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Apple TV vs. Mac Mini - we need a side-by-side comparison
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oculum
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Apple TV vs. Mac Mini - we need a side-by-side comparison Reply with quote

Anyone up for taking this task on? I'd like to see the comparisons between the two.

Personally, I've got a 1.5 Intel mini (+ 500GB External HD) controlled via Remote Desktop. I don't want to give up the power of the Mini over a "Sub computer" device, such as the Apple TV.

Thoughts?
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BigLee
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me to be no comparison between the Mini the Apple TV device. One is a fully fledged PC and the other is a device that sync's with Itunes.

It seems very much in the same league as this device http://www.consumer.philips.com/consumer/catalog/product.jsp?language=en&country=GB&catalogType=CONSUMER&productId=SLM5500_05_GB_CONSUMER

What does everyone else think?
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oculum
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Apple TV vs. Mac Mini Reply with quote

Well, yes, the Mini *is* a full flegged computer, and the Apple TV is just a device that syncs with iTunes....

But, I only use my Mini as my "master" iTunes library (about 300GB) - and to watch movies on my LCD TV. The Apple TV may serve the same function, but possibly with a better user experience.

The user experience for those who mainly use their mini's in home entertainment setups is what I was really getting at.
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Jowl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trouble is, the AppleTV looks like a fully DRM'd up media streamer.

What happens to DivX, VideoTS files etc?

At least you can workaround/hack the mini to do that.
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offa_broadway
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two devices differ on what can be done with them. The AppleTV, while having many components similar to a Mini, is NOT going to operate like a normal computer. That aside, it doesn't have to.

The video processing/signal output of the AppleTV will likely be much better than the signal you can get out of the Mini on a widescreen television. And you can stream anything you added to your library in iTunes to your TV, which for most people is all they need/all they have the capacity to figure out.

The DRM complaint is getting old. Am I the only one on here who thinks people should actually see money for their creative efforts? You can rip all your DVDs into iTunes with Handbrake, making *legal* backup copies, essentially. And you can buy movies off iTunes. That Apple is trying to prevent content piracy with a living room playback device shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

I mean, if you made a wooden carving for example, and I sat a block down the street from you making the exact same thing as a replica and giving them away as you tried to recoup your cost by selling them for $10 bucks, would you be pissed?
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Jowl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no problem with DRM in that sense.

But I do want to be able to play DivX and Video_TS etc - rips from my own (purchased) DVDs. My aim is to have a media centre where all my DVD's are stored on computer - no need to search around looking for the disc.

The trouble with ripping with Handbrake to mp4 (in order to play in Quicktime/Frontrow/iTunes) is that it will not passthrough AC-3 = meaning I have no Dolby Digital 5.1. I have to use DivX and VLC for that.

I've accepted the AppleTV isn't for me at the moment - and I'm happy buying another Mini knowing it will do more.

But I believe the AppleTV could be a massive hit....with just a little more give from Apple in terms of file formats.

oh, and a TV tuner Very Happy
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BigLee
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

offa_broadway wrote:

I mean, if you made a wooden carving for example, and I sat a block down the street from you making the exact same thing as a replica and giving them away as you tried to recoup your cost by selling them for $10 bucks, would you be pissed?


No but if you bought the carving you would like to be able display it in different rooms, and perhaps if you were to move to a different house be able to take it with you.
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diulei
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for me, I paid $380 for a brand new Mini on Craigslist. It's only a 1.5 CS, but considering the AppleTV is $299+tax= $322 (in CA), I got a full-fledged computer for only 60 bucks more.

Seems like a no-brainer to me - if I had to do it again even though AppleTV has been announced, I'd still go the Craigslist or eBay route.

But I'm sure there are plenty of people who wouldn't deal with the hassle of CL or eBay, or have a great library already on their desktops. For them AppleTV could be a decent choice, but for me, it's just not worth it when I could spend a little more and get a full computer.
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SOCOMRAIDER
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a Mini, use it. I think Apple TV is more for the majority of Mac owners... the majority of Mac owners either have a notebook or an iMac. And that is who I think this device is for. Yes you can use a Mac Mini instead. But it looks like the AppleTV will be just a bit more easier, no hassles with DVI to HDMI and DisplayConfigX, etc. Plus it is cheaper when not dealing with CL and eBay.
offa_broadway wrote:
You can rip all your DVDs into iTunes with Handbrake, making *legal* backup copies, essentially.
There is nothing *legal* with any DVD ripping.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOCOMRAIDER wrote:
There is nothing *legal* with any DVD ripping.

No, that is also just as wrong.

In the US, it is illegal to break the copy protection scheme on encrypted digital media (according to the DMCA). If a DVD is unencrypted (such as ones made in iDVD, or produced by smaller studios not employing CSS) it is totally legal to rip it, since there is no copy protection to break. Using a DVD ripper on an encrypted DVD that defeats that copy protection, is illegal. Using a method to rip a DVD but keeping its copy protection intact is also perfectly legal (like copying a VIDEO_TS folder via the Finder to your hard drive to view with DVD Player).

Each country has it's own view on legal and illegal copy protection defeating, so I can't speak for all of our members.

Also, there are some recent (Nov. '06) exemptions approved by the Librarian of Congress to the DMCA that may apply to some of our members.

Granted, the majority of our members are from the US and probably do not qualify for the exemptions, but it does not cover all members in all situations.
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Zalez
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jowl wrote:
The trouble is, the AppleTV looks like a fully DRM'd up media streamer.

What happens to DivX, VideoTS files etc?

At least you can workaround/hack the mini to do that.


From what I've read, you won't be able to play VideoTS files. But I'm thinking you'll be able to play DivX.
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SOCOMRAIDER
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
SOCOMRAIDER wrote:
There is nothing *legal* with any DVD ripping.

No, that is also just as wrong.
I meant it in the context of offa_broadway's DVD comment. As in backing up store bought movie DVDs. Sorry I should have provided better clarification.
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TyPod
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the mini and Apple TV should be compared. Sure they do look similar and have some of the same features, but the Mac mini is a desktop computer. Sure, many people use it in their living room hooked up to their plasma, but my point is that they are not that similar, and they are used for different things. The Apple TV looks like a neat little machine by the way!
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offa_broadway
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
SOCOMRAIDER wrote:
There is nothing *legal* with any DVD ripping.

No, that is also just as wrong.

In the US, it is illegal to break the copy protection scheme on encrypted digital media (according to the DMCA). If a DVD is unencrypted (such as ones made in iDVD, or produced by smaller studios not employing CSS) it is totally legal to rip it, since there is no copy protection to break. Using a DVD ripper on an encrypted DVD that defeats that copy protection, is illegal. Using a method to rip a DVD but keeping its copy protection intact is also perfectly legal (like copying a VIDEO_TS folder via the Finder to your hard drive to view with DVD Player).

Each country has it's own view on legal and illegal copy protection defeating, so I can't speak for all of our members.

Also, there are some recent (Nov. '06) exemptions approved by the Librarian of Congress to the DMCA that may apply to some of our members.

Granted, the majority of our members are from the US and probably do not qualify for the exemptions, but it does not cover all members in all situations.


Before someone sics the government on my ass, let me point out that in Canuckland (Canada), it is ENTIRELY legal to make back-up copies of ANY digital media that you possess, so long as you do not redistribute that copy among other people who have not paid for the priviledge of owning the material.

So by keeping a second copy of my videos on my HD, as I already own the DVDs, I am neither attracting any unwanted attention, nor am I breaking any laws, at least in Canada. If I decided to post my library on LimeWire, that would be different, but I have no intention of doing that, because I feel people should pay for copyrighted material.
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bucephalus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick question -- ATV cannot record TV shows directly from TV sets a la TiVo, correct? If so, that seems like a shame.
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