I’d like to set up some iPads so that our musicians can all follow along with what’s on the mac’s screen. This may also be useful for helping visually impaired people to see what is on a projector screen. Previously I’ve used VNC but it’s a bit complex to set up. There are various options around but sadly none of them worked seamlessly. Here’s a discussion that may save you some time!
You can use any monitor with the new Mac mini 2018. (Except for an Apple one because they don’t make them any more!) The Mac mini has a HDMI port for a display, but you can also plug a monitor into any of the 4 USB-C ports. My strong advice it try to get a monitor that comes with a HDMI cable or a USB-C cable – don’t rely on Apple’s Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter.
If you have a choice go for a monitor with a HDMI cable so as to leave the 4 USB-C ports free. There are a wide variety of monitors available. I went down to the local computer shop and tried a few out and the ones that stood out to me were LG, BenQ, Samsung and Dell. I’ve also read good reviews on Acer and HP. But be aware that all of these brands make low quality monitors as well. So it’s more important to look at the quality of the monitor than the brand. e.g. Check out the contrast ratio, colour reproduction and resolution.
Don’t just look at the monitor in demo mode in the store. Make sure you plug it into a computer and have a look at some text on the screen. Take your own laptop in or ask the store for a demo plugged into a MAcintosh computer. The demo modes on the monitors are made to look crystal clear and sharp, but when you plug it into you computer and display plain text some monitors can be fuzzy or blurry or even look washed out. Read more to find out what monitor I ended up buying!
Back in December I wrote this article about how Apple no longer sell any displays. Since then Apple have started selling a nice LG display that works with MacBooks. This has been designed in conjunction with Apple so that you can control the display’s volume and brightness from the Apple computer. It essentially functions as an Apple display but with an LG badge. On their website Apple describe it as: “A perfect complement to your MacBook or MacBook Pro.” The monitor plugs into the USB-C port on the new MacBooks. But the new LG monitors that Apple are selling don’t plug directly into to older Macs. What Apple’s website doesn’t say is that they sell an adapter that will allow this monitor to work with some non USB-C Macs.
UPDATE January 2019: Please disregard this article. The USB-C to Thunderbolt Cable is not as functional as it sounds. Foe example it would not let me hook a thunderbolt display to the USB-C port on my new 2018 Mac Mini, despite it’s claims of being bi-directional. So if you are thinking of buying the thunderbolt to USC-C adapter go into an Apple store first and make sure it will do what you want it to do.
One of the features I use regularly in the display settings of OS X is the adjustment of the gamma setting of my monitor. This is useful because it can lighten up dark movies when you are watching them on your Mac. The gamma setting is only available in the “expert” mode of display settings which has disappeared in El Capitan. Thankfully expert mode is still there, it’s just hidden. To get into expert mode on El Capitan hold down the option key when you select ‘Calibrate…’ in display settings. Continue reading 〉
When you plug a projector (or second monitor) into your Macintosh laptop or computer for the first time it will probably display a different screen to your main display. To see the same on both screens you ned to turn on ‘mirroring’ in the displays preferences.