4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2005 1:11 PM by David.Shaw
thursden Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
i'm about to get an lcd tv with a mac mini to use as a dvd player/media player/tv recorder but want to know what other people are using if they have this kind of set-up.

i'm also keen to limit the amount of keyboard/mouse usage, does anyone know of any remote control systems available?

i currently have eyehome and want to use this kind of set-up to play music, view pictures and video (front row style?)

look forward to hearing thoughts/ideas/stories.

iBook G4 1ghz 12" iMac G5 2ghz 17"
  • Blake Mayerle Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    Hey there, I have a media center setup and this is what it has.

    37" plasma /w VGA input.
    eye tv USB (this unit JUST crapped out and I need a new one)
    I have a wireless Microsoft Elite keyboard and mouse. I hear that the Bluetooth will work if you don't use the bt it comes with.

    As far as limiting the KB and mouse use I suggest your bt enabled cell phone. If you install romeo you can use the phone as a remote and a mouse if you like. It is GREAT. BEST of all is the fact that the battery is RECHARGEABLE. I have a keyspan remote and I have gone through MANY batteries and it can be expensive @ $3.00 a pop. The new apple remote uses the same battery so I am sure they have a deal with the battery company. It will eat them.

    This is what I suggest. I have had my setup since April and I love it.

    Have a great day.

  • David.Shaw Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    I have a fairly simple setup with a 1.25GHz 40GB 1GB RAM Mac Mini with Airport and BT via an external DBT-120 dongle. The video processing for the PVR is done by Elgato EyeTV200, outputting to a 160GB external USB2/FW HDD. For remote use I'm quite happy with just the Apple BT Mouse, this does nearly everything. When I (briefly& accidentally) installed a 'PtwoP' "test" solution of xxxxx-xxx, I used the Apple BT keyboard as my remote , with the 'F7' button to activate xxxx-xxx, and menu navigation via the Up/Down/L/R keys, selecting with 'Space'. My Mini plays DVD's beautifully to my Dell W2600 LCD monitorTV, some internet content requires the free VLC player which will open formats that even Quicktime Pro won't. ('tho I also bought the QTPro key for watching the HDTV demos)

    many Macs 512k -> Mac Minis   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   Yes, I have Key Lime
  • thursden Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    thanks for your responses, i have a dell w2600 lcd tv on order. not sure what mac mini to buy, do i go for the basic and add a BT dongle and hard wire it to my router and cope with a smaller HDD or buy the more expensive model with all the frills built-in and use it as a dvd recorder too?

    still not sure which eye tv product to go for, i have a sky digibox, anyone know how that connects with an eye tv unit in the mix as well?
  • David.Shaw Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    I notice the W2600 is no longer onsale as it has been replaced by a 32" and 37" LCD's. The W2600 however is a perfect match to Sky and the Mac Mini. I have my Sky box primary SCART feeding into the W2600 primary SCART input. I have the Sky box secondary (VCR) SCART feeding into my EyeTV200 via a SCART to Component RCA cinch cable LRaudio. I split the Mac Mini (headphone) audio into a cable to the W2600 DVI audio IN and a cable to my Stereo Amp. The Mac Mini connects perfectly to the W2600 via the Dell supplied DVI - DVI cable.

    it's more of a problem specifying which (EyeTV) encoder to choose, EyeTV is a great choice because a) it works b) it's fairly simple c) quality is ok! and it's sort of an industry standard as well, because some other video converters use Elgato software. (Plextor, Terratec, Miglia)

    The problem is that my W2600 is DVI input, and the next generation of Sky digiboxes will be HDMI output (tho' there was a rumour about Sky selling initially a DVI only HDTV Skybox for the first month only then switching to HDMI) It's possible that your W2600 will be DVI with HDCP (content protection possibilities) so very similar to HDMI. Which Elgato product will be the best in the HDTV age is a mystery, I think I'd still recommend the EyeTV200 as with the component video input you'll be able to source video from DVD,VHS,Sky and a cheap Freeview - so you don't really need the EyeTV410 receiver.
    If I was you, I'd wait (if at all possible) until AFTER the Steve Jobs keynote speech at the IDG World Expo MacWorld San Francisco , Moscone Center on January 10, 2006. hint new mini + Fxxxx-Rxx 2.0 hint and why did Apple recently hire a senior executive of Elgato? I'm especially happy with my current setup, and if you buy everything now - then you'll be getting everything for much less than I paid! I think the Dell 26" came down by £200 alone recently! Whatever new mac Mini turns up, I'll eventually replace the one I use for DV PVR - but I think it will be fine for another 6 months or more!

    I bought a basic 1gigabyte 1.25 (EyeTV likes 0.5GB ram buffer!) , but you'll definitely need BT for the various front row controllers. A dongle works OK, or the built in BT is good. I didn't want to hardwire as I sometimes get hit by thunderstorms, Airport gives a bit more galvanic isolation than ethernet!

    many Macs 512k -> Mac Minis   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   Yes, I have Key Lime

    many Macs 512k -> Mac Minis   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   Yes, I have Key Lime