[mythtv-users] Mac Mini Core Solo as FE/BE Combo?

Jarod Wilson lists at wilsonet.com
Thu Feb 22 05:53:19 UTC 2007

On Feb 21, 2007, at 19:48, Todd Ignasiak wrote:

> On 2/21/07, Jarod Wilson <lists at wilsonet.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 21, 2007, at 17:54, Michael Freeman wrote:
>>> I was just given a Mac Mini Core Solo by an uncle of mine who just
>>> hated Quicken for OS X that much.
>>> Would it be capable of being a full front and back end unit with a
>>> WinTV PVRUSB2 for analog and a HDHomeRun for digital?
>>> I expect to be able to continue to watch 720p and 1080i content
>>> like I do now on my bulky space heater of an Athlon 64 3000+ --
>>> stuff on there runs smooth enough, but not as smooth as when I go
>>> watch it on a real TV / Comcast DVR combo.
>>> I can't get XvMC to work...so maybe that's why.
>>> Am I dreaming with my goals or can I take the space heater offline
>>> [Myth is the only reason it exists] in favor of the free Mini?
>> I spent a little while playing with a core duo mini a week or two
>> ago. I think that's likely a pipe dream to play back HDTV with a core
>> solo, at least at the moment. The duo couldn't play back 1080i
>> material smoothly, even when using something a little lighter-weight
>> than mythtv (mplayer). Dunno if maybe under OS X there's a way to
>> take advantage of quicktime pro's mpeg2 support or not. In theory,
>> the duo should be able to play back 1080i material smoothly, since
>> quicktime (this is obviously under OS X) could handle 1080p h.264
>> material smoothly (albeit w/both cores nearly maxed out).
>> Note to self: remember to borrow that core solo from down the hall in
>> the office...
>> Oh yeah, you could also improve your chances by purchasing a socket m
>> core 2 duo and swapping it into your solo min... :)
> I've seen a few messages like this, reporting trouble with HD playback
> on a Core Duo Mini.  The others I heard were when using a 1080P
> display, and had some sort of scaling issue.  But, there are plenty of
> others, including me, who have HD working fine.    Was yours
> displaying at 1080p?

1680x1050 LCD in my testing, but ultimately, I do need to feed a  
1080p display. Mind you, it wasn't *terrible* playback, but there was  
noticeable frame drop and a little bit of stutter on occasion.

> Are you sure it was an intel binary, and not a
> PowerPC version running with Rosetta?

It was Intel.

> I have been using a Core Duo Mini 1.66GHz (the slowest core duo Mini
> made.. ordered the day the intel minis were announced), and it plays
> 720p and 1080i material very well.    My display is 720p, so I haven't
> run into any 1080p scaling issues.    For 1080i playback, both CPUs
> are pretty well utilized, so I doubt you could do it with a core solo.

One theory I had was that the onboard intel graphics simply didn't  
have enough bandwidth to move that much video at higher resolutions,  
but its ability to play back 1080p h264 material would indicate  

> I think the Mini is an excellent frontend.  HD+DD5.1 works great for
> me, and I have the option of "Front Row" for all the Apple media
> stuff, as well as a lot of third party apps.  And you can't beat the
> form factor.

No doubt. I may have to reconsider buying one...

Jarod Wilson
jarod at wilsonet.com

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