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Apple announced today that its new models of MacBook Air and Mac Mini computer will go on sale in Apple Stores beginning July 21st.

Both lines of computers feature next generation Intel Core processors, improved graphics, Thunderbolt I/O technology and OS X Lion.

The company claims the new Mac mini delivers up to twice the processor and graphics performance of the previous generation in the same compact and efficient aluminum design.

Starting at $599 in Canada and the U.S, the mini will be available in three different configurations. For $599, you'll get a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 2GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, and Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory.

For $799, you'll get a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, and AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR5 memory.

A Mac mini with Lion server, 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of ram, dual 500GB hard drives and Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory is priced at $999.
 

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I want one of these units. I've been holding off on grabbing one of the previous-gen Minis (which I have used a fair bit at work), and it appears the wait was worth it.

Just one question: Are there adapters to go from Thunderbolt to HDMI or DVI so that I can still hook up two monitors without resorting to the $999 27" monitor Apple sells?
 

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I agree. I might finally jump to one of these as well to become my home's media server. I'm using an older semi-retired PowerMac G5 right now. I figure a low end Mini with one of those new Pegasus RAIDs will last me years. Or, I might consider a Drobo if they release a Thunderbolt version. I like that you can increase the storage capacity of a Drobo over time by swapping out hard drives.

As for adapters for HDMI and DVI. The Mini already comes with an HDMI port and Apple includes an adapter to go from HDMI to DVI in the box. They also sell a Mini DisplayPort to DVI and also a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter. I just bought the Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter for my brother so he could connect his new MacBook Pro's Thunderbolt port to a Samsung display he bought a couple of years ago.
 

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You can also get MiniDisplay Port to HDMI cables on ebay and Bestbuy (ebay cheaper of course). But only certain apple products (newer models) surport audio over it.
 

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Just went nuts adding to my macbook pro from 2008. Picked up a new mac mini, ipad2 wireless keyboard, trackpad and remote. Also added those bose speakers series 2.

So far so good. Mac mini is a sweet machine I just upgraded the CPU the ram and HD I can do later for cheaper. Waiting for SSD prices to drop a tad more. I'm using VNC to stream on my ipad and it works great no studder and stream my HD content without a hiccup.

I was worried about the CD/DVD but honestly I never use it on my macbookpro unless I'm installing something. Now a days you can download the software or use USB. If I really need a DVD/CD I can share my macbookpro.

Yes people will tell me that for the same money I could get a better machine. Probably true but the issue is WINDOWS (hate it) I'd rather pay the difference for OSX. Working with windows since 3.11 and seeing all the issues that come with it I just decided to give it up. I upgraded my macbookpro to Lion and it works fine. If i were to take the same machine and go from XP to 7 I'm sure I'd be at a snails pace. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Sorry it's VLC (at work I use so many acronyms...lol)

VLC lets you choose the quality you want to view in. High, meduim, low. I've choosen high and it runs great. It's a free app if you want to remove the banner at the bottom you can purchase it. Probably .99 cents. Unlike my PS3 which studders it seems the VLC buffers where the ps3 doesn't.

Just google VLC and you can find the client to install.
 

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Caution: Necropost.

Why can't the new mac mini have a BD player in it. Maybe that would put the cost up but I would be all over one as an HTPC if it had one.
 

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Steve Jobs said that Blu-ray was a bag of hurt and (apparently) had no interest in dealing with the format. Apple (and Microsoft for that matter) believe that streaming video is the future, so they are putting all their eggs in that basket.

Since the Blu-ray DRM restrictions have not been relaxed, and the format itself has disappointing adoption figures I don't see any reason for Apple to change its stance post-Steve Jobs.
 

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The reality is that physical media, which is what Blu-ray is, is a dead format. Witness the death of Blockbuster, the desire of Netflix to separate the DVD business from the streaming business, the recently announced struggles Roger Video is having and you can clearly see the writing on the wall for Blu-ray.

Apple made the right call regarding Blu-ray. Why pay the licensing fees and add the extra hardware expense associated with a format few people use to what is otherwise a very nice HTPC. If you want Blu-ray just buy a stand-alone player
 

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As much as I like streaming video; if someone says that a Blu-ray drive is on their requirements list for their HTPC I'd tell them to get a machine that supports it.

Mappy, check out a "ASRock CoreHT 252B" and see if that meets your needs.
 

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Thanks for your insights. I'll check that out.

I suspect you're right about the BD format even though I don't think the format is responsible for the demise of brick and mortar rental outlets. Anecdotally, the format never really took off at my local and now-closed Blockbuster.

I'm not a streaming guy (yet). What I have streamed to my Apple TV such as iTunes movies or NHL center ice content just isn't the same quality as physical media such as Blu-ray in my opinion. That will no doubt change but I don't see it happening for awhile.

Anyway, maybe it's a redundant capability since I can't rent BD disks anywhere near my house anymore.
 

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Just to be clear, I didn't say that the 'format,' as in Blu-ray, was responsible for the demise of brick and mortar rental outlets. What I said was that people are not renting, or buying, as many physical disks, whether it be DVD or Blu-ray, as they use to and as a result that has meant the demise of bricks and mortar outlets. Again, look at what's happened to Blockbuster and what Netflix tried to do with their DVD division.

The bottom line is this. Many people have begun to acquire their movies through means other than physical media. It doesn't help that the cost of Blu-ray movies are completely out of touch with what most people are prepared to pay. Seriously, $30 plus for new releases and $20 average for catalogue titles? When I can stream the HD version of a new release using Apple TV for $6 why would I pay $30 plus dollars to buy it? In a few months it becomes a catalogue title and I can stream it for $5 or less. Sure, it's only 720p but for most people that's good enough. Add in all the people bitorrenting low quality DVD rips then what chance does physical media have anymore.

We are almost at a tipping point where the cost of producing, distributing, warehousing, etc., physical media will become too costly compared to delivering it through streaming. The same thing is happening in the book, magazine and newspaper industries. Even software distribution on physical media is dying. The last time I bought a physical disk of software was 2009 and I've been buying and downloading multi-hundred MB software packages for over 8 years.

Apple sees the writing on the wall for physical media so why bother with it particularly with something like Blu-ray that hardly anyone uses. Apple recognizes that the Mac mini is being used as an HTPC, that's why they added HDMI output to it, but it is first and foremost a general purpose computer. Including an optical drive, especially a Blu-ray drive, no longer makes sense. They know that the few people who really need it will pay for the external option they made available when they started selling the MacBook Air or will just use the DVD sharing feature built in to Mac OS. As for HTPC, again, the few people who really want to be able to play Blu-ray/DVD can buy a standalone player for around $100.
 
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