How many Apple TV's could a 2014 Mac Mini handle?

Curtis Boyle

Member
Sep 22, 2013
10
0
0
Visit site
I am doing some volunteer work for a care home where I live, and have suggested getting some Apple TV's for some of their rec rooms (at least 3; possibly up to 5 later). I am concerned that their internet connection may not be able to handle 3-5 simultaneous high def streams, so I am suggesting that they also get a Mac Mini to serve as an iTunes server (they have 802.11n wireless throughout the building). My question: Would the standard 1.4GHz / 4 GB of RAM be able to handle that (it won't be driving a TV itself, just servicing Apple TV's), or would it be necessary to either/both upgrade the RAM to 8 GB, and the standard hard drive to a Fusion drive? I am thinking just the Fusion drive should be enough (if needed at all), but I have no idea how well Yosemite/iTunes caches for serving that many streams at once.
Has anybody tried something like this?
 

kch50428

Well-known member
Oct 22, 2010
21,025
305
0
Visit site
The MacMini could be used for storing/serving media in an iTunes library on the Mini... AppleTVs don't use a Mini/computer or iTunes to cache.
 

Curtis Boyle

Member
Sep 22, 2013
10
0
0
Visit site
I realize that normally the AppleTV is used to stream over the internet. In this particular case, we want to also be able to stream from iTunes (downloaded movies, tv shows, etc.), since there local network is much faster than their internet connection (which is, in turn, shared with staff, guests visiting,etc.). So, when accessing from "Computer" in the AppleTV menu, could a single 1.4 GHZ, 4 GB RAM Mac Mini be enough to stream 1080p to 3-5 Apple TV's, or would it start to stutter by trying to jump all over the hard drive if the Apple TV's are all playing different files from the Mini?
 

kch50428

Well-known member
Oct 22, 2010
21,025
305
0
Visit site
So, when accessing from "Computer" in the AppleTV menu, could a single 1.4 GHZ, 4 GB RAM Mac Mini be enough to stream 1080p to 3-5 Apple TV's, or would it start to stutter by trying to jump all over the hard drive if the Apple TV's are all playing different files from the Mini?
In theory it seems like it should work... Couldn't say for sure... never done more than two AppleTVs off the same iTunes library...which worked fine.
 

Curtis Boyle

Member
Sep 22, 2013
10
0
0
Visit site
Yes, I have tried two as well on my iMac (mind you, it also has a Fusion drive and 16 GB of RAM), which have no problem. I may have to err on the side of caution and suggest 8 GB RAM and a Fusion drive, just to make sure. (unless somebody else has ran that many off of a lower end machine, with no problems).
 

gordol

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2012
862
1
0
Visit site
Yes, I have tried two as well on my iMac (mind you, it also has a Fusion drive and 16 GB of RAM), which have no problem. I may have to err on the side of caution and suggest 8 GB RAM and a Fusion drive, just to make sure. (unless somebody else has ran that many off of a lower end machine, with no problems).

If you're concerned about the power of the computer being used for the local server, you can use a Windows machine. The benefit of that is cost - you can get a higher powered machine for less money than most Macs. Doesn't have to be a new one, either. I'd also go with a wired LAN, if possible.
 

Curtis Boyle

Member
Sep 22, 2013
10
0
0
Visit site
Thanks... My main question is whether I should be concerned, or does iTunes/OSX buffer enough for multiple (>2 HD) streams so that it is not a concern. Also, I haven't used iTunes on Windows for years, and have heard horror stories about it's performance vs. the OS X version. Do you know if that is still true these days? Does the Windows version of iTunes work as seamlessly/well as the OS X version for Airplay, sharing, etc.?
 

gordol

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2012
862
1
0
Visit site
Thanks... My main question is whether I should be concerned, or does iTunes/OSX buffer enough for multiple (>2 HD) streams so that it is not a concern. Also, I haven't used iTunes on Windows for years, and have heard horror stories about it's performance vs. the OS X version. Do you know if that is still true these days? Does the Windows version of iTunes work as seamlessly/well as the OS X version for Airplay, sharing, etc.?

I don't have a Mac so I don't really have any points of comparison. What I do know is that iTunes works better on any Windows computer I've owned better than Windows Media Player, and is why I switched back to an iPhone ~2 years ago from Android. But yeah, in the past there were issues with performance on Windows machines, back when PCs maxed out their RAM at just under 4GB because of the 32bit architecture of the OS and most only came with 2GB of RAM. Considering that my six year old desktop, which when new was mid-range came with 8... not really an issue anymore.

I have not tried streaming from iTunes to more than one other device at a time, it's just me here.
 

Trending Posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
259,710
Messages
1,764,133
Members
441,191
Latest member
bacxiu