If you hook up a Mac Pro or Mac Mini to a TV, will games look the same as consoles??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by applefan289, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    If I were to hook up a Mac Mini or Mac Pro to a TV (via Mini DisplayPort > VGA adapter, or an Mini DisplayPort > HDMI adapter) and play a game like Call of Duty 4, will the visuals be as good as if I were playing it on a home console, like an Xbox 360 or PS3? I'm not saying "visuals" as in how good the graphics are, what I mean is the clarity of the signal.

    Let's say a normal game console (like 360) is hooked up via HDMI, how would that compare to what I said above?

    Also, I know most TVs have a VGA input for a PC, but how would I input sound? I don't think an auxiliary cable would work, because most TVs only have a headphone jack (for audio out).

  2. macmikey2 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    West Chester, PA
    VGA will look awful. HDMI or Component only will give you great results.

    If the TV is HD, then all the better.

    Audio is carried over HDMI only from Macs with a HDMI port built in. Otherwise a separate optical cable will carry the audio over for you.

    I do this in my Living room with my Mini and a Vizio HDTV and my step daughter has a mini connected to her LG HDTV.

  3. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    It's all about resolution too. An Xbox or PS3 game will output its display in 1080p (aka 1920x1080 screen resolution). If you plug your mac into the TV and set the resolution to 1080p (or 1920x1080), you will achieve the same resolution as the game console. Now when you play the game on the Mac, you also have to set the games resolution to 1920x1080.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Assuming your Mac had a GPU that was hypothetically identical to the power of a PS3 or 360, it would look identical--both would be sending a pure digital signal to the TV, so long as you were using either HDMI direct or DVI->HDMI.

    And actually, since most PS3 games (not sure about 360) run at 720p, a Mac set to 1080p with sufficient GPU to draw that would look sharper all else being equal.

    Audio would be either direct via HDMI, if you have a Mac that supports audio over HDMI (newer Mini with built-in HDMI output, or one of the newer Displayport outputs that are capable of carrying audio), via the Mac's optical audio out (if the TV has optical audio in--mine does, anyway--or you've got a home theater audio system), or via a 3.5mm to stereo RCA adapter (cheap little dealie that has a headphone jack on one end and the red/white analog connectors on the other end). Again, the audio would be the same as the gaming rig if you were using one of the digital options, but worse if you were using analog out.

    [Edit: Double ninja'd]

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