Mac Mini working on 46" LCD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tacoX, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I just purchased a 46" LCD for my house and i'd like to get a computer for basic internet access on there... and obviously I want nothing but a Mac running on there...

    This may be a stupid question considering the Mac Mini is so affordable, but will it display correctly on a 46" or will I need something with more power...

    If I need something with more power I need some suggestions... willing to buy USED. Thanks for help!
  2. macrumors 68030

    I don't see why not. The max resolution of a Mini is 1920x1200. What's the TV resolution?
  3. macrumors 601

    What kind of TV do you have? That makes a big difference in the ease (or difficulty in getting it to work.

    Tell us what model TV you have and we can go forward from there.

    I can attest to the fact that a Macbook can output 1080p without any problems. The mini is just about the same guts as a Macbook.
  4. macrumors newbie

  5. macrumors 65816


    Yep with the 1920 x 1080 resolution. The mini will handle it with ease.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Nice TV.

    Yeah, the mini will "support" it. That doesn't mean it won't suck. It is capable of displaying that resolution, but everything is going to be super choppy because crippled integrated graphics suck. You won't be able to watch videos past youtube caliber and your window movements will be jerky. DVD playback will probably fine though (if thats your main use as a HTPC) and basic, basic web browsing will probably be okay. Just don't expect to display any HD content, use any graphics programs or other intensive applications.
  7. macrumors 68000


    if the performance of the computer on LCD (TV or Monitor) is only a function of its resolution (for the same application and etc), then the mini won't have any of those problems... nothing will be choppy because of the integrated graphics, and everything will be actually pretty good... just look at how mini work with 23" ACD in the apple store, it's brilliant!
  8. macrumors member

    I've got a 1080p TV, which the mac mini 1.83 core duo can drive at 1080p 50 or 60Hz under Windows.. but only 1080i under OS X.

    I watch HD DVDs on it under Windows (full 1080p), and occasionally experience a small amount of tearing.. nothing which interferes with the enjoyment of the movie (mostly when watching a 24fps movie).

    The only thing which would tempt me to a new mini to replace it would be better graphics adapter/hdmi audio.

    Window movements aren't jerky.

    I can only assume you're talking about an old G4 Mini which I don't remember being jerky either, but that was only connected to a 720p display.

    The only thing I would say, is that Video RAM is relative to installed memory. You should get a 1Gb machine for good video performance.

  9. macrumors newbie

    I plan to use this really only for web browsing... so I guess the overall census is that it WILL work good for basic non-HD-movie playing functions. Thanks a lot for everything guys!
  10. macrumors regular

    I just bought the 37" Westinghouse 1080p monitor, and it runs fine off of my macbook, which has the same integrated graphics as the mac mini (my macbook has 2gigs of ram, if that makes a difference).

    I am able to watch DVDs and downloaded episodes of tv just fine. I haven't been able to try any hd trailers or anything just yet, because of a lack of decent internet connection.

    i think the mini will suit your purposes just fine.
  11. Guest

    Ditto. I have 1GB Intel Mini (Solo!!!) driving a 42" Sony Bravia XBR. No choppiness on DVD playback, iTunes, FrontRow, etc. We use it to surf the web using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, download (from camera) and view photos in iPhoto/FrontRow, listen to music which is streamed over a wireless connection from another mac running itunes, and watching DVDs.

    It is a very nice set up and has pleasantly surprised my family, including the wife.
  12. macrumors 601

    The Samsung does have issues with undefeatable overscan on the HDMI ports. The Sammys have about a 2% overscan, so you'll lose the edges of the screen. I think the VGA port does work 1:1, but it's an analog connection. I doubt you'd see any difference. If you end up using HDMI, you might need to use DisplayConfigX or SwitchResX to generate custom resolutions to account for the overscan.

    As for the mini only driving 1080i and not 1080p ... I have to disagree. I have a Macbook, but have read about others using the intel minis. What confuses the issue is how OS X reports 1080p. In the Display System Pref, there's only a choice for 1920x1080 (interlaced). However, if you "futz" around with the TV, you can get the mini to display a 1080p, however, OS X will still report it as 1920x1080 (interlaced). If you look up in the Display icon on the top right, you may see two separate instances of 1920x1080. One of those is 1080p.

    You may ask, how do I know the mini is outputting 1080p. Good question. My TV (Sharp 46D62U) reports the incoming signal. When the mini is driving 1080i, the display is unusable. At 1080p, the display is crystal clear.

    In response to Taylorwilson's assertion that the mini can't handle videos of higher quality than youtube is IMHO, wrong. Again, I have a Macbook, but the mini is comparable. When set on 1080p, I have tested 1080p WMV material (MariposaHD) through Front Row and the playback is fine. For what it's worth, my Macbook only has 512MB and has the stock 60GB drive.

  13. macrumors 601


    Since you've been thoroughly corrected already I won't do it, but please take this as a lesson to not give advice anymore.
  14. macrumors member

    Didn't mean to blame the mini for it. OS X is pretty anal about the timings it receives from a connected monitor. I intend to install SwitchResX on it "when I get around to it" and force it into a 1920x1080p mode. Do you have a "known good" config for 1080p (50 or 60 hz)?

    There's a huge difference between i and p and it'd be nice to fix that last niggle.

  15. macrumors 601

    Well, in my set-up, I have no need for DisplayConfigX or SwitchResX. It just works ... with a little fudging.

    I do agree that there's a huge difference between 1080i and 1080p, at least on my TV. 1080i output from the Macbook is unwatchable. 1080p is crystal clear.

  16. macrumors member

    It seems to get the fields in the wrong order until you switch away, and then back. I did manage to get 1080p once on it by plugging the tv in after the mac had booted, but that isn't a good solution.

    Can you describe your fudging?

  17. macrumors 601

    OK, here's my set-up:

    Macbook Core Duo 2 ghz, 512MB RAM
    Apple mini-DVI to DVI adapter
    DVI-HDMI cable
    Sharp LC46D62U

    I have the Macbook connected to one of the Sharp's HDMI port.

    When I originally set it up, I chose the Macbook to extend the desktop. The Macbooks screen was #1 and the Sharp was set for #2. I chose 1920x1080 (interlaced) for the Sharp and it showed a lot of interlacing artifacts. Basically, it looked like every other line was missing (or really it was blue). So what I did was pressed the input button on my TV to cycle through the various inputs (i.e. component 1, composite, etc). When I landed back on the HDMI, the display would look perfect, however, the TV still reported that it was a 1080i signal.

    It wasn't until later, after reading some other posts, that I figured out the trick with the Display Resolutions up in the menu bar (you have to have that turned on in the system pref). Up there, there were 2 selections for 1920x1080 60 hz. One of them was 1080i and the other was 1080p. After selecting the 1080p one, the TV reports 1080p. The picture was perfect and I've left that as the main setting, so that whenever I plug in the Macbook, it defaults to 1080p.

    I also set the Sharp to be display #1 when extending the desktop. Just makes it easier.

  18. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    First, check into the other comments about getting OS X to properly output 1080p.

    Then, if your comparison is really comparing an HD-DVD to a downloaded H.264 video, that's a horrible comparison. HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs usually use either the less processor intensive MPEG-2 or VC-1 formats, which would play back just fine on a single-core 1.66 GHz Core Solo. Apple's HD downloads are in the more processor intensive H.264 (also called AVC) format, which really takes a dual core 1.83 GHz or faster chip to properly decode.
  19. macrumors 604



    Did you mean a Core Solo 1.5? Or did you need the Core Duo 1.66?

    I have a Core Duo 1.66. Would be cool to hook up an external Blu-ray or HD DVD drive when the time comes and we can play the high-def discs in OS X.

    Heck, totally cool if we can hook up an LG Super Multi-Blu (combo drive)!!!
  20. macrumors member

    All I know is that under Windows lots of people are having problems with VC1 and single core processors. Even up to 3Ghz P4. It's too early to speculate with OS X, although it plays the m2ts files from a BR disc just fine.

    I get picture tearing on HD DVDs on my Core Duo 1.83. I have so far put this down to the quality of the onboard graphics, but it could be a lack of steam from the CPU.

    Which is why I'm still gonna wait for this year's minis before doing any upgrades like Core 2 Duo or 802.11n.


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