09 mini attached to small bedroom tv for plex, will hdmi be much better than vga

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by madeirabhoy, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    stuck my old 2009 mini into the bedroom tv to stream movies through plex, and also to watch uk tv through filmon.

    the only connector the mac and the tv shared was a normal vga monitor cable.

    it looks fine, cant say the writing is exactly computer monitor crisp but its readable.

    didnt think i could use hdmi but in my local FNAC i saw they had a mini to hdmi connector. would this still work on my 2009 mini and realistically would i notice much difference?
  2. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    If it's a small TV, there probably wouldn't be much of a difference. Rather than the converter, I would probably replace the old TV with a new one if you want HDMI.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    from looking online it looks like both versions of 2009 mac minis have both mini DVI and Mini-display port. so you can use an adapter from either to HDMI.

    unfortunately, it wasn't until 2010 that they added audio support on the mini-displayport. so even with HDMI you will still have to use the audio line out on your mac. (more info)

    you may not see any difference in video quality. VGA can handle 1080 resolution, so that won't get any better.
    you might see a little better image quality. might not be that big of a difference if any.

    the writing won't be as crisp, the pixel density of a TV is typically much lower than a monitor. a few examples of pixel density...

    27" imac - 108 Pixels Per Inch
    32" 1080 - 69 PPI
    32" 720 - 45 PPI
    iPad Air - 264 PPI
    iPad Mini Retina - 326 PPI
  4. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    cheers thanks, saves me wasting money on a cable
  5. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2009
    For what it's worth, I have a late 2009 mini connected to a TV as a media player. The Mini came with a mini displayport to DVI adapter, so that's what I'm using to connect to the TV. The text is not crisp, and I've used a 32" 720p and currently a 55" 1080p.

    I also have a 1080p, 23" IPS plasma monitor that I'd used through VGA for years and the text was always nice and sharp. Switching that to HDMI made a noticeable difference but it wasn't a huge game changing difference.

    It is absolutely the pixel density of the TV and not the quality of the cable that's your limiting factor.

    Also, the lack of audio pass-through on the 2009 model has got to be the most annoying thing about the machine.
  6. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    cheers mate. yep its annoying, i have an old pair of speakers but its another thng to find space for, and it makes turning the volume down a pain.

    tbh i am thinking im only doing this just because i dont want to sell or give away the mac, but my cheap android tv box in the lounge does actually do the job better.
  7. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2009
    For the audio, both TV's I've had it connected to have an audio pin input near one of the inputs, and you can configure the TV to use that for the signal instead of looking on the HDMI. It was a pain to set up but if your TV has it, it's a better workaround than external speakers and the TV remote's volume works that way.

    I like it better than any of the cheap boxes because it's so much more flexible, with vlc, I can play almost any video format. And I can stream video from anywhere. Plus youtube and netflix are so much nicer in a proper web browser than any of the apps I've seen. Once a friend asked me to stream their favourite radio station and it was as easy as going to the site in safari and clicking the play link.
  8. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you could get a box that would combine the audio and video signals to HDMI.
    link here

    it's $35, and is built to do exactly what you're doing, it even gets it's power from a USB port on the computer.

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