Jump to content
IGNORED

Mac Mini connected to Television


Recommended Posts

I didn't really know where to post this, so here it is in General.

Since many of us, I would assume, have their two-channel audio and their HT in the same room, there is obviously a display of some kind. The Mac mini has the ability to connect to a TV, so why is that hasn't been discussed as a solution to navigate Itunes or work on that spreadsheet while listening to music? Why use a separate notebook computer or Ipod Touch when you already have the ability to connect to your television?

Since the Mini has built-in Buetooth, you would only need a BT compatible keyboard and mouse. Or you could use the supplied Mini remote to navigate Itunes.

Just a thought.

 

Aaron H.

 

Link to comment

I use a DVI-to-HDMI cable to connect to my LCD display

from a Mac Mini, for 2-channel. I use another Mac to control the Mini for the times

I want to use iTunes UI, rather than just Front Row via Apple remote control.

( Go > Network > [ Select computer ] > Share Screen ).

 

Also ... recent rumors claim that iPhone 2.0

software, available July 11, will include Apple built-in support that will

allow using the iPhone as a WiFi remote-control for iTunes -- so no

'monitor' will be necessary, strictly speaking ... iPhone will suffice

as a portable iTunes 'monitor' and remote control. 'Signal' software has worked

well for this to-date, but if rumors are true, built-in support is only a few days away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Aaron - The topic of using a television as an external display for navigation rarely comes up and I have my guesses why this is, but I don't know for sure. Personally I lock TVs out of my listening room :-)

 

As you suggest many people have their HT in the same room as their two channel system and could probably use your suggestion. Maybe these people just aren't speaking up.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

Link to comment

I also wonder why it doesn't come up more often -- computer audio is all about convergence, and I for one want to hear my Sherlock Holmes VOB files (and Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator etc...) with the same clarity I hear my music, and through the same interface. A skinny display on the wall does nothing to interfere here.

 

Your comment on locking TVs out of the listening room made me smile a little Chris -- made me recall Ivor Tiefenbrun (founder of Linn) back in the day -- he wouldn't allow people wearing digital watches into his listening room because he maintained that he could hear the resonance of the tiny speaker within and it ruined his listening pleasure!

 

Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose :-)

 

N.B. Am I ever looking forward to that iPhone and presumably iPod Touch interface to iTunes...

 

Link to comment

Chris, Sounds like you have two dedicated rooms. With many of us, space dictates compromise. Since I had to incorporate two-channel and HT in the same room, the first thing I looked for was a really good pre-amp with a HT pass-thru so I could use my two-channel amp and main speakers with my 5.1 HT processor.

I hired Rives Audio to help with the acoustic design of the room and they came up with some really neat ideas. One of my concerns was how a big plasma TV screen would affect imaging and the sound-stage. They designed a special lightweight acoustical panel that I place in front of the TV during serious listening sessions. Wow! I think it sounds better than just an equipment rack with no TV. But, it is lightweight enough so I can just move it out of the way if I need to view iTunes or do whatever. A lot easier than getting up every 20 minutes to flip some vinyl.

Boy, that was a roundabout way to get back to hooking up a Mac mini to a TV. There are many discussions on the internet about connecting a mini to a TV. As I move forward with the music server and start experimenting with this, I'll post my experiences with the TV hook-up. The main reason I am considering directly to the TV is I am reluctant to spend money on a notebook computer or an iPod Touch just to navigate iTunes. That money would be better spent towards a really good DAC like a Minerva or whatever else comes along in the near future.

Thanks,

Aaron H.

 

Link to comment

Hey davidp - I love the reference! I never thought about digital watches before, but i may have to post a sign at the entrance to my listening room :-) I keep TVs out of the room to free me from distractions more than anything. I can work with the acoustic issues it would create. My laptop is enough of a distraction as it is. I can't wait to put a headless Mac Pro in here and stick with my iPod Touch and the new iTunes control app. I believe it will be released Friday with iPhone 2.0 software, iTunes 7.7 and the 3G iPhone.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

Link to comment

Hey Aaron - It sounds like you understand the biggest contributors to good sound. Number one being the acoustics of the room! It's very cool you hired Rives Audio. So many people overlook room acoustics and try to improve sound with more expensive components. Acoustical treatments need a better publicist!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

Link to comment

 

Glad you liked the watch reference Chris!

 

Well, in the context of acoustical room treatments (and at risk of repeating content from a previous post: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/node/334), the TACT digital audio (PWM) amps also have real-time room correction as an option in the more pricey models. When these suckers are a little more affordable (and can be fed WAVs via USB / Firewire [or from a mac controlled by a Touch]) I am so in there...

 

Are they up for sending you one?

cheers,

Dave

 

Link to comment

... to the original questions...

 

1. Why is video not discussed more often? Well, it's "Computer Audiophile", not "Computer Audio/Videophile" :)

Seriously, though, I would personally love to throw video into the mix. I am interested in a unified solution myself.

 

2. The MacMini has a problem: it can drive only one display at a time. I would hate turning on my plasma flatscreen just for navigating iTunes. I am looking forward to the iPhone/iPod Touch software, but that would get me only so far. I need the the full iTunes interface, so I need a decent screen and text input. A laptop is much more suitable for that than a MacMini, because one can drive a TV, and one has a small screen for everything else. An iMac or a MacPro would of course also be perfectly suitable machines.

 

Best - MM

 

Link to comment

MM, another MM here.

 

I used a MacBook Pro for my music server, initially. I then swapped to a Mac Mini,

and tried the display quality on a 32" Panasonic LCD 720 dpi display. It's not great for

anything but Front Row, no surprise, but the computer/iTunes UI is clear enough to allow

for routine CD ripping etc. Not great, but it suffices.

As I mentioned earlier though, if you happen to have a second Mac,

and can drive the Mini with "Go > Network ... etc", it's fairly painless too --

at least for the times you really need the iTunes UI.

Having said all that ... I'm curious if/how you use the iTunes UI

for more than the irregular ripping session, etc?

 

Another MM.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Having said all that ... I'm curious if/how you use the iTunes UI for more than the irregular ripping session, etc?

 

I have a sizable Classical music collection. I often need to find pieces based on name and/or composer and/or performer. I then make small playlists of the multiple versions of many of the pieces I have for comparison listening. So, not only do I need the full UI while ripping, but also for selecting tracks. I have a fairly elaborate scheme for creating smart playlists, but that gets me only so far.

 

Having a second Mac would work of course, but I'd like to get away with just one machine for both audio and video and one screen/keyboard/mouse at my couch.

 

Best - MM

 

PS: I'd like to see your 720 dpi LCD screen ;)

 

Link to comment

I have a sizable Classical music collection. I often need to find pieces based on name and/or composer and/or performer. I then make small playlists of the multiple versions of many of the pieces I have for comparison listening. So, not only do I need the full UI while ripping, but also for selecting tracks. I have a fairly elaborate scheme for creating smart playlists, but that gets me only so far.

 

Uh-oh, geek alert! ( kidding ).

One of the things I love about the music server solution is being able

to do quick comparisons in the manner you've described. I flip back and forth from

the 16/44s to the hi-rez versions endlessly. Can I hear a difference?

No comment. ;-)

 

Having a second Mac would work of course, but I'd like to get away with just one machine for both audio and video and one screen/keyboard/mouse at my couch.

 

What about an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse? Would that be a solution for you?

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Small misunderstanding: I don't have different resolutions or formats of the same piece. I have the same piece performed by different musicians. I compare the performances/interpretations, not bits and bytes :)

 

Regarding mouse/keyboard, I do use the wireless versions with my laptop. I just hope that MacMini would drive two monitors, because I would prefer it over a laptop.

 

Best - MM

 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Aaron,

 

I do exactly what you're talking about and connect my Mac via DVI->HDMI to my HDTV.

 

My Mac happens to be a MacBook Pro, but I don't use the laptop display, doing all my navigation using the TV and a Harmony Remote I've programmed to navigate Front Row.

 

Works just fine.

 

MacBook Pro -> AppleTV ->Rotel RSP-1570 -> Martin Logan Electromotion[br]MacBook Pro -> Icon HDP -> AKG K701[br]Apple Lossless all the way

Link to comment

Hi Watchnerd - I am very interested in the Harmony remotes for some research I am conducting. Do you know if manuals are available online anywhere for these things? I can seem to find them anywhere. Plus no local store has a working model of the remotes I can use. They all have the fake models and they are still locked down :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

Link to comment

www.remotecentral.com would be a good place to look for information or manuals.

 

But if you're doing research, perhaps it might be useful to download the configuration/simulation software, which can be found here:

 

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/440/3742&cl=us,en?WT.ac=ps|3970

 

BTW, there is a preconfigured Mac Mini device in the Harmony setup which works equally well for MacBook Pros.

 

MacBook Pro -> AppleTV ->Rotel RSP-1570 -> Martin Logan Electromotion[br]MacBook Pro -> Icon HDP -> AKG K701[br]Apple Lossless all the way

Link to comment

With the Harmony 550 (which I have), definitely not, as it doesn't have the big fancy screen of some of the other models. It's a simple two color character-based screen with blue backlighting.

 

I use it as a universal remote to control the receiver and Front Row at the same time. It basically duplicates the functions of the white Apple remote. I browse album art via Front Row on the TV.

 

MacBook Pro -> AppleTV ->Rotel RSP-1570 -> Martin Logan Electromotion[br]MacBook Pro -> Icon HDP -> AKG K701[br]Apple Lossless all the way

Link to comment

My server machine - not a Mini - is connected to a TV.

 

It's useful if I ever want to do any maintenance.

 

However, I don't like navigating via the TV as I can barely read it from the sofa. I prefer to do that via iPod Touch, laptop, Sonos, SB, etc.

 

Also, there's a very high frequency noise when the TV is on. It's subtle, but if you're listening to music with the TV on and then turn it off, you might notice a little difference.

 

Link to comment

I originally started this thread and thought I would report back as to what I ended up doing.

After poring over various discussions on the internet, I came to the conclusion that hooking up a mini to a TV was going to be a big pain in the a_ _. I have a Hitachi 55" plasma and found out that it is one of the least cooperative TV's.

1. The Hitachi does not communicate well with a computer, especially through HDMI. All sorts of resolution problems occur; blank screens, having to constantly reset resolutions, rebooting the computer, turning the TV off and on, etc.

2. I thought using the component video might be an option, but a computer's output of RGB is different than standard video components like DVD players, unless you use a VGA to component video converter. The price of a good converter is well over $200 (and it won't do iTunes).

 

I had to honestly ask myself- are you really going to sit in that sweet spot and listen to music while you surf the internet?, work on a spreadsheet?, do some accounting?. Hell no.

After giving the whole thing a lot of thought and reading other people's input, I decided on an Apple TV. If Apple is marketing this thing as a video component, then they would have to make it work with any TV. Which they did.

So I bought an Apple TV and an Airport Express. My iMac and Express are in another room, where I have started ripping my collection of CDs in AIFF. My Mini is at my business office, completely out of the house for now. And my Apple TV is sitting in my equipment rack hooked up to my Hitachi TV and my Meridian pre/pro.

 

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Apple TV sounded through my Meridian processor. The resolution,imaging ,and soundstage are actually quite good, although it is a bit light in the bass. It doesn't come anywhere near my Naim CDP through my tube pre-amp, but it's something I can definitely live and play with while I'm happily ripping my collection. Chris is really adding to my confusion by reporting on all the great new equipment and ideas that are emerging, so this is turning out to be a pretty good interim solution, until I can figure out which direction I really want to go. Not bad for a $400 outlay.

 

I remember Ashley saying how he's discovering different things to do with his Apple TV. I discovered I can stream my digital photos through the Apple TV. Now that is a real kick in the pants to view my collection of photos in 55" hi-def.

Aaron H

 

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Aaron - From the sounds of it you have some pretty good sounding components outside of this new system so I'm guessing you have some high expectations and standards. That said, your interim solution must be pretty good for you to praise it like this and this system will likely be replaced with a server setup that sounds better than your Naim CDP at some point in the future. It's always a good thing to crawl into something that may be expensive rather than run full speed into it and find out you should have slowed down because you missed a turn.

 

Anyway, thanks for the report back and I'm happy to hear about the system.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

Link to comment

We've got a surprising number of customers with Mac Minis connected to big flat screen TVs and they love them and the fact that Front Row does all the media via the handset (not better handled by the Touch) and that a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse can stay in the drawer till needed, however the Apple TV can rent 720 Movies and the Mini being a computer is limited to lower resolution thanks to Movie companies.

 

Aaron it's interesting to hear your comments on the Mini's sound quality too because we've got customers who used them before getting our speakers with the internal DAC, they replaced well reviewed £1K CD players and were considered better.

 

This doesn't surprise me because CD players reviews are often completely wrong and there's no need. All any Magazine has to do is purchase DAC evaluation boards from the manufacturers and compare them. If the sound isn't the same the CD player/DAC, the designer has screwed up. It's not Rocket science and there 'aint no magic!

 

Ash

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...