Mac mini and resolution of display

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bumfilter, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. bumfilter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2004

    So I got a new intel mac mini the other day. I've connected it to my Samsung LCD TV (720p) via mini-dvi to dvi, dvi cable, dvi to hdmi adapter, back of the TV. When I choose overscan, the dock and the menu bar are cut off but the image fills the screen. If I choose no overscan, I get black borders all the way round.

    On my previous mac mini (G4), it was dvi to vga adapter, VGA cable straight into the back of the TV. With this option, I got a black border on the right hand side of the screen.

    What is with all these weird video resolution problems?! To annoy me even more, booting into target disk mode on the intel mac displays the graphics perfectly. The boot image (apple logo) is perfectly fine. When you get into the OS, black borders are back.

    Am I missing something?!

    BTW: I've Googled the subject and have found various threads suggesting switchresx and similar tools, which don't seem to work. No real explanations of why it's happening though.
  2. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    If your overscan is going beyond the displayable limits of the tv, then you need to adjust the vertical scaling on the tv. Go into the tv's setup menu and find the setting that controls this. Also, is this an old tv with no digital inputs? If possible, you would be better off going through DVI or HDMI. Otherwise you'll only get 1080i max.
  3. wbtlevi macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    What resolution are you running at? On my LG TV it runs best at 1360x768. Other resolutions tend to get the results that you mentioned. Also on your TV is zoom enabled? Sometimes you need to turn it to Full.
  4. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008

    planning to buy an LG 37" 720p this month. i hope i don't run into this problem.
  5. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2003
    i've had much better luck with 1080p tvs than 720.
  6. bumfilter thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2004
    It is quite an old TV but it's not really old, 720p rather than 1080.

    Tried adjusting the vertical scaling but it didn't scale down far enough and there is no option for horizontal (which would be needed as well).

    Connected via DVI/HDMI I can only choose 1280x720, anything else either goes weird or is worse in terms of the black border size.

    The TV's native resolution is 1360x768 but I don't get that option when connected via HDMI or VGA. I'll have to check the VGA again to see what resolutions it does offer me.

    I'm going to the Apple store today to maybe get more adapters, what would be the best option to use on the mini to connect to the TV? The mini dvi or mini displayport to VGA or HDMI?
  7. bumfilter thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2004
    Got a mini display port to VGA adaptor and it gives me 1360x768. Even though that looks like its only 6 pixels short, it's a good 3/4 inch of the screen, so a right hand border again, just like the G4 mini.

    Kind of annoying but oh well, better than four black borders!
  8. strayan macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    Can anyone confirm that the mini DVI to VGA adapter will drive a screen at 1360x768 on the new 2009 Mac Mini with Nvidia 9400M?

    I want to hear from people who are actually doing it with the new 2009 model.
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Seeing as it drives anything up to 1920x1200, it's safe to assume that it'll work with this.

    That's an odd resolution; TV or dedicated computer monitor?
  10. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    1360x768 is the resolution that many (maybe all) Macs use for TVs that have a native 1366x768 resolution. 1366x768 is pretty much the native resolution for all 720p TVs these days.

    Since 1366 isn't divisible by 8, the Mac drops down to the next number divisible by 8. Hence, 1360.

    I think it also depends on whether the graphics card is ATi or nVidia. Or it could be a function of the video card itself.

  11. AndreM macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    That resolution works on my 1920/1080 Samsung 40A656/early '09 mini. Unfortunately the picture quality in what ever resolution is bad. Just check this picture to see an example!

    mini-DVI --> DVI or mini-DVI --> VGA did not make any difference.

    (I previously used a last years favourite mini which actualy did give an excellent picture.)

    So be aware... the new MINI '09 is not a friend for every TV!
  12. monkeybongo macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2007
    I had a similar issue with my Samsung 720P LCD television displaying correctly over DVI at the native 1366x768 but had no problems with VGA and looks amazing.
  13. strayan macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    Could you take a screen to confirm you can see that resolution?

    Like this (you can see I don't have the option to output 1360x768 from my iMac):
  14. strayan macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    Is anyone else running their TV at 1360x768 on the new 2009 Mac Mini with Nvidia 9400M?
  15. wbtlevi macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    I have my Mini hooked up to my LG TV running at 1360x768. When I tried through VGA nothing happened. When I did DVI->HDMI it worked perfectly. There were a couple of settings on my TV to be able to optimize the display to this resolution tho.
  16. One Love 1867 macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2009
    Sheffield, UK
    I'm going to be buying a Mac Mini soon and hooking it upto a 42" LG HDTV. Is there any difference in performance between DVI to HDMI or simple DVI to DVI? I'm running out of HDMI ports so would prefer to go for DVI to DVI if the performance holds up. Does the Mac Mini come with this connection as standard or will i need to buy another adapter?
  17. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    DVI to DVI and DVI to HDMI are actually the exact same thing, at least as far as the video signals going between your computer and the TV are concerned. Think of HDMI as DVI with a different-shaped plug and socket, because that's essentially what it is.

    However, there's one potential gotcha - some TVs will only display a full 1920x1080 image if it's fed in via an HDMI port. With these TVs, if you try to input 1920x1080 via the TV's DVI or VGA ports, the TV will automatically downscale it. So if your TV is one of those, you'll have to use a DVI to HDMI adapter to see things in full res.

    Mac minis come with a Mini-DVI to DVI adapter as standard, so you'd just have to buy a DVI-to-HDMI cable.
  18. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    I bet your not using a 15 pin VGA cable.
    I had the same problem with my Macbook until I figured out I needed a better cable.
  19. AndreM macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    OK... I tried several options:

    mini DVI --> DVI -->/ DVI --> HDMI
    mini DVI --> VGA
    mini Displayport --> DVI -->/ DVI --> HDMI

    None of them did solve the problem.

    Without overscan you still see 4 black borders.
    With overscan: In all cases the picture (1280-720 or 1920-1080) gets blown up and stretched to use the whole screen.

    Not entirely great looking (to use an understatement) on a 1920/1080 Full HD TV (Samsung 40A656). My five year old laptop produces a better picture:mad: on this TV.
  20. Moocher macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    NE Atlanta area
    I have a new mini and I'm still trying to sort this out myself. So far I get a decent picture using mini DVI to a DVI/HDMI cable on my JVC56FN97 rear projection set. However, I can't get rid of the black border without losing the menu bar. I haven't had a lot of time lately, so I'm still setting up the mini in fits and starts. More fits than starts, actually.

    I'm hoping we get some advice. I have not tried any res adjusting software yet.

  21. olekro macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    I see that the last post here is over a year ago - no one got a solution for these matters yet?

    I have the black border-issue myself. I got a FULL HD Sony Bravia W4000 46" LCD-screen. With overscan turned on the screen is filled and things look kind of fine. But when seeing video-content the screen flicker/laggs evert 2-3 seconds, especially visible when camera pans from one side to another. When turning overscan off, this problem goes away, but then again - I got about 10cm black border left and right and 6-7 top/bottom.

    I have done research for a long time, but the only tip I have found is switchX and displayX. However, even though adjusting to another resolution to make the screen fit I think that is the wrong solution. Ok - maybe there is a setting on my TV, but I cannot find one. There is no overscan setting to be found, and about pixel mapping it is set to full. The other option just make the result even worse.

    For the record - I am using 1920x1080 (not interlaced) - but the black border-issue shows in every other resolution as well. I am just terrible annoyed by this problem, and I would be really glad if someone have suggestions of what might be a solution - or even other places I should go to find an answer.
  22. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Sounds like a frame-rate issue. Perhaps your TV is on a 24fps setting and the video is running at 30/60 fps. Can you select a setting on the TV to fix this? It might be called Cinema mode or something like that.

    Still, it's odd that you would see this with overscan on, but not with overscan off.

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