Apple Mac mini Media Center Reviewed

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mac_mini_mc.gifHigh Points
• The Mac mini includes popular digital-media platforms likes iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie that are easy to use, and you can navigate digital content via the Front Row interface.
• The box has a small form factor (it measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 2).
• Ethernet, 802.11b/g, and Bluetooth are all included.
• You can mate this product with the Apple TV to stream entertainment to separate zones.
• It is inexpensive compared with other media center options.

Low Points
• The Mac mini lacks TV tuners and DVR functionality, although you can purchase TV content through iTunes or add third-party TV/DVR software. This adds to your cost, though.
• Its storage capacity and processing specs are not as robust as other media centers.
• The box's connection options are limited.
• It does not include 802.11n, as the Apple TV does.
• The Mac mini does not currently support Blu-ray playback.

Conclusion
With the Mac mini, you can establish a Mac-based media-center foundation for a fairly reasonable price and add features like TV tuning and DVR functionality as desired. It makes the most sense for the iTunes user who has purchased (or plans to purchase) a lot of music, TV shows, and movies from the iTunes Store and wants to enjoy that content on his or her home entertainment system, with computer functionality thrown in for good measure. Mate this box with the Apple TV, and you've got a convenient way to distribute A/V content wirelessly around the home.

Additional Resources
• Read more media server reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Learn more about the new Apple TV.
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HTR Product Rating for Apple Mac mini Media Center

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

5

Overall

4.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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