I am looking into which direction to go with my next PC. Whatever I end up with, I want a fully functional HTPC to integrate into my home theater system. I have a few questions for users of Macs that might help me make up my mind.
1. Has Apple's refusal to embrace certain technologies affected any user on these forums' use of their Mac with media? Apple has yet to develop a Blu-ray drive of their own, something very important to most who are into home theater. Also, unless they have finally given in, Apple has been holding back on adopting the newest, fastest version of Serial ATA in favor of the Lightning connector and the newest Firewire. They also held back on embracing USB 3.0, but I've heard that this is no longer the case. These issues might not be very important to some, but to a home theater PC user, Blu-ray is a key feature and having the newest and fastest versions of all interfaces is quite important. Any discussion from those who have used Macs for media, in particular for movies and high definition audio would be greatly appreciated here.
2. How do Macs do connecting to a high speed home network with components like super high capacity and high speed Nas's, networked home theater receivers or processors and networked devices for playing movies and high definition audio.
3. Are there Mac versions of applications like DVpoweramp, Handbrake and other software for secure ripping of music and movies with top flight error correction and the ability to rip to and create new files in formats like FLAC, FLAC Surround and other high definition, lossless audio formats? Are there applications or plugins that will allow a Mac to play DSD or other related audio files?
4. Are there any other software or hardware features that would make a Mac stand out as a home theater PC? Are there any add-on cards or other peripherals that are good for using a Mac for movies and music?
All answers and discussions on the above greatly appreciated. All other input and information appreciated as well. I have a collection of hundreds of high definition audio titles, several thousand standard CDs, around a thousand Blu-ray movies, several thousand DVDs and a few hundred digital movies as well as subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu and other such on-demand services. I take my media very serious and upgrade my surround sound system as often as I can afford it. I really want a computer that can match up to the rest of my collection even if I need to save up for much longer to get the best I can manage.
Thanks for the input.