AH0017 – New Mac Mini and Plex

Back in the summer I wrote about replacing our aging AV Amp at the heart of our Home Cinema system.  We knew the builders were coming to fit a wood burning stove and so the room needed to be gutted – the perfect excuse to move our home theater into the HiDef world.  The work was completed last December, all except for one vital component – the new Mac mini .

At last we now have the fantastic user experience of the XBMC days, along with the horse power to play 1080P content.  Here’s our quick video on setting the mini up as an HD media player (“basic” 2.0Ghz / 1Gb RAM model).

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New Mac mini  :  Plex  :  XBMC  :  Boxee  :  TosLink 3.5 Jack Adaptors

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13 Comments on "AH0017 – New Mac Mini and Plex"

  1. Where did you get your cabinet with sliding doors?

  2. JG – I got it from these guys, looks like its discontinued now though.



  3. Mine is coming in next week. Glad Apple finally updated it! That is the exact setup I was planning to use. How well does the diNovo Mini work with OS X? Are there any 3rd party drivers you need, or will just the Logitech Control Center for Mac work? Do you find that the diNovo Mini is workable for 90%+ of the tasks for an HTPC? Light web browsing, light file management, Plex/Boxee, etc?

  4. diNovo Mini works perfectly, including mouse tracker pad as in the video (no 3rd party drivers required). It does seem to require you to hit the pairing button (under the battery cover) each time you reboot, but that’s not really an issue with a media centre thats on all the time (the new mini’s only use around 13 watts at idle apparently).

  5. Is Plex better than using just the Front Row application that comes with OS X or just launching iTunes and launching a movie?

  6. Chris Branc | March 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm |


    I have the mac mini before this one with the intel chip. I have an 8th gen 60″ kuro PLasma (like yours i think) and i found connecting via hdmi causes the desktop to not be very attractive. To fix this i had to either use the vga imput or SwitchResX/DispayConfigX. I ended up using the vga unput but can only get a maximum of 1360×768 resolution from the plasma’s vga input. My question is does the new mac mini with its more powerful graphics card fix this issue with the hdmi input as i would love to have 1080p and i hve a lot of 1080p movies on my HDD.


  7. Hi

    Great video – that’s exactly what I’m doing, although I had not seen the diNovo mini – definitely getting one of those. One question – which mini did you get? Is it worth getting the premium version? I don’t need a big hard drive as I will be hooking up my drobbo via firewire, but a bit of extra ram would be nice. I plan to run plex for my media.

  8. It’s the base model – 2.0Ghz / 1Gb RAM. Plays everything I’ve tried so far. Some higher bit rate files will always benefit from more CPU horse power though. As you say you shouldn’t need a big drive in the client, although you may want to copy some HD content to the local drive if you have a slow network.

  9. Patrick Tardif | April 12, 2009 at 12:25 am |

    As a proud new Mac mini (1Gb RAM – 2.0 Ghz) and Plex owner..

    Here are some facts:

    – 2009 Macmini handles 1080p Bluray (.m2ts) 30Mbps (birds scene from Planet Earth) without any noticeable slowdown!

    – Plex and the 2009 Macmini deinterlace anything you throw at them very well!

    Very pleased!!

  10. Do you know if the Logitech DiNovo Keyboard would work with the Apple TV with FlashATV?

  11. Looks nice. Have you seen xbmc are working on support for a broadcom hd decoder card that can replace the wireless card in the apple tv and older versions of the mini? Hope they come up with something soon as that would make the apple tv very appealing. Definitely top of my chrimbo list! 😉

  12. thx for the excellent video

  13. the audio on this is crackly

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