[mythtv-users] questions on using Mac Mini as remote frontend...

Todd Ignasiak todd.ignasiak at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 23:57:10 UTC 2007

On 11/20/07, Steven Adeff <adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm thinking of getting a Mac Mini for the bedroom as primarily a
> remote mythfrontend for watching TV/DVD and playing music.
> reading through the list and the wiki it seems like all the major
> parts of mythfrontend work with the OSX compile of mythtv including
> SPDIF output for AC3 on the newer Intel Mini's. I'll be using wireless
> for now, but will run a cat5e line to the bedroom so i can play back
> my recorded HD content.

Yes, everything works great for me, including AC3 passthrough.   I
have no problems with HD (1080i and 720p MPEG2) playback on my 1.66GHz
Core Duo Mini.

> But I do have some questions...
> 1080p stutter? i'm confused on this issue, it seems to be only with
> the older, slower, Mini's or that it's just that people were trying to
> playback 1080i content over wireless? where does this stand right now?

There was an issue with the scaling of 1080i video on a 1080p display,
where it would revert to software scaling causing much greater CPU

A fix was added in the SVN version a month or two ago.  This should
solve the 1080p display issue for any Mac, including Minis.  It solved
the issues on my test system, an iMac 24".

Note that you can still trigger the problem if you have overscan
settings, adjusting the video size.  So, if you run into the problem,
make sure overscan adjustments are turned off.

> DVD playback? There seems to be a patch to use the internal framework
> but that looks to have been abandoned. What is the option for playing
> DVD's back in mythfrontend on OS X then?

DVD playback works fine with standard mythvideo.  That project was an
attempt to hook into the Mac OS framework, and allow Myth Frontend to
take advantage of any advances in Mac OS.     As you mentioned, it has
been abandoned.  Too bad.. now that Leopard adds some DVD Player
improvements, it might be nice to use that framework.

The only issue I have with DVD playback is in DVD Menus.  I get audio
stutters, missing selection indicator, and unsmooth video at times.
But, that all goes away when I start the video playback.  I'm using
0.20.2,  I'm not sure if it was addressed in 0.21svn.

> x264/h264 playback? I assume the cpu is more than capable of playing
> this back? I've got some conversions of tv shows to x264 and am hoping
> to be able to play them back.
> MythMusic? does it work or do people just use iTunes?

I don't know about H.264 or MythMusic.   I use Mac OS X's  Front Row
for playback of those files.   I would guess that Mac OS's h.264
playback would be quite a bit more optimized than the MythTV

> any other current gotchas? I'll be running SVN since thats what I have
> on my backend and main frontend.

The built-in IR receiver worked fine with MythTV in Tiger.  But, since
the Leopard upgrade, it has stopped working.   I use ATI Remote
Wonder, or the TCP socket Control with MythRemote, so this has not
been a big problem.

Otherwise, the combination of Myth Frontent and Front Row has been
great for my uses.

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