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Mac mini + Blu-ray = HTPC Heaven, Courtesy of Newer Technology

Mac mini + Blu-ray = HTPC Heaven, Courtesy of Newer TechnologyStop us if you’ve heard this before: Newer Technology, the product arm of Other World Computing—the singular source for Mac peripherals and upgrade components—is expected to soon release an external storage and optical drive solution that could make the Mac mini the ideal home theater PC.

We hoped to see the miniStack MAX on OWC’s virtual shelves last year after drooling over their hardware prototype at CES. But this year at CES Unveiled, representatives from OWC report that units are in a production run right now, and they expect to announce pricing and start distribution in just 2–3 weeks.

If you don’t remember the details, here’s a quick refresher: this external storage device has the same footprint as the latest-generation Mac mini, space for a SATA hard drive plus an eSATA interface, a USB 3.0 hub, Firewire ports, an SD slot, and a slot optical drive.

Mac mini + Blu-ray = HTPC Heaven, Courtesy of Newer Technology

There are new details, too: the optical drive will be a Blu-ray writer. If they still go with the slot drive from the original hardware design, this will be one of the only external slot-drive Blu-ray solutions we’ve seen. With the Mac mini decidedly lacking in an on-board optical media drive, it’s the ideal companion device and the missing piece to turn the Mac mini into the perfect home theater PC.

Expect a thorough review from us once this product is available for review. With the promise of adding Blu-ray and eSATA support to the mini, this is one product we’re eager to get our hands on.

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About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a digital technology consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.