jny’s Mac mini media centre blog


Remote Buddy

Filed under: Setup — jny @ 0:29

We have been running Remote Buddy in evaluation mode for a few days now. So far I’ve only used it with EyeTV, VLC and iTunes and for putting the computer to sleep so the testing hasn’t been too thorough.

I haven’t experienced the wow-effect I got when watching the videos on the homepage. For example the preferences dialogues are too big for the TV resolution of 720 x 576 pixels and I’m unable to operate it as smoothly and quickly as in the videos.

Nevertheless, the extra control you get with the remote just is so useful, you cannot be without it. And the Apple remote is more predictable than the one that came with EyeTV.

So it looks like I will buy it.

(I managed to accidentally delete the original post, so this is a reconstruction. Thank you Google cached pages.)



First EyeTV glitches encountered

Filed under: Experience — jny @ 21:13

The other day EyeTV just stopped working and restarting didn’t help. I had to boot the mini to get it working again.

Another thing that has been happening is the responding to the remote just stops. Restarting EyeTV helps.

The third glitch was the worst. The recording of one movie got corrupted somehow. It seemed to loop back to the beginning before reaching the end. The end of Kill Bill 2 was lost.

I downgraded EyeTV to 2.4.1 hoping to get rid of the glitches. I never had problems with 2.4.1 on my PoerBook. On the other hand I never had it running for very long.


AppleInsider on Apple keyboard

Filed under: Humour — jny @ 12:17

Here is a funny quote from AppleInsider

Also missing from the previous model is the bagel bits, dust bunny, and stray hair museum that Apple built into its previous keyboards. If you want a crystal terrarium menagerie for collecting gross things around your work area, you’ll have to go out and buy one separately.

The article which is a review of the new Apple wireless keyboard can be found here.


I found another related blog

Filed under: Links — jny @ 9:01

I found a similar blog called mr.Obsession. Need to check it out later.


Remote Buddy

Filed under: Links — jny @ 19:55

I have definitively got to check out the Remote Buddy for controlling the mini. It looks very promising.


Some practical DVR tips

Filed under: Tips — jny @ 22:33

I found some practical Elgato EyeTV advice on the 123macmini.com forums. Although I actually haven’t experienced any of the problems mentioned in the discussion, I did a couple of changes.

One: change the 2GB hard disk live TV buffer to a 200MB RAM buffer instead. I don’t think it is that useful to be able to backtrack live TV and I’d rather spare the hard disk. Although I might change my mind. The record from Live TV buffer feature might come handy one day.

Two: tweak the power saving settings a bit. From now on, I’ll try not to put the mini to sleep manually and let it go to sleep by itself when there are scheduled recordings.

And as a bonus tip, I found out that you can put your Mac to sleep by pressing and holding the play/pause button on the Apple remote.



Filed under: Experience — jny @ 12:46

Using WLAN from computer to computer doesn’t work in practice for some reason. The transfers progress in bursts with long pauses between which means that they are very slow. Downloads from the Internet are a lot better and progress smoothly without bursts.

This is probably a problem with my Linksys WRT54G. In my opinion it is a worthless piece of crap. It needs resetting at least once a day when there are more than one computers connected to the network as it very often just freezes.

Maybe it is time to start looking for a replacement.


Stuff that got replaced

Filed under: Setup — jny @ 22:14

Obsoleted stuffThis is the equipment that got replaced by the Mac mini:

  • One DTT receiver box
  • One DVD player
  • One CD player that didn’t recognise CDs any more

In theory the radio tuner and VHS player could go too but I didn’t manage to disconnect the radio from the amplifier and we still have some VHS tapes so the VHS stays just in case we’d like to watch them.


VLC tests OK

Filed under: Setup — jny @ 21:01

I tested playing an AVI (or was it a DivX) movie including subtitles and that worked too. The keyboard is very much needed in the beginning while selecting files for the playlist. In full-screen play mode the Apple remote works OK.

VLC has about a quadrillion options and I wonder if it would be possible to run the whole thing in some full screen mode that would be better suited for controlling using a remote. Either directly or using some sort of plug-in?

Tested playing a DVD

Filed under: Setup — jny @ 20:48

I tested playing a DVD for the first time today. DVDs play OK using DVD Player but I liked the Front Row user interface better with the Apple remote. Front Row could jump from scene to scene which I wasn’t able to do using iDVD and the remote.

So currently for the best DVD playing experience, either use Front Row or the keyboard with DVD Player.

The sound from EyeTV didn’t mute so both the DVD and TV sound were playing at the same time. There is a setting in EyeTV that fixes this. It mutes the sound when EyeTV is not playing in the foreground.

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