2009 Mac Mini to Composite TV Output?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by chrispoole, May 26, 2009.

  1. chrispoole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #1
    I'm wanting to buy a Mac Mini as a media centre (probably running Mythbuntu, but that's another story).

    My TV is a standard def. widescreen, with composite input.

    Searching around, it seems that the current Mini's mini-DVI and mini-displayport connectors both don't give analog output.

    Is thre any hope of me connecting this to my TV via composite?
     
  2. Mudbug Administrator emeritus

    Mudbug

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Colorado
    #2
    I'll answer this tomorrow, as I'm trying to find a workaround for this very problem right now. The third-party mini-dvi to RCA/S-Video connector sold at Best Buy doesn't work - you just get scrambled jibberish on the TV. Now I'm trying a mini-dvi to VGA, then VGA to RCA patch combination that I hope will do the trick. I'll let you know how that goes once the VGA to RCA patch comes in (should be today).
     
  3. chrispoole thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #3
    Has it worked?

    And is that the official Apple mini-DVI to VGA adapter, or 3rd party?

    My current thought is that the hardware inside the mac mini doesn't send the signals required for s-video or composite (RCA) anymore.
     
  4. lostime macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    #4
    the new ones (with NVidia chipset) only send out a digital signal (DVI-D), the older Mini's had a DVI-I output which was both analog and digital. I don't know why they chose DVI-D only when the mini display port is sitting right beside it for those who want to use a digital signal.

    It would take a scan converter to change the digital signal to analog and for the cost of one you could just buy a new tv or monitor.
     
  5. chrispoole thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #5
    Thanks, that's what I thought.

    It's a real irritation for me. I'm now trying to find a fairly cheap older model.

    Can you confirm (though I'm not entirely sure how), that this is a hardware limitation of the new models, and not just a software thing?
     
  6. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #6
    The new mini can do VGA also, with the correct adapter. They do not do composite or S-video - even with a miniDVI to s-video adapter.

    You would then need a VGA to composite adapter ($20-$100).
     
  7. Mudbug Administrator emeritus

    Mudbug

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    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Colorado
    #8
    Sorry I hadn't replied yet - I only got the converter today.

    Nope - doesn't work. I got a no-name VGA to RCA/S-video converter off ebay for $5 in hopes that it would do the conversion that I needed, but the TV doesn't recognize that signal at all, much less show it scrambled. The box suggested by lostime seems to be my next try - I'll check it out and report back. If that doesn't work, we'll look at replacing the TV itself, but that seems like a pricey option for no good reason.
     
  8. MM123 macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    CE
    #9
    Hi,
    so did that box work for you?
     
  9. Durandal549 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2007
    #10
    I think we need a sticky or something for this topic. I see it come up at least once a month.

    The mac mini's only analog output is VGA. You can buy a scan converter that will turn VGA into a composite signal. They range in price from $30(or cheaper on monoprice) to over a thousand dollars (professional quality). Without getting into the professional space, any scan converter is going to look "fuzzy" and fine detail is generally lost. In almost any home situation it is better to look into a new TV.
     
  10. MM123 macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2008
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    CE
    #11
    I don't know if you have try it and saw, that the result isn't "watchable", or if this is only your guess, but the problem with the new TV's is, that it's still not as good as the last generation CRT TV. It's bigger, but the picture quality is sometimes worser. So, maybe OLED or LaserTV will be the right choice for me, but it looks like it would take a while until it would be prepared for the market.
     
  11. Durandal549 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2007
    #12

    I have used scan converters in home and professional use. I never said it was "watchable or unwatchable". I just wanted to point out that cheap ones are not always the best solution and that a good scan converter is probably more than most people would want to spend to keep using an old TV.

    What are you trying to say in the last part? Are you really saying that new tv's are not as good as old CRT's?
     
  12. MM123 macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2008
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    CE
    #13
    Exactly, I got all kinds of LCD's, LED LCD's at home, but I send them all back, it has big screen, which is great, but the picture quality isn't still great, it's sometimes great, but sometimes bad.
    That's why I still use my "old" CRT TV, actually it's isn't so old, it's 3 years old 36'' panny
     
  13. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    Mar 19, 2008
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    OC Baby!
    #14
    You have all kinds of LED LCDs? Wow, I want to come to your house. :D

    Anyways - when I first got an LCD TV - early adopter about 7 years ago, I thought the same thing about the sub-par TV signal creating a cruddy picture.

    Well, my cable has now caught up and when you're watching HD a regular CRT is no where near an HD source.

    The key with any TV or monitor for that matter is making sure the signal and resolution it is receiving is its' native resolution. If not your sure to get a subpar image.
     
  14. Mudbug Administrator emeritus

    Mudbug

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Colorado
    #15
    sorry - been out of town.

    Yep this works:

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...mat=4#feedback

    Hope that helps everyone - gives the ability to output and adjust the video to fit the screen if you need to. Pulls power from one of the usb ports on the mini without a brick going to the wall.
     
  15. Saladinos macrumors 68000

    Saladinos

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #16
    Bad link
     
  16. MM123 macrumors member

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    CE
    #17
  17. RichieJJ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    #18
    Hi Mudbug (hope you're still monitoring this thread!?)
    Would you mind telling me how good the picture quality and movement is on your TV with the VGA converter you posted the link for, pls.

    I have just bought this VGA converter...
    http://www.startech.com/item/VGA2VID-High-Resolution-VGA-to-Composite-or-S-Video-Converter.aspx
    and although the picture quality is good, it s also jerky (for want of a better word) when ever a fast paced / action scene comes on.

    If you are happy with the picture quality as well as not noticing any jerking or jumping, i think i might well swap the units over.
    Also, does it have a PAL/NTSC switch, or is it NTSC only, as i'm in the UK

    Thank you

    Rich
     
  18. Greg K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    #19
    Hi,

    I've just bought a Mac Mini (late 2009) to use as a media centre (Boxee) and need to connect it to my girlfriends Sony CRT TV.

    Having read this thread and other sites, I *think* this is the same RCA to VGA converter box but on eBay (UK):

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/S-Video-BNC-R...elessVideoTransmitters_CA?hash=item3ef7cfc5b9

    I think I need to buy these two cables as well?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VGA-TO-TV-RCA...uting_CablesConnectors_RL?hash=item5637ed1e27 (VGA to s-video cable)

    http://store.apple.com/uk/product/M9320G/A (Apple Mini DVI to VGA cable)

    Not sure how I'm connecting audio yet. The TV has a headphone jack but that's audio out, not in? It has what look like phono connectors near the s-video input (picture attached).

    Thanks,

    Greg
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #20
    That looks like the opposite of what you want. From the description it looks like it takes VGA or S-Video input and has a VGA output. You want VGA in and S-Video/Composite out.

    No. If it worked - great, but this for some some video card with built in S-Video. Not for a regular computer - forget about it.
    Yes.

    A regular audio to RCA cable "3.5mm Stereo Male to 2RCA Male".

    Something like this:http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=5596&seq=1&format=2

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Greg K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    #21
    I've not bought any of the above equipment, I was waiting for a reply and it was a good thing I did!

    So I need the Apple cable and a M-to-M s-video lead? (assuming the converter has a female s-video out). Not forgetting the audio RCA to cable.

    I'll hunt around eBay for a suitable converter now.
     
  21. Greg K macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2009
    #22
  22. ADent macrumors 6502a

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