The rumor mill is swinging around again with Macworld in a few days, and this time the Mac Mini update is one of the rumors that refuses to die. Despite buying one two months ago, and predicting that this might happen, I’m actually looking forward to it.

Over the Christmas break I wound up with my Mac Mini downstairs in the aircon as a DVD player, and this was a good opportunity to see what life would be like if I used it as my primary TV frontend. Turns out life would be fantastic 😉

Playing DVDs is (as expected) quite good, and thanks to Perian pretty much any format under the sun can be played in Front Row off of a mapped network drive symlinked into my movies folder. But the real score was FrontMyth – this was my big missing piece, a way to combine the cool media browser of Front Row with the ability to watch TV via MythFrontend. Of course having done all that, I’m now looking at Plex which already has MythTV support!

The only question left is which remote do I get. Apparently the Sony PS3 remote works quite well with the built-in bluetooth of the Mac, but I’m leaning more towards one of the Logitech Harmony remotes. They look like a decent universal remote, and can be programmed to work with the built-in Mac IR receiver (either manually using extra software, or if I use Plex there is now built-in support).

 

And of course once all that is set up, I’m going to combine my file server into the current TV box. To save power I want a single unit that runs MythBackend; I also want it somewhere I can’t hear while watching TV (the fans in the existing TV box are getting noisy after years of sitting on the floor collecting dust). And to cap it all off I will probably switch from running my own IMAP server to GMail at the same time.

The hobby projects never end, do they 😉

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