Mac Mini Experts: What TV/Monitor Should I Get?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by @Jed, May 7, 2019.

  1. @Jed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    #1
    Background

    The last TV I bought was a "box" TV I bought over a decade ago. I have always wanted a wide screen TV and, now that I watch Netflix, movies, and TV shows on my computer and flat screen TVs are becoming cheaper and more computer-compatible, it seems like a good time to buy one.

    Also, I love the minimalist design of Apple, so replacing my iMac with a Mini (which I can hide under the desk) will further reduce clutter and add to the minimalist aspect of the place. I know I could buy the parts and put together a similar PC for cheaper, but I want the convenience and ease of use of OS X.

    I currently use my iMac for writing, web surfing, and watching movies/Netflix/TV shows (via streaming - I don't have a physical TV cable connection).

    So, I am considering trading in my iMac (but keeping the keyboard and trackpad) for a Mac mini and getting a separate TV/monitor at least 42.5 inches in size. The table I have is 29.5 inches deep and 53 inches wide (and I just bought it, so I don't want to get a new one!).

    As I'm not up on the TV-as-monitor facts/jargon and have never used a Mac mini before, I am posting here in the hopes of getting feedback and suggestions from TV-as-monitor experts, anyone who has used a Mini, and...pretty much everyone else, I guess.


    Cost

    Like many other folks who are paid bi-weekly, we will get three paychecks this month. I will use one for rent, the other for bills, and the third for this (combined with credit cards, and the rebate below.

    I will buy the Mac Mini 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) and Belkin Ultra High Speed 4K HDMI Cable (2m) for a total of $1,673.95 CAD.

    I will trade in iMac (Apple iMac 27" 2013 Core i5 3.4GHz 1TB Fusion). According to Apple's Trade-In page, I can get $585.00 CAD for it. Now I'm only out of pocket 1088.95, but I still need a monitor. I am considering the below (again, I am looking for a screen bigger than my current 27, so the new iMacs are not an option). I am looking for a stylish, Mac-like design if possible, though.



    TV/Monitors I am Considering



    TV/Monitor - 43-Inch| Price

    LG 43UK6500AUA 43-Inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV (Renewed) $449.00

    Samsung UN43NU7100FXZC 43" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Television (2018), Charcoal Black $498.00

    Samsung UN43NU7100 Flat 43-Inch 4K UHD 7 Series Smart LED TV (2018 Model) $499.99

    LG 43UJ6500 43-Inch 4K UHD Smart LED Television with webOS 3.5 (2017) $563.88

    ViewSonic CDE4302 43" 1080p Commercial LED Display with USB Media Player, HDMI $643.42

    LG 43UD79-B 42.5" Screen LED-lit Monitor $669.99

    ViewSonic VX4380-4K 43 Inch Frameless Widescreen IPS 4K Monitor with HDMI USB and DisplayPort $831.31

    Samsung Electronics HG43NJ670UFXZA HJ690U 43" Screen LED-Lit Monitor $834.99

    Samsung 43-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor Black (PM43H/US) $1,017.08


    TV/Monitor - 48-Inch | Price

    AVera by CEC 48AER20 48" Full HD 1080p LED TV $356.64


    TV/Monitor - 50-Inch | Price

    TCL 50S425-CA 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Television (2019), 50" $399.99

    LG 50UK6500 50-Inch 4K UHD HDR LED webOS Smart TV (Renewed) $599.00


    TV/Monitor - 55-Inch | Price

    Samsung 55NU8000 Flat 55" 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV (2018) $999.99

    Samsung QN55Q8F Flat 55” QLED 4K UHD 8 Series Smart TV 2018$1,599.99


    Questions


    As these are big purchases and a big switch, your expert opinions / feedback would be very welcome.

    * Are these all Mac mini-compatible?
    * Which one of the above would you recommend and why? (If not found on the list above, please feel free to add your own suggestion!)
    * Do I need to buy the Belkin Ultra High Speed 4K HDMI Cable (2m) from Apple or do modern TVs come with the equivalent cable?
    * Oddly, the 48 and 50-inch models in the list are cheaper than the cheapest 43-inch I've found - is there something I'm missing/any reason I shouldn't consider those?
    * Will input lag be an issue? Again, I don't play any games (well, *very rarely* I dig out an old first-person shooter like Unreal Tournament or Quake 3), but I do a lot of writing, so even a few milliseconds would probably be annoying.
    * Will burn-in be an issue on any of these?
    * I understand I need chroma 4:4:4 at 60hz refresh rate - do all of these monitors have that?
    * For reference, here is my current setup (apologies for the darkness - I am not exactly a skilled photographer, as you can see). I am thinking of angling the monitor towards the couch when guests come over. Do you have any suggestions about this?
    * Any other suggestions/comments/feedback? Apologies for the lengthy post & number of questions but, again, this is a large expense and I want to get as much info & feedback before making this kind of purchase.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #2
    I'm confused. Do you want a TV to watch in a lounge/family room (or whatever you call it) - where you sit 6'/2m or more away from the screen on a couch/sofa/etc, or a monitor to use at a desk, where you're 1-2'/30-60cm away?
     
  3. cococheaf macrumors demi-god

    cococheaf

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Location:
    Austria - Lake of Constance
    #3
    You could use all of them, just make sure that they support HDMI 2.0 and that you sit at least 1metre away from it. everthing else would not bring 4k@>60Hz and will be too big to sit in front of.
     
  4. GreyHare macrumors member

    GreyHare

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    My current setup is a Mac Mini with a LG 43UD79-B and it works great. It's a real monitor, so you just plug in the HDMI cable and off you go.

    You might need to fiddle with the display scaling; Apple defaults to "oh it's a Retina display" and puts it on the "Larger Text" scale by default. This is probably true for everything in your list.

    Something that'll probably affect you for all these screens is view distance. If you have the screen on your desk, and the screen isn't curved, the left and right 10 or so pixel columns won't be backlit due to the angle. Just lean over a bit to see them. Most of the time it's not a problem.
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    You don't need the Belkin cable. There is nothing special about it. Just make sure it specifies it is HDMI 2.0. They start start at $7 and up to $12 for the ultra wiz bang models with gold plated connectors and braided cables.

    Not sure why the bigger screens are cheaper. I can find 40 to 43 inch 4K screens here for considerably less than the cheapest 50+ inch screens. I know in the low 30's it starts going up because it becomes more difficult to produce a higher pixel density.

    I've seen 43inch TCL TV in action as a monitor. They are decent for a business computer not photo and video. At normal desk distance.

    Do note that at this size. If you are sitting close and you care about an even image. You will need to pay extra for an IPS monitor or TV. This is because at normal monitor distance you're angle to the corners will be pretty wide. You'll get the same effect as looking at a cheap TN panel from a wide angle. ie Color and contrast shifting or washing out. Which is why I say the TCL was decent for business. Any TN panel will noticeably suffer from this at this size with a close viewing distance.

    50 inch is way too big at desk distance. Sure it is impressive. You'll be bobbing your head up/down/left/right all the time. Even 40 inch is a bit too much.
     
  6. a2jack, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    a2jack macrumors regular

    a2jack

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    #6
    We use TVs as monitors for various Mini Macs and ARM boxes. This is what we found.

    The best price/quality value is found in the TCL brand. We purchased a 55" 4k and 32" 1080i from Walmart.

    We had to return a new Vizio 55" 4k and a new Vizio 32", do to low pix quality when compared to a high end 7 year old 46" Samsung @ 1080i . Both TCL's exceed the Samsung.

    All the TVs have multiple switchable HDMI inputs and the 55" sees 4k at 60fps just fine. a2

    Unless you are doing high level photo or graphic work a tv will save you big bucks over a 4k monitor. Our 55" 4k cost around $480 the 2k 32" ran around $160
     
  7. a2jack macrumors regular

    a2jack

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
  8. @Jed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    #8
    Thank you all for the feedback. After asking other people, I decided to keep the iMac and buy Apple TV (so I can stream to it from the iMac) and a big TV. a2jack, I did buy a TCL, but it was the 6 series and a 65-inch (!). I am in Canada, so it was $1200 CAD, but it's 4K, HDR, has Dolby Vision, and is extremely well-reviewed. I read a heck of a lot of reviews before deciding on that one.

    It comes Tuesday! Apple TV should arrive Monday. So, I'm cleaning the windows now, as it will be in front of them on a small bench, and I want to move it as little as possible once it's on the bench (I'm already anxious about just getting the thing on the bench without breaking it in the first place!).

    Anyway, thanks again for the feedback, everybody!
     
  9. a2jack macrumors regular

    a2jack

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    #9
    Good choice on the 65". Let us know how it works out.

    We too did all the homework and TCL came up on top.


    BTW TCL does not, as yet, make a 32" 4k TV, or we would have bought 2 more. a2
     

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8 May 7, 2019