Mac Mini dual monitor question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by spotsphill, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. spotsphill macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2009
    I am looking to purchase the new Mac Mini and run two "monitors" (HDMI to my HDTV and Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA monitor). If I set them as extended desktop, would it be possible to keep my monitor as my everyday browsing screen and have XBMC open up full screen on my HDTV? My goal is to split the use of my Mac Mini as 75% computer and 25% XBMC. It would be even cooler if I could do normal browsing on the monitor while simultaneously playing a movie on the HDTV via XBMC.

    Is this the correct approach, or do you all have any alternative suggestions?


    - Phill
  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    I just tested this out with Plex (the OS X-specific port of XBMC). You can indeed have stuff playing full-screen with Plex on one screen, and switch to apps on the other screen by command-tabbing. Just make sure the menu bar (and thus the Dock) are mapped to your monitor rather than your HDTV so you will have access to them while working (Plex will cover everything up if it's on the system's primary display). The only limitation I can think of is that you can't control Plex with a remote when you're using other apps, since Plex isn't the active app (keyboard control works just as well so it's just a matter of command-tabbing back to Plex when you want to change something).
  3. fkntotalkaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    I had the same question, but more monitor specific. I want to use a 1080p 27 inch Samsung monitor in my office with a 27 inch Apple Cinema display as the main monitor. Will this work with a 2010 Mac mini, running the HDMI to the 1080p and using the Mini DVI port
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    so you want to run a 2560 x 1440 ACD and a 1920 x 1080 Samsung at the same time with a mac mini ?

    don't except great results if you are gaming or watching video and editing it. even if you are watching live sports . for spread sheets and less graphic intensive work maybe. the GPU in the new mini will help a bit but doing that much with a mini will be hard.
  5. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Yes, that'll work. Note that the 2010 Mini has an actual HDMI port rather than the older mini-DVI port. Of course you'll need to use the mini-Displayport connector for the Cinema display.

    Watching video shouldn't be a problem, since it's either decoded in hardware (h264-formatted video) or dependent on the more-than-capable CPU (every other type of video). I run two monitors (1920x1080 and 1280x1024) without any trouble, though that's fewer total pixels than what the other poster wants to push.
  6. fkntotalkaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007

    No gaming on my mac mini in my office (although if I wanted to play games I would plug into the Samsung 27 inch and use a PS3). I just want straight Plex at 1080p and the 27 ADC as my computing monitor. The 27 samsung is mounted on the wall to the side of my desk and I want to put an ADC monitor on my desk for computing.
  7. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    I'm using a 28" monitor + LCD TV (but on 2009 Mini):
    (No problems with TV or Monitor)

    Attached Files:

  8. steeex macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2010
    possible, but...

    I have the latest mac mini driving a 1920x1200 monitor with mini displayport>dvi adaptor plus a 1080p hdtv via hdmi. Works fine, for example watching full hd movies on the tv and browsing on the computer is smooth. I have one problem, though. Every time I turn off the tv (so whenever the hdmi input is turned off) the mac gets stuck on the blue screen you usually see when you connect/disconnect monitors. I need to plug off the hdmi cable to get images back on the monitor. Thoughts?
  9. dcoulson macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2010
    I've experienced this intermittently too on my 2009 Mac Mini. I find either switching the sources (on the tv/monitor) or turning the monitor on and off clears it up. I only experience it on the mDP interface->HDMI, not mDVI->HDMI in my case. Sometimes instead of the blue screen i get a bunch of static instead, which is weird for a DVI signal ;-)

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