Mac Mini - Overview - Home Theater

Home Theater

The Mac Mini can be used for home cinema (theater) applications. The small footprint, multi-format video output, digital audio output, remote control IR receiver and the relatively powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processors make it easy to use the Mac Mini as part of a home entertainment system.

It can be classified as a home theater PC (HTPC) with some limits. The Mac Mini does not include an integrated TV tuner card and cannot be upgraded to install one internally; accessing TV requires external devices like Elgato's EyeTV USB adapter or SiliconDust's HDHomeRun networked TV tuner which will encode and manage broadcast television from a cable or satellite receiver. The July 2011 model lacks a built in CD/DVD player and OS X Lion no longer supports FrontRow remote control software.

Pre-2009 Mac Mini models had a video connector which was compatible with DVI, HDMI (video only), SVGA, S-Video and composite video with the appropriate adapter. Sound is provided by a combination jack that uses both mini-RCA (analog) and optical fiber cables (digital). Unlike the Apple TV, the Mac Mini is backward compatible with televisions that have only composite or S-Video inputs. As of the July 2011 revision of the Mac Mini, the computer sports an Intel HD3000 graphics processor with an optional Radeon graphics processing unit available and Thunderbolt which makes decoding high-resolution video much quicker and efficient. The addition of an HDMI port simplifies connecting the Mini to high-definition televisions and home theater AV receivers.

Because of the similar small form factor, HDMI port, remote control IR receiver, and media browser interface, some users see the Mac Mini as an Apple TV alternative. It has both iTunes for media rental, purchase, and management, and a native user interface with Front Row, based on the user interface of the original Apple TV. The Apple TV is limited to video in the MP4 format, whereas Mac Mini users employing the appropriate QuickTime codecs can watch other video formats like Divx, Xvid, and the Matroska (Mkv) container, or almost all other formats using an open source player such as VLC, without resorting to hacks. The current Intel models of Mac Mini can display video via the HDMI port at a maximum resolution of 1080p.

The Mac Mini can also run third-party front-end media player applications for Mac OS X, such as XBMC, Plex, or Boxee, to be used as a home theater PC (HTPC).

Read more about this topic:  Mac Mini, Overview

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Home Theater

A home theater or home theatre is a theater built in a home, designed to mimic (or exceed) commercial theater performance and feeling, more commonly known as a home cinema. Today, home cinema implies a real "cinema experience" at a private home.

  • Home cinema, commonly referred to as home theater or home theatre, are home entertainment set-ups that seek to reproduce movie theater video and audio feeling in a private home.
  • Backyard theater, home theater in the backyard. Depending on the space available, it may simply be a temporary version with foldable screen, a projector and couple of speakers, or a permanent fixture with huge screens and dedicated audio set up poolside. Due to the outdoor nature, it is quite popular with BBQ parties and pool parties.
  • Home theater in a box, HTIB is an integrated home theater package which "bundles" together a combination DVD-Video or Blu-ray Disc player and multi-channel amplifier (which includes a surround sound decoder, a radio tuner, and other features), speaker wires, connection cables, a remote control, a set of five or more surround sound speakers (or more rarely, just left and right speakers) and a low-frequency subwoofer.
  • AV receiver, often referred to as home theater systems or home entertainment system.
  • Front video projector and projector screen, often referred to as a home theatre or Home cinema.
  • Home theater PC, HTPC or media PC is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a media center software which feature video and music playback.
  • Media center, refers either to a dedicated computer appliance (like a Home theater PC) or to a specialized personal computer software, both of which are adapted for playing various kinds of media (music, movies, photos etc.), and it usually has a 10-foot user interface design to be used in living-room TV with a remote control.
  • Switchable projection window, is a new product and design having multifunctions for a room, and may turn a window into TV screen while remaining full function of a window.
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Famous quotes containing the words theater and/or home:

    It is not enough to demand insight and informative images of reality from the theater. Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality. Our audience must experience not only the ways to free Prometheus, but be schooled in the very desire to free him. Theater must teach all the pleasures and joys of discovery, all the feelings of triumph associated with liberation.
    Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)

    The pleasure of leaving home, care-free, with no concern but to enjoy, has also as a pendant the pleasure of coming back to the old hearthstone, the home to which, however traveled, the heart still fondly turns, ignoring the burden of its anxieties and cares.
    Herman Melville (1819–1891)