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brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
I think an M1 iMac would be the perfect display from my M2 MacBook Air. I can buy the lowest spec iMac second-hand very cheaply. I've briefly tried using an M1 iMac as an Airplay Receiver and it seemed to work really well. But I was keen to find out about other people's experiences. I can't find posts about it anywhere. Most are old threads about people lamenting the loss of the old Target Display Mode.
Can anyone share their experience?
 
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brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
I love the resolution, form factor and build quality.
I have a LG 27" 4k. It's bulky and clunky.
 

curnalpanic

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2008
482
620
go:teborg
You will not get the full resolution with Airplay (at most 3840x2160) so it won't be perfectly sharp. And there is a substantial lag. Could be usable in a pinch, but I would not buy an iMac to be used only as a monitor.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
12,697
OP:

You don't really want to use an M-series iMac as "a second display".
Get a REAL "display" -- much cheaper, if you get a decent one the image will be better.
 

brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
OP:

You don't really want to use an M-series iMac as "a second display".
Get a REAL "display" -- much cheaper, if you get a decent one the image will be better.

I do want to use it as second display. The panel is terrific and if I can achieve 4.5k on 24" then it's much cheaper second-hand than an equivalent dedicated display. In the market I'm buying in anyway.
 

brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
You will not get the full resolution with Airplay (at most 3840x2160) so it won't be perfectly sharp. And there is a substantial lag. Could be usable in a pinch, but I would not buy an iMac to be used only as a monitor.
I've heard different stories about the resolution of Airplay between macs. Why do you say max res is 2160p? Even with Thunderbolt?
 

curnalpanic

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2008
482
620
go:teborg
I've heard different stories about the resolution of Airplay between macs. Why do you say max res is 2160p? Even with Thunderbolt?
Correct. This is what I can see on my setup.
 

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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
13,552
7,078
Very interesting. That isn't a Thunderbolt cable though. It won't necessarily support maximum resolution. I'd be interested to see the results with a Thunderbolt cable.
Airplay simply won't support the full resolution of the iMac's display and Target Display Mode is definitely gone. I'd get a 27" 5k display and use that and it will be less clunky than trying to make this work. Apple's Studio Display will be the best integrated and will have build quality on par with Apple's other products, but you won't have to run a whole second computer to get a partially functional external display.
 

brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
Airplay simply won't support the full resolution of the iMac's display and Target Display Mode is definitely gone. I'd get a 27" 5k display and use that and it will be less clunky than trying to make this work. Apple's Studio Display will be the best integrated and will have build quality on par with Apple's other products, but you won't have to run a whole second computer to get a partially functional external display.
Lots of people have said that Airplay won't support the full resolution but I haven't once seen it documented. So I'm not yet convinced. Apple Support didn't even know about Airplay Receiver for Mac. I think I need to go into a store and try it.
Unless someone on here can try it with a Thunderbolt cable first...

Also, I already have an LG 4K 27" and the resolution is fine for me. I'm keen to use the iMac because I'll need to store it and get it back out again often. My place is very tight for space. Studio Display wont solve my problem.
 

chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
13,552
7,078
Lots of people have said that Airplay won't support the full resolution but I haven't once seen it documented. So I'm not yet convinced. Apple Support didn't even know about Airplay Receiver for Mac. I think I need to go into a store and try it.
Unless someone on here can try it with a Thunderbolt cable first...

Also, I already have an LG 4K 27" and the resolution is fine for me. I'm keen to use the iMac because I'll need to store it and get it back out again often. My place is very tight for space. Studio Display wont solve my problem.
The screen shot in post 8 shows an iMac that's connected to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt. If it were connected via a USB cable it wouldn't show up in the Thunderbolt/USB4 section of the System Information app.
 

brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
The screen shot in post 8 shows an iMac that's connected to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt. If it were connected via a USB cable it wouldn't show up in the Thunderbolt/USB4 section of the System Information app.
Thunderbolt 3 or 4 is 40 Gbps
 

brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2011
824
363
Pretty sure that could be USB4 and not Thunderbolt. I'd like to know what happens when TB4 cable is used. I'll visit a store. Thanks
 
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