The MacMini HDTV revolution

Yesterday I was over talking with the team behind Retrevo, the consumer electronics search engine.

We all agreed that Apple TV sucks. More on that in a minute.

But we all notice a trend: hooking MacMinis up to your HTDV. I think it’s a revolution. Revolutions always start small and among the weirdos.

Dave Winer had been on me for a while to get rid of my AppleTV and get a MacMini. As with other revolutions that Dave has started it took me about 1.5 years to get what he was saying and see the brilliance in it. Seriously, he showed me RSS for 1.5 years before I really started using it.

So, a few weeks ago I bought a MacMini, partly to get Dave off of my back and partly to help him test his new software, releasing today.

Now I’m pissed that it took me so long and I’m pissed at the industry that it just doesn’t get what’s coming and they keep trying to lock me into closed boxes like the Apple TV or the Xbox. I have an Xbox too, and a Media Center, so hear me out where I’m going.

Putting a MacMini on my TV is geeky. It’s not for everyone. Damn, I sound just like someone who discovered the Apple II back in 1977. Only the geeks got personal computing back then. Most people thought personal computers were stupid, back then. Heck, Wozniak offered to HP and Atari a chance to build his personal computer. They turned him down because revolutions in this business never are very obvious at the beginning.

Anyway, how is this a revolution? Ask my son. He now plays World of Warcraft on our 60-inch screen. He never really cared about the HD screen before. Or, look at Maryam. She loves putting pictures of Milan up on it. She also is crazy about Dave Winer’s new thing. More on that in a second too.

But why is this a revolution? Easy. It has a Web browser. It’s amazing how often I use the Web browser on the TV. “But you can’t read the fonts,” I can hear you saying. That’s not true. On the Mac keyboard you hold down the “Ctrl” key and then use your mouse’s wheel to zoom in and out.

The MacMini has totally changed my TV into something that’s NOT just a TV anymore. It’s revolutionary after you use it. Especially when you compare to the Xbox’s Media Center Extender (no Web browser) or the Apple TV (no Web browser) or my DirecTV box (no Web browser).

Why isn’t it a mass-market revolution yet? Three reasons:

1. They haven’t seen Dave Winer’s new software running on it.
2. The MacMini is too expensive to be a consumer electronics purchase (it costs about $700, and the Nintendo Wii demonstrated that consumer electronics needs to cost closer to $300, which is what the AppleTV costs, but the AppleTV doesn’t come with a Web browser so is ultimately crippled and will never participate in the new HDTV revolution).
3. It still seems a bit weird to hook a computer up to a TV (although the MacMini is ultra quiet, and cute so that it overcomes two of the previous objections that people had to bringing a computer into the living room).
4. Too many people assume a TV is just for watching TV and haven’t considered doing anything else on it. Sounds like the cell phone market before the iPhone, huh?

Anyway, what does Dave Winer’s new software do? It puts pictures up on my HDTV. “Huh, that’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard,” I can hear you saying. But didn’t you also say that about Twitter? About IM? About the PC itself back in 1977? Yeah, yeah, you did, own up to it.

But it doesn’t just do that. It brings YOUR photos into my house if you put them on Flickr and I add you to my TV set. Even better, it puts professional photography up on my HDTV. Amazing images from around the world.

I love having great photography on my TV from my friends and from the best professionals around the world.

Oh, and the AppleTV does suck. I gave it to Patrick, maybe he can sell it to you so he can afford to buy a MacMini for his house.

Putting a MacMini on my HDTV was the best gadget purchase I’ve made this year.

UPDATE: I’ll demo it live over on http://www.qik.com/scobleizer as soon as it’s released. Dave tells me that should be tonight sometime, although it’s software so we’ll Twitter about it as soon as it’s done.

UPDATE2: we’ll be demoing it LIVE at 9 p.m. on my Qik channel. You can participate by leaving comments — I’ll see those on my cell phone.

Comments

  1. I’ve been saying since I first used an AppleTV that they simply need to merge the AppleTV with a MacMini – and that I didn’t understand who would get an AppleTV when the MacMini does all the same things and much more.

    Price is of course the key for many folks as you pointed out, so if AppleTV 2.0 has a lot of the features of the MacMini but retains the near $300 price, that’ll be huge for mass consumption.

    Looking forward to your demonstration.

  2. I’ve been saying since I first used an AppleTV that they simply need to merge the AppleTV with a MacMini – and that I didn’t understand who would get an AppleTV when the MacMini does all the same things and much more.

    Price is of course the key for many folks as you pointed out, so if AppleTV 2.0 has a lot of the features of the MacMini but retains the near $300 price, that’ll be huge for mass consumption.

    Looking forward to your demonstration.

  3. I look forward to Dave’s software, but agree more that the revolution is the TV+computer in the lounge. I hooked up a Mac Mini a few weeks back to our new big TV. The entertainment center is now comlplete. We have TV, satellite, DVD, Playstation and the Mac Mini – which gives us iTunes, recorded visual media (TV and movies), web and games.

    My daughter loves it, and my wife, who was skeptical does too. She pulled an all-night TV binge watching Season 2 of Dexter (stored on the Mini) two nights ago.

    The Leopard version of Front Row on the Mac Mini makes for a great lightweight theater PC interface. I was convinced I would need to use equinux’s MediaCentral, but Front Row is faster and has close to the same features these days.

    It’s definitely the best gadget convergence I’ve done in years at my place.

  4. I look forward to Dave’s software, but agree more that the revolution is the TV+computer in the lounge. I hooked up a Mac Mini a few weeks back to our new big TV. The entertainment center is now comlplete. We have TV, satellite, DVD, Playstation and the Mac Mini – which gives us iTunes, recorded visual media (TV and movies), web and games.

    My daughter loves it, and my wife, who was skeptical does too. She pulled an all-night TV binge watching Season 2 of Dexter (stored on the Mini) two nights ago.

    The Leopard version of Front Row on the Mac Mini makes for a great lightweight theater PC interface. I was convinced I would need to use equinux’s MediaCentral, but Front Row is faster and has close to the same features these days.

    It’s definitely the best gadget convergence I’ve done in years at my place.

  5. You noted in your post that you have a Media Center but you don’t mention how it does everything you said the MacMini does and how a Windows Media Center has been able to do these things for about 5 years now. Your son could have been playing WoW on the big screen 5 years ago if you would have just connected it. This revolution is actually old in the Windows world. If you need proof, head over to http://thegreenbutton.net/ – a Media Center entusiast site. Lots of cool add-ons and features to extend the features of Media Center. You have effectively tossed $700 in the can to do something that your existing investment in the Windows media Center could already do for you. And we have not even gotten to the multi-tuner PVR capabilities in Windows Media Center yet….

    Cheers…

  6. You noted in your post that you have a Media Center but you don’t mention how it does everything you said the MacMini does and how a Windows Media Center has been able to do these things for about 5 years now. Your son could have been playing WoW on the big screen 5 years ago if you would have just connected it. This revolution is actually old in the Windows world. If you need proof, head over to http://thegreenbutton.net/ – a Media Center entusiast site. Lots of cool add-ons and features to extend the features of Media Center. You have effectively tossed $700 in the can to do something that your existing investment in the Windows media Center could already do for you. And we have not even gotten to the multi-tuner PVR capabilities in Windows Media Center yet….

    Cheers…

  7. Robert,

    This does sound very exciting but for the price point, I’d like to know if it would be an effective DVR.

    Right now the TiVo with music & pictures sounds less expensive & just one software update away from integrating Dave’s social connectivity & subscription features.

  8. Robert,

    This does sound very exciting but for the price point, I’d like to know if it would be an effective DVR.

    Right now the TiVo with music & pictures sounds less expensive & just one software update away from integrating Dave’s social connectivity & subscription features.

  9. Chris: a Windows Media Center extender does NOT have a Web browser. And, yes, I could have gotten a Windows Media Center, but the Media Center PCs I’ve bought are not small, not quiet, and not $700. Do you have one in that range that you recommend me getting? I’ll check it out too. One other thing? Dave Winer’s software is Mac only right now.

  10. @Robert – agreed. I would have added something like like IM as well, but of course you can do that in the browser now.

    However I would LOVE to see Google Earth on it, which you couldn’t currently get on a closed Apple TV system.

  11. Chris: a Windows Media Center extender does NOT have a Web browser. And, yes, I could have gotten a Windows Media Center, but the Media Center PCs I’ve bought are not small, not quiet, and not $700. Do you have one in that range that you recommend me getting? I’ll check it out too. One other thing? Dave Winer’s software is Mac only right now.

  12. @Robert – agreed. I would have added something like like IM as well, but of course you can do that in the browser now.

    However I would LOVE to see Google Earth on it, which you couldn’t currently get on a closed Apple TV system.

  13. Thanks, this is a fine piece of evangelism.

    I appreciate that you’re waiting until the product is released. I don’t want to piss off TechCrunch, GigaOm, RWW, et al. I asked you to use the software because I value your contribution as a user, and you surely did make a great contribution. There’s a beautiful button in the UI that should be called The Scoble Button. Maybe I’ll write a post with that title. Tomorrow. :-)

  14. Thanks, this is a fine piece of evangelism.

    I appreciate that you’re waiting until the product is released. I don’t want to piss off TechCrunch, GigaOm, RWW, et al. I asked you to use the software because I value your contribution as a user, and you surely did make a great contribution. There’s a beautiful button in the UI that should be called The Scoble Button. Maybe I’ll write a post with that title. Tomorrow. :-)

  15. Thanks, this is a fine piece of evangelism.

    I appreciate that you’re waiting until the product is released. I don’t want to piss off TechCrunch, GigaOm, RWW, et al. I asked you to use the software because I value your contribution as a user, and you surely did make a great contribution. There’s a beautiful button in the UI that should be called The Scoble Button. Maybe I’ll write a post with that title. Tomorrow. :-)

  16. Thanks, this is a fine piece of evangelism.

    I appreciate that you’re waiting until the product is released. I don’t want to piss off TechCrunch, GigaOm, RWW, et al. I asked you to use the software because I value your contribution as a user, and you surely did make a great contribution. There’s a beautiful button in the UI that should be called The Scoble Button. Maybe I’ll write a post with that title. Tomorrow. :-)

  17. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  18. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  19. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  20. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  21. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  22. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  23. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  24. I’ve found myself using my PS3 for showing family photos much more often than I actually use it for games. Photos on it look fantastic and my PS3 model has the SD/CompactFlash slots. It can also stream movies/photos/music from my PC, but I hear ya — it’s annoying to have to go upstairs and turn on my PC and enable WMC sharing every time I want to do that.

    I’m a little shocked the 360 still doesn’t have a Web browser, especially when the Wii has demonstrated you can have a very capable browser on an inexpensive console.

    Have you heard anything about what Apple’s next move on the Mini and Apple TV might be?

  25. One of my SILs has had a Windows PC connected to his HDTV for about a year now and loves it. Of course, he’s a genius programmer and his FIL is an old geek, so naturally we both think it’s great. I’ll have to take a look at your Mac Mini demo with Dave’s software — $700 is kind of steep, but if it’s that cool, I’ll probably have to take the plunge. I’ve been a fan of Dave Winer’s since I discovered Radio and RSS in 2002, so my wallet is in harm’s way once again.

  26. One of my SILs has had a Windows PC connected to his HDTV for about a year now and loves it. Of course, he’s a genius programmer and his FIL is an old geek, so naturally we both think it’s great. I’ll have to take a look at your Mac Mini demo with Dave’s software — $700 is kind of steep, but if it’s that cool, I’ll probably have to take the plunge. I’ve been a fan of Dave Winer’s since I discovered Radio and RSS in 2002, so my wallet is in harm’s way once again.

  27. Yes, I have had my Dell hooked up to the TV for over a year now via a s-video cable so I am not sure what the big deal is. I s-video is not HD, but it is cheap. I could have been doing HD all this time if I wanted to pay for a 25 foot HDMI cable. I have a wireless mouse, and the set-up works great! (video on my blog).

    The thing I am waiting for is a wireless monitor cable, something I can plug into my monitor output on my computer and then attach to the back of the HD input on the TV. That would be the easiest, and best and you would not need a dedicated computer that costs over $1,000. Streaming boxes are not the same thing. I don’t think it would be hard to make a wireless monitor cable, but so far nobody has. Hopefully this internet/TV thing will catch on and someone will make it.

  28. Yes, I have had my Dell hooked up to the TV for over a year now via a s-video cable so I am not sure what the big deal is. I s-video is not HD, but it is cheap. I could have been doing HD all this time if I wanted to pay for a 25 foot HDMI cable. I have a wireless mouse, and the set-up works great! (video on my blog).

    The thing I am waiting for is a wireless monitor cable, something I can plug into my monitor output on my computer and then attach to the back of the HD input on the TV. That would be the easiest, and best and you would not need a dedicated computer that costs over $1,000. Streaming boxes are not the same thing. I don’t think it would be hard to make a wireless monitor cable, but so far nobody has. Hopefully this internet/TV thing will catch on and someone will make it.

  29. Apple made the Mini too small. It’s so small that it has to use more-expensive laptop-class components for HD and memory. Just a little bit larger (maybe 2x, which would still be very small) would’ve gone a long way to making this thing less expensive. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but that’s the way of computers. The smallest laptops are never the least expensive. They’re not priced by weight, you know. :)

    I’d like to see a Mac Mini update that was large enough to use a normal 3.5″ HD (available now in up to 1TB sizes), normal DDR2 memory (not SO-DIMMs), and better discrete graphics (rather than what comes on the chipset). Oh, and stick 1 or more eSATA ports on the back for expandability.

    I could even see a version of this with no HD, but just with flash storage for the OS and whatnot, and leave the DVR storage to external HDs via eSATA. Lots of possibilities, but Apple blew it with lack of foresight. Plus this thing seems half-abandoned as it is.

  30. Apple made the Mini too small. It’s so small that it has to use more-expensive laptop-class components for HD and memory. Just a little bit larger (maybe 2x, which would still be very small) would’ve gone a long way to making this thing less expensive. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but that’s the way of computers. The smallest laptops are never the least expensive. They’re not priced by weight, you know. :)

    I’d like to see a Mac Mini update that was large enough to use a normal 3.5″ HD (available now in up to 1TB sizes), normal DDR2 memory (not SO-DIMMs), and better discrete graphics (rather than what comes on the chipset). Oh, and stick 1 or more eSATA ports on the back for expandability.

    I could even see a version of this with no HD, but just with flash storage for the OS and whatnot, and leave the DVR storage to external HDs via eSATA. Lots of possibilities, but Apple blew it with lack of foresight. Plus this thing seems half-abandoned as it is.

  31. I wouldn’t be so quick to blow off the AppleTV. It truly has felt like a misstep for Apple, but I think licensing issues rained on Apple’s party when the AppleTV was released. The movie labels have been a lot tougher to get on the Apple band wagon than the record labels (Who would have thought the RIAA labels would be considered flexible in comparison?) Adding a browser can be fixed in a software update. With Fox offering rentals through iTunes the AppleTV may finally fulfill the needs it was designed for. Still, I already have a Mac Mini so I’m very interested in what Dave has to offer.

  32. I wouldn’t be so quick to blow off the AppleTV. It truly has felt like a misstep for Apple, but I think licensing issues rained on Apple’s party when the AppleTV was released. The movie labels have been a lot tougher to get on the Apple band wagon than the record labels (Who would have thought the RIAA labels would be considered flexible in comparison?) Adding a browser can be fixed in a software update. With Fox offering rentals through iTunes the AppleTV may finally fulfill the needs it was designed for. Still, I already have a Mac Mini so I’m very interested in what Dave has to offer.

  33. Chris:

    Having used a Media Center PC and a Mac mini on my tv, there are a few differences. The major one being all I had to do was get the mac mini from apple and hook it up to my tv, that was it. A Media Center PC required me to build a box (or buy an expensive box from someone) and then get it all hooked up. Most of the time the box wouldn’t show right on the tv and I would spend hours testing various resolutions before I found one that worked right. YUCK. I don’t want to spend hours tweaking, I want to watch stuff :)

    The one thing I do miss from Media Center PC is the direct show filter and zoomplayer. It provided a great way to upsample various videos and it always looked very nice on my HDTV. 350mb HDTV Xvid files off bit torrent look like crap on my mac mini with my 1080p tv. The more recent 1gb MKV files are much nicer, but you still tend to see rough spots.

    Anyway, I love my mac mini on the HDTV and we have been using it for over a year now.

  34. Chris:

    Having used a Media Center PC and a Mac mini on my tv, there are a few differences. The major one being all I had to do was get the mac mini from apple and hook it up to my tv, that was it. A Media Center PC required me to build a box (or buy an expensive box from someone) and then get it all hooked up. Most of the time the box wouldn’t show right on the tv and I would spend hours testing various resolutions before I found one that worked right. YUCK. I don’t want to spend hours tweaking, I want to watch stuff :)

    The one thing I do miss from Media Center PC is the direct show filter and zoomplayer. It provided a great way to upsample various videos and it always looked very nice on my HDTV. 350mb HDTV Xvid files off bit torrent look like crap on my mac mini with my 1080p tv. The more recent 1gb MKV files are much nicer, but you still tend to see rough spots.

    Anyway, I love my mac mini on the HDTV and we have been using it for over a year now.

  35. @omar yeah xbox tends to a) omit features and b) nickel and dime you to death on everything like wifi and such that’s just included in the ps3 and wii… and to narrowly avoid a holy jihad about consoles, what can we do about it? xbox is an xbox and if you don’t like it, don’t get it and then well, heh, be without an xbox.

    I wonder if Apple’s miniatures will get things like HDMI etc. These console makers know how to make living room hardware, I wish the computer division did as well.

    I think PS3 wins hands down for being THE definitive box that can see other servers on the network, directly access files on the web like photos and audio (and save locally), with the bells and whistles of things like wifi AND hi-def. I respect that box the most and it’s the one I feel the most sorry for, sadly.

  36. @omar yeah xbox tends to a) omit features and b) nickel and dime you to death on everything like wifi and such that’s just included in the ps3 and wii… and to narrowly avoid a holy jihad about consoles, what can we do about it? xbox is an xbox and if you don’t like it, don’t get it and then well, heh, be without an xbox.

    I wonder if Apple’s miniatures will get things like HDMI etc. These console makers know how to make living room hardware, I wish the computer division did as well.

    I think PS3 wins hands down for being THE definitive box that can see other servers on the network, directly access files on the web like photos and audio (and save locally), with the bells and whistles of things like wifi AND hi-def. I respect that box the most and it’s the one I feel the most sorry for, sadly.

  37. A@ple should drop the mini price to say $500. It ought to do this anyway to capture more volume. Adxvertising shoul show the HDTV capabilities.

  38. A@ple should drop the mini price to say $500. It ought to do this anyway to capture more volume. Adxvertising shoul show the HDTV capabilities.

  39. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  40. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  41. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  42. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  43. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  44. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  45. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  46. In 1999 or 2000, I put a TV card in my PC and piped the sound through my stereo. There were only about two or three shows I wanted to see. I gave people funny looks when they started going on about multimedia PCs. Until we bought an Xbox, I didn’t need anything else. Mac Mini? No thanks, but as my current desktop is a small form factor, I surely could use a new Hauppauge USB TV tuner (I bought another brand, and it’s awful)!

  47. In 1999 or 2000, I put a TV card in my PC and piped the sound through my stereo. There were only about two or three shows I wanted to see. I gave people funny looks when they started going on about multimedia PCs. Until we bought an Xbox, I didn’t need anything else. Mac Mini? No thanks, but as my current desktop is a small form factor, I surely could use a new Hauppauge USB TV tuner (I bought another brand, and it’s awful)!

  48. My dream has always been to ditch Cable TV and go completely with something like an AppleTV on steroids.

    The dream has several components, including:

    1) Movie & TV show rentals…with the option to apply the rental fee towards buying the movie/tv show later on.

    2) HD Content…I don’t want to rip DVD’s. I want real HD content. HD Movies, TV Shows, etc.

    3) Live Content…the pieces for this to happen are coming together. You can already go to MLB.com and watch a baseball game live online. You can already go to ABC.com and watch a widescreen & decent quality version instantly (no buffering) of a past TV show with limited ads. Why not combine the two, so you get the best of both worlds?

    Once you have all of those pieces together…it will be real easy to cancel your Cable TV subscription. No need for it anymore.

  49. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  50. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  51. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  52. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  53. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  54. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  55. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  56. Maybe it’s just me but I use my Apple TV all the time and really like it. It’s basically a media bridge that has the Apple price tag and it links my 100+ GBs of music, videos and photos with my television extremely easily. The YouTube thing has also come in handy from time to time and always worked well. I also now watch probably 20 more video podcasts than I would otherwise. Sure, it hasn’t sold well but I think that’s more of Apple’s failure to market it well rather than it not having enough appeal amongst the kind of people that are hooking up MacMinis to their TVs. The geeks also thought the iPod’s specs were too weak to compete with Creative players back in the day as well.

    Just my opinion.

  57. Robert – I made no mention of a Media Center Extender having a web browser. You said you have a Media Center which does have a browser and all of the capabilities you spoke about. If you meant a Media Center “extender” then it would not have a browser.

    One can easily shop around and find a basic media Center PC for $500. Build one for less if they choose. While it is true that adding HDTV recording and capabilities would jack that up quite a bit, you focused more on the digital media aspects then you did the HDTV recording and playback features.

    The point being, this revolution is not a revolution. It has been around for a while now. I would even argue that the Windows world is also leading the charge and advancing technology in this area better and faster than on any other platform. Yes…I drink the Kool-Aid, but it tastes sweet and has been readily accessible for half a decade now.

  58. Robert – I made no mention of a Media Center Extender having a web browser. You said you have a Media Center which does have a browser and all of the capabilities you spoke about. If you meant a Media Center “extender” then it would not have a browser.

    One can easily shop around and find a basic media Center PC for $500. Build one for less if they choose. While it is true that adding HDTV recording and capabilities would jack that up quite a bit, you focused more on the digital media aspects then you did the HDTV recording and playback features.

    The point being, this revolution is not a revolution. It has been around for a while now. I would even argue that the Windows world is also leading the charge and advancing technology in this area better and faster than on any other platform. Yes…I drink the Kool-Aid, but it tastes sweet and has been readily accessible for half a decade now.

  59. Robert, have you tried hooking in a Playstation 3? It has a web browser, a media/mp3 player, and a photo browser for under $400. Ultra quiet, plus you can install linux if you want.

  60. Robert, have you tried hooking in a Playstation 3? It has a web browser, a media/mp3 player, and a photo browser for under $400. Ultra quiet, plus you can install linux if you want.

  61. Robert: I obviously haven’t seen Dave’s app yet, but his descriptions make it sound pretty much like the Flickr app for TiVo.

    As for an AppleTV+browser… that won’t do anything to help sales, unless they license the Wiimote from Nintendo and get to hacking.

    And finally, the benefit to using an Xbox or PS3 for your media viewing is that you’re gonna have one of those boxes in your living room anyway. If the average person is anything like me, they can only switch three hi-def inputs, and mine are all taken up by a 360, a Dish DVR, and a Wii.

  62. Robert: I obviously haven’t seen Dave’s app yet, but his descriptions make it sound pretty much like the Flickr app for TiVo.

    As for an AppleTV+browser… that won’t do anything to help sales, unless they license the Wiimote from Nintendo and get to hacking.

    And finally, the benefit to using an Xbox or PS3 for your media viewing is that you’re gonna have one of those boxes in your living room anyway. If the average person is anything like me, they can only switch three hi-def inputs, and mine are all taken up by a 360, a Dish DVR, and a Wii.

  63. Chris Avis: I notice you didn’t post a URL to a box I could buy. Please provide one and I’ll do that.

    MikeB: I haven’t considered a Sony Playstation. I like having full access to the OS underneath. I might buy a Playstation to get BlueRay, though.

  64. Chris Avis: I notice you didn’t post a URL to a box I could buy. Please provide one and I’ll do that.

    MikeB: I haven’t considered a Sony Playstation. I like having full access to the OS underneath. I might buy a Playstation to get BlueRay, though.

  65. @Josh – you can purchase a connect and go Media Center PC at any big box electroncs retailer these days and have been able to do so for a couple of years now. The exact same thing you say you can do with the MacMini. Yes, 5 years ago this was more problematic, but today it is very simple. Those same BitTorrent movies you talk about are clear as a bell on my 5 year old Media Center connected to me 63″ HDTV.

  66. @Josh – you can purchase a connect and go Media Center PC at any big box electroncs retailer these days and have been able to do so for a couple of years now. The exact same thing you say you can do with the MacMini. Yes, 5 years ago this was more problematic, but today it is very simple. Those same BitTorrent movies you talk about are clear as a bell on my 5 year old Media Center connected to me 63″ HDTV.

  67. One more thing, I’d like to hear some analysis considering the non-geeks who are faced with online retail in the form of Apple’s iTunes store and the Xbox Live Marketplace and how one delivers to computer-to-consumer device and the other that goes direct to consumer device (albeit non portable).

    And honestly, as a geek, I am running into format buying dilemmas. I’m not sure if I should buy a disc, buy from itunes or buy from on XBLM, depending how I’ll ultimately consume the content.

  68. Chris: keep in mind I will not put anything in my living room that looks like a PC, so it must be a small box. It also must be completely silent. The Xbox is freaking noisy, which is why I hate using it as a Media Center Extender. I have a brand new PC upstairs running Windows Vista Ultimate. Nice machine, but is inappropriate for living room use.

  69. Chris: keep in mind I will not put anything in my living room that looks like a PC, so it must be a small box. It also must be completely silent. The Xbox is freaking noisy, which is why I hate using it as a Media Center Extender. I have a brand new PC upstairs running Windows Vista Ultimate. Nice machine, but is inappropriate for living room use.

  70. One more thing, I’d like to hear some analysis considering the non-geeks who are faced with online retail in the form of Apple’s iTunes store and the Xbox Live Marketplace and how one delivers to computer-to-consumer device and the other that goes direct to consumer device (albeit non portable).

    And honestly, as a geek, I am running into format buying dilemmas. I’m not sure if I should buy a disc, buy from itunes or buy from on XBLM, depending how I’ll ultimately consume the content.

  71. The PS3 is a pretty great Blu-Ray player. The recent Pixar releases look stunning on it.

    I was annoyed they stripped out some features for the 40GB price drop (PS2 back-compat/the memory card slots/some USB ports). I don’t really consider it a price cut if you negate it with missing features.

    I have the earlier 60GB model and am getting a lot of use on it for movies and photos. Recent firmware upgrade added Divx like the recent Xbox upgrade. Now if they could just make some better games for it…

  72. The PS3 is a pretty great Blu-Ray player. The recent Pixar releases look stunning on it.

    I was annoyed they stripped out some features for the 40GB price drop (PS2 back-compat/the memory card slots/some USB ports). I don’t really consider it a price cut if you negate it with missing features.

    I have the earlier 60GB model and am getting a lot of use on it for movies and photos. Recent firmware upgrade added Divx like the recent Xbox upgrade. Now if they could just make some better games for it…

  73. The PS3 is a pretty great Blu-Ray player. The recent Pixar releases look stunning on it.

    I was annoyed they stripped out some features for the 40GB price drop (PS2 back-compat/the memory card slots/some USB ports). I don’t really consider it a price cut if you negate it with missing features.

    I have the earlier 60GB model and am getting a lot of use on it for movies and photos. Recent firmware upgrade added Divx like the recent Xbox upgrade. Now if they could just make some better games for it…

  74. So behind the times Scoble. My 7 room mates and I put together scrap parts to create a “media box” computer in our living room to connect to the TV. We store all of your movies, music, games and everything else. It acts as our central storage device and ultimate media center.

  75. So behind the times Scoble. My 7 room mates and I put together scrap parts to create a “media box” computer in our living room to connect to the TV. We store all of your movies, music, games and everything else. It acts as our central storage device and ultimate media center.

  76. So behind the times Scoble. My 7 room mates and I put together scrap parts to create a “media box” computer in our living room to connect to the TV. We store all of your movies, music, games and everything else. It acts as our central storage device and ultimate media center.

  77. Oh, yea I totally forgot to mention that we web browse as well. Any debates in the living room can be resolved via a Google search and any must see youtube videos can easily be brought up.

  78. Oh, yea I totally forgot to mention that we web browse as well. Any debates in the living room can be resolved via a Google search and any must see youtube videos can easily be brought up.

  79. Dave needs to port the software to the Tivo. That is to say, write it in Java for the HME.

    Tivo does a fantastic job at doing photos, not just via the HME but via RSS. And it uses a remote, versus a mouse.

  80. Dave needs to port the software to the Tivo. That is to say, write it in Java for the HME.

    Tivo does a fantastic job at doing photos, not just via the HME but via RSS. And it uses a remote, versus a mouse.

  81. Dave needs to port the software to the Tivo. That is to say, write it in Java for the HME.

    Tivo does a fantastic job at doing photos, not just via the HME but via RSS. And it uses a remote, versus a mouse.

  82. Hi Robert,

    I put a Shuttle PC on my HDTV about a year ago. I love it — I installed Nintendo emulators, hooked up the original controllers via USB, and have a blast playing old games. Plus, the web browser is a cool feature, and often we watch clips or shows on it. I use it a lot more than I thought I would.

    I bought a Shuttle P4 PC (square, small) with a 250GB hard drive and Windows Media Center Edition for $525. So I guess I came out a bit ahead, and the emulators are much nicer for Windows. ;)

  83. Hi Robert,

    I put a Shuttle PC on my HDTV about a year ago. I love it — I installed Nintendo emulators, hooked up the original controllers via USB, and have a blast playing old games. Plus, the web browser is a cool feature, and often we watch clips or shows on it. I use it a lot more than I thought I would.

    I bought a Shuttle P4 PC (square, small) with a 250GB hard drive and Windows Media Center Edition for $525. So I guess I came out a bit ahead, and the emulators are much nicer for Windows. ;)

  84. Chris: you work for Microsoft and are saying that your company’s products are as good as a MacMini.

    Yet you link me to a Dell that looks like shit.

    Let me repeat again: anything that goes on my home entertainment system must be small. Must be quiet. Must look freaking awesome.

    MacMini does the job. The Dell thing you linked me to does not. Now, got any other URLs?

  85. Chris: you work for Microsoft and are saying that your company’s products are as good as a MacMini.

    Yet you link me to a Dell that looks like shit.

    Let me repeat again: anything that goes on my home entertainment system must be small. Must be quiet. Must look freaking awesome.

    MacMini does the job. The Dell thing you linked me to does not. Now, got any other URLs?

  86. Add Bittorrent and EyeTV to your Mac Mini setup and your Tivo/DVR becomes redundant – along with the subscription fees. The only reason I need my cable TV connection is for live broadcasting. Oh yeah, I don’t want Windows running anywhere in my living room. Microsoft had better start turning things around soon or the number of home users switching to Macs will soon turn into a flood.

  87. Add Bittorrent and EyeTV to your Mac Mini setup and your Tivo/DVR becomes redundant – along with the subscription fees. The only reason I need my cable TV connection is for live broadcasting. Oh yeah, I don’t want Windows running anywhere in my living room. Microsoft had better start turning things around soon or the number of home users switching to Macs will soon turn into a flood.

  88. Yes, I’ve been using a Mac mini/EyeTV/HDTV solution now for almost 2 years. I’ve upgraded a few things like a 42″ TV w/ DVI, a larger external HD for the mini, etc.

    But, man, is it one sweet setup. From live/recorded TV to Front Row access to computer games to your “pièce de résistance”, the web browsing. Plus I can rip, convert and propagate my videos on the mini to various solutions such as my iPhone and iPod as well as DVD storage.

    It is just a sweet experience!

    /

  89. Yes, I’ve been using a Mac mini/EyeTV/HDTV solution now for almost 2 years. I’ve upgraded a few things like a 42″ TV w/ DVI, a larger external HD for the mini, etc.

    But, man, is it one sweet setup. From live/recorded TV to Front Row access to computer games to your “pièce de résistance”, the web browsing. Plus I can rip, convert and propagate my videos on the mini to various solutions such as my iPhone and iPod as well as DVD storage.

    It is just a sweet experience!

    /

  90. Yes, I’ve been using a Mac mini/EyeTV/HDTV solution now for almost 2 years. I’ve upgraded a few things like a 42″ TV w/ DVI, a larger external HD for the mini, etc.

    But, man, is it one sweet setup. From live/recorded TV to Front Row access to computer games to your “pièce de résistance”, the web browsing. Plus I can rip, convert and propagate my videos on the mini to various solutions such as my iPhone and iPod as well as DVD storage.

    It is just a sweet experience!

    /

  91. Yes, I’ve been using a Mac mini/EyeTV/HDTV solution now for almost 2 years. I’ve upgraded a few things like a 42″ TV w/ DVI, a larger external HD for the mini, etc.

    But, man, is it one sweet setup. From live/recorded TV to Front Row access to computer games to your “pièce de résistance”, the web browsing. Plus I can rip, convert and propagate my videos on the mini to various solutions such as my iPhone and iPod as well as DVD storage.

    It is just a sweet experience!

    /

  92. @robert – You made your special request for a small, quiet and pretty machine in a seperate comment and after I started searching for the URL that you should have looked for yourself. Yes – I work for Microsoft and the day we become a hardware company and start producing the machines along with the software I am sure you will see some prettier machines. Until that day comes along, try to restrain your self.

    ericabiz noted that one can put together a small, shuttle based system (also intersting you are willing to do a search for something she mentioned yourself while what I spoke about you would not). There are also many, many custom Media Center Center builders that create beautiful, fanless Media Center machines. My neighbor has an elegant, fanless Media Center PC that I am quite envious of. They do cost more, but that isn’t what this was all really about. Regardless, ANYONE can find a beautiful, quiet, simple to use Media Center PC with a simple search engine query – even you.

    To bring this full circle – My original comment was in part regarding your “revolution” which is anything but. No mention of being beautiful or quiet or any other restrictions you wish to put in place. I also pointed out that you wasted money to get a capability you already had (albeit before knowing you had to have a pretty machine in your living room). I didn’t have a pretty box in my living room 5 years ago, but I had the experience and capabilities you mentioned. I didn’t miss out on them just because the box was ugly.

    To reiterate – What you are just now figuring that your MacMini can do today, I and many others were doing 5 years ago with a Windows Media Center PC. If being pretty is a requirement then I can make it so. In fact I can make it pretty in any way I want if I build it myself and not be locked into it being only as pretty as a Mac. I can rip the guts out and put it into any case and make it look any way I wish. My platform provides a degree of expandability and customization that your MacMini cannot match.

    THAT is revolutionary.

    Cheers…

  93. @robert – You made your special request for a small, quiet and pretty machine in a seperate comment and after I started searching for the URL that you should have looked for yourself. Yes – I work for Microsoft and the day we become a hardware company and start producing the machines along with the software I am sure you will see some prettier machines. Until that day comes along, try to restrain your self.

    ericabiz noted that one can put together a small, shuttle based system (also intersting you are willing to do a search for something she mentioned yourself while what I spoke about you would not). There are also many, many custom Media Center Center builders that create beautiful, fanless Media Center machines. My neighbor has an elegant, fanless Media Center PC that I am quite envious of. They do cost more, but that isn’t what this was all really about. Regardless, ANYONE can find a beautiful, quiet, simple to use Media Center PC with a simple search engine query – even you.

    To bring this full circle – My original comment was in part regarding your “revolution” which is anything but. No mention of being beautiful or quiet or any other restrictions you wish to put in place. I also pointed out that you wasted money to get a capability you already had (albeit before knowing you had to have a pretty machine in your living room). I didn’t have a pretty box in my living room 5 years ago, but I had the experience and capabilities you mentioned. I didn’t miss out on them just because the box was ugly.

    To reiterate – What you are just now figuring that your MacMini can do today, I and many others were doing 5 years ago with a Windows Media Center PC. If being pretty is a requirement then I can make it so. In fact I can make it pretty in any way I want if I build it myself and not be locked into it being only as pretty as a Mac. I can rip the guts out and put it into any case and make it look any way I wish. My platform provides a degree of expandability and customization that your MacMini cannot match.

    THAT is revolutionary.

    Cheers…

  94. MacWorld is close enough I’ve decided to wait on my purchasing decision until I hear what Apple’s plans are for both the Apple TV and Mini. The Mini is a lot more useful then the Apple TV. It’s also a favorite with audiophiles who hook it up to a USB DAC – see Wavelength Audio.

  95. MacWorld is close enough I’ve decided to wait on my purchasing decision until I hear what Apple’s plans are for both the Apple TV and Mini. The Mini is a lot more useful then the Apple TV. It’s also a favorite with audiophiles who hook it up to a USB DAC – see Wavelength Audio.

  96. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  97. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  98. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  99. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  100. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  101. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  102. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  103. Our Sharp Aquos (LC-46D62U) has a 1024 x 768 “narrow” resolution that actually allows us to read the screen fonts from across the room without zoom. Way cool.

  104. OK, let me be the spoilsport (as usual). With environmentalists and even power companies decrying computers being kept in Standby instead of Off overnight, you are now going to hog electrons just so you can emulate billg’s “video paintings”? How much does that HDTV consume? How much heat does it put out? How bright is the screen at night with all other lights out?

    Right, I’ll grant you that web browsing on one of those things from time to time, as well as random flickrage, could be pretty neat. Not to even mention showing some, you know, video.

    But think of the electrons!

    Ok, back to your party.

  105. OK, let me be the spoilsport (as usual). With environmentalists and even power companies decrying computers being kept in Standby instead of Off overnight, you are now going to hog electrons just so you can emulate billg’s “video paintings”? How much does that HDTV consume? How much heat does it put out? How bright is the screen at night with all other lights out?

    Right, I’ll grant you that web browsing on one of those things from time to time, as well as random flickrage, could be pretty neat. Not to even mention showing some, you know, video.

    But think of the electrons!

    Ok, back to your party.

  106. Yes, Apple lags Microsoft in the home entertainment area. But the Mini can be modified to do almost everything a Media Center PC can with the exception that the Mini cannot accept a cable card. There are however a number of disadvantages with cable cards. The primary one is the current implementation allows only a one way communication stream and therefore you cannot get Video-On-Demand or other interactive services with it. If there are other advantages to a Media PC over the Mini please list them. In the meantime, please tell MS to fix Vista. You are losing customers in the droves to Apple and they’re not likely to switch back. I am one.

  107. Yes, Apple lags Microsoft in the home entertainment area. But the Mini can be modified to do almost everything a Media Center PC can with the exception that the Mini cannot accept a cable card. There are however a number of disadvantages with cable cards. The primary one is the current implementation allows only a one way communication stream and therefore you cannot get Video-On-Demand or other interactive services with it. If there are other advantages to a Media PC over the Mini please list them. In the meantime, please tell MS to fix Vista. You are losing customers in the droves to Apple and they’re not likely to switch back. I am one.

  108. Yes, Apple lags Microsoft in the home entertainment area. But the Mini can be modified to do almost everything a Media Center PC can with the exception that the Mini cannot accept a cable card. There are however a number of disadvantages with cable cards. The primary one is the current implementation allows only a one way communication stream and therefore you cannot get Video-On-Demand or other interactive services with it. If there are other advantages to a Media PC over the Mini please list them. In the meantime, please tell MS to fix Vista. You are losing customers in the droves to Apple and they’re not likely to switch back. I am one.

  109. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  110. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  111. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  112. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  113. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  114. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  115. @Mike Cane – I am neither an environmentalist nor do I work for a power company. But I try to do my part to limit consumption and waste when possible. That being said, my HDTV is turned off more than on and I only use it as a digital picture frame when I have guests around. Living in the NorthWest and being this time of year I welcome the heat is puts out. :) It is DLP too so it puts out relatively little heat. NorthWest summers are wonderful and I don’t have A/C in my house. I just open the windows and let the heat out.

    My wife doesn’t like turning the lights out to watch TV even though I do. When I am alone it is lights out. My TV also has a High Power and Low Power bulb setting. It nevers leaves the Low Power setting which extends bulb life and conserves power. It is plenty bright enough even with all the windows in my living room.

    Chris

  116. Eh, no thanks. The Apple TV really needs a DVD slot, for media collection backward compatibility. And a direct iTunes connectivity and purchase system. It also needs more storage, movie rentals, HD content, and a TV show subscription service.

  117. Eh, no thanks. The Apple TV really needs a DVD slot, for media collection backward compatibility. And a direct iTunes connectivity and purchase system. It also needs more storage, movie rentals, HD content, and a TV show subscription service.

  118. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  119. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  120. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  121. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  122. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  123. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  124. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  125. @sferris – The CableCard limitations you speak of are universal limitations that exists regardless of the platform being used. Talk to the cable companies about that one.

    As for Vista – which generally speaking has nothing to do with this larger Media Center vs MacMini discussion – I am happy to pass on any specific suggestions you have. “Fix Vista” is a little broad. Kind of like saying “Fix the US Government”. I need something a little more actionable. My email and phone number are on my blog (note – I am on vacation till Jan 2nd)

    Cheers….

  126. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  127. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  128. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  129. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  130. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  131. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  132. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  133. @32. Sooo…..it’s revolutionary because it’s small and quiet? Seriously this post sounds like someone just discovering Tivo. Nothing you are doing with your Macmini is all that revolutionrevolutionary as Chris points out.

  134. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  135. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  136. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  137. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  138. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  139. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  140. MacMini is a halfway good choice, if pricey and limited, but modded XBMC (Xbox Media Center), imho, still outshines them all, all the codecs to boot, and it has browsers. But then this is where Linux really shines, with MythTV, Freevo, VDR, GeeXboX and MediaPortal and more. The Vista Media Center is not half bad (hacked up that is), but needs a small hardware implementation wrapped around it. And weirdly enough the 5th generation of Archos with Opera, is a good media center itself, portable to boot (no WOW, but all the media and web functions). But gosh, old news this, for the real Media Center crowd.

    But the ‘web’ on TV never caught on, the zillions of Microsoft attempts notwithstanding. Might get a minor boost with big screen HD’ers, but market bound to be limited. TV is passive, making it interactive will waste companies billions.

    Many choices, if you avoid the pure commercial market.

  141. MacMini is a halfway good choice, if pricey and limited, but modded XBMC (Xbox Media Center), imho, still outshines them all, all the codecs to boot, and it has browsers. But then this is where Linux really shines, with MythTV, Freevo, VDR, GeeXboX and MediaPortal and more. The Vista Media Center is not half bad (hacked up that is), but needs a small hardware implementation wrapped around it. And weirdly enough the 5th generation of Archos with Opera, is a good media center itself, portable to boot (no WOW, but all the media and web functions). But gosh, old news this, for the real Media Center crowd.

    But the ‘web’ on TV never caught on, the zillions of Microsoft attempts notwithstanding. Might get a minor boost with big screen HD’ers, but market bound to be limited. TV is passive, making it interactive will waste companies billions.

    Many choices, if you avoid the pure commercial market.

  142. Wish Dave’s new app would work with services like mine which not only have an API and great RSS feeds – but also images suitable for HDTVs already rendered and ready to go (and even custom rendering on-the-fly to any screen you want). :(

    The Mac Mini has one big issue as a HTPC – it often only will run at 1080i even when attached to a 1080p display. This makes stuff look like crap, and you have to install some extra 3rd party goodies to get it to work properly.

    The AppleTV vs Mac Mini comparison isn’t fair – they’re different devices, used for different things, and I like both. I like the Mac Mini because it’s a do-anything box, and I like the AppleTV because it’s obvious there’s a huge amount of potential there. It’s disappointing that Apple hasn’t done the things they should with it yet (direct access to iTunes Store, HD movies, and rentals) – but hopefully they’ll get their act together.

    My mother-in-law, though, has no interest in having a do-anything box like a Mac Mini attached to her TV. She wants an appliance accessible via remote control – an AppleTV. Of course, as I mentioned, the fact that the AppleTV is tethered to some other PC is stupid.

    I *totally* agree that a web browser would make the AppleTV a killer box (at least for me) – but I’m not sure how to do it without a keyboard, which kills it for someone like my mother-in-law.

  143. The key is that this device needs to be both “revolutionary” and “mainstreamable”, not just one or the other. By mainstreamable, it has to be easy enough to set up and use that even “grandma” can do it.

    I just bought a Slingbox (which is revolutionary), but setting up the router was a nightmare, and now I’m 600 miles away, and I can’t get into it, so the thing is going back when I get back home. (When I set it up, it said it was working, but as I now know, it really wasn’t.) So it’s not mainstreamable yet – I’m not blaming Slingbox as it needs to work with so many different types of routers and eventually it’ll get there.

    Making something mainstreamable is a lot harder than it looks. Windows Media Center connecting to the TV is still not mainstreamable.

  144. The key is that this device needs to be both “revolutionary” and “mainstreamable”, not just one or the other. By mainstreamable, it has to be easy enough to set up and use that even “grandma” can do it.

    I just bought a Slingbox (which is revolutionary), but setting up the router was a nightmare, and now I’m 600 miles away, and I can’t get into it, so the thing is going back when I get back home. (When I set it up, it said it was working, but as I now know, it really wasn’t.) So it’s not mainstreamable yet – I’m not blaming Slingbox as it needs to work with so many different types of routers and eventually it’ll get there.

    Making something mainstreamable is a lot harder than it looks. Windows Media Center connecting to the TV is still not mainstreamable.

  145. @Mark #54 – Media Center is quite mainstreamable. A basic Media Center PC has you plug in the power and run the cable/satellite outputs to the Media Center. The hardest part is running the infrared transmitter from the MCE side back to the tuner box(es) and securing them in place. These same steps would be required for ANY “media center pc” regardless of platform or hardware implmentation. The MCE wizard does all the rest and I have never had an issue with that side of it.

    I have heard some horror stories with CableCard implementations but that has less to do with the Media Center Software and hardware and more to do with the synching of the cablecards with the providers. Blame the cable industry for that foul up not Microsoft, *nix, Dell, Apple or any other OS/Hardware provider. I am jumping into this pond soon and will post my experience to my blog.

    When the cable industry streamlines the cablecard process then the rest will fall in place.

  146. @Mark #54 – Media Center is quite mainstreamable. A basic Media Center PC has you plug in the power and run the cable/satellite outputs to the Media Center. The hardest part is running the infrared transmitter from the MCE side back to the tuner box(es) and securing them in place. These same steps would be required for ANY “media center pc” regardless of platform or hardware implmentation. The MCE wizard does all the rest and I have never had an issue with that side of it.

    I have heard some horror stories with CableCard implementations but that has less to do with the Media Center Software and hardware and more to do with the synching of the cablecards with the providers. Blame the cable industry for that foul up not Microsoft, *nix, Dell, Apple or any other OS/Hardware provider. I am jumping into this pond soon and will post my experience to my blog.

    When the cable industry streamlines the cablecard process then the rest will fall in place.

  147. @Mark #54 – Media Center is quite mainstreamable. A basic Media Center PC has you plug in the power and run the cable/satellite outputs to the Media Center. The hardest part is running the infrared transmitter from the MCE side back to the tuner box(es) and securing them in place. These same steps would be required for ANY “media center pc” regardless of platform or hardware implmentation. The MCE wizard does all the rest and I have never had an issue with that side of it.

    I have heard some horror stories with CableCard implementations but that has less to do with the Media Center Software and hardware and more to do with the synching of the cablecards with the providers. Blame the cable industry for that foul up not Microsoft, *nix, Dell, Apple or any other OS/Hardware provider. I am jumping into this pond soon and will post my experience to my blog.

    When the cable industry streamlines the cablecard process then the rest will fall in place.

  148. I put my MacMini in my livingroom and bought MediaCentral back in 9/13/06: http://podslug.com/blog/?p=59 … it was fine for a while but at the end of the day I just did not want to futz with a keyboard and mouse in my living room … even a wireless one that I controlled from my couch.

    My main interface to the TV is an AV input cable. I sneaker-net over to my TV with my iPod or my Sansa TakeTV … the Sansa device is great since it is so simple and has a remote control. I would use it more if it accepted standard MP4 files.

    Regarding the browser … I would not use it on my TV … again the remote keyboard/mouse issue is a show stopper.

    However, I have been very surprised at how much I enjoy using Safari on my iTouch. I read my blogs, email, and such in my livingroom via wifi … I can just curl up on my couch with it while my wife watches broadcast TV and we are both pretty happy with this arrangement. Occasionally, I will plug it in to my TV’s AV input cable when we want to watch a movie from iTunes or some of my video podcast feeds.

    Oh, and here is a great feature of the iTouch … you can display vlog video on your TV directly! Go to Rocketboom, plug in your AV output cable, click play and the iTouch will ask you if you want to display this on your TV. You can now watch Rocketboom on your TV via your iTouch with an AV out cable. Very cool! Hopefully other sites will support this … please let me know if yours does.

    I predict that wifi mobile browsing on the iPhone and iTouch will be the killer app of 2008.

    Erik Herz
    http://podslug.com

  149. I put my MacMini in my livingroom and bought MediaCentral back in 9/13/06: http://podslug.com/blog/?p=59 … it was fine for a while but at the end of the day I just did not want to futz with a keyboard and mouse in my living room … even a wireless one that I controlled from my couch.

    My main interface to the TV is an AV input cable. I sneaker-net over to my TV with my iPod or my Sansa TakeTV … the Sansa device is great since it is so simple and has a remote control. I would use it more if it accepted standard MP4 files.

    Regarding the browser … I would not use it on my TV … again the remote keyboard/mouse issue is a show stopper.

    However, I have been very surprised at how much I enjoy using Safari on my iTouch. I read my blogs, email, and such in my livingroom via wifi … I can just curl up on my couch with it while my wife watches broadcast TV and we are both pretty happy with this arrangement. Occasionally, I will plug it in to my TV’s AV input cable when we want to watch a movie from iTunes or some of my video podcast feeds.

    Oh, and here is a great feature of the iTouch … you can display vlog video on your TV directly! Go to Rocketboom, plug in your AV output cable, click play and the iTouch will ask you if you want to display this on your TV. You can now watch Rocketboom on your TV via your iTouch with an AV out cable. Very cool! Hopefully other sites will support this … please let me know if yours does.

    I predict that wifi mobile browsing on the iPhone and iTouch will be the killer app of 2008.

    Erik Herz
    http://podslug.com

  150. … by the way, the iTouch Photos app in slide show mode displays well on my TV too … One thing that I liked to do when my MacMini was connected to my TV was to use the iPhoto app in slideshow mode with the sound track on … this made for good sit back entertainment. A photo display application without the audio gets boring after a while … does anyone know of any other ways to show your photos on your TV with an audio track?

  151. … by the way, the iTouch Photos app in slide show mode displays well on my TV too … One thing that I liked to do when my MacMini was connected to my TV was to use the iPhoto app in slideshow mode with the sound track on … this made for good sit back entertainment. A photo display application without the audio gets boring after a while … does anyone know of any other ways to show your photos on your TV with an audio track?

  152. Hi Robert,

    No, I didn’t buy a fancy new Shuttle. Although they’re cool, they’re too pricey for me. I have a SB95P V2 (Pentium 4) sitting behind the TV. You can see a picture of its form factor here:

    http://techreport.com/r.x/shuttle-sb95p/money.jpg

    It’s not as small as a Mac Mini, but it’s cheaper and just as powerful. Plus, it sits behind my TV (a Panasonic 50″ plasma), so you can’t see it anyway. You can build one for about $400 right now. And it runs emulators better. :D

    Forgot to mention I also use the iTunes sharing feature from my desktop PC upstairs (which is also a Shuttle.) My BF has a Mac Mini in the other room and he shares iTunes to the Shuttle as well. Very cool stuff. We are into small computers with big screens at this house. ;)

  153. Hi Robert,

    No, I didn’t buy a fancy new Shuttle. Although they’re cool, they’re too pricey for me. I have a SB95P V2 (Pentium 4) sitting behind the TV. You can see a picture of its form factor here:

    http://techreport.com/r.x/shuttle-sb95p/money.jpg

    It’s not as small as a Mac Mini, but it’s cheaper and just as powerful. Plus, it sits behind my TV (a Panasonic 50″ plasma), so you can’t see it anyway. You can build one for about $400 right now. And it runs emulators better. :D

    Forgot to mention I also use the iTunes sharing feature from my desktop PC upstairs (which is also a Shuttle.) My BF has a Mac Mini in the other room and he shares iTunes to the Shuttle as well. Very cool stuff. We are into small computers with big screens at this house. ;)

  154. Hi Robert,

    No, I didn’t buy a fancy new Shuttle. Although they’re cool, they’re too pricey for me. I have a SB95P V2 (Pentium 4) sitting behind the TV. You can see a picture of its form factor here:

    http://techreport.com/r.x/shuttle-sb95p/money.jpg

    It’s not as small as a Mac Mini, but it’s cheaper and just as powerful. Plus, it sits behind my TV (a Panasonic 50″ plasma), so you can’t see it anyway. You can build one for about $400 right now. And it runs emulators better. :D

    Forgot to mention I also use the iTunes sharing feature from my desktop PC upstairs (which is also a Shuttle.) My BF has a Mac Mini in the other room and he shares iTunes to the Shuttle as well. Very cool stuff. We are into small computers with big screens at this house. ;)

  155. Hi Robert,

    No, I didn’t buy a fancy new Shuttle. Although they’re cool, they’re too pricey for me. I have a SB95P V2 (Pentium 4) sitting behind the TV. You can see a picture of its form factor here:

    http://techreport.com/r.x/shuttle-sb95p/money.jpg

    It’s not as small as a Mac Mini, but it’s cheaper and just as powerful. Plus, it sits behind my TV (a Panasonic 50″ plasma), so you can’t see it anyway. You can build one for about $400 right now. And it runs emulators better. :D

    Forgot to mention I also use the iTunes sharing feature from my desktop PC upstairs (which is also a Shuttle.) My BF has a Mac Mini in the other room and he shares iTunes to the Shuttle as well. Very cool stuff. We are into small computers with big screens at this house. ;)

  156. Robert,

    Sorry, I really respect Dave, and I actually used Radio a few years ago, but this setup really isn´t revolutionary, like other people already pointed out, you can replicate the same experience with other hardware configurations, and to make this a -real revolution- Dave (or any other people) will have to implement a heck of an application (a killer application so speak), in the mean time, I will wait for the next version of the Apple TV. I think that with the proper features and the right marketing campaign this really can push a revolution, beyond the niche solutions (for geeks like us) that the Windows Media Center / Mac Mini currently are.

    Cheers

    And really I don’t think twiteer is any revolutionary btw …

  157. Robert,

    Sorry, I really respect Dave, and I actually used Radio a few years ago, but this setup really isn´t revolutionary, like other people already pointed out, you can replicate the same experience with other hardware configurations, and to make this a -real revolution- Dave (or any other people) will have to implement a heck of an application (a killer application so speak), in the mean time, I will wait for the next version of the Apple TV. I think that with the proper features and the right marketing campaign this really can push a revolution, beyond the niche solutions (for geeks like us) that the Windows Media Center / Mac Mini currently are.

    Cheers

    And really I don’t think twiteer is any revolutionary btw …

  158. I always thought the MacMini and the Sony TP1 had good design points. Of course the Sony is more expensive but you get more for the money. See http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=VGXTP1.

    Regarding this discussion, I do think the HDTV experience needs to evolve. I would prefer to have a terminal style smart device connected to my HDTV set that gives me everything on demand. Instead of having the DVR in the entertainment center, keep the data in a data center somewhere and let me view what I want, when I want it, for an all-you-can-eat price.

    Until then, I have a TiVo Series 3 and a Dell XPS 420 covering my HDTV recording, gaming and video editing needs.

  159. We have our Wii connected to our 52″ Bravia and enjoy surfing the web using a wireless keyboard on it. Streaming pictures, music and video work out of the box and is easy enough to use that my wife’s parents figured it out without asking.

    As a number of people have discussed, it is not a PVR solution by any means, but for me most of my content is from the web.

    If you can use your influence at Adobe to get them to update the SDK to support Flash 9 (I believe it supports 7 at the moment) then sites like Hulu may have a chance at making their way to my Wii experience as well.

  160. We have our Wii connected to our 52″ Bravia and enjoy surfing the web using a wireless keyboard on it. Streaming pictures, music and video work out of the box and is easy enough to use that my wife’s parents figured it out without asking.

    As a number of people have discussed, it is not a PVR solution by any means, but for me most of my content is from the web.

    If you can use your influence at Adobe to get them to update the SDK to support Flash 9 (I believe it supports 7 at the moment) then sites like Hulu may have a chance at making their way to my Wii experience as well.

  161. I always thought the MacMini and the Sony TP1 had good design points. Of course the Sony is more expensive but you get more for the money. See http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=VGXTP1.

    Regarding this discussion, I do think the HDTV experience needs to evolve. I would prefer to have a terminal style smart device connected to my HDTV set that gives me everything on demand. Instead of having the DVR in the entertainment center, keep the data in a data center somewhere and let me view what I want, when I want it, for an all-you-can-eat price.

    Until then, I have a TiVo Series 3 and a Dell XPS 420 covering my HDTV recording, gaming and video editing needs.

  162. ya i’ve had my mini hooked up to my tv (it has a monitor connector) in the bedroom for a long time its running my blog and everything as its got a dynamic dns updating widget… front row is awesome – no need for a seperate dvd player.

  163. ya i’ve had my mini hooked up to my tv (it has a monitor connector) in the bedroom for a long time its running my blog and everything as its got a dynamic dns updating widget… front row is awesome – no need for a seperate dvd player.

  164. Not seeing the big deal at all here.. using GPhoto screensaver – version 2.0.0.1077 runnin on PC – and HDTV linked in via RSS Port and rss/photostream to pipe random pics from picaso (not sure about flicker photos being piped in !!)

  165. Not seeing the big deal at all here.. using GPhoto screensaver – version 2.0.0.1077 runnin on PC – and HDTV linked in via RSS Port and rss/photostream to pipe random pics from picaso (not sure about flicker photos being piped in !!)

  166. Not seeing the big deal at all here.. using GPhoto screensaver – version 2.0.0.1077 runnin on PC – and HDTV linked in via RSS Port and rss/photostream to pipe random pics from picaso (not sure about flicker photos being piped in !!)

  167. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  168. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  169. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  170. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  171. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  172. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  173. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  174. Nothing you’re describing here is new. I’ve been using Windows Media Center since before MCE2005 and doing everything you describe, *including* viewing RSS feeds of photos from Flickr, playing games, playing DVDs (region-free), my entire lossless music collection and much, much more… for YEARS. All on my Panasonic 50″ plasma. It looks great and it works great. My MCE box is a Hush Technologies ATX which looks great but you could use a smaller/cheaper Shuttle etc. as other commentors have recommended.

    There’s so much ‘prior art’ here that you really should rethink this post, but whatever, have fun.

  175. I just hook my old ibook to the projector with a VGA cable and connect the auxiliary jack to the sound system. ;-) With the writers strike I don’t watch cable at all, I just watch Streaming TV sites that I wont site as to not get them arrested.

    Peace,
    Michelle

  176. I just hook my old ibook to the projector with a VGA cable and connect the auxiliary jack to the sound system. ;-) With the writers strike I don’t watch cable at all, I just watch Streaming TV sites that I wont site as to not get them arrested.

    Peace,
    Michelle

  177. @ Chris A. – 45. “To reiterate – What you are just now figuring that your MacMini can do today, I and many others were doing 5 years ago with a Windows Media Center PC.”

    I don’t mean to sound sarcastic or condescending when I state that now, as a Microsoft user, you know what for many years we Mac users have felt. Have a great idea, only to see the other guys steal the thunder when it becomes popular… it is the origins of zealotry!

  178. @ Chris A. – 45. “To reiterate – What you are just now figuring that your MacMini can do today, I and many others were doing 5 years ago with a Windows Media Center PC.”

    I don’t mean to sound sarcastic or condescending when I state that now, as a Microsoft user, you know what for many years we Mac users have felt. Have a great idea, only to see the other guys steal the thunder when it becomes popular… it is the origins of zealotry!

  179. So how is this any different from WebTV and we know how very successful that concept turned out to be.

    For most normal people (non geeks) when they watch TV they want to be entertained and tune out and certainly not engage in a two way conversation with the producer of CSI.

  180. So how is this any different from WebTV and we know how very successful that concept turned out to be.

    For most normal people (non geeks) when they watch TV they want to be entertained and tune out and certainly not engage in a two way conversation with the producer of CSI.

  181. I know I’m in the minority – but I like AppleTV. It’s beautifully engineered. Does a few things and does them fairly well. It automatically grabs my Eyejot video mail which I can watch on the big screen in the den. Same for movies and TV shows I grab from iTunes. The process really is elegant. My only complaint is that I bought an early unit with a smallish HD. So my wife’s 90GB iPhoto library can’t sync in total. Next model… The thought of using a Mac Mini instead doesn’t make sense to me. Devices under the TV need to be appliances – their user interfaces are fundamentally different and intentionally more limited. Just my $0.02.

  182. I know I’m in the minority – but I like AppleTV. It’s beautifully engineered. Does a few things and does them fairly well. It automatically grabs my Eyejot video mail which I can watch on the big screen in the den. Same for movies and TV shows I grab from iTunes. The process really is elegant. My only complaint is that I bought an early unit with a smallish HD. So my wife’s 90GB iPhoto library can’t sync in total. Next model… The thought of using a Mac Mini instead doesn’t make sense to me. Devices under the TV need to be appliances – their user interfaces are fundamentally different and intentionally more limited. Just my $0.02.

  183. I live in India and have been looking for a TIVO/ DVR solution that works here. One option was to buy a PC and set it up but that seemed to bulky and clunky.

    Can you give some advice whether the Mac mini will work as a Tivo. At the very least it would require a TV tuner card which it does not seem to have.

  184. I live in India and have been looking for a TIVO/ DVR solution that works here. One option was to buy a PC and set it up but that seemed to bulky and clunky.

    Can you give some advice whether the Mac mini will work as a Tivo. At the very least it would require a TV tuner card which it does not seem to have.

  185. Hey Robert,

    I was wondering what feed Dave is using for the AP photos. I poked around for it for a little bit and couldn’t find anything. Thanks!

  186. Hey Robert,

    I was wondering what feed Dave is using for the AP photos. I poked around for it for a little bit and couldn’t find anything. Thanks!

  187. Mac Mini + flat screen is old hat now. What you need is an iMac with a projector plugged into the DVI port and a 5.1 speaker system plugged into the optical sound output. Also Eye TV is a strange omission from this discussion.

  188. Mac Mini + flat screen is old hat now. What you need is an iMac with a projector plugged into the DVI port and a 5.1 speaker system plugged into the optical sound output. Also Eye TV is a strange omission from this discussion.

  189. @Robert : imagine the AppleTV 2.0 with… an embedded iPhone. You’ll get a true media center (i.e. music, photos, videos), a web browser, and a
    VoIP phone. All hooked up to your home network, thru WiFi, Bluetooth, and whatever cool technology Apple has in its labs (ever heard of 200Mbps powerline, for instance ?). The iPhone U.I., minus the Multitouch thing of course (at least as long as LCD TV sets don’t come with a touch-screen). Price point : $299. Would sell like hotcakes.

  190. @Robert : imagine the AppleTV 2.0 with… an embedded iPhone. You’ll get a true media center (i.e. music, photos, videos), a web browser, and a
    VoIP phone. All hooked up to your home network, thru WiFi, Bluetooth, and whatever cool technology Apple has in its labs (ever heard of 200Mbps powerline, for instance ?). The iPhone U.I., minus the Multitouch thing of course (at least as long as LCD TV sets don’t come with a touch-screen). Price point : $299. Would sell like hotcakes.

  191. Apple is reportedly re-thinking the Apple TV. It seems logical to me that they would take the innards from their ipod touch-iphone (including Safari, youTube, etc) combine that with a 160-200gb hard drive like the one inside the iPod classic, add some I/O and put it in a small white case 1/3 the size of a mac mini. Control it with a larger touch screen keyboard than is on iphone-touch for input and use wifi to connect to one’s home network. The re-use of iPhone-iTouch parts helps amortise the cost and the sdk kit and dock will allow a 3rd party ecosystem to develop around it.

  192. Apple is reportedly re-thinking the Apple TV. It seems logical to me that they would take the innards from their ipod touch-iphone (including Safari, youTube, etc) combine that with a 160-200gb hard drive like the one inside the iPod classic, add some I/O and put it in a small white case 1/3 the size of a mac mini. Control it with a larger touch screen keyboard than is on iphone-touch for input and use wifi to connect to one’s home network. The re-use of iPhone-iTouch parts helps amortise the cost and the sdk kit and dock will allow a 3rd party ecosystem to develop around it.

  193. @Eric : that’s right, either way : AppleTV w. iPhone features (incl. the phone), or an iPhone-like “tablet” w. AppleTV features (incl. the hard-drive and all, connectivity etc.)

  194. @Eric : that’s right, either way : AppleTV w. iPhone features (incl. the phone), or an iPhone-like “tablet” w. AppleTV features (incl. the hard-drive and all, connectivity etc.)

  195. Speaking of an iPhone-like tablet w. AppleTV features : pushing the concept further, you get… a full-size TV set. LCD touch-screen, MultiTouch UI, iPhone hw+sw features set + AppleTV hw+sw features set.
    Add the hard-drive, the connectivity, and al., and… enters the iMac-Touch ;-)

  196. Speaking of an iPhone-like tablet w. AppleTV features : pushing the concept further, you get… a full-size TV set. LCD touch-screen, MultiTouch UI, iPhone hw+sw features set + AppleTV hw+sw features set.
    Add the hard-drive, the connectivity, and al., and… enters the iMac-Touch ;-)

  197. zomg…lets hook up a little crappy Mac to a TV and look at our pictures on it and browse the web…its a revolution! B.S. – the market time and time again has told us that people want their internet and computing experiences mostly separate. That is why DVRs, which are full fledged computers, have limited functionality.

  198. zomg…lets hook up a little crappy Mac to a TV and look at our pictures on it and browse the web…its a revolution! B.S. – the market time and time again has told us that people want their internet and computing experiences mostly separate. That is why DVRs, which are full fledged computers, have limited functionality.

  199. zomg…lets hook up a little crappy Mac to a TV and look at our pictures on it and browse the web…its a revolution! B.S. – the market time and time again has told us that people want their internet and computing experiences mostly separate. That is why DVRs, which are full fledged computers, have limited functionality.

  200. zomg…lets hook up a little crappy Mac to a TV and look at our pictures on it and browse the web…its a revolution! B.S. – the market time and time again has told us that people want their internet and computing experiences mostly separate. That is why DVRs, which are full fledged computers, have limited functionality.

  201. Apple TV can be as good as MacMini is, provided Apple opens the platform for developers.

    There are various hacks, which let you do most of things… As we know, Apple TV runs Tiger (10.4).

    I am waiting for Apple to announce some SDK for developers, let developer do something with it. Currently, I check for software-update once in a month, with a hope there is something cool..

    Apple TV can be improved, one example is by having caching of videos (YouTube or whatever), it doesn’t cache it and costs us more bandwidth ($$$) everytime you watch the same video.

    I now hate closed platform more than ever.

    Thanks for the post, it surely has some geeky stuff I should try sometime :)

    -abdul

  202. Apple TV can be as good as MacMini is, provided Apple opens the platform for developers.

    There are various hacks, which let you do most of things… As we know, Apple TV runs Tiger (10.4).

    I am waiting for Apple to announce some SDK for developers, let developer do something with it. Currently, I check for software-update once in a month, with a hope there is something cool..

    Apple TV can be improved, one example is by having caching of videos (YouTube or whatever), it doesn’t cache it and costs us more bandwidth ($$$) everytime you watch the same video.

    I now hate closed platform more than ever.

    Thanks for the post, it surely has some geeky stuff I should try sometime :)

    -abdul

  203. AppleTV does indeed suck (and is one of Apple’s few failures of late), but people have been hooking up Mac Mini to HDTVs since the day they were first reieased. And it’s not any kind of revolution, people have been hooking up computers to HDTVs for years. I’m not sure what the purpose of this blog entry is.

  204. AppleTV does indeed suck (and is one of Apple’s few failures of late), but people have been hooking up Mac Mini to HDTVs since the day they were first reieased. And it’s not any kind of revolution, people have been hooking up computers to HDTVs for years. I’m not sure what the purpose of this blog entry is.

  205. AppleTV does indeed suck (and is one of Apple’s few failures of late), but people have been hooking up Mac Mini to HDTVs since the day they were first reieased. And it’s not any kind of revolution, people have been hooking up computers to HDTVs for years. I’m not sure what the purpose of this blog entry is.

  206. Weird coincidence – I just got a 42″ Sony Bravia and a Mac Mini and hooked them up (DVI to HDMI). I love it.

    However, I also have an Apple TV hooked up via component and love it too. Here is what it has that the Mac Mini does not – it is SIMPLE and a no-brainer for non geeks to set up.

    I think that is the point many are missing in this discussion. Most of the posters here, and Robert Scoble, and Dave Winer, are all technophiles. We can “hack” something to get it to do what we want. Most consumers are NOT capable or interested in that level of effort.

    And that is why the Apple TV, in the right context, is still a great device.

  207. Weird coincidence – I just got a 42″ Sony Bravia and a Mac Mini and hooked them up (DVI to HDMI). I love it.

    However, I also have an Apple TV hooked up via component and love it too. Here is what it has that the Mac Mini does not – it is SIMPLE and a no-brainer for non geeks to set up.

    I think that is the point many are missing in this discussion. Most of the posters here, and Robert Scoble, and Dave Winer, are all technophiles. We can “hack” something to get it to do what we want. Most consumers are NOT capable or interested in that level of effort.

    And that is why the Apple TV, in the right context, is still a great device.

  208. Apple is stupid for not positioning the Mac Mini as their media center solution (speaking as someone who hooked up a Mac Mini this way over a year before Jobs released Apple TV). Seriously, the only thing it really needs is an HDMI port so I don’t have to go through a converter.

    But I’ll say this too: I also have a Nintendo Wii, and guess which one I do most of my web surfing with?

    The problem is that a Mac Mini still requires a keyboard and mouse to do anything other than use FrontRow. You just can’t do that comfortably from a couch – you really can’t do it in your lap, and leaning forward to use it on a coffee table just isn’t comfortable.

    Nintendo gave me a controller that functions as a mouse, that I can use while leaning back. For casual surfing, that makes all the difference. Apple needs to do the same thing, maybe offer up the iPhone/iPod Touch as a remote control?

  209. Apple is stupid for not positioning the Mac Mini as their media center solution (speaking as someone who hooked up a Mac Mini this way over a year before Jobs released Apple TV). Seriously, the only thing it really needs is an HDMI port so I don’t have to go through a converter.

    But I’ll say this too: I also have a Nintendo Wii, and guess which one I do most of my web surfing with?

    The problem is that a Mac Mini still requires a keyboard and mouse to do anything other than use FrontRow. You just can’t do that comfortably from a couch – you really can’t do it in your lap, and leaning forward to use it on a coffee table just isn’t comfortable.

    Nintendo gave me a controller that functions as a mouse, that I can use while leaning back. For casual surfing, that makes all the difference. Apple needs to do the same thing, maybe offer up the iPhone/iPod Touch as a remote control?

  210. There have been a number of Media Center Flickr plug-ins over the last couple of years.

    One of the more popular ones is Big Screen Photos, http://www.mobilewares.net/mce/bsp2/default.htm.

    Version 1 was released in mid 2006.

    Big Screen Photos also works with Media Center Extender devices. So you can use it either with your Media Center PC directly connected to your HDTV or use it via an extender device connected to your HDTV.

    Give it a whirl and see how it compares to Dave’s new Flickr app.

    Cheers

  211. There have been a number of Media Center Flickr plug-ins over the last couple of years.

    One of the more popular ones is Big Screen Photos, http://www.mobilewares.net/mce/bsp2/default.htm.

    Version 1 was released in mid 2006.

    Big Screen Photos also works with Media Center Extender devices. So you can use it either with your Media Center PC directly connected to your HDTV or use it via an extender device connected to your HDTV.

    Give it a whirl and see how it compares to Dave’s new Flickr app.

    Cheers

  212. Hi Robert-

    I wonder if Apple omitted the browser because having a browser means you need a KEYBOARD and that really SUCKS for just watching TV. I thought about getting a mini w/Bluetooth KB for my living room, but when I want to watch TV I don’t want to have to log in, etc. With the AppleTV you don’t have to do that, it’s super easy.

    IMO, Apple messed up with AppleTv 1.0 and they need to do 3 things to make it a game-changer:

    (1) allow on-line rental of movies (this is the biggest and it sounds like they are going to do it)
    (2) allow direct purchase from iTunes without syncing to a Mac
    (3) add in a DVD player, at least as an option; I don’t want a ton of wires etc to my TV

    If they do those 3, they’ll have me as a customer.

    -Mike

  213. Hi Robert-

    I wonder if Apple omitted the browser because having a browser means you need a KEYBOARD and that really SUCKS for just watching TV. I thought about getting a mini w/Bluetooth KB for my living room, but when I want to watch TV I don’t want to have to log in, etc. With the AppleTV you don’t have to do that, it’s super easy.

    IMO, Apple messed up with AppleTv 1.0 and they need to do 3 things to make it a game-changer:

    (1) allow on-line rental of movies (this is the biggest and it sounds like they are going to do it)
    (2) allow direct purchase from iTunes without syncing to a Mac
    (3) add in a DVD player, at least as an option; I don’t want a ton of wires etc to my TV

    If they do those 3, they’ll have me as a customer.

    -Mike

  214. Why not use something like TVersity to stream this stuff to your TV through your game console. Its easy to setup and you can subscribe to photo and video feeds (flickr, youtube and any other media sharing site you can think of). Plus its been around for a while now and is pretty stable and doesn’t require you to go and spend 700 more dollars.

  215. Why not use something like TVersity to stream this stuff to your TV through your game console. Its easy to setup and you can subscribe to photo and video feeds (flickr, youtube and any other media sharing site you can think of). Plus its been around for a while now and is pretty stable and doesn’t require you to go and spend 700 more dollars.

  216. Why not use something like TVersity to stream this stuff to your TV through your game console. Its easy to setup and you can subscribe to photo and video feeds (flickr, youtube and any other media sharing site you can think of). Plus its been around for a while now and is pretty stable and doesn’t require you to go and spend 700 more dollars.

  217. Why not use something like TVersity to stream this stuff to your TV through your game console. Its easy to setup and you can subscribe to photo and video feeds (flickr, youtube and any other media sharing site you can think of). Plus its been around for a while now and is pretty stable and doesn’t require you to go and spend 700 more dollars.

  218. Why not use something like TVersity to stream this stuff to your TV through your game console. Its easy to setup and you can subscribe to photo and video feeds (flickr, youtube and any other media sharing site you can think of). Plus its been around for a while now and is pretty stable and doesn’t require you to go and spend 700 more dollars.

  219. Chris Avis:

    Clearly you are missing the entire point. You say things like “The hardest thing is setting up the infrared transmitter” or “You can easily transfer your system to a pretty case”. The point is, I don’t want to do any of that. I did that for years, I built a Media Center PC and got a nice custom case with quiet fans and custom VFD displays, etc. I spent hours upon hours working on all that crap.

    Perhaps if I outline my mac mini setup again, it will be easier to understand:

    1) Go purchase a tiny computer from apple, along with the DVI->HDMI converter and the mini-optical jack converter.
    2) Go home and hook up power, sound, video, and network.
    3) Turn on Mac mini
    4) Enjoy DVDs or content on the network using the nice 5 button remote

    There are a few key points you might miss in there:
    1) My 2 and 3 year old understand how to work that remote
    2) My fiance also loves the simplicity of the remote
    3) I didn’t spend time tinkering with hardware
    4) It just all works, and it works even better under Leopard!

  220. Chris Avis:

    Clearly you are missing the entire point. You say things like “The hardest thing is setting up the infrared transmitter” or “You can easily transfer your system to a pretty case”. The point is, I don’t want to do any of that. I did that for years, I built a Media Center PC and got a nice custom case with quiet fans and custom VFD displays, etc. I spent hours upon hours working on all that crap.

    Perhaps if I outline my mac mini setup again, it will be easier to understand:

    1) Go purchase a tiny computer from apple, along with the DVI->HDMI converter and the mini-optical jack converter.
    2) Go home and hook up power, sound, video, and network.
    3) Turn on Mac mini
    4) Enjoy DVDs or content on the network using the nice 5 button remote

    There are a few key points you might miss in there:
    1) My 2 and 3 year old understand how to work that remote
    2) My fiance also loves the simplicity of the remote
    3) I didn’t spend time tinkering with hardware
    4) It just all works, and it works even better under Leopard!

  221. @Kevin-
    “A MacBook Pro with an HDMI cable works pretty nicely too. Why would I need a Mini?”

    A MacBook Pro costs a whole lot more than a Mac mini.

  222. @Kevin-
    “A MacBook Pro with an HDMI cable works pretty nicely too. Why would I need a Mini?”

    A MacBook Pro costs a whole lot more than a Mac mini.

  223. @Kevin-
    “A MacBook Pro with an HDMI cable works pretty nicely too. Why would I need a Mini?”

    A MacBook Pro costs a whole lot more than a Mac mini.

  224. @Kevin-
    “A MacBook Pro with an HDMI cable works pretty nicely too. Why would I need a Mini?”

    A MacBook Pro costs a whole lot more than a Mac mini.

  225. Are you late to the party or what? I’ve been playing Half Life deathmatches for *years* on my big screen tv. And Apple?!? No thanks.

  226. Are you late to the party or what? I’ve been playing Half Life deathmatches for *years* on my big screen tv. And Apple?!? No thanks.

  227. I’ve been using my Tivo to do this with my own photos for a couple years, right off my network, and in maybe the last year or so other people’s photos as well. No additional hardware, easy as pie, everybody in our extended family does it. Hardly need a new piece of equipment to look at photos.

  228. I’ve been using my Tivo to do this with my own photos for a couple years, right off my network, and in maybe the last year or so other people’s photos as well. No additional hardware, easy as pie, everybody in our extended family does it. Hardly need a new piece of equipment to look at photos.

  229. Currently I use my Wii to surf the web on my old school tube TV and it’s very good except for one thing….Flash Video. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. This is where a MacMini would come in handy, but I wont make this upgrade until I have a nice new TV to go with it.

    I messed with Dave’s new app and it’s pretty darn good. I have been thinking of RSS to big screen TV for years but don’t have the coding ability to even know where to start. iPhoto can take care of it locally but the fun in Dave’s app is that I can get pictures from everyone (this is good or bad depending on the source..LOL).

  230. Currently I use my Wii to surf the web on my old school tube TV and it’s very good except for one thing….Flash Video. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. This is where a MacMini would come in handy, but I wont make this upgrade until I have a nice new TV to go with it.

    I messed with Dave’s new app and it’s pretty darn good. I have been thinking of RSS to big screen TV for years but don’t have the coding ability to even know where to start. iPhoto can take care of it locally but the fun in Dave’s app is that I can get pictures from everyone (this is good or bad depending on the source..LOL).

  231. Hi,
    I was reviewing exchange of words between you and Chris from Microsoft and I have to say that Chris is right. The revolution you speak about has been around for awhile, it is not something new and MS has had it for many years with the Media Center editions. If you remove the ‘look of the computer’ you will notice that all the features you are talking about were already in MS Media Center. If you were talking about the external look and feel of the computer then Apple would win hands down, but you are mentioning the features more than the look in which case it is not revolutionary.

  232. Hi,
    I was reviewing exchange of words between you and Chris from Microsoft and I have to say that Chris is right. The revolution you speak about has been around for awhile, it is not something new and MS has had it for many years with the Media Center editions. If you remove the ‘look of the computer’ you will notice that all the features you are talking about were already in MS Media Center. If you were talking about the external look and feel of the computer then Apple would win hands down, but you are mentioning the features more than the look in which case it is not revolutionary.

  233. The best thing about the Mac Mini as a HTPC – it passes the “Wife test” that any piece of living-room electronics has to pass. It’s small, it’s quiet, and it’s not covered with too many blinking lights.

    It’s a stealthy way to get a full computer into the living room, and once it’s there, the possibilities are open. :)

  234. The best thing about the Mac Mini as a HTPC – it passes the “Wife test” that any piece of living-room electronics has to pass. It’s small, it’s quiet, and it’s not covered with too many blinking lights.

    It’s a stealthy way to get a full computer into the living room, and once it’s there, the possibilities are open. :)

  235. @josh – this is my last comment seeing as how Scoble has clearly given up on this post.

    I get what you are saying. A MacMini is easy to set up and it is pretty. It is also the exact same pretty as every other MacMini out there.

    My point about IR cables only applies if you have Tuners in the box which the MacMini does not have. So take the tuners out of a Windows Media Center PC (which by the accounts for the bulk of MCE machines sold today) and it matches the MacMini in simplicity of configuration.

    As for the pretty cases….just do a query in your fave search engine for “htpc cases” and you will find some beautiful cases. If you are aghast to moving the hardware yourself I understand that. Don’t fault Microsoft for that though. We don’t make the PC’s. PC users enjoy a freedom to create a machine that looks anyway they want it to look. We get to show our individual style and taste through the plentiful options presented to us by the wide variety of case manufacturers that are out there. With the MacMini you get the exact same looking box that every other MacMini owner has.

    Cheers….

  236. @josh – this is my last comment seeing as how Scoble has clearly given up on this post.

    I get what you are saying. A MacMini is easy to set up and it is pretty. It is also the exact same pretty as every other MacMini out there.

    My point about IR cables only applies if you have Tuners in the box which the MacMini does not have. So take the tuners out of a Windows Media Center PC (which by the accounts for the bulk of MCE machines sold today) and it matches the MacMini in simplicity of configuration.

    As for the pretty cases….just do a query in your fave search engine for “htpc cases” and you will find some beautiful cases. If you are aghast to moving the hardware yourself I understand that. Don’t fault Microsoft for that though. We don’t make the PC’s. PC users enjoy a freedom to create a machine that looks anyway they want it to look. We get to show our individual style and taste through the plentiful options presented to us by the wide variety of case manufacturers that are out there. With the MacMini you get the exact same looking box that every other MacMini owner has.

    Cheers….

  237. @josh – this is my last comment seeing as how Scoble has clearly given up on this post.

    I get what you are saying. A MacMini is easy to set up and it is pretty. It is also the exact same pretty as every other MacMini out there.

    My point about IR cables only applies if you have Tuners in the box which the MacMini does not have. So take the tuners out of a Windows Media Center PC (which by the accounts for the bulk of MCE machines sold today) and it matches the MacMini in simplicity of configuration.

    As for the pretty cases….just do a query in your fave search engine for “htpc cases” and you will find some beautiful cases. If you are aghast to moving the hardware yourself I understand that. Don’t fault Microsoft for that though. We don’t make the PC’s. PC users enjoy a freedom to create a machine that looks anyway they want it to look. We get to show our individual style and taste through the plentiful options presented to us by the wide variety of case manufacturers that are out there. With the MacMini you get the exact same looking box that every other MacMini owner has.

    Cheers….

  238. Over and over so much that it gets absolutely hilarious.
    “The doesn’t do anything that my doesn’t already do.”

    1) Apple isn’t worried about self-important geeks. They’re going after the 90% market of regular users who have a life and don’t want to spend there time building systems that require a CS degree to turn on.
    2) Apple is winning by making the features actually work easily and elegantly.

    Oh and…
    “Yes – I work for Microsoft and the day we become a hardware company and start producing the machines along with the software I am sure you will see some prettier machines. Until that day comes along, try to restrain your self.”

    Apple is shaking in their boots about that one. The brilliance of MS hardware design would be found it perhaps the crap-brown Zune with its interface-from-hell and exploding 3-day content?

    MS can’t even do software well, and can’t market anything that isn’t forced on the customer. People don’t choose MS software, they submit to it.

    I welcome MS entries to the hardware market for comedy relief.

  239. Over and over so much that it gets absolutely hilarious.
    “The doesn’t do anything that my doesn’t already do.”

    1) Apple isn’t worried about self-important geeks. They’re going after the 90% market of regular users who have a life and don’t want to spend there time building systems that require a CS degree to turn on.
    2) Apple is winning by making the features actually work easily and elegantly.

    Oh and…
    “Yes – I work for Microsoft and the day we become a hardware company and start producing the machines along with the software I am sure you will see some prettier machines. Until that day comes along, try to restrain your self.”

    Apple is shaking in their boots about that one. The brilliance of MS hardware design would be found it perhaps the crap-brown Zune with its interface-from-hell and exploding 3-day content?

    MS can’t even do software well, and can’t market anything that isn’t forced on the customer. People don’t choose MS software, they submit to it.

    I welcome MS entries to the hardware market for comedy relief.

  240. self correction (blog doesn’t accept brackets… doh.)
    The -insert apple product here- doesn’t do anything that my -insert MS-cellphone product here- doesn’t already do.

  241. self correction (blog doesn’t accept brackets… doh.)
    The -insert apple product here- doesn’t do anything that my -insert MS-cellphone product here- doesn’t already do.

  242. Robert has anyone ever told you that you talk utter rubbish, how is it now just a “revolution” when you hook up your mac mini to your HDTV.

    Seriously. This is not a revolution, i know it makes for a good headline but it’s not.

    Laser TV’s 100+ inches at only $400 is a revolution. A computer hooked up to your tv is not.

    But wait it only becomes a revolution once *you* can afford it…

  243. Robert has anyone ever told you that you talk utter rubbish, how is it now just a “revolution” when you hook up your mac mini to your HDTV.

    Seriously. This is not a revolution, i know it makes for a good headline but it’s not.

    Laser TV’s 100+ inches at only $400 is a revolution. A computer hooked up to your tv is not.

    But wait it only becomes a revolution once *you* can afford it…

  244. I think that Apple should consider using its horde of cash to buy Nintendo and integrate Apple products with the Wii. Currently, the Wii offers one of the better browser solutions for an HDTV. At a reasonable cost of $300 and an additional $5 for the Wii Internet channel, you can be surfing the Web (using the Opera browser) on your HDTV without the need for a keyboard or mouse, The Wii controller is an amazingly effective device for casual Web surfing and even for filling out information and data (e.g., passwords, logins, forms, etc). Its very well done. You can also use apps like Wii Transfer to stream photos, videos and iTunes music to the Wii from your Mac. The Wii is da bomb when it comes to lowering the price and clutter threshold for suring the Web (as well as having a fully functional and amazing gaming platform) on HD.

  245. I think that Apple should consider using its horde of cash to buy Nintendo and integrate Apple products with the Wii. Currently, the Wii offers one of the better browser solutions for an HDTV. At a reasonable cost of $300 and an additional $5 for the Wii Internet channel, you can be surfing the Web (using the Opera browser) on your HDTV without the need for a keyboard or mouse, The Wii controller is an amazingly effective device for casual Web surfing and even for filling out information and data (e.g., passwords, logins, forms, etc). Its very well done. You can also use apps like Wii Transfer to stream photos, videos and iTunes music to the Wii from your Mac. The Wii is da bomb when it comes to lowering the price and clutter threshold for suring the Web (as well as having a fully functional and amazing gaming platform) on HD.

  246. How many remote controls do you have to run your system? How about an elegant remote control to run not only the Mac Mini, but also the HDTV and the AV receiver? Salling Clicker is a good start, the iPod Touch has an elegant look and feel, now if these could be combined together, with IR extenders running off the Mac Mini, with the ease of programming like the Harmony remotes…

  247. How many remote controls do you have to run your system? How about an elegant remote control to run not only the Mac Mini, but also the HDTV and the AV receiver? Salling Clicker is a good start, the iPod Touch has an elegant look and feel, now if these could be combined together, with IR extenders running off the Mac Mini, with the ease of programming like the Harmony remotes…

  248. As far as this being a “revolution” certainly that’s a relative term. When I bought my PowerMac 8500, back in 1996 with the intent to hook it up to my TV, what amazed me was thsr it “just worked” when I realized I had no display to boot it from and just plugged it in and crossed my fingers. Yes, that’s 11 years ago.

    Now, I expect more from my MacMini hooked into a 108″ projector system with surround sound while it accesses my home server (G4 loaded with 1.25tb worth of drives) under the basement hooked into the ReplayTV units on the regular TVs.

    Man have we come a long way.

    Me? I don’t really care who makes the cool stuff as long as they can talk to each other. Apple doesn’t seriously seem to be chasing this market yet, but I still find that their stuff does yeoman work at it.

  249. As far as this being a “revolution” certainly that’s a relative term. When I bought my PowerMac 8500, back in 1996 with the intent to hook it up to my TV, what amazed me was thsr it “just worked” when I realized I had no display to boot it from and just plugged it in and crossed my fingers. Yes, that’s 11 years ago.

    Now, I expect more from my MacMini hooked into a 108″ projector system with surround sound while it accesses my home server (G4 loaded with 1.25tb worth of drives) under the basement hooked into the ReplayTV units on the regular TVs.

    Man have we come a long way.

    Me? I don’t really care who makes the cool stuff as long as they can talk to each other. Apple doesn’t seriously seem to be chasing this market yet, but I still find that their stuff does yeoman work at it.

  250. I have been using my XP machine on my HDTV for a little over a year now. I was not completely satisfied with the web browser until I tried out Safari. Then I was able to customize all of my fonts and this made viewing web pages much easier. Leave it to Apple to make my Windows PC more enjoyable.

  251. I have been using my XP machine on my HDTV for a little over a year now. I was not completely satisfied with the web browser until I tried out Safari. Then I was able to customize all of my fonts and this made viewing web pages much easier. Leave it to Apple to make my Windows PC more enjoyable.

  252. I have been using my XP machine on my HDTV for a little over a year now. I was not completely satisfied with the web browser until I tried out Safari. Then I was able to customize all of my fonts and this made viewing web pages much easier. Leave it to Apple to make my Windows PC more enjoyable.

  253. I have been using my XP machine on my HDTV for a little over a year now. I was not completely satisfied with the web browser until I tried out Safari. Then I was able to customize all of my fonts and this made viewing web pages much easier. Leave it to Apple to make my Windows PC more enjoyable.

  254. I had a Shuttle PC small format vista Premium Media Center PC hooked up to my PC with wireless keyboard and Xbox HD dvd player with HD DVd software. It crashed too much and interface was very slow compared to Apple TV I was disappointed that ATI HD capable TV Tuner crashed frequently and did not work well with Comcast HD cable. Wife hated media PC experience and noise. I liked the web browsing as I could surf while giving my baby a bottle and check weather and news and blogs on 47 inch HD LCD TV. BUt playing music and videos especially HD DVD sucked. Vista kept crashing trying to access music or video on a network drive using gigabit switches gigibit ethernet and Cat 6 cable. I Replaced it with Xbox 360 and crashes freezes were worse so XBOX 360 with HDMI went back to the store.

    I recently bought Apple Tv on craigslist for $170 and am very happy with usefulness of Apple TV to play Itunes music , Podcasts, Scobel SHow and TED video podcasts, Youtube videos etc.

    I would like flickr smugmug photo streaming and at least weather gadgets etc if not full fledged web browser.

    I also bought my first MacBook Pro and am selling 3 Vista PC’s because of Vista drain on my productivty. The VISTA SP1 RC helps but it is not enough to make up for all IE7 and Firefox crashes and carshes trying to process video for Canon HD camcordr and photos form Canon 40D. I am selling my HP Tablet PC running Vista Business, a 1 1/2 year old Dual Core running Vista Premium and Quad Core running Vista Ultimate that I just built 2 months ago.I may keep quad corte and install XP pro just for HD video editing.

    One week with MacBook Pro has convinced me to dump the Vista PCs as my main computers and build a Media Server and Network Attached Storage .

    Now I have to recode all my media files to work with MacBook and Apple TV or possible upgrade to Mac Mini. My plan is to upgrade Apple TV with 250 gig hard drive and hack it to run a browser and wireless keyboard as described on AwkwardTv.org and AppleTVhacks.net.

    I am waiting for MacWorld to see what next macbook lite will look like. I wonder if Dave’s app will run on a hacked Apple TV running OSX.

  255. I had a Shuttle PC small format vista Premium Media Center PC hooked up to my PC with wireless keyboard and Xbox HD dvd player with HD DVd software. It crashed too much and interface was very slow compared to Apple TV I was disappointed that ATI HD capable TV Tuner crashed frequently and did not work well with Comcast HD cable. Wife hated media PC experience and noise. I liked the web browsing as I could surf while giving my baby a bottle and check weather and news and blogs on 47 inch HD LCD TV. BUt playing music and videos especially HD DVD sucked. Vista kept crashing trying to access music or video on a network drive using gigabit switches gigibit ethernet and Cat 6 cable. I Replaced it with Xbox 360 and crashes freezes were worse so XBOX 360 with HDMI went back to the store.

    I recently bought Apple Tv on craigslist for $170 and am very happy with usefulness of Apple TV to play Itunes music , Podcasts, Scobel SHow and TED video podcasts, Youtube videos etc.

    I would like flickr smugmug photo streaming and at least weather gadgets etc if not full fledged web browser.

    I also bought my first MacBook Pro and am selling 3 Vista PC’s because of Vista drain on my productivty. The VISTA SP1 RC helps but it is not enough to make up for all IE7 and Firefox crashes and carshes trying to process video for Canon HD camcordr and photos form Canon 40D. I am selling my HP Tablet PC running Vista Business, a 1 1/2 year old Dual Core running Vista Premium and Quad Core running Vista Ultimate that I just built 2 months ago.I may keep quad corte and install XP pro just for HD video editing.

    One week with MacBook Pro has convinced me to dump the Vista PCs as my main computers and build a Media Server and Network Attached Storage .

    Now I have to recode all my media files to work with MacBook and Apple TV or possible upgrade to Mac Mini. My plan is to upgrade Apple TV with 250 gig hard drive and hack it to run a browser and wireless keyboard as described on AwkwardTv.org and AppleTVhacks.net.

    I am waiting for MacWorld to see what next macbook lite will look like. I wonder if Dave’s app will run on a hacked Apple TV running OSX.

  256. I had a Shuttle PC small format vista Premium Media Center PC hooked up to my PC with wireless keyboard and Xbox HD dvd player with HD DVd software. It crashed too much and interface was very slow compared to Apple TV I was disappointed that ATI HD capable TV Tuner crashed frequently and did not work well with Comcast HD cable. Wife hated media PC experience and noise. I liked the web browsing as I could surf while giving my baby a bottle and check weather and news and blogs on 47 inch HD LCD TV. BUt playing music and videos especially HD DVD sucked. Vista kept crashing trying to access music or video on a network drive using gigabit switches gigibit ethernet and Cat 6 cable. I Replaced it with Xbox 360 and crashes freezes were worse so XBOX 360 with HDMI went back to the store.

    I recently bought Apple Tv on craigslist for $170 and am very happy with usefulness of Apple TV to play Itunes music , Podcasts, Scobel SHow and TED video podcasts, Youtube videos etc.

    I would like flickr smugmug photo streaming and at least weather gadgets etc if not full fledged web browser.

    I also bought my first MacBook Pro and am selling 3 Vista PC’s because of Vista drain on my productivty. The VISTA SP1 RC helps but it is not enough to make up for all IE7 and Firefox crashes and carshes trying to process video for Canon HD camcordr and photos form Canon 40D. I am selling my HP Tablet PC running Vista Business, a 1 1/2 year old Dual Core running Vista Premium and Quad Core running Vista Ultimate that I just built 2 months ago.I may keep quad corte and install XP pro just for HD video editing.

    One week with MacBook Pro has convinced me to dump the Vista PCs as my main computers and build a Media Server and Network Attached Storage .

    Now I have to recode all my media files to work with MacBook and Apple TV or possible upgrade to Mac Mini. My plan is to upgrade Apple TV with 250 gig hard drive and hack it to run a browser and wireless keyboard as described on AwkwardTv.org and AppleTVhacks.net.

    I am waiting for MacWorld to see what next macbook lite will look like. I wonder if Dave’s app will run on a hacked Apple TV running OSX.

  257. Is there any advantage to this new software+maxmini over a Media Server + Game Console? I built a PC, installed TVersity + TV Tuner, and stream everything to the PS3 on a 1080p. You have to RJ45 to get the HD bandwidth but there doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t do with this combo. There are a number of other devices around the house which can tap this resource but the PS3 I use seems most comparable to what you describe here. Is this now a price debate? I would like a quality method of taking the HDMI from the DirecTV and running that into the Media Server as the recorder to extend the DVR features of the DirecTV unit to the many devices around the house.

  258. Is there any advantage to this new software+maxmini over a Media Server + Game Console? I built a PC, installed TVersity + TV Tuner, and stream everything to the PS3 on a 1080p. You have to RJ45 to get the HD bandwidth but there doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t do with this combo. There are a number of other devices around the house which can tap this resource but the PS3 I use seems most comparable to what you describe here. Is this now a price debate? I would like a quality method of taking the HDMI from the DirecTV and running that into the Media Server as the recorder to extend the DVR features of the DirecTV unit to the many devices around the house.

  259. Is there any advantage to this new software+maxmini over a Media Server + Game Console? I built a PC, installed TVersity + TV Tuner, and stream everything to the PS3 on a 1080p. You have to RJ45 to get the HD bandwidth but there doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t do with this combo. There are a number of other devices around the house which can tap this resource but the PS3 I use seems most comparable to what you describe here. Is this now a price debate? I would like a quality method of taking the HDMI from the DirecTV and running that into the Media Server as the recorder to extend the DVR features of the DirecTV unit to the many devices around the house.

  260. I was really hoping they would announce that they were merging the AppleTV and Mac Mini into a single product line yesterday for many of the reasons Robert mentions in the post — the AppleTV is still too limited in its functionality but the Mac Mini isn’t inherently set up to be a television companion. Dropping the price on the AppleTV is a step in the right direction but if they dropped the price on the Mac Mini and added HDMI to it, I’d probably be getting one of those, too.

  261. I was really hoping they would announce that they were merging the AppleTV and Mac Mini into a single product line yesterday for many of the reasons Robert mentions in the post — the AppleTV is still too limited in its functionality but the Mac Mini isn’t inherently set up to be a television companion. Dropping the price on the AppleTV is a step in the right direction but if they dropped the price on the Mac Mini and added HDMI to it, I’d probably be getting one of those, too.

  262. Hello. I was tryingto find a walkthrough to connect my Wi through the mac mini’s airport for internet connection til i found ur content.

    I have also my mac mini connected to my 42″ Plasma. My configuration is:

    1. Connected through VGA port (is there a difference between VGA port and DVI?)
    2. Connected 500GB external hard drive for media content through USB.
    3. Connected Wii through airport settings.
    4. using a wireless keyboard and mouse.
    5. Cable TV connected directly to the Plasma.
    6. iSight connected to mac mini through Firewire. (Image is not working and I don’t know why).
    7. Screen resolution is 1024×640.

    Now, if you allow me, I wish to make some questions:

    1. How did you connect ur mac mini to ur TV set.
    2. What’s ur best screen resolution?
    3. How the hell I put my iSight to work on my 42″ plasma. Audio works but image appears just a black screen on the iChat window and also I tried changing my screen resolution and it still won’t work.
    4. How to connect mac mini to my home theater since mac mini doesn’t have RCA or component output.

    That’s all. I hope u to keep goin’ with the mac mini lounge idea since I also prefer it than the apple tv.

    Regards.

  263. Hello. I was tryingto find a walkthrough to connect my Wi through the mac mini’s airport for internet connection til i found ur content.

    I have also my mac mini connected to my 42″ Plasma. My configuration is:

    1. Connected through VGA port (is there a difference between VGA port and DVI?)
    2. Connected 500GB external hard drive for media content through USB.
    3. Connected Wii through airport settings.
    4. using a wireless keyboard and mouse.
    5. Cable TV connected directly to the Plasma.
    6. iSight connected to mac mini through Firewire. (Image is not working and I don’t know why).
    7. Screen resolution is 1024×640.

    Now, if you allow me, I wish to make some questions:

    1. How did you connect ur mac mini to ur TV set.
    2. What’s ur best screen resolution?
    3. How the hell I put my iSight to work on my 42″ plasma. Audio works but image appears just a black screen on the iChat window and also I tried changing my screen resolution and it still won’t work.
    4. How to connect mac mini to my home theater since mac mini doesn’t have RCA or component output.

    That’s all. I hope u to keep goin’ with the mac mini lounge idea since I also prefer it than the apple tv.

    Regards.

  264. When AppleTV was still $299, I bought a used 1.66 CoreDuo intel mini for $320. Not even close as far as capabilities. The DVIHDMI cable was $14, and the fiber optic for audio into my DTS receiver was another $8. Really a no brainer, folks. Finally, a $15 Wiimote makes a nice long-range bluetooth remote.
    I have since dropped a 2.0GHz C2D ($175 on ebay) and now I don’t even have to quit Firefox or iTunes before I fire up HDTV content for smooth playback in MythFrontend.

  265. When AppleTV was still $299, I bought a used 1.66 CoreDuo intel mini for $320. Not even close as far as capabilities. The DVIHDMI cable was $14, and the fiber optic for audio into my DTS receiver was another $8. Really a no brainer, folks. Finally, a $15 Wiimote makes a nice long-range bluetooth remote.
    I have since dropped a 2.0GHz C2D ($175 on ebay) and now I don’t even have to quit Firefox or iTunes before I fire up HDTV content for smooth playback in MythFrontend.

  266. Recently hooked up new mac mini core 2 duo to 46″ Samsung HD, it looks awesome. I used a dvi to hdmi connection and I love it. Then ripped my entire dvd collection into an .mp4 format loaded my itunes library on a 500GB external hard drive and now have my entire movie collection available through front row. Has an awesome wow factor, and very practical don’t have to look through dvd collection and then load dvd. I love this, just wish the new HD rentals on itunes were available to all itunes users

  267. Recently hooked up new mac mini core 2 duo to 46″ Samsung HD, it looks awesome. I used a dvi to hdmi connection and I love it. Then ripped my entire dvd collection into an .mp4 format loaded my itunes library on a 500GB external hard drive and now have my entire movie collection available through front row. Has an awesome wow factor, and very practical don’t have to look through dvd collection and then load dvd. I love this, just wish the new HD rentals on itunes were available to all itunes users

  268. I just orderd a USB hdtv antenna for my laptop. It is supposed to pick up , record and allow me to save and burn any local hdtv channel straight to my laptop.

    I think that is exciting, nothing mac excites me anymore.

  269. I just orderd a USB hdtv antenna for my laptop. It is supposed to pick up , record and allow me to save and burn any local hdtv channel straight to my laptop.

    I think that is exciting, nothing mac excites me anymore.

  270. Bigger screens are better. Aren’t Americans always concerned with bigger is better? I would have to imagine that it would have to be a heck of mp camera to stretch the image on your 60″ tv!

  271. Bigger screens are better. Aren’t Americans always concerned with bigger is better? I would have to imagine that it would have to be a heck of mp camera to stretch the image on your 60″ tv!