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I am thinking about getting a Mac Mini (mainly because of it's form factor) and a 24" iMac. I wish to using both of them as home media centres. (please don't ask why I am getting two.. it's complicated).

Anyways, is it possible to setup either Mac to be a media centre and then stream the data over the wire to a dumb terminal?

i'm sorta thinking of how an xbox can be a media centre extender and a pc can be the main media centre.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Besides XBMC you also have Plex, the source code is based on the XBMC Media Center code. I use Plex and it works great, I think it got a better UI than XBMC.

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Plex is excellent -- the in-app plug-in system in particular is fabulous. Makes it very easy to find and install plugins to watch online video. – arathorn Aug 19 '09 at 15:47
Sounds like a good solution :) if not Plex, then XBMC. – Pure.Krome Aug 20 '09 at 1:33

Since you didn't specify that you were needed TV tuner or DVR functionality, I believe Front Row (which comes installed on every Mac) meets your needs.

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so this would stream an HD movie (read: avi, qt, etc) from the mac-mini to some other device (eg. xbox, pc, macbook pro, etc). ?? Also, i was thinking of getting an EyeTV.... – Pure.Krome Aug 6 '09 at 6:04

XBMC is a free open source media centre for Mac, Linux and Windows. It works well. I use it on my Mac to view exsiting Media Centre streams and when on the road to stream to others with very little problems.

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kewl :) does xbmc allow for streaming to extenders? – Pure.Krome Aug 6 '09 at 7:42
Yes it does. I stream to my X-Box and to my Vista Extenders. Not sure about others though. – BinaryMisfit Aug 6 '09 at 9:38

Check out Boxee. It's free and works on Mac, Windows, and a variety of set-top boxes.

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Boxee is built on top of XBMC. – Roy Rico Sep 23 '09 at 20:33

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