HDMI Switcher for Mac Mini?

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

  1. Wing Fat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #1
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #2
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #3
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #5
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hanover MD
    #6
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #7
    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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