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Old Nov 4, 2012, 04:48 PM   #1
jussha
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noob question about running dual monitors from mac mini via HDMI

I was thinking of getting the new mac mini and had a noob question about running a dual monitor setup for it.

Basically, if I used this HDMI splitter

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...t=1#largeimage

can i hook up 2 monitors from the single HDMI input on the mac mini to run a dual monitor setup? or will the 2 monitors simply mirror one another?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 04:52 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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Why not use the Thunderbolt port with an MDP to DVI or MDP to HDMI adapter instead of using the splitter?

Quote:
Mini DisplayPort (MDP) / Thunderbolt
Mini DisplayPort is the current digital standard on all current Macs to transfer video to an external display or TV. It has been introduced in 10/2008 with the release of the Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pros and has gradually been adopted on all other Macs.
MDP is capable of transmitting video, and since 2010, audio too. MDP is a miniaturised version of DisplayPort. It is also license free and can support resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600, which Mini DVI and Micro DVI are not able to do.
Since 2011, all Macs come with a Thunderbolt port, which is meant for fast data transfer and also as means to connect to an external display device to mirror or extend the Mac's screen.
To learn more about Thunderbolt (TB) and its compatibility with Mini DisplayPort (MDP): Introducing Thunderbolt
MDP adapters and cables can be bought online from:
Apple Online Store (or the physical Apple Store)
Monoprice
Also of interest: "What is "Mini DisplayPort"? Is it an industry-standard? How is it different from or better than Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI?"
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
jussha
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Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Why not use the Thunderbolt port with an MDP to DVI or MDP to HDMI adapter instead of using the splitter?
thanks, i feel so stupid i didn't realize that mini display ports also fit in the thunderbolt port
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:23 PM   #4
k.alexander
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I'm new to MDP too. Question: is there a detriment to using HDMI port vs the MDP? The reason I ask is I'd like to keep the Thunderbolt/MDP port open for possible attachments/expansion down the line.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:35 PM   #5
APlotdevice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jussha View Post
can i hook up 2 monitors from the single HDMI input on the mac mini to run a dual monitor setup? or will the 2 monitors simply mirror one another?
An HDMi splitter would only mirror the image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k.alexander View Post
I'm new to MDP too. Question: is there a detriment to using HDMI port vs the MDP? The reason I ask is I'd like to keep the Thunderbolt/MDP port open for possible attachments/expansion down the line.
As long as the monitor is 1920x1200 or below you're fine. For higher resolutions you will need to use the TB port.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:36 PM   #6
Lance-AR
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TB supports higher resolution than HDMI. The TB bus can be chained in a series. I have two monitors and a RAID array hanging off one TB port.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lance-AR View Post
TB supports higher resolution than HDMI. The TB bus can be chained in a series. I have two monitors and a RAID array hanging off one TB port.
Aye. Just if you're using connecting a DisplayPort monitor or adapter it must go at the end of the chain. Though this does bring up a slight problem in that some Thunderbolt devices do not provide a pass-through, as so must themselves be placed at the end of the chain.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:48 PM   #8
Skirush
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Why not use the Thunderbolt port with an MDP to DVI or MDP to HDMI adapter instead of using the splitter?
Please forgive my ignorance, but after reading this thread, I'm still confused as to how to have dual (separate) monitors with the mac mini. I ordered the new mini with the Thunderbolt port. I understand that it also has an HDMI port. So, wouldn't I just be able to hook up one monitor using the HDMI port and another using the Thunderbolt port?

Please let me know if this would work.


Thanks!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:02 PM   #9
simsaladimbamba
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Originally Posted by Skirush View Post
Please forgive my ignorance, but after reading this thread, I'm still confused as to how to have dual (separate) monitors with the mac mini. I ordered the new mini with the Thunderbolt port. I understand that it also has an HDMI port. So, wouldn't I just be able to hook up one monitor using the HDMI port and another using the Thunderbolt port?

Please let me know if this would work.


Thanks!
Yes, that will work.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:55 PM   #10
k.alexander
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Originally Posted by APlotdevice View Post
Aye. Just if you're using connecting a DisplayPort monitor or adapter it must go at the end of the chain. Though this does bring up a slight problem in that some Thunderbolt devices do not provide a pass-through, as so must themselves be placed at the end of the chain.
That's what I figured, just not sure how common for TB devices to have pass through, especially since there aren't many of them out.

Are there TB displays that have pass through? Does the Apple TB Cinema Display? Do others?
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 11:16 PM   #11
bigvolcano
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I am trying to run dual monitors with this product:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I have two monitors attached (one with DVi and one with HDMI). However I want to run 2 different displays but the two screens are showing the same thing.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 12:29 AM   #12
opinio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.alexander View Post
I'm new to MDP too. Question: is there a detriment to using HDMI port vs the MDP? The reason I ask is I'd like to keep the Thunderbolt/MDP port open for possible attachments/expansion down the line.
Most TB devices have the ability to daisy chain so they come with two ports. For example I have the Lacie TB eSata hub so I plug it into my Mac Mini and plug the MDP to HDMI cable into the Lacie hub. So even if you buy a TB device to expand in future you can plug the MDP into it and on and on.

Having said that not all TB devices have two ports (such as the Apple Gigabit and Firewire devices).

My MDP to HDMI cable from Belkin only cost me about $25 from the Apple store so even if it becomes obsolete it is not a huge loss.

I have one monitor on the MDP cable in the Lacie TB second port and one via an Apple HDMI cable on the HDMI port. I don't notice any difference.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 03:17 AM   #13
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvolcano View Post
I am trying to run dual monitors with this product:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I have two monitors attached (one with DVi and one with HDMI). However I want to run 2 different displays but the two screens are showing the same thing.
System Preferences > Displays >> Arrangement >>> Mirror Displays (but know, that the display with the lowest resolution determines the maximum resolution used on both, thus one display will have a lower than native resolution, except when both displays have the same native resolution)
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 07:48 PM   #14
bigvolcano
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Thanks for the reply.

I didn't mean it's mirroring my Laptop screen. I can extend my screen to an external display, however when I plug in the hdmi wire, I just get a mirror image of the existing external display. So my screen has been extended to the two external displays (not mirrored) but they are the same as each other.

When I go to the Display settings that you showed, it only shows that i have one external screen even tho I can see the image on both the monitors.

Is this just an issue with the adapter?

Thanks,
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