8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2009 10:11 PM by Kenichi Watanabe
CJTakeda Level 1 (0 points)
Hi good morning. I like to know if my PS3 or XBox 360 can use my iMac's display as an HDMI video output device. Is it possible? Please help me figure this out as it can also help others that wants to try this idea..

iMac 20" 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,027 points)
    iMacs have a video output port, used for attaching a second display (or to a TV). However, there is NO video input built-in. It is a computer, not a display. Therefore, you cannot feed video into an iMac without some type of video interface device.

    Such interface devices are usually USB, with the popular products from Miglia or Elgato. They are usually designed to provide video input so that the iMac can run software to record the video. However, you can use such software to display the video input in a window. And that would be the only way to display the output of a game console on the iMac's screen.

    For the cost and effort to set it all up, you would be better off buying an LCD display with HDMI input. For example, one of many LCD displays for around $200 or less


    So, an iMac is designed to display and output its own video, not receive video input; it is a computer, not a display.
  • Thomas Mastin Level 2 (275 points)

    I have heard of others using dead iMacs (ones with dead logic boards, etc) as external monitors. The ones I have seen were the G4 flat panel iMacs.

    What I would really like to do is use my 24" late 2006 iMac (2.33 Core2) as a display for a G4 Quicksilver tower.

    I have an old Quicksilver that I wanted to use occasionally for the few programs that were never converted to Universal Binary and don't play well with Intel Macs. I have a great place for the Quicksilver - right underneath my computer desk with my iMac sitting on the desktop. So, you see, I hate to clutter my desk with both a flat panel monitor AND an iMac if I could use the iMac as a display for the G4.

    Can this be done? Is there an adapter that will convert the signal from the Quicksilver to either USB or (preferably FireWire 800)? Will the G4's ATI Rage 128 Pro video card even be fast enough for the massive 24" LCD?

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,027 points)
    I assume the late 2006 iMac is working, and not a "dead" iMac.

    If so, and the Power Mac G4 is running Mac OS X (at least Tiger), and the two are connect by the local network, you can do the following.

    On the Power Mac G4, go to System Preferences Sharing pane and turn on +Screen Sharing+. For Tiger, I believe the setting to enable is called +Apple Remote Desktop+. Set it so that VNC users can connect using a password. This will allow the Power Mac G4's screen to be shared.

    On the iMac, run a VNC client. I recommend this one.


    You should be able to display the Power Mac G4's screen in a window on the iMac's screen.

    The only problem is getting the Power Mac G4 to start up properly with no real display attached. Have you tried doing so? Many Mac models will not start up if no display is detected. What type of video connectors does your Power Mac G4's video card have?

    So my solution is not to feed the video output of the Power Mac G4 into the iMac, it is to use the +screen sharing+ feature along with VNC to display the Power Mac G4's screen (in a window) on the iMac's screen.
  • Thomas Mastin Level 2 (275 points)

    Thanks for your response. I was amazed that I didn't think of remote desktop before! What a great way to use my iMac (which is NOT dead) to control my G4.

    Now, I wonder if Back to My Mac will work? I am a MobileMe subscriber. Can I use that to remote into the G4 and control it that way? I'm not sure if Back to My Mac works with Tiger, though. I have Leopard on the iMac, but the Quicksilver won't run Leopard with a 733 MHz processor.

    If Back to My Mac won't work, is the VNC client you recommended freeware?


  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,027 points)
    This article says you can, if you are controlling a Tiger Mac from a Leopard Mac. I have never tried it that way.


    The VNC client I linked to is freeware.

    The other popular one is Chicken of the VNC (but I find it less reliable and slower).


    Since VNC is open source, I believe all the client apps are freeware.
  • Thomas Mastin Level 2 (275 points)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have certainly done your homework.

    The article by Glen Fleishman is spot on! I have read many of his Taking Control series eBooks.

    Looks like I can control my Tiger Quicksilver from my Leopard iMac with no additional software required.

    Now the trick is to see if the machine will fully boot without a monitor attached. Then, if that works, without a keyboard and mouse as well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to boot the machine simply by pressing the power button on the front of the tower. I will configure it to automatically log in to my account, so hopefully, no keyboard or mouse will be required.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Thomas Mastin Level 2 (275 points)

    As Gene Wilder said in +Young Frankenstein+, "It works! It really works!"

    In fact, I am typing this message to you from my Quicksilver being controlled by my iMac. It's a little sluggish, but good enough for playing around with those beloved Carbon Apps that don't play well on a Mactel machine.

    Hopefully, there are others out there who will benefit from your knowledge by reading this thread. I'm sure I'm not the only one who hates clutter, and wants to control two Macs using one iMac.

    Dōmo arigatō Kenichi.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,027 points)
    If your Power Mac G4 has gigabit Ethernet ports (I believe "Quicksilver" does), you should check the cable (assuming you are not using AirPort for networking) to make sure the cable is at least rated Cat-5e or better. If they are Cat-5 or slower, or if you are using wireless networking, the network speed may be acting as a bottleneck, and that may account for some of the sluggishness. Granted, it will never be as fast as a real display connected the normal way, but a direct gigabit Ethernet connect should be fairly decent (as long as you are not trying to place graphically-oriented games or playing video).