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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New Mac Mini / Netflix question

New Mac Mini / Netflix question
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May 15, 2009, 11:08 AM
Anyone using a new Mac Mini to watch streaming Netflix movies on their HDTV?

If so what is the experience like? Any issues?

What about watching movies streaming from another Computer via iTunes?

With the new graphics card I assume it is good but I wanted as much verification as possible before I pull the trigger and buy one for mainly this purpose. Thanks in advance!

BTW I currently have an AppleTV and love it, but it can't stream netflix which is a bummer.
k squared
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May 15, 2009, 02:20 PM
I upgraded from an appleTV to one of the new minis (stock except for a 1 GB RAM upgrade) and it blows the appleTV away in Hulu and Netflix streaming.

I was using Boxee on the appleTV and Hulu wasn't the best experience...blame it on the hardware, I guess. On the mini, playback is smooth and I can watch the higher res stream (choppy on appleTV).

The biggest downside is using screen sharing via my MacBook to control Hulu and Netflix. I'm looking at a few iPhone apps to remedy this.

Content via Front Row works the same as appleTV, no complaints there.
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May 15, 2009, 03:56 PM
The Boxee app and RemotePad app are perfect for this, both free.

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May 15, 2009, 04:20 PM
I would also recommend Plex as a front-end for your Mini. Has free "apps" that allow streaming of Hulu, Joost, Netflix, NBC, Quicktime trailers, and much, much more. Works great.
2.3GHz i7 15" Retina Macbook Pro (Late 2013)
dpicardi  (op)
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May 16, 2009, 11:47 AM
Hey that is awesome news. I'm thinking of picking up the new mac mini base addition. Any reason it wouldn't be able to handle/display well 1080P resolution when surfing the web on an HDTV?

I checkup out Plex. Need to give it a shot. Boxee is ok and the iphone app is pretty sweet to use with it.

You guys are riht about Boxee performance with an AppleTV. Just not very good for streaming hulu...it fact it is downright awful at this point.
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May 17, 2009, 10:33 AM
I've used both a 2008 Mac mini (GMA950) and the new 2009 Mac mini (NV9400M) to stream netflix full screen to my 1920x1080 television.

I've got a couple of observations for you:

1) The older mac mini (GMA950) had no problems at all decoding and scaling the video to 1920x1080 with silverlight (the netflix playback components)

2) With 10.5.6, the 2009 mac mini (NV9400M) could decode but not upscale the video to 1920x1080 without dropping a significant number of frames. Reducing the output resolution to 1280x768 was a temporary workaround for the problem.

3) With the upgrade to 10.5.7 the new mac mini received new video drivers and performance was significantly improved.

So basically, as long as you update to 10.5.7 as soon as you get it, the 2009 mac mini should be able to do exactly what you want.

In both cases, however, I had to hook the mini up via analog VGA. When hooked up via DVI/HDMI there was no combination of video mode + overscan settings that could exactly fill the display with its native resolution.
dpicardi  (op)
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May 18, 2009, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the additional insight. Very helpful! I'm sold.
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Jun 9, 2009, 11:21 AM
So I have a silly 40" Sony flat screen that isn't quite 1080p.

Any recommended applications to tinker with screen resolution output from my mac mini (latest) so I can fill the whole screen and switch on the fly between typing on screen and browsing vs watching movies?
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