Dedicated monitor or television?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ardchoille50, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    I currently own a 22", 1080p television made by Insignia - it has 2 HDMI ports. I plan to buy a Mac mini in April. Should I buy a dedicated computer monitor or will my current 1080p television suffice for the Mac mini? I was told that there is little difference between a dedicated monitor and a 1080p television.
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    TVs can be tricky, particularly if your set lacks a dedicated PC input. Beyond that, 1920x1080 is a bit cramped. Im planning a mini setup with dual 1920x1200. The 200 pixels doesnt sound like much, but its good breathing room.

    Bigger and better screens have gotten so large and cheap, could a single new purchase garner better TV and better Mac?
  3. ardchoille50, Feb 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014

    ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    My tv does have a VGA input, but I was under the impression that HDMI yielded a better picture.
  4. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    Your monitor will suffice, but i would rather use a dedicated monitor just so i can free up the TV, unless you are low on cash or would like to use the mac and TV at the same time. but in reality it just depends on what you're uses are and if you really need it.

    There is also little difference between a 1080p monitor and a 1080 TV. they both sport a 1920 by 1080 resolution.

    As for quality of VGA and HDMI, the HDMI will probably give you a much clearer picture due to it being digital and the VGA being an analog signal.
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Depends on whether the TV can interpret HDMI like DVI. That means:
    -without overscan
    -without clipping the dynamic range of the signal
    -without sharpening filters
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I'd buy a dedicated monitor. I've used my Sony Bravia as a monitor, but it's not ideal...for streaming it's fantastic, but you really do want a dedicated computer monitor for your Mac.
  7. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    Thanks for the advice, everyone, good points all around. I'm going to go ahead and buy a dedicated computer monitor for my Mac mini. The prices in local stores are very nice.
  8. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    As long as the monitor has HDMI you can use that like a tv
    I would get a monitor

    You can use an HDMI switch for switching between cable box ,ps3 & computer
  9. iPhil macrumors 68040


    True but if OP's monitor has composite input and the cable box has it also -- then no need for HDMI switch box ...

    I've got a 32" 720p costco screen - I got currently HDDVR cable box thru component to the tv and 2011 mini thru HDMI and 2006 mini thru dvi>HDMI .. Just basic computer work via '11 mini on 32" screen .... looks fine to me ..

  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Remember that local stores hardly have IPS screens. For a couple of bucks more, you have one with such a panel. For example Dell U2412M, great 1920x1200 IPS screen at a low price.
  11. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    By "local stores" I meant Best Buy. Would you recommend them for IPS screens? Just noticed Amazon has some good prices on IPS monitors. Thanks for that!
  12. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    I tried using a 20 inch hd tv as a monitor and text was less sharp than on dedicated Samsung monitor of similar size (£100 and a few years old so nothing fancy), not sure I found much difference between hdmi or VGA to tv which could handle both. My mini alternates between the monitor and 50 inch tv, both work well but when on big tv I have text zoomed in a lot but it's mostly for web browsing and media of course.
  13. jlanpheer macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Go dedicated monitor!

    I thought the same thing, that i could use an LED TV as a monitor. I bought a high-quality 32-inch Samsung TV intending it to be my monitor. The picture was not near sharp enough, and i ended up returning it and getting a dedicated monitor (HP Pavilion).

    If you are doing anything that requires a detailed display, you'll definitely want to go this route.
  14. L T macrumors 6502

    L T

    Feb 24, 2013

    Be careful with this one,

    I bought a mini thinking I could just use my HD tv, the picture looked awful. I even got the mini exchanged and it was the same, I then had to buy a dedicated monitor.

    I did buy a new tv and put the mini on it to test and it looked great via HDMI, that was a Samsung Syncmaster tv (which I think are known for being good monitors?)

    In my experience it looks better on DVI, which would make sense as Apple provides a HDMI to DVI adapter with the mini.

    I guess you can just buy the mini, if it looks good on your TV then great, but if you need to you can then ask us on here to find you a good monitor!

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