Mini + TV as only Computer

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Pierrel, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Pierrel macrumors member

    May 24, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I have almost settled with buying a Mini (799$ version), and using it with a TV.
    Now I just want to know that I am not making somewhat of a misstake...
    The reason for choosing the Mini is due to the price, and due to the complication of bringing an iMac on a flight from USA to Sweden when I return home from my studies.

    I plan on running the Mini connected to a 32-42 inch TV (LCD,LED etc), using HDMI connection. This way we can easily watch movies on the TV.
    Is there anything negative running the Mini on a TV? I might play games occationally, but not that often and I do not require to play at maximum graphics at native resolution.

    I do use my computers for web-browsing, music, movies (720/1080), photoshop, etc. No hardcore stuff really, which I think the Mini will handle great.

    So, any thoughts would be greatly appriciated!
  2. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I have the new Mini on order but don't have it yet. When I do get it I plan on using it with my LCD TV. I currently have a 2009 Mini which is connected to the same TV using a DVI to HDMI adapter and an HDMI cable. Everything works just fine. My main uses are email, internet, occasional games playing and movie watching. The new Mini with allow me to get rid of the adapter and have a direct HDMI connection and hopefully multi channel sound.

    The only issue is that the TV is much further away then if I was sitting at a desk with a monitor on it so text in particular can be hard to read. That said technically you should have no problem. Having said that different TV's behave differently when a computer is connected to them especially using HDMI. There is no way of knowing if you will have issues or not until you try it.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I use my mini this way. It's ok but the tv is setup for, well, tv so the computing experience is sub par. I use a VNC connection to my iPad frequently so I don't have to occupy the tv when using the computer.
  4. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I tend to either do that (using Splashtop) on my iPad or just use my iPad more, so I can watch TV at the same time. Using a dedicated computer display even a smaller one is probably going to give a better computing experience but I'm happy with my setup the way it is. It's not really practical for me to have a separate computer display so using my HDTV is an acceptable alternative. I don't do any graphic design, video editing or multi media production so I have no need for a smaller higher resolution display.
  5. Pierrel thread starter macrumors member

    May 24, 2011
    I understand that using a TV is a compromise and that it is not perfect. Then I guess I simply have to try it out with different displays.
    Maybe I will end up buying a decent sceen, but for now I hope that the TV will be enough :)
    Buying a mini will most likely also mean I can afford an iPad if I want to, making me beeing able to go mobile as well.

    I certainly hope this will work out good, having a friend with his old mini connected to the TV.
  6. vastoholic macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I used my 2008 mini hooked up to my 37" LCD tv. Switch back and forth between the computer and TV while I had cable, and then when I dropped cable, it was for computer and my Apple TV. I had no problems with this set up. If I was watching TV or a movie on the screen, I would just whip out my iPad or iPhone to browse the internet or check email. I thought it was a great set up and plan on keeping it the same when I get the new mini.
  7. HunterGather macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2008
    I've been using it on my 40 inch tv as well.

    Though, I have a weird set up.

    Currently, its in my bedroom sitting on my long dresser (the tv).

    I have my computer chair and a small fold out table in front of it as a mock shift desk. I have the resolution at 1080p.

    If I'm sitting further back on my bed, I will generally switch to 720p so the text is more readable (if i'm reading stuff).

    Just leave the monitor resolution/display button the top banner, it's an easy switch.

    HOWEVER, to make it easy for you, if your not gonna sit in front of it as a monitor, set it to either 720p or 480p so things can be readable from your sofa or what-not.
  8. JamSandwich macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    So for someone who's using the computer mainly as a terminal for some slightly more computer-y tasks (website updates via iWeb, larger volumes of email, some use of iPhoto -- minor photo edits and the Christmas book for the grandparents, serving iTunes content and maybe a few other things), this is an acceptable setup, then?

    Will generally be seated at the foot of our bed, a few feet from a 37" TV screen, and occasionally six or seven feet back (if I ever decide to use it for gaming or whatever). Is there any sort of application where a TV is totally unsuitable?

    Really strongly thinking about upgrading from an old iMac, and it would be nice to put our computer in our bedroom to reclaim some of the space my desk has stolen from the dining area :)
  9. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Another plus is you can skip the menus and forced trailers on DVDs.
  10. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    I did this for a few years and it's not all it's cracked up to be. The mini is a spectacular media center and server, and the new ones are pretty powerful, but it's hard to couch surf on the web with this set up, no matter how big of a tv you have. You'll eventually want to get an iPad or a MBA for web surfing.
  11. Pierrel, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    Pierrel thread starter macrumors member

    May 24, 2011
    Okey so people seem to use their Mini for couch-surfing, thats good to hear :)
    As I currently do not know the layout of my next apartment, I do not know the distance from couch to TV, but that is something that should be easy to set up.

    If I find couch surfing to be to harsh, or not what I expected it to be, I will get a decent monitor or an iPad for lighter surfing, mailing etc. I dont see the Mini as a too big an investment, since the prices here in Sweden are like 1200$ incl. tax for the 799$ version. So buying it in the US saves me alot of money.

    Mostly people want a maxed out computer with tons of power, but I see it that buying a Mini will allow me to buy other fun gadgets and toys, which will make better use to me than maybe what 10 cores and 2tb harddrive would do :)

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