2011 Mac Mini TV monitor

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by LouisLeLou, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. LouisLeLou macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2010
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Hello everyone,

    I'm aware this is probably a well covered issue but I've been finding it difficult to get anywhere in my research.

    The situation is this: I'm looking to get a new screen for my mum's Mac Mini (5,1) running Lion. At the moment she's using an old Samsung TV monitor (1680x1050) and the Mac Mini doesn't seem to want to output that resolution via HDMI. I tried the HDMI to DVI adapter that came with the Mac Mini, but it seems to be missing a couple of holes that the Samsung DVI cable has pins for. I then messed around with SwitchResX. This still didn't work so she's stuck with the same horrible blurry underscanned resolution we started off with.

    My question is this: Can anyone recommend a half decent, fairly priced TV monitor that will display the correct resolution via HDMI. My mum primarily uses the Mac Mini for streaming TV or watching movies (sitting on a couch a few metres away) so it doesn't have to be a super high quality screen; I just don't want it to look as bloody awful as it does now.
    The size would preferably be good enough for viewing at a distance of a few metres (I believe the current screen is 20 inches, a bit on the small side from that distance – she was recently coveting my 27-inch iMac and commenting on the quality of the screen, but I think if it were to be a screen of such a size, or larger, it would have to be a much lower quality "TV" screen as opposed to a mid-to-high quality computer monitor, as they seem pretty expensive).

    Cheers in advance for any advice!

  2. kingdLo macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Is the problem your having just blurry ness and pixelated looking fonts when using the HDMI?

    If so, I had the same exact problem with my 2012 Mini and Samsung TV. I tried every setting correction computer wise and nothing. Then I read something about changing the way the Samsung TV labels the connection. I just dug around in the TV settings menu and renamed the incoming connection from HDMI - XX(can't remember what it was previously) to HDMI - PC and wala, perfect resolution coming in at 1080p. No more blurry screen and pixelated fonts
  3. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    From my experience the vast majority of TVs work on Mac minis but I have found some just do not no matter what you try.

    I had an elcheapo 1080 TV that refused to work properly (overscan and res) via any HDMI or MDP to HDMI. I also have three minis and it was the same on two 2011s and one 2012. Although Apple TV works fine on the same TV. I also had a Panasonic Plasma 50" that had overscan issues on the mini, but I managed to adjust to work (although it then has under scan issues on everything else).

    You could take your mini into the store and ask them to hook it up to the demo model. If it works then buy that model.
  4. eecyclone macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2013
    That's an interesting problem you have. I have had my mini hooked up to multiple monitors and TV's and never had an issue with getting it to display correctly when using HDMI. All of them were 1080p. I would start with finding a 32" 1080p TV, then test it with using the hdmi output of the mini.
  5. smera macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2013
    Mac Mini monitor

    I recently bought Mac Mini (2012) but did not have any issue, although it was attached with HDMI to Samsung 32'' TV and now to Philips full hd 22'' monitor.:
  6. SpinalTap macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2003
    Bournville, UK
    A cheap experiment might solve your problem...

    My daughter connects her 2011 MacBook Pro to her Samsung television via a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable with no issues.

    A 2m length cable can be had for around £10 from Amazon.
  7. LouisLeLou, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    LouisLeLou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2010
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Cheers for the replies everyone!

    Yeah this is exactly it, fonts look terrible and everything else is just off enough to be upsetting. Basically, the Mac Mini won't allow me to output 1680x1050 to the monitor using HDMI, and unfortunately it seems this Samsung screen is pre-being-able-to-do-that-fix-you-mentioned, as I tried that a while back. I believe I've set it up to output 1080p, then I messed about with the underscan slider so it would fit on the screen. Looks terrible... terrible... But all of the other options give similar results.

    Do you think it has to do with outputting resolutions other than standard HD TV resolutions via HDMI? That seems to be the conclusion I can draw from other threads on this subject. I'm sure it would work correctly via DVI (with the supplied HDMI -> DVI adapter). I used it with my Macbook Pro once (using a VGA cable with the DVI -> VGA adapter that came with my 2008 Macbook Pro), and it displayed everything correctly... All of these bloody cables and adapters, I really expected the Mac Mini to just work out of the box with any monitor. But I'm sure it's our fault for not just getting a DVI cable straight away. She needs a bigger TV anyway, I refuse to try to solve this again!

    From what I can tell it doesn't seem to be a rare problem with people using HDMI for their monitor connection (maybe not with the newest Mac Minis? This one is a 2011 model). And as I mentioned above it seems to have something to do with having a screen that's anything other than a standard HD resolution. When I hook this screen up I don't even have 1680x1050 as an option in display preferences. There are a million useless resolutions, then 720p, 1080p, aaand perhaps 1080i, not sure.
    I'm going to make the assumption that if it's a 1080p screen, the Mac Mini will allow me to output 1080p... it's just that this screen isn't, which I think is the problem.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not going to try to get this screen working properly, but I think what I'll do is decide on a new screen, Google it + Mac Mini to death, then if something for whatever reason doesn't work, I'll start throwing cash around for adapters and cables. Preferably the screen would also have a DVI connector so I could actually use one of the 3 billion Apple adapters I have lying around instead of having to get something else. Again!

    So, cheers again for the replies! With all this being said, any recommendations for 32" 1080p screens?


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