I have a Mac Mini as a media center, running Windows Vista Ultimate through Bootcamp. This is my default system boot. I've only booted Mac OS for the initial install, and last month to install updates.

It works ok as a Media Center - depending on how much media you have don't hold you breath though. After installing Windows you will only have a few GB free - 30GB in my case. I have 3TB of media on my Windows Home Server - so you get the idea.

As for Freeview, it does work. I have a Hauppagge HVR900 USB and use DVBViewer. Their latest version (4.0) solved all the problems I had with EVR for video and all channels work fine for HD - although for HD content sometimes it gets a bit jumpy. You will obviously want a faster one, the one I have is the 1.8GHz model.

I use a Microsoft MCE Remote Control and a Microsoft MCE Keyboard. These work via IR connected to a USB port. All fine - only use the keyboard in very rare occasions.


Does your Mac Mini cope ok with playing back a recorded programme while it records another? (say, with both being HD). That's certainly a necessity for us.

Yep, will keep an eye out for the 2.0 GHz model, which will hopefully become more plentiful on TradeMe once the new model is announced/available. I just missed out on a great deal for a 2GHz unit with upgraded RAM (to 2GB) and HD (to 250GB) - am incredibly depressed I didn't buy it when I had the chance - buy now of $650.

My plans were to cope with the existing hard-drive for the meantime, and then use exernal drives (I guess USB or firewire) - would there be problems with this approach?

Cheers
Jonathan

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  Reply # 187494 5-Jan-2009 13:01
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Never tried to record and playback something at the same time, sorry - we don't usually record stuff...

I can't see any problem with external storage. Just make sure you get a large drive with external power - the Seagate drives are great, I have five here on my Windows Home Server.

Don't get the WD external drives - they go to sleep and the system can't see them unless you shutdown and start it over. I had this problem and returned the drives. Then I found lots of references to this problem on The Tubes...






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  Reply # 194018 4-Feb-2009 15:19
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freitasm: Never tried to record and playback something at the same time, sorry - we don't usually record stuff...

I can't see any problem with external storage. Just make sure you get a large drive with external power - the Seagate drives are great, I have five here on my Windows Home Server.

Don't get the WD external drives - they go to sleep and the system can't see them unless you shutdown and start it over. I had this problem and returned the drives. Then I found lots of references to this problem on The Tubes...



I will need to purchase a decent-sized external hard drive for my recently purchased Mac Mini, so had a few questions I hoped people may have some ideas on before I do purchase the drive:

I was wondering which particular Seagate drives you?re recommending, Mauricio?

I note that a number of external drives don?t indicate they?re Mac-compatible, but am I right to assume this is more just a matter of their formatting, and will work ok if FAT32 formatted? (I understand I have to stick to this if I want to be able to also connect it to other computers running Windows.)

And should I care about getting a drive equipped with Firewire as well as USB? (my laptop has both, as will the Mac Mini, of course). If I connect the hard drive directly to the Mac Mini by USB or Firewire, will I easily be able to access it from my laptop (assuming the Mini is on)?

Or am I better, to go with some kind of NAS solution?

Many thanks for any replies.

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Reply # 194056 4-Feb-2009 16:42
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jonathan18: I was wondering which particular Seagate drives you're recommending, Mauricio?


I use the FreeAgent Pro - 500GB and 1TB.




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  Reply # 194479 6-Feb-2009 15:37
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rumours keep coming up that a refresh of the mac mini is gonna happen soon, hopefully will get the nvidia 9400m gfx chipset that the laptops just got. I'm  kinda waiting to see what they do with that .

Also,  nvidia will relase the ion platform for asus to update thee EEE box sometime in Q1 or Q2. maybe.

g
 

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