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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mac Mini with Front Row?

Mac Mini with Front Row?
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Oct 13, 2005, 09:55 AM
 
If Apple includes Front Row with the Mac Mini it will be a TOTAL REVOLUTION! I will buy it and it will be near my dvd player, cable box and reciever inside my entertainment center in my living room, and I will be surfing the net from my SOFA! with a wireless keyboard and the Apple remote!

I hope Apple includes Front Row with the Mac Mini!
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by I WAS the One
If Apple includes Front Row with the Mac Mini it will be a TOTAL REVOLUTION! I will buy it and it will be near my dvd player, cable box and reciever inside my entertainment center in my living room, and I will be surfing the net from my SOFA! with a wireless keyboard and the Apple remote!

I hope Apple includes Front Row with the Mac Mini!
I hope they just give it to us to use with any Mac.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:32 AM
 
It kind of begs the question what IS Frontrow? An app that you simply install like any other, or a new part of the OS itself? I'd like to know more of the technical details myself...
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco Loco
It kind of begs the question what IS Frontrow? An app that you simply install like any other, or a new part of the OS itself? I'd like to know more of the technical details myself...
good question... something tells me that Leopard will change the World... you'll see.
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:41 AM
 
I would guess it is a new Dock.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco Loco
It kind of begs the question what IS Frontrow? An app that you simply install like any other, or a new part of the OS itself? I'd like to know more of the technical details myself...
im pretty sure it will be running on all our Macs soon.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey
im pretty sure it will be running on all our Macs soon.
Hopefully as a free download via Sortware Update!

Something tells me it's not going to be quite that easy though... it will be included with new Macs only from here on in I reccon.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:06 AM
 
Adding Front romw to the Mac Mini would almost (yes, I said almost) give me the reason to purchase a Mac Mini to hook up to my home entertainment system. I have held off mainly to see what Apple may add to it for intergration with a home entertainment system. Front rom would suffice for my needs there. The other item that keeps me form buying is the lack of an optical out port. Hopefully the next revision of the Mac Mini will add front Row capability and an optical out port.
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:30 AM
 
Front Row could certainly run on any Mac.

I'm wondering about the remote. Interestingly enough on the AppleStore website it says it will run with any Mac that was released in 2005 and has in IR port. Just the iMac right now, but... If you go to http://www.apple.com/imac/frontrow.html it has the iMac and the mini on the top menu. I'm wondering if pretty soon there will be a mini with IR port and Front Row bundled.

Last question: Why in God's name did Apple's engineers chose the old and ugly IR instead of the nice and already included Bluetooth?
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
If you go to http://www.apple.com/imac/frontrow.html it has the iMac and the mini on the top menu. I'm wondering if pretty soon there will be a mini with IR port and Front Row bundled.
Could be, but there is a link to the Mini on every iMac page, and vice-versa - it's just part of the website design.

Originally Posted by Simon
Last question: Why in God's name did Apple's engineers chose the old and ugly IR instead of the nice and already included Bluetooth?
Good question. The only reason i can think of it so that they could make it easily work with the new iPod dock too.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Last question: Why in God's name did Apple's engineers chose the old and ugly IR instead of the nice and already included Bluetooth?
totally off the cuff (and in no way inhibited by actual fact or knowledge ) but my guess would be power/battery-life? (how long do BT keyboards last? a remote would have a magnitude fewer key presses)

Certainly would have been nice tho... couple that with a Airport Extreme Video module, and I'd be surfing my media from my Mac (upstairs) on my HT downstairs.

As it is now, you need to locate your iMac near your HT

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Oct 13, 2005, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Front Row could certainly run on any Mac.

I'm wondering about the remote. Interestingly enough on the AppleStore website it says it will run with any Mac that was released in 2005 and has in IR port. Just the iMac right now, but... If you go to http://www.apple.com/imac/frontrow.html it has the iMac and the mini on the top menu. I'm wondering if pretty soon there will be a mini with IR port and Front Row bundled.

Last question: Why in God's name did Apple's engineers chose the old and ugly IR instead of the nice and already included Bluetooth?
I'd imagine IR is much cheaper than bluetooth. I'd personally like bluetooth, but that'd probably make that remote cost $80 instead of $30.
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Oct 13, 2005, 04:53 PM
 
Bluetooth is costlier, uses more battery, requires setup (BT devices need to be "paired"), and does involve some security risk (admittedly low). IR is dirt cheap and reliable, and in no way a security risk to the computer.

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Oct 13, 2005, 04:58 PM
 
the mini is a very logical place to have frontrow added, you'd think it would be in the mini before any other Mac. Only reason that it's not seems to be to not cut into Apple profit.

But who doesn't think that a mini with this sort of thing and more isn't long off?
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Oct 13, 2005, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by pliny
the mini is a very logical place to have frontrow added, you'd think it would be in the mini before any other Mac. Only reason that it's not seems to be to not cut into Apple profit.

But who doesn't think that a mini with this sort of thing and more isn't long off?

Depends on how much Apple is hoping Front Row protects iMac sales from cannibalization. From where I sit, that is the the one and only reason to make it iMac only.
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Oct 13, 2005, 08:07 PM
 
yeah this would be nice, but your forgetting one thing. The mac mini performance sucks, the effects of front row alone would make the mac mini choke. LOL and trying to get h.264, and all your movies going off the mini properly outputed to a HDMI hi-def tv is choppy, slow and sucks.

After x86 I'm sure we will see front row across the board. Obviously front-row can output to HDTV as it did so beautifully for the presentation (projector behind stevej was hi-def)
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 08:13 PM
 
i think the reason why frontrow is for imac only is because i think there is a new operating system within the new imac...the new one with the x86 protection
once they make 100% sure it will only work with certain x86 boxes, then i think that apple will release the new operating system WITH the frontrow stuff for the rest of the maac users...lol
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by inkhead
yeah this would be nice, but your forgetting one thing. The mac mini performance sucks, the effects of front row alone would make the mac mini choke. LOL and trying to get h.264, and all your movies going off the mini properly outputed to a HDMI hi-def tv is choppy, slow and sucks.

After x86 I'm sure we will see front row across the board. Obviously front-row can output to HDTV as it did so beautifully for the presentation (projector behind stevej was hi-def)

Very good point. I love my Mini, but I am beginning to feel I could use a bit more oomph (mostly because of World of Warcraft ) Now that I think about it, I don't think I'd like to see Front Row on a Mini unless they got serious about packing some GPU punch in future revisions.

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Oct 13, 2005, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by inkhead
yeah this would be nice, but your forgetting one thing. The mac mini performance sucks, the effects of front row alone would make the mac mini choke. LOL and trying to get h.264, and all your movies going off the mini properly outputed to a HDMI hi-def tv is choppy, slow and sucks.
Thats crap, I output to HDTV from a mini and it works fantastically.
Those 3D effects don't exactly look complicated, I'm sure a mini could handle them fine.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by sonicularulus
i think the reason why frontrow is for imac only is because i think there is a new operating system within the new imac...the new one with the x86 protection
once they make 100% sure it will only work with certain x86 boxes, then i think that apple will release the new operating system WITH the frontrow stuff for the rest of the maac users...lol
Uhh... the new iMac isn't x86.
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Oct 13, 2005, 09:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Last question: Why in God's name did Apple's engineers chose the old and ugly IR instead of the nice and already included Bluetooth?
You answered your own question.

Because they will put it on the Mini soon and the mini doesn't have built-in blue tooth. What's more, making it IR means its features can be integrated with programmable remotes, which is exactly what i intend to do as soon as it comes out.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 10:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by inkhead
yeah this would be nice, but your forgetting one thing. The mac mini performance sucks, the effects of front row alone would make the mac mini choke. LOL and trying to get h.264, and all your movies going off the mini properly outputed to a HDMI hi-def tv is choppy, slow and sucks.

After x86 I'm sure we will see front row across the board. Obviously front-row can output to HDTV as it did so beautifully for the presentation (projector behind stevej was hi-def)
My understanding is since the recent update of processor speed and a 5400rpm drive the performance issues have pretty much been solved. Sure it's no G5 but the performnce should be more than enough to use Front Row. The mini could use a little better graphics card but then that could effect the price that Apple charges for it.
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:15 PM
 
h.264 really does tax a single G4. Try scaling it up to fill the screen -- it gets choppy.

But FrontRow also uses other effects, some of which clearly rely on CoreVideo/CoreImage. Until the Mac mini gets a major GPU upgrade, it won't be suitable, unless Apple tones down the effects.

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Oct 13, 2005, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
Uhh... the new iMac isn't x86.
I know that. what i meant was that because the current tiger os has got a bug where it can be installed in x86 and apple would fix that in another release, i think the imac got that new updated tiger already while the rest of the mac users didnt because they managed to think of new ideas, but havent secured it to prevent a "future cd release" to be installed on x86 systems, just be installed on apple systems...
just a thought..
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:18 PM
 
Nah, I seriously doubt Apple would distribute an x86-compatible version with a PowerPC Mac.

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Oct 13, 2005, 11:23 PM
 
What's the big deal with a Frontrow Mini? You have it sitting next to/on top of your tv and hooked via s-video, you use yor FrontRow remote with a broadband hookup, you log into the AppleStore, d/l your show/movie selected from their library, and watch it on your tv via the mini. It's a service receiver with a cpu/ computer with a content receiver. I guess the bottleneck would be the d/l of the content, it would have to be faster somehow.
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Oct 13, 2005, 11:23 PM
 
well, they dont do it, but hackers find a way and i think they are trying to prevent the hacking with the rumored new versioni of tiger...which i think is already included in the new imacs...
they just havent released it to us because they havent made the anti-hackable version....
get what i am saying...if not..ill just give up..lol
     
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Oct 14, 2005, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by sonicularulus
well, they dont do it, but hackers find a way and i think they are trying to prevent the hacking with the rumored new versioni of tiger...which i think is already included in the new imacs...
they just havent released it to us because they havent made the anti-hackable version....
get what i am saying...if not..ill just give up..lol
You can't take the version that comes with Macs and install it on PC's. It's built for the wrong processor.

The version of OS X that comes with Macs has nothing at all to do with the x86 version.
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Oct 14, 2005, 03:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
h.264 really does tax a single G4. Try scaling it up to fill the screen -- it gets choppy.

But FrontRow also uses other effects, some of which clearly rely on CoreVideo/CoreImage. Until the Mac mini gets a major GPU upgrade, it won't be suitable, unless Apple tones down the effects.

tooki
Are you sure they are coreimage effets? it just looks like 4 objects rotaing/scaling with reflections. Coverflow does much more than that and works fantasticly on my Mini.

http://www.steelskies.com/coverflow/HomePage.html
     
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Oct 14, 2005, 12:13 PM
 
moonmonkey, I see that you live in Shanghai. You an expat? Do you live in Pudong or Puxi?

Also, you know where's a good place in Shanghai to get Mac service? (Just in case)
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Oct 14, 2005, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey
Are you sure they are coreimage effets? it just looks like 4 objects rotaing/scaling with reflections. Coverflow does much more than that and works fantasticly on my Mini.

http://www.steelskies.com/coverflow/HomePage.html
Did you watch the keynote? When you use it for DVD, it puts an image filter over the DVD's menu. In the demo it wasn't possible to clearly tell whether it kept the DVD's menu in motion, but it seems to me awfully likely that it relies on CoreImage.

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Oct 25, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
i've got it running on my mini right now. works brilliantly.
     
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Oct 25, 2005, 02:07 PM
 
"i've got it running on my mini right now. works brilliantly."

Right, but with out the DVD playback working. No one to the best of my knowledge has that working outside of the Imac with Isight.
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Oct 25, 2005, 04:10 PM
 
Besides, Front Row's entire raison d'être is to be a simple UI for controlling with a small remote control from a large distance. When you're sitting at the computer, you have the mouse, so you can just use the real controls -- or Dashboard.

I really don't see the point without a remote control.

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Oct 26, 2005, 09:15 PM
 
I also hear that Front Row doesn't allow you to listen to music from another Mac sharing that music. Similarly photos. And that network aliases aren't followed for movies. So you need to have all your music, all your photos, all your movies, on the Mac mini in order to access them.

Pretty disappointing. Front Row isn't quite a media centre - just a pretty player for a couple of apps running on your machine. Also appears to have no plug-in architecture, so no EyeTV plugin for recording/watching digital TV or recorded TV, no radio shark plugin for radio, not even a dashboard plugin so you could see the weather, read a news headline or look at a TV schedule.
     
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Oct 26, 2005, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by curmi
I also hear that Front Row doesn't allow you to listen to music from another Mac sharing that music.
You are correct. I just tried this by sharing my wife's iTunes library on her Powerbook. Her music does not show up in Front Row (though it does show up in my iTunes like normal). It would seem like that should have been an easy thing to add.
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Oct 27, 2005, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by curmi
And that network aliases aren't followed for movies. So you need to have all your music, all your photos, all your movies, on the Mac mini in order to access them.
This is one thing I tested, and I found it worked. Maybe it was the way we tried it. Anyhow, the store (local reseller) had a AFP file server that I connected to. Once connected, I opened Terminal, went into the Movies folder (cd ~/Movies) and made a symbolic link to the share (ln -s RemoteMovies /Volumes/ShareName). Once that was done, activating FrontRow showed a folder in Movies called RemoteMovies, and changing to it to play a file we put there worked fine.
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Oct 27, 2005, 05:28 PM
 
Great. So we have a solution for movies.

Photos and Music may be a bit more difficult if it is looking for them in the iTunes and iPhoto database format on the local disk. I guess we could make a link to the iTunes and iPhoto area of the networked Mac...
     
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Oct 27, 2005, 05:41 PM
 
A friend of mine worked front row out so that it could run on his PB.. no remote, so the remote check was the part of the app that he had to cut out. He has it launch with F8 and you use the arrows to scroll/navigate... I haven't seen it, though.. he's going to show me sometime soon
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Oct 27, 2005, 05:56 PM
 
im using front row on my pb without a remote and it makes perfect sense to me, i have a wireless keyboard and mouse and my pb is hooked up to a 20" lcd, the only reason i wasnt able to sit back on my bed and watch movies n so forth before was because i couldnt see the pointer at first, now with front row..i dont need a pointer to play my movies.....heck, i dont even need a remote!!!
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Oct 27, 2005, 06:37 PM
 
from my understanding . . . . the front row hack is cool and all, but the mac mini just doesn't have enough horsepower in graphics to make it worth while . . . .

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Oct 28, 2005, 07:41 AM
 
Got Front Row working on my old Rev. B iMac G5.

Too bad I don't have a wireless keyboard...

I find it kind of dumb how it launches the appropriate program in the background. It shouldn't have to launch a program just to access the library files (iTunes or iPhoto, or DVD Player). It should be able to read them directly, without having to wait for the app. to launch.

I suppose a third-party IR remote would work, also. Just map the buttons to keystrokes.
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Oct 28, 2005, 01:09 PM
 
I have Front Row on my 1.25 512 Mac Mini, and it runs just fine. Not jumpy or anything.
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 02:17 PM
 
if it could run on my powerbook, any mac mini could handle it...trust me.
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Oct 28, 2005, 06:03 PM
 
so, the only thing it can't run is the DVD player option, right?

can anyone recommend what specs I should look for in a mac mini to run front row perfectly?

I'm looking at one on the apple store right now.

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Oct 28, 2005, 08:01 PM
 
uhh.....im lost. why wouldnt the dvd player work on an mini? i havent tried it on my powerbook, but im sure any comp with a dvd player would work...no?
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Oct 28, 2005, 09:20 PM
 
Currently the frontrow that is being "passed" around the internet is hacked, the DVD function does not work on anything other than the new imac g5.

That said the macmini is underpowered.. I have one plugged to a 67" samsung HDTV.. video is choppy. Use a real computer.. powermac g5 i guess.

I actually put windows media center onto a space pc and hooked it up to the tv and it's got lots of cool features. It would be nice if frontrow didn't suck.. but for now it does, you can't play very many video codecs... Quicktime, and divx if you use alternative codecs... but... Windows media center is much farther along...
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 09:24 PM
 
why don't you make up some more crap? The only thing different is that it's a different version of 10.4.2.. It's not a universal binary, there is no x86 OS X on the imac. It's actually just 10.4.2, special build... and by special i mean, buggy, and full of networking issues.

Originally Posted by sonicularulus
i think the reason why frontrow is for imac only is because i think there is a new operating system within the new imac...the new one with the x86 protection
once they make 100% sure it will only work with certain x86 boxes, then i think that apple will release the new operating system WITH the frontrow stuff for the rest of the maac users...lol
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 09:24 PM
 
2ghz processor, and at least a 128mb video card.....


Originally Posted by quiklee
so, the only thing it can't run is the DVD player option, right?

can anyone recommend what specs I should look for in a mac mini to run front row perfectly?

I'm looking at one on the apple store right now.

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Oct 28, 2005, 09:28 PM
 
The only reason to hook any computer to a TV would be HDTV... download something that's in HD and play that on your mini... ;-) it just won't work...

I use the dvd player on the mini to play dvds on the HDTV since the up-converting is better than using a standard dvd player, but that's about it....


Originally Posted by JazzCatDRP
I have Front Row on my 1.25 512 Mac Mini, and it runs just fine. Not jumpy or anything.
     
 
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