Mac mini + HDTV

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by llamaroo, May 30, 2011.

  1. llamaroo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #1
    Hey all,

    Starting an online Master's program this fall and would like to pair the mac mini with an HDTV. The thing is, I'm quite outdated on TV display technology (still using a CRT TV).

    Ideally, I would like a nice screen to watch TV/movies and also use as a computer monitor to do work (word), internet (youtube), and light photo editing (elements). Is this even possible?

    If you could share your experience with a similar setup or provide some insights into which type of screen to get (i.e. 720p v 1080p, LCD v plasma, size, brand, etc.), it would be extremely helpful.

    My budget is $500-$1000. Viewing distance is 9 ft for movies (about 1'6 ft for computer work).

    Thanks!
     
  2. patp Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #2
    i'm using a Samsung 32" LCD HD Tv as my monitor and love it.

    It's great for Netflix, videos. The larger screen allows a huge desktop.

    I set the resolution to 1360 x 768. This seems to be the best resolution for computer work and watching videos. Too fine of a resolution and for me the computer stuff wasn't as clear - too much definition.

    A real computer monitor goes to sleep and my TV doesn't (or haven't figured out yet). Overall very happy with the larger work space for more windows.
     
  3. llamaroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #3
    Yes, I was thinking about a 32" or 40" TV.

    Patp, is your TV panel LED or CCFL? I read that LED back lit screens are better suited for computer work.

    The TV below is a 2010 model on sale for $999. Just not sure if the 40" screen will be inadequate to write research papers, browse the internet, photo editing, etc.

    http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN40C6500VFXZA
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    TVs make for lousy computer monitors. Resolution is low and quality for static images and text tends to be poor. I drive a 40" TV from a Mac mini as an entertainment center, but can't stand it as a computer!
     
  5. llamaroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #5
    Thanks, Talmy. Which tv set have you got? Is it full hd 1080p?

    Also, I noticed in your footer that you have a 27" iMac. What would be the farthest viewing distance you feel comfortable watching movies/youtube on it?
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    The set is an older 720P model. Admittedly a 1080P model would be better, but I wouldn't want to write a paper with it 9 ft away. If you consider viewing angles, a 40" TV would need to be viewed about 4 feet away to have the same size as a 13" MacBook Pro on one's lap. And that's a small screen!

    The iMac is in an office. I usually don't watch video on it (unless I'm editing video) and I sit about 21" away from the screen. Maximum viewing distance is a funny thing, probably because when I was a child we had a 10" television (this was the early 1950's) the whole family would watch from across the room -- after all TVs produced dangerous emissions! Probably need to ask someone younger!
     
  7. tinyrouter macrumors newbie

    tinyrouter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    #7
    I use mine as a media center hooked up to a 42" LG high-def LCD TV. Runs 1080p movies smoothly over WiFi via XBMC.
     
  8. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #8
    If you can, try and get a 1080p LED LCD TV. I use my Mini in the living room and just recently went from a 42" Vizio plain LCD to a 52" Sharp LED LCD and the difference was big. Everything on the Mini looked much, much better, especially if you dial in the picture settings.
     
  9. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    I think you are going to find that this is not a very good solution. with a $1000 budget, you would be better off buying a cheap TV AND a nice monitor. If you are dead set on a single device, consider the 27" Apple Cinema Display (maybe a refurb), which is really too small for a 9' TV, but will be excellent at desktop distance. If you dan't already have the mini, just get a 27" iMac, which is pretty close to the same price as buying the 27" monitor + mini...

    I suggest going the monitor route because TV/Movie content displayed full screen on the monitor is going to look just as good as it would on a TV, but a TV does not have nearly the pixel density of a monitor. At 9' from a monitor, the image will be fine ( too small, but clear). At 2' from a TV, you are going to be looking at a bunch of dots.
     
  10. llamaroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #10
    Thank you all for your insights/comments. Just picked up a 27" 2.7 GHz iMac (base config). Quite an impressive machine!
     

Share This Page