Mac mini 2010: Use mini-displayport for video and HDMI-port for audio simultaneously?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Deslock, May 15, 2011.

  1. Deslock macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Can I use mini-displayport for video and HDMI for audio simultaneously? More specifically, I'd like to be able to stream Netflix and other sites, play DVD movies, hi-def DVD-audio, and local media files (via Plex, VLC, iTunes, etc) to a surround setup.

    Background: I have a 2010 Mac mini connected to a 47" 1080 HDTV using a mini-displayport -> VGA adapter (because it provides a noticeably better image than HDMI). So my HDMI port is free for audio. I do not have any HDMI speakers to try this with. I've just started shopping around for a 5.1 system.
  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Is the quality really that noticeable? That is really odd since both are at 1080p. The resolutions should be the same.
  3. dcoulson macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2010
    The TV probably disables a lot of the image processing, such as 'sharpness', when it's fed via VGA. I just connect my Mac Mini to my TV using MDP->HDMI and set sharpness to 0 and it works great.
  4. jeanw macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2010
    you mean ?

    my sony booklet says I can ONLY HOOK VIA THE VGA I TRIED THE HDMI AND IT WILL NOT WORK It ticked me off that I had to buy the adaptor since A did not include a VGA adaptor in the mac box.....
    so is it cause you have a diff type tv ? my sony Brava 27 inch is from 2007
    thanks all
  5. Deslock thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2004
    The difference is significant when using the Mac mini as a computer rather than for just watching movies: text is less crisp over HDMI (almost like there's slight ghosting). I was definitely running the same resolution (I double-checked... Also I have 20/13 vision, and I immediately notice when LCDs are not running their native resolution).

    Maybe it's because I'm using a cheap HDMI cable? I messed with the TV and Mac mini settings and couldn't get it any better. When you say that you set sharpness to 0, do you mean on your TV or on the Mac mini?
  6. dcoulson macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2010
    On the TV - The image should be identical to using a regular monitor, assuming you have the resolution set properly. I had my MacBook Pro connected to my Samsung TV via HDMI last night and it worked great.

    Cable will have nothing to do with it.
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    I read an article awhile back that if your tv doesn't have a PC preset, and you have to manually input this, you must capitalize "PC", or you will have problems. Am surprised your manual states VGA only. HDMI should look better.
  8. Deslock thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2004
    FYI for anyone who comes across this thread

    I hooked up a receiver this morning and the Mac mini does in fact send audio via HDMI while simultaneously sending video through mini-displayport (to-VGA).

    It turns out it doesn't matter as dcoulson was right: my LG TV has a setting named "Edge Enhancer" under "Expert Settings" that was set to "low" by default. I didn't see it before as it's only for HDMI and doesn't appear in the menu while the TV is connected via VGA (I didn't realize the LG menus were dynamic like that... makes perfect sense, though I'm used to things like that being grayed out rather than hidden).

    With Edge Enhancer turned off, the HDMI and VGA image quality are identical.

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