Plasma Mounted Mac mini

Just because Apple hasn’t attached a screen to the Mac mini doesn’t mean you can’t attach your Mac mini to a screen. Check out this cheap (if you don’t include the cost of the plasma) method of mounting the Mac mini to the back of a 42″ plasma screen.

Update - to respond to some of the comments we’ve been reading:

1. For the record the case fits on fine. Just isn’t fully attached in the picture because we were not done with the inside of the Mac.
2. Most of the heat coming off of our Plasma is in the front of the unit. The back is very cool.
3. We are using IOGear’s Bluetooth Mouse. Why? Because it’s rechargeable.
4. We are not noticing any image burn - the screen is off when the machine is not in use.






60 Responses to “Plasma Mounted Mac mini”

  1. Barns Says:

    Great !!!

    But… now it’s a bit difficult to insert CDs or DVDs into your mini ?
    Isn’t ?

  2. Editor Says:

    Not especially, discs load from the top.

  3. Louis Says:

    I asume you are using a wireless keyboar and mouse, which kind if so..
    Great Project by the way!

  4. Tim Robertson Says:

    That is pretty funny. And here I thought my 23″ Apple monitor was large. MAN!

  5. Andy Says:

    True, but who wants to reach behind the screen each time to insert or swap out a disk? I can see this for presentation rooms, but not an everyday user or graphic designer.

  6. Jonathan Johnson Says:

    I would be a little worried about overheating the Mac Mini. Since it appears to pull fresh air from the base, and circulate it out the back, there are two problems with how it’s mounted: 1) the air that it is pulling is now from the back of the plasma, which if it’s vented the way it appears to be vented, it means that the air may be a little warm. So, the Mac Mini is getting slightly warmer air from its source, and… 2) By placing the vent of the Mac Mini downwards, you’re playing against physics. Hot air rises (i realize there is a fan), and so it will be mor work for the Mini to circulate the air.

    Now, I’m not saying this because it won’t work — just a cautionary note :) If it works, wonderful :) If not, don’t say nobody warned you ;)

  7. Seth M. Says:

    Wouldn’t a set-up like this be a problem, what with the menus and such burning into the screen? I thought plasmas weren’t useful as PC monitors for just that reason.

  8. Bico Says:

    Could that work with any TV, and is there a step by step and what you need (cables, peripherals, converters etc etc) to be able to accomplish this feat besides zip ties?

  9. Jamie Says:

    I like the idea, however what if I want to use my DVI input for both the cable TV and the Mini? Do they sell some sort of cheap DVI AB switch? Would hate to lose my tv, and the last thing I want to do is go out of the mini in S video….

  10. Paxson Says:

    hi there,

    nice setup! great idea !!!

    what resolution are you using on the plasma with the macmini ?
    Are you using wireless keyboard/mouse ? if so, what kind ?

    cheers from germany

  11. trs24 Says:

    Dude, Velcro

  12. Stephen Tsai Says:

    Wouldn’t some adhesive velcro strips have worked as well, or would the heat from the plasma affect the adhesive?

  13. clint Says:

    I was thinking about doing something very simular to my 50″ samsung DLP. The image appears to be stretched on yours however. Can the mac mini do native widescreen res?

  14. t Says:

    what about picture burn on the tv screen when a image is displayed for a lengthy time….i dont know if my sony plasma is high def but in the maunal it says watch out for burn (picture retentions) or whatever you want to call it….any such problems?

  15. Chris Says:

    Yeah this is great except for one fatal flaw… You can’t see the Mac Mini!!!

  16. Linda Says:

    Is there a way to extend the connections so that the Mac mini is separated from the back of the Plasma screen?

  17. Kevin Reynen Says:

    What resolution is the iMac running at? Is it doing true 16:9?

  18. pocketcentral » Mac mini + Plasma TV = Profit! Says:

    […] ack of a 42 inch plasma TV by tying it together with zip ties (100-pack at $4.10 here). Full Story

    Permalink |

    Comment […]

  19. bauhaus Says:

    Brilliant! You can easily run the mini from the side of the plama to access the drive, bury it as you did, whatever. What about the burn issue? Will plasmas burn badly? Is there a better way to amplify the mac than running a 3.5mm to Y converter? Then you can use the drive for DVD, etc.

  20. giandrea Says:

    If i’m not mistaken the screen looks stretched because some european plasma TVs now have a resolution of 1024×1024 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Personally my 16:9 plasma TV has a resolution of 852×480, so it has a square pixel. I refused to buy the more expensive 1024×1024 one because of the anamorphous pixel that would result in problems like the one above.

  21. Ben Says:

    Uh…if you can afford the 42″ plasma, you can afford a G5 tower. So go get one of those, and strap *it* to the back of your big plasma screen. You might want to use heavier zap straps.

  22. Greg Says:

    Cool Idea

  23. BJ Says:

    Wheyyy toooo serious guys. These comments are very anal, get some fresh air!!!

  24. paulix Says:

    mac geeks + 42″ plasma TVs = cool

  25. carl Says:

    Great idea!
    This wants a tilt&pivot wallmount so it can tilt down to the face the floor, thereby giving front access to the optical drive.

  26. royalblood Says:

    I have this system set up with dell laptop ona 42 inch plasma .
    i want to swich to see macmini .. do u think its possible to get mac to run photos a and flash files in seqquence like a sllide or a loop

  27. Bob Thorton Says:

    Excellent this setup with DVDpedia and the movie server plugin for it, and I can watch all the DVDs and movies I want, by launching them from my laptop, no need to even insert anything in the Mac mini. (Although the Movie Server plugin needs to add Divx support, but it’s open source, so they shoulda dd it soon.)

  28. ~srozekrans » Blog Archive » Give your headless Mac a display Says:

    […] could attach a plasma screen on to it and hang the little computer on the back. Some guys tried it and it seems to work. Though I think the widescreen idea doesn’t really suit well with the co […]

  29. Marlon Says:

    I’m trying to do a similar thing using my Sony KV-30HS420 CRT/HDTV as a monitor. What kind of connections are you using and what resolution have you set on the mac mini? I’m having trouble using a DVI-HDMI cable (no picture at all). I’m still resarching but I think it’s a resolution issue between the mac and the Sony (tried all the res settings in OSX, I’m looking into a software patch that has more choices).

  30. .:: Just My Babblings ::. » Mac Mini Hacks Says:

    […] i Hacks : Running Linux and BSD on the Mac Mini Overclocking Apple Mac mini Mac Mini Dock Plasma Mounted Mac mini Mini Mac File Shack and NAT Hack Permalink […]

  31. JUAN Says:

    Where’s the remote if you don’t want to drive with a wireless mouse? What about a system for multiroom serving? And why not just set it up as a home sound/theater system for cheap? Then how do you get the multiple channels?

  32. Tom Says:

    wow… now thats cool… I am planning on getting a mac mini but to use it like a laptop… wouldnt it be great if they could mount a moniter onto the mac mini that uses its power souce… also they should make a battery for the mac… but i guess u people will tell me you mite as well get a laptop… but i like the mini :P FREEDOM!!!

  33. Buck Says:

    Sony KV-30HS420 CRT/HDTV

    From Fred Connors, Jr. (Thanks!)…
    I have had some success in getting my Mac Mini to display on the SONY KD-34XBR960.

    First, I discovered that when I removed the DVI cable from back of the Mini and connected the DVI for the SONY, the Mac Mini would in fact recognize the SONY as a 1920X1080 display and sync to that setting, not retaining the setting from the previous monitor. However the SONY will not function at 1080p (only 1080i is supported in the Sony) so the screen was always black. I found this by installing Timbuk2 Pro, remote control software, on the Mac Mini and another Mac on my home network. This also allows me to control the display preference and set the Mini to HDTV720p as a starting point for adjusting DisplayConfigX.

    Second, I then found that you cannot adjust the Vertical Front Porch in DisplyConfigX. So I can’t correctly setup the vertical positioning of the display. Harald Schweder of DisplyConfigX fame has confirmed this issue and he thinks it will be working in Mac OSX-4, Tiger.

    Sorry I cannot give you exact setting figures for the SONY KD-34XBR960, but I will send my interim numbers.

  34. Pete Says:

    Dude, thats frickin sweet. I hope Tiger helps you out. For the DVD drive, all you need to do is get an external one and run the usb/firewire up to the mac.

  35. Nobodythink Says:

    you should of taken the screen off of a powerbook
    and used velcrow to stick it to the back of the screen
    and mounted the side with the drive slot flush with the top of the screen
    so you cant see it when you look strait at it
    but when you go to put a disk in its at the top and conveniant
    and the laptop will keep the thickness of the screen down
    say if you wanted to hang it on a wall
    instead of the seiling thing you you have
    thats just how i would of done the idea

  36. Nobodythink Says:

    you should of taken the screen off of a powerbook
    and used velcrow to stick it to the back of the screen

    i dont want to confuse anybody
    i meant
    take the screen of the powerbook
    and stick the powerbook to the plasma

    i know you already figured it out
    but i thought id tell you anyway

  37. Greg Says:

    Have you had any troubles with the mac mini resetting its output resolution when you turn it off? I can’t seem to get it to recognize the tv repeatedly, and have to reset to 852×480 every time I boot.

  38. TK Says:

    Great Setup!

    I recently tried something similar with my Mac mini and Hitachi plasma 37PD5000. The plasma has 1024×1024 pixels in 16:9 format which results in a streched view unless i zoom to 4:3. Do you know of a way to make full use of the 16:9 format with out streching the image. Is it possible to set the resolution of the Mac mini to 1024×1024?

  39. Brian B Says:

    I recently tried to connect the Mini to a 42″ plasma and had no success. I tried both DVI and VGA inputs. I was thinking that the video card on the Mini is underpowered, but you obviously got it to work.

    Can you help?

  40. Tim Says:

    I can’t tell did you use the DVI out or are you using the RGB adapter in those pictures?

    I was able to get mine to work with my Philips 42″ using hdmi to dvi cable and using vnc to remote into the mini, then changing the detected resolution from

    - 1920×1080


    - 1024×768 @60Hz

    That works like a charm. Has you or anyone else been able to adjust to or near the detected resolution?

  41. Frantz Says:

    Great concept!

    I have this system set up with dell laptop ona 52 inch plasma .
    i want to swich to see macmini .. do u think its possible to get mac to run on the 52 in plasma (Maxent), and if so, what resolution would you recommend? Thanks.

  42. Collin Cupid Says:

    I want to connect a mac mini to sony Hd CRT
    Sony KV-30HS420 CRT/HDTV as well.

    I haven’t purchased a mac mini at this point, just need to find out if it is do able.
    Thank fort the help.

  43. Craig Says:

    I am sure you have been hammered with questions like this but…

    I would like to connect a new mac mini to my 60″ Sony LCD projection TV. Is it as simple as connecting the DVI up between the devices? Did you need to make any configuration changes to the mini? How about resolution? Have you had any screen cropping issues? How about audio? Are you just using hte headphone jack? Thanks in advance?

  44. Navdeep’s Blog » Blog Archive » Intel Mac mini Says:

    […] Mini with a Plasma […]

  45. Mike Says:

    I can’t seem to see the entire desktop on a SONY KD-34XBR960 (tube) wide screen tv. The screen is cut off on all sides. The mini display properties recognized the TV. Any help?

  46. Ralf Says:

    I seem to have the same issue on Panasonic TC-32LX20 LCD TV. Recognized resolution is 1280×720 and it’s cut off on all sides. Any help?

  47. M Says:

    I am having the same issue on a Sony HDTV CRT. pixels cut off around the edges…

  48. Riddles Says:

    How can a Mac be used on a JVC television. It says that it is not compatible

  49. TeknoPagan Says:

    You those of you that have resoultion probs are experiencing Over Scan… over scan happens when you use non native resultions with any HDTV. Find out What your native screen resolution is, then you will have to find a unix util to set the screen exactly as you want it to be. I have had the same issues in the PC world…. Good luck, and try not to rip out your hair.

  50. Cool uses for a Mac Mini - Navdeep’s Blog Geeking it up 24/7 Says:

    […] Mount it behind a plasma […]

  51. [PENGUINPUSHER DOT ORG] » Blog Archive » When a Mac isn’t an Apple Says:

    […] Related links of interest: Sickening fact: Apple shares jump nearly 9.9% on Windows news. Mac mini home: Plasma mounted Mac mini: Put Windows on a Mac:  […]

  52. Website designer in Exeter Says:

    What is the colour repro like?

  53. chris Says:

    Don’t plasm tvs get really hot? Are you a all worried that it may affect the mini?

  54. chris Says:

    btw you shoukld try it on a 60-inch display…haha thad be insane

  55. penguinpusher dot org » Blog Archive » When a Mac isn’t an Apple Says:

    […] Related links of interest: Fact: Apple shares jump nearly 9.9% on Windows news. Mac mini home: Plasma mounted Mac mini: WinXP on a Mac: […]

  56. JMartinen Says:

    Is there enough room to actually install the Mini into the TV? That would make inserting disks easier, and the screen would be wall mountable.

  57. Vlad Says:

    I have the TC-32LX20 Panasonic TV and to resolve the cut off desktop, I upgraded to newer videocard (ATI X1800XL) from ATI 9800 Pro. The new videocards are capable of recognizing TVs better and set the desktop properly.

  58. Sølvi Says:

    Hi. I am so unhappy… I tune my minimac into a screen resolution sont fit with the TV. So now everything is black.

    How can I get back the screen (desktop/mac) on the TV?

  59. Sølvi Says:

    I found the answer here:

  60. JK Says:

    Why didn’t you cable tie the mac mini with the disc eject next to the top of the screen so you don’t actually have to reach behind the screen only above or better still next to the side

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