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Mac mini To Evolve Into Digital Hub?
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rfruth
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mini is the only sub 1K desktop, I suspect it will live on (maybe not in name)
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idave
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:

Audio-out and IN


Digital audio out! Very Happy
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CBGB
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm ready to order. I need to put my 1.42GHz on eBay before this rumor spreads. Rolling Eyes Wink

I don't see how Steve Jobs and his crew of wicked engineers can add a dock for the iPod yet alone a 3.5-inch hard drive and DVR without increasing the size of the case. The Apple remote, FrontRow, and Intel processor would have been enough for me to buy another one.
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ack_mac
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CBGB wrote:
I'm ready to order. I need to put my 1.42GHz on eBay before this rumor spreads. Rolling Eyes Wink

I don't see how Steve Jobs and his crew of wicked engineers can add a dock for the iPod yet alone a 3.5-inch hard drive and DVR without increasing the size of the case. The Apple remote, FrontRow, and Intel processor would have been enough for me to buy another one.


I think there are a lot of rumors floating around right now that may be speculation more than fact. If they did add a 3.5" HD, I am sure they would have to increase the size of the Mini. Personally I think this would be a pretty good move since a 3.5" would increase performance and space while decreasing price. True though, it would be louder and larger....

If it is an Intel Mini with PVR capabilities, they would have to dump a Celeron M proc in it to keep prices below 1K. They should be able to sell a 120GB 7200RPM 3.5" Mini with a better graphics card that supports PVR for close to the same pricepoint if it had a Celeron M proc. But, it would be bigger, and louder than the current Mini. The other thing that could get expensive is if it supported HD like the new Xbox360. Being the owner of a 56" Samsung HD DLP set, this would be a priority for me.

Once you go HD, there is no going back.. Bring on Blue-Ray!!!!
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slickrick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack_mac wrote:


If it is an Intel Mini with PVR capabilities, they would have to dump a Celeron M proc in it to keep prices below 1K. They should be able to sell a 120GB 7200RPM 3.5" Mini with a better graphics card that supports PVR for close to the same pricepoint if it had a Celeron M proc. But, it would be bigger, and louder than the current Mini. The other thing that could get expensive is if it supported HD like the new Xbox360. Being the owner of a 56" Samsung HD DLP set, this would be a priority for me.



Just a hunch, but I don't think Apple will put the Celeron processor in any of the first Intel systems. That isn't going to *WOW* anyone and would be ridiculed by the Apple bashers. A Mac mini or new model with some or all of these features is going to be a huge hit. I think this new system will totally cannibalize iMac sales. I've actually considered upgrading to an iMac over the past few weeks. That's definitely on hold for now.
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xmen65
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

idave wrote:
devo wrote:

Audio-out and IN


Digital audio out! Very Happy


That would be great, but they really need to add audio-in. I'm sick of messing around with the old iMic.
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OGN
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rfruth wrote:
The mini is the only sub 1K desktop, I suspect it will live on (maybe not in name)


I agree. They won't get rid of the Mac mini. Apple needs something for schools now that the eMac is basically gone. The Mac mini is perfect for the school lab. It's small, quiet, stable, cheap and virus free. Schools don't need Front Row, remote controls, DVR functionalty or built-in iPod docks. I have feeling this will be a completely new machine or top of the line Mac mini. They could call it the E=Mm². The E is for entertainment = Mac mini 2. Wink
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CascadeHush
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I purchased a mac mini to use as a media centre. It sits quite nicely under my TV and is the main way I watch (some) DVDs and (mostly) TV programs which are recorded on a PC with a TV tuner card or other video files stored on that same PC.

But all this discussion seems a little irrelevant until apple decide to include a fully functioning version of quicktime with support for all the popluar codecs as a bundle with their new macs.

I was furious to find out that whilst my mac mini came bundled with all kinds of software (which looked impressive but I'd never use), the once piece of software I needed, to be able to play full screen video, was only included as a crippled version.

After a rather tedious search (for someone new to the mac) I finally found the combination of Nice Player with the Xine plugin to be one real answer to this delemma. I almost gave up, seriously.

In the end I am happy with my setup, but it was "touch and go" for awhile.

Do you think people are going to buy this if they can't play DivX out of the box at full screen.

Other than that, it's a great idea. Will need a much larger HD though.
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xyzzy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

curt wrote:
Think Secret has been pretty accurate lately.


My impression of them for the longest time is that they simply post speculation on just about everything under the sun and then post a "as we expected" article when one of them turns out to be right. Laughing
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jedillwag
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:25 am    Post subject: Some things will need to be ironed out!!! Reply with quote

I have a mini, and I do not think it is the answer (YET) here’s why.

1.42 With 512 Ram and super drive.

1. It will not play Apple quick time HD trailers with out dropping frames. It even drops frames on 480p content.

2. Divx HD is ok, and watch able but drops frames as well.

3. Nero HD same as Divx.

4. Here is the kicker as I see it. An Apple HD trailer is encoded with AAC 5.1 audio. There is no receiver that can decode this content (That I have seen). So this would imply that the Mac mini would decode the AAC 5.1 and send it out five separate connections on the back of the Mini. Yes you could get an external decoder like the sonic theater and do this, but it’s another box you have to buy.

5. TV Tuner Standard definition or HD, one input or two. If it’s SD then you can connect to cable or a antenna channels 1 - 123 or something like that. A cable box, not unless it has an inferred blaster to change the boxes channels. This would be the same for a satellite box, this is just a mess.
If it’s HD then that limits the content, and is above what today’s Mini can decode and display. If it is only one tuner, then you can only record the show you are watching, just something to remember.

So the breakdown based on today’s Mac mini price is.
1. Mac mini 699.00
2. Sonic theater 99.00
3. TV tuner (if it did not have one) 99.00 to 349.00
See http://centerstageproject.com/tv.php

4. Remote (front row)
5. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard 99.00 (you wouldn’t want to get up right) Do we really need a full fledged computer in the living room this is just for entertainment right. Check email? Surf the web? Fix photos in photo? Make movies in imovie?

6. Remember not every TV has DVI, or VGA.

I might be wrong on prices, and we don’t know what this rumored equipment will or will not have. This is just my observation on what the mini can and can not do now. Don’t get me wrong I’m not bashing the mini, and would love the front row experience in the living room.

This price is very heavy compared to this network connected 720p or 1080i DVD player. And it’s also supposedly designed for the Mac, all for 249.00.

http://www.snazio.com/Links/CinemaHD_ForMac_Overview.html

I don’t know if apple can pull off the specs and price to match other network connected machines.
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ack_mac
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slickrick wrote:
ack_mac wrote:


If it is an Intel Mini with PVR capabilities, they would have to dump a Celeron M proc in it to keep prices below 1K. They should be able to sell a 120GB 7200RPM 3.5" Mini with a better graphics card that supports PVR for close to the same pricepoint if it had a Celeron M proc. But, it would be bigger, and louder than the current Mini. The other thing that could get expensive is if it supported HD like the new Xbox360. Being the owner of a 56" Samsung HD DLP set, this would be a priority for me.



Just a hunch, but I don't think Apple will put the Celeron processor in any of the first Intel systems. That isn't going to *WOW* anyone and would be ridiculed by the Apple bashers. A Mac mini or new model with some or all of these features is going to be a huge hit. I think this new system will totally cannibalize iMac sales. I've actually considered upgrading to an iMac over the past few weeks. That's definitely on hold for now.


That is why I am not so sure that they will be rolling out an Intel Mini in January. From what I have read, the single core Yonah processor will not be available until June or so, that would mean that they would have to put a dual-core Yonah proc in the Mini in January. So maybe we will see a new Powerbook. No way can they do this (roll-out a dual-core Yonah Mini in Jan) and keep the price point between $500-700. Why would they want to? The dual-core Yonah should be reserved for high-end Mac's like the Powerbook and Powermac. If they did release the Intel Mini in January, I think they will offer two processors. A Celeron M (1.4+) for the low-end Mini, and a Pentium M (1.7+) for the higher end Mini.

I guess we will have to wait and see Smile
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devo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack_mac wrote:

That is why I am not so sure that they will be rolling out an Intel Mini in January. From what I have read, the single core Yonah processor will not be available until June or so, that would mean that they would have to put a dual-core Yonah proc in the Mini in January. So maybe we will see a new Powerbook. No way can they do this (roll-out a dual-core Yonah Mini in Jan) and keep the price point between $500-700. Why would they want to? The dual-core Yonah should be reserved for high-end Mac's like the Powerbook and Powermac. If they did release the Intel Mini in January, I think they will offer two processors. A Celeron M (1.4+) for the low-end Mini, and a Pentium M (1.7+) for the higher end Mini.

I guess we will have to wait and see Smile


I kind of agree with what you're saying. Yonah processors are pretty darn expensive. I think Apple can swing it though. The price difference between the single core 1.66GHz Yonah and Dual core 1.66GHz is only $32 in lots of 1000. You know Apple has more buying power than that. I posted the prices below. I think you're right about putting the Celeron in entry level mini and Yohan in the higher end mini. I'd like to see Apple introduce build to order options for upgrading processors. I'd be willing to pay for more performance. That sort of model seems to work for Dell.

Prices of Intel Yonah processors in 1,000-unit lots

X50
Dual core
2.16 GHz
667 MHz
US$637

X40
Dual core
2 GHz
667 MHz
US$423

X30
Dual core
1.83 GHz
667 MHz
US$294

X20
Dual core
1.66 GHz
667 MHz
US$241

Single core
1.66 GHz
667 MHz
US$209
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kuro
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: Some things will need to be ironed out!!! Reply with quote

jedillwag wrote:

4. Here is the kicker as I see it. An Apple HD trailer is encoded with AAC 5.1 audio. There is no receiver that can decode this content (That I have seen). So this would imply that the Mac mini would decode the AAC 5.1 and send it out five separate connections on the back of the Mini. Yes you could get an external decoder like the sonic theater and do this, but it’s another box you have to buy.


You probably wouldn't want the Mac mini being your surround sound decoder and amp. as well - it would not be mini anymore plus computers are electrically noisy. I2S or S/PDIF over either coax or optical would be the way to go. All three of these can handle 5.1 or 7.1 digital audio transmission to a proper HiFi surround decoder/amp.

Apple already employ a custom I/O IC in most of their models including the Mac mini. It doen't seem unreasonable that they will continue to do this with the transition to Intel and it may be that they'll beef up their Audio codec and include a dedicated MPEG4 video codec in there.


Last edited by kuro on Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jdryyz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the poster's comments on HDTV capability. I don't think any new "DVR" device introduced should be without it. Of course, that totally boosts the CPU requirements unless the inclusion of a beefed up video card will offset this demand. Neither of these seem likely to appear in the same form factor.
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picaman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=45

No news, but this is interesting:

"ThinkSecret is reporting that Apple will announce an Intel-based Mac mini in January — presumably at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. According to the story, which I confirmed with another source, the new Mac mini will pack a bunch of new features not found in the original."

So the author knows who the Think Secret source is, and independently confirmed the story? Maybe there's some basis in fact to all this after all.

Of course, depending on which story you read, there's also going to be (or not going to be) Intel iBooks, Intel PowerBooks, Front Row included with iLife '06, and either an Apple camera or a camera built into an iPod.

MWSF will be interesting indeed.

Razz

Jamie
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