iMac - HDTV as monitor alone, no imac screen? Is there a way to JUST have the HDTV?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sean Dempsey, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I have my imac hooked to my 52" 1080p TV. The TV is 1920x1080, and the imac screen isn't, of course.

    I tried mirroring the displays, but then it just goes to the imacs max resolution, which is 1680x1050. So Now, I put the HDTV as a secondary display, and moved the menubar and dock over to it, but the imac screen is still on as now the extended desktop.

    I don't want the imac screen on, I want the HDTV to be the only screen. Right now, the imac screen isn't visible in my entertainment center, so using it as a multiple display is pointless, and I am too far away to even read it.

    I had hoped there was a way to run the imac with the display off, and just have the mini-DVI display active, similar to a macbook running in clamshell mode with the lid closed, but the computer on and using the external monitor as its main display.

    Is there any way to do this, or do I just have to accept the idea that the imac screen will always be on?
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I know in some media players - the 2nd screen (that does not have video on it) will black out. This is what happens when I play videos in VLC and Mplayer full screen on my 2nd monitor.

    Aside from that - I'm not sure. :confused:
  3. Akitakoi macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2008
  4. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I don't have my iMac set up with an external monitor to check this, but I have a active screen corner (Preferences -> Expose & Spaces) set up to "Sleep Display" when I move my mouse cursor into it.

    What happens if you try this?
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Both displays go to sleep.

    Or - depending on your connector, display # 2 says "no cable connected".
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Notebooks can do that using clamshell mode... but not iMacs... :rolleyes:
  7. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I figured as much.

    What I wanted to do was not have an extended desktop, so sleeping the display or making it black doesn't help when my mouse goes to the other screen, (which is hidden behind the TV in the cabinet) and I can't get the mouse back.

    I hooked it up so I could lay on the couch and play World of Warcraft on the 52" 1080p... which looks amazing with the game running. It just sucks that the only way to do something like this would be to get a mac pro, or mac mini... neither of which are really practical for WoW. The iMac is perfect for the price and video capability.

    Oh well... maybe I should play wow on a windows box?
  8. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    What you are trying to do and the iMacs inability to do it have also been frustrating for me. I often use the iMac as a media device, playing movies to my TV, and it would be nice to turn off the iMac display.

    Another thing that bugs me to no end - is that I have to manually plug and unplug the video-out cord from the back of the computer each time I use the TV, as there is no software mechanism to disable the second display when it is plugged in. I either have to unplug the cord after each use, or accept the lower resolution of the TV all the time (1920x1080 rather than 1920x1200 on the iMac) or have an extended desktop that I can't see when the TV is in other use. Quite a pain, and it seems like a simple OS X software switch for this is missing!
  9. imacvideo macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
    I have been struggling with related imac issues. Just stumbled across I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like it may also help with your issues.
  10. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Why did you buy an iMac for a media centre anyway?
  11. duffer macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    If you use Plex as your media center software, you can blank the iMac screen.

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