HDMI Switcher for Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Wing Fat, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Wing Fat macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    I have a Mac Mini (the newest model) that I sometimes use for work and sometimes use for watching TV. I have a monitor at my desk connected via the DVI adapter that came with the Mac Mini, and a TV across the room with a long HDMI cable running to the Mac Mini. What I am doing now when I want to switch between displays is simply pulling the video connector out of the back of the Mac and inserting the other one I want to use.

    I thought it would be easier on the cables and a heck of a lot more convenient to buy some kind of a switch and just push a button when I wanted to switch between displays. The problem is I can't find one! All of the switches I have found are 2/3/4 in and 1 out. I want the opposite, 1 in and 2 out. (I'm assuming the switches advertised as "2 in 1 out" won't work the other direction as 2 out 1 in... is that correct?)

    I found a 2-in-1-out "splitter" and tried it but it doesn't work with my monitor (presumably because I use the DVI adapter and don't have a true HDMI input on my monitor). The splitter doesn't have a physical switch on it and even if it did work with my monitor I'm not sure it would suit my needs.

    So... Does anyone have any suggestions for my setup? I would have thought this was a simple thing with a lot of choices but that's turning out not to be the case. I did find some higher-end switches that were 4-in 2-out, but they're fairly expensive and overkill for my needs.
  2. Sparty1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Here is a 1 in 2 out - powered hdmi switch[1]. I would suggest then a hdmi to DVI cable[2], instead of using an adapter.

    [1] http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10113&cs_id=1011301&p_id=5418&seq=1&format=2

    [2] http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10231&cs_id=1023104&p_id=2661&seq=1&format=2

    I've not tried this out in the field with this method, but a powered hdmi splitter should work better when combined with a hdmi to dvi cable.

    With my luck you've already tried this device and its the one you refer to.
  3. Wing Fat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thanks, but the link you sent me to is a splitter and not a switch, and I already have a powered splitter. I suppose it wouldn't cost a lot to try a new cable but does no one make a 1-in-2-out switch?
  4. Wing Fat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Okay I figured out a solution and it's so perfect that I feel like an idiot for not looking into it first. I bought a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter and use that for my computer monitor, and run the HDMI port out to the TV. This way I don't even have to "switch" monitors, as they're both running simultaneously. I can do my computer stuff on the computer monitor while playing video on the TV at the same time.

    I had originally thought of doing this but when I looked at the specs page for the Mac Mini (http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html) is says, "VGA output using Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (sold separately)." No mention of DVI except for the HDMI port. So I thought that the DisplayPort output was VGA, not DVI, and I didn't want to run my computer monitor in VGA. However, when I was researching this further today I discovered Apple sells a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. So this completely solves my problem and works way better than a switch.

    The only other issue I ran in was the picture on the TV being a little too big when running in 720p. I eventually figured out the "Underscan" setting adjusts this. So everything's good now.

    Sorry about the newbie questions. I never did find that switch but it's just as well.
  5. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    this is exactly how I have mine set up....although it not often i watch anything on my mini, it just serves everything up for the rest of the ihome... :)
  6. Sparty1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    My bad on the link. You are correct. Extron must make a product that does what you explain, but I can only find vga switchers.

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