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Wireless Internet

 
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Mantishead
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Joined: 28 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:01 am    Post subject: Wireless Internet Reply with quote

I am considering adding a MacMini to my Home Entertainment System. I have a couple of questions first however.

I currently have a PC in my study connected to a WiFi router projecting a standard 802 network around my house. The PC has iTunes on it and loads of photos and video etc.

1) Does the MacMini AirPort connect to this wireless network or do I need a specific AirPort Extreme base station?

2) I understand iTunes is happy to share music across the network to my MacMini but will I be able to access the photos and video on the PC or would it be easier transferring that stuff across to the Mac HD instead. If I do transfer over to the Mac, can the PC still get access to that stuff from within the study?

3) I have a 43" Pioneer Plasma display and was wondering if I am likely to get good enough resolution from the MacMini to browse the web from my sofa, use Ebay, check the news and emails and so on. Or would this still be a task for the study?

Many Thanks
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ack_mac
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Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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Location: Northern VA (DC)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Wireless Internet Reply with quote

Mantishead wrote:
I am considering adding a MacMini to my Home Entertainment System. I have a couple of questions first however.

I currently have a PC in my study connected to a WiFi router projecting a standard 802 network around my house. The PC has iTunes on it and loads of photos and video etc.

1) Does the MacMini AirPort connect to this wireless network or do I need a specific AirPort Extreme base station?

2) I understand iTunes is happy to share music across the network to my MacMini but will I be able to access the photos and video on the PC or would it be easier transferring that stuff across to the Mac HD instead. If I do transfer over to the Mac, can the PC still get access to that stuff from within the study?

3) I have a 43" Pioneer Plasma display and was wondering if I am likely to get good enough resolution from the MacMini to browse the web from my sofa, use Ebay, check the news and emails and so on. Or would this still be a task for the study?

Many Thanks


I can answer some of our questions:
1. The Mac Mini should have no problems connecting to your network. Airport cards will work with non-Apple routers. I think you will find wireless networking on Apple to be much easier to setup than Windows.

2. Honestly, the iLife suite that somes with the Mini is so much better than Windows photo and movie viewing software. Personally I would transfer your music, pictures, and movies over, but in either case you can share these files (either from the Mac to the PC, or the PC to the Mac). Mac is very flexible as far as sharing files with PC's so you should have no problem here.

3. I am not sure about this one, but if you are looking at buying the new Intel Mac Mini, I would think that you would have no major problems here. Does your TV have an open DVI connection? I would think that this would be the easiest way to connect your Mini.

One more thing. If you are a new switcher (not familiar with OS X) I would recommend buying a book such as "Tiger: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue. I know it made my transition from Windows to OS X much easier. As it stands now, my PC is in storage, and am planning on donating it to a local charity since I have no need to us it anymore Smile
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ShaneHale
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Wireless Internet Reply with quote

1. The MacMini's Airport will connect to standard 802.11b/g networks. I am assuming you are not running 802.11a or 802.11n in which case you won't see the network. If the network is within range you will have no problem connecting to it. Apple's Airport is a fancy Wireless Router.

2. You will be able to access your videos and photos if you have them in a shared directory on your PC.

I would suggest moving your videos and photos over to your Mac. (as this is your media center) This way you will be able to see them in FrontRow, and not slow your network while watching a video. Photos also need to be in iPhoto for them to appear within FrontRow, which means the images will be stored locally on your mini. Enable Windows sharing from your MacMini and you will be able to access then from your PC.

3. You will need to check the resolution your 43in Plasma Supports, I think this may be the limiting factor over the Mini. Your future Mini is capable of providing a 1920x1080 (1080p) video source. You may need to go to a lower resolution if you want to surf from the couch. This will make your icons and text a bit larger.

I know on my 37in 1080p LCD I have a difficult time surfing from my bed (10ft away) just because everything is too small. I drop the resolution to 1600x760 and I'm good to go and can surf without any problems.

Hope this helps answer your questions.
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Bobajobbob
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Joined: 23 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't necessarily have to drop the resolution in order to surf. In my opinion it is better to run at native resolution and then use the + and - keys in Safari to increase the font size to something more readable. Just an idea?
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edsel6502
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please be aware that a 802.11g will give you at the most %40 of the 54mbps throughput.

That's ideal conditions. No inteference in the 2.4ghz spectrum. Note: the bluetooth adapter in the mac mini also plays in the 2.4ghz spectrum.

If you want to distribute video. Let say HD content. You will need a throughput of 9-19mbs a second.

802.11g Ain't going to cut the mustard. I can see my download speed drop when I turn on my microwave oven. Plus if you live in a neighbourhood crawling with wireless APs you have even less throughput. Heh. try doing your bluetooth keyboard and stream a dvd at the same time. Smile

My recommendation would be the following

Wireless
- Ruckus wireless. Designed for AV streaming. You get a bridge and you connect via your ethernet connection. approximately $350

Wired
- plain ole ethernet. Cheapest!
- Unable to wire?. Get the corinex powerline AV200. Transmit up to 200mbps over your powergrid of your home. Measured throughput is 78mbps. approximately $320

You can't get 802.11a/n ie mimo variants because the mac mini does not take pci or cardbus. I have not seen a usb 802.11a/n mimo dongle.

If you are able to find a usb dongle that supports mimo. Go here www.orangeware.com and download their super-g driver.

ah.. one last thing. If you add a wireless repeater. You will halve your throughput for every hop.
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Bobajobbob
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Joined: 23 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for info I can perfectly stream video content from my PC server to my Mini including downloaded HD trailers via my Wifi 802.g access point. It is almost instantaneous and very rarely skips a beat.
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