I am thinking of going down this route mysel. In my case it is more driven by wanting to
digitise my music collection. I don't watch many DVDs so that will be secondary.
You might find this page usefulhttp://www.apple.com/uk/macmini/accessories.html
If I went
down this route I would be looking to pair the mac with an LCD TV. The Mac will connect to
the HDMI port on a digital TV using a DVI to HDMI converter/cable which can be bought from
Apple and other places. You can also connect the DVI port to the PC port if your TV has
one, This can be down using the DVI/VGA adapter that Apple supply with the Mac (or at
least they did).
The resolution of the TV can be an issue. You have some
flexibilty in the set up of the Mac to try to match the resolution of the set.
I haven't looked into quality issues much though I have seen some very positive feedback
on using the MacMini with the current Sony LCD sets via DVI/HDMI convertion. It may not be
reasonable to expect the Mac to match the perfromance of a high end DVD but others may
have comment on this.
I am not sure how Mac's work with multiregion though it
is likley that there will be software available to get around any restrictions that might
exist (my guess would be that there are no regial restrictions). I recall that there were
several 'utilities' available for the PC that would bypass multiregion restriction, I am
not clear on the legality of such an approach.
I am not clear on how the Mac
handles a 5.1 encoded signal. There seems to be some contradition in looking at the
internet. The Apple page above reads like this can be delivered over the optical link but
if you read it carefully it doesn't say that for sure. If you look through the links below
there are two that that describe how to set the mac up to provide 5.1 output. You need a
second opinion on this one but I believe it will work through the optical out through a
suitable AV processor.
I only use stereo and this could be fed by the analogue
out on the Mac though I plan to use a USB enabled Appogee Mini Dac as I have a relatively
high end stereo (though I am still looking at the options). http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/minidac.php
also be possible to rip your DVDs to the Mac for future playback though I have not looked
at this in detail and it may well be that 5.1 wont be an option in that situation.
There are some other approaches to enabling 5.1 on a Mac. These might be of