Can your DVD player rock the iTunes?

January 12, 2005

Mac MiniIn the market for a new DVD player? Ok, how does this sound: high quality DVI out, VGA adaptor included, the ability to select custom resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 and what the heck a built in web browser. See, if I were to use that description for a ‘DVD player’ it doesn’t sound bad at all, but if you consider that the Mac Mini is a full fledged PC to boot, things really get interesting. I’m seriously considering getting one of these with the aim of using it as a stand alone DVD player. Here’s my reasoning: it’s no secret that matching your sources video resolution to the native rate of your display generally makes for a superior image, add that to a built in hard drive capable of playing MP3’s video clips, what have you, this begins to look attractive in a pseudo HTPC application.

Ah, but wait. Of course things can’t be that simple. The Mac Mini is missing one important home theater accoutrement, a digital audio out. I really don’t see how Apple could have overlooked this but I suppose at $599.00, some corners had to be cut. I did find a possible work-around however, the M-AUDIO – Sonica Theater is a standalone USB 2.0, 7.1 surround sound card, that just might fill Apples digital audio gap. But then again with the addition of the Sonica to the formula we’re getting up into the mid 700’s in price. Yet if it works, I’d not only have what is likely a relatively good DVD player but the ability to do basic computing in the theater.


Now obviously this thing can’t compete with a dedicated high dollar HTPC (the entry level MM is only 1.25GHz. pretty much rules out HDTV files), but that’s kind of my point. All things considered this is a relatively low cost solution. Of course being the cheap SOB I am and not wanting to risk 5 to 600 clams on a maybe, I’ll wait and see if some other adventurous soul wants to try one of these babies out as a theater DVD player. Seriously though if any of you guys get a Mac Mini in the next few weeks/months and have a display of say 50” or larger with a DVI connection, give it a try and let me know how it performs.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater News


Comments

  • Looks like great minds think alike!

    http://www.atmasphere.net/wp/archives/2005/01/1

  • B.Greenway

    lol, hey yeah.

    But the more I think about it, the more the mini seems like it could wind up being an expensive ‘toy’ I mean I know it would play a DVD and still offer a really good way to use a computer with a media center, but for what it would cost to do one of these right, your about 80% of the way to a really decent windows based HTPC. I’d really really like to see Apple introduce a Mini+ with a little beefier processor and a digital out.

    I ran across this case, it has some of the ‘cute’ appeal of a mini, but it’s not nearly as small.

    http://www.soldam.com/barebone/polo_r_claire/

  • B.Greenway

    lol, hey yeah.

    But the more I think about it, the more the mini seems like it could wind up being an expensive ‘toy’ I mean I know it would play a DVD and still offer a really good way to use a computer with a media center, but for what it would cost to do one of these right, your about 80% of the way to a really decent windows based HTPC. I’d really really like to see Apple introduce a Mini+ with a little beefier processor and a digital out.

    I ran across this case, it has some of the ‘cute’ appeal of a mini, but it’s not nearly as small.

    http://www.soldam.com/barebone/polo_r_claire/

  • B.Greenway

    I just wanted to make a quick note about comment registration. I would prefer not to have to require typekey login but the comment spam has gotten out of hand.

    Typekey is really unobtrusive and you can choose how much or little information you pass through the comments. If you’d like to comment here please take a second and register at http://www.typekey.com

    Thanks

  • B.Greenway

    I just wanted to make a quick note about comment registration. I would prefer not to have to require typekey login but the comment spam has gotten out of hand.

    Typekey is really unobtrusive and you can choose how much or little information you pass through the comments. If you’d like to comment here please take a second and register at http://www.typekey.com

    Thanks