10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 4, 2009 10:37 AM by Scott Kendall1
elangsru Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a HP mediasmart home server to manage backups, remote access and such. As well as I have an Apple TV where i store my pictures, movies, music etc.

I wonder if the mac mini (+server) will be a good substitute for all that functionality?

http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/mediasmart-server/

Macbook pro august 2009, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • 1. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    Scott Kendall1 Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    I have (almost) the same scenerio as you...I had a Mac Mini server & a Mac Mini home theatre setup. I migrated both systems into one Mac Mini server and it works wonderfully! Here is what I have my new server doing:

    iTunes media server
    iPhoto media server
    Home Automation server
    Super Duper (backs up my server HD to my time capsule)
    Weprint server (allows my iPod touch to print to my home printers)
    Simplifi media server (sends iPhoto and iTunes to my iPod touch)
    Plex media server (wonderful home theater software!) http://www.plexapp.com

    Along with all of the above listed software running 24/7, I also have the following services running:

    DNS
    Netboot
    AFP
    Address book Server
    NFS
    FTP
    Software Update
    VPN
    Time Machine

    In my house, there are 4 other Macs that back up to this server.

    With all of this going on, the CPU runs at a pretty steady 20-25% (even when I am watching full screen 720p movies!).
  • 2. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    reimer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So, you can connect the mac mini server to a tv, and watch shows from that mini while its acting like a server?
  • 3. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    bobntpa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi,

    I am doing some research on using a mini for our home theater, glad I saw this post. Any recommendations on going with the server version versus the standard OS?

    Thanks,
    Bob
  • 4. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    Scott Kendall1 Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    You can use either OS's on your TV setup. The server version is used to manage time machine backups, provide VPN services, DNS, DHCP, etc (high level business type services). Client OS works just as well for home theater. Before I switched over to the Mini server setup, I had SL 10.6.1 running on a Mini 1.83 Core 2 Duo and it worked perfectly on my Infocus IN72 ceiling mounted projector.

    I was able to watch full quality 720p movies with absolutely no hiccups or stutters.
  • 5. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    reimer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    But can it be both simultaneously?

    Both a server and a media machine that is showing a movie on your TV?
  • 6. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    Dave Klein2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Scott,

    What home automation software are you running?
  • 7. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    AngryofMayfair Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    "But can it be both simultaneously?

    Both a server and a media machine that is showing a movie on your TV?"


    Yes it can, no problems.
    The Mini Server OSX is pretty much the same as the client Snow Leopard, complete with Front Row, iTunes, Mail, Safari etc, but no iLife09 supplied - you will have to pay extra for that.
    It will do everything that Snow Leopard will do but has all the server capabilities too if you know how to set it up/use the software.
    The only things I had trouble with was I can't find Migration Assistant and a strange quirk is that it won't share a USB connected printer across a network! No sign of printer sharing in System prefs but I guess you can do it via the Server config somewhere...
    I just used CUPS to enable Bonjour printer sharing - works fine
    I have been able to insatll everything I had on my previous CoreDuo Mini including Final Cut Express, iLife09, EyeTV, some bit torrent stuff - all works fine...
    I really like the fact that I can plug two monitors in - I have the MiniDVI connected to a 50" plasma and 1080p Projector (using an HDMI splitter), the Mini Display port feeds a separate 20" widescreen monitor - when the plasma/PJ is switched off the main display automatically switches back to the 20" monitor
    All in all this MiniServer is a great little HTPC - powerful and silent with 1TB of storage. The Server software is a bonus I haven't even looked at as yet
  • 8. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    reimer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Awesome!

    If I had started this thread I would give you a star!

    That's exactly what I wanted to know and has absolutely sold me on the idea of purchasing one of these.
    Now I'm very excited!
  • 9. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    Bob in PA Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi

    The HTPC idea worked quite welll with Mini's back two years ago. The new ones are a lot more robust. The only thing that might be an issue is decoding Blue Ray DVD's on the fly.

    Bob
  • 10. Re: Mac Mini substitutes home server and apple tv?
    Scott Kendall1 Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    I am using Indigo for home automation (I use all Insteon products in the house)