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Not compatible with Mac Mini
on November 15, 2012
I bought two of these monitors, originally for my 2008 Mac Pro. They worked well, though at first it was tricky to get them adjusted properly using the calibration tool in the Displays preferences. There were also some issues with waking the displays from sleep, though I don't know whether those were due to the monitors or the older Mac hardware or the new Mac OS (Mountain Lion).
Then I replaced my Mac Pro with a 2012 Mac Mini, and found that it was impossible to adjust the monitors for a good picture when using the HDMI input. The problem is in the light end of the gamma curve. Picture an even gradient from black to white, running from left to right on the screen. But instead of looking even on the screen, the gradient suddenly turns completely white a few inches from the right side of the screen. The result of this sudden brightening is that light tones completely wash out on the screen. No amount of tweaking of the Displays calibrator or the monitor controls could eliminate the problem. And both monitors showed the same problem.
After much troubleshooting and testing, I found:
- The monitors work just fine when connected via HDMI to a Panasonic Blu-ray player, to my Apple TV 3, or to my 2011 MacBook Pro.
- The monitors also work fine when connected via VGA (analog) to my Mac Mini. This is a good workaround if you're connecting only one monitor. Unfortunately I need to connect two, and the Mini provides only one analog output.
- The video from the Mac Mini looks fine when connected via HDMI to a different 3rd-party monitor (I think it was a Sharp).
So there's something different about the DIGITAL signal coming from my Mac Mini and the one coming from my MacBook Pro -- something the monitor doesn't like. (The Mac Mini is advertised as compliant with HDMI specs 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, 1.3a, and 1.4. According to AOC tech support, the monitor works with HDMI 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. I don't know anything about HDMI specs, but that's what they say.)
I'd like to credit AOC tech support for being extremely responsive in trying to help with this incompatibility. But in the end, they weren't really able to offer a solution. I'd also like to credit my local Apple Store for their testing and for being willing to swap the Mac Mini for a new one to see if that would resolve the issue. But it didn't. So I guess it's off to eBay with my two 5-month-old monitors.
Bottom line: This is a very fine monitor for most applications, but may have compatibility issues with some Macs.