My apologies if this is in the wrong forum.

I recently purchased a late 2012 Mac Mini for use as a server/HTPC (Plex Media Server & Player). It is currently hooked up to my living room TV. Since Plex Media Server can't be ran as a daemon, I've been trying to figure out a way to setup the Mini so that it is running all the time. I was hoping that virtualizing OS X on one of my Dell servers would be the answer, but since I can't use vCenter with hosts that have been patched with the Unlocker, that isn't an option.

Now I'm considering installing ESXi on the Mac Mini so that I could run a few OS X virtual machines for various ideas I have. Problem with that is I lose HTPC functionality with it running ESXi. The Mac Mini replaced an Apple TV 3 that was in the living room, which I still have. I obviously can't remote desktop from the ATV3 nor can I install the Plex App on it so that I could access the Plex Media Server VM that I'll setup. I guess I could buy Roku boxes for the TVs since they have the Plex App but I'd rather not. I could keep an eye out for an older Mac Mini with an HDMI port but that's just spending more money.

One idea is using my iPhone or iPad with the Plex App to connect to the Plex Media Server VM, then airplay the video to the ATV3. Possible issue with this is poor quality video since I'm streaming from the iPad and I'm not sure if Plex is smart enough to realize where the movie is actually being played.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I could hook up to the TV that would let me run the Plex App and possibly remote desktop into the OS X VMs? Anyone doing something similar to this?