How can I use an old laptop as a terminal for the Mac Mini I am using for my media center?

Ben Cooperman April 17, 2012
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I have a Mac Mini running my home media center and would like to use an old laptop to run it from the sofa. I have tried a number of remote desktop solutions but there is always too much lag. Is it possible to tear open the old laptop and use the monitor as a second monitor for the mini and use the keyboard and touchpad while bypassing the other internals altogether?

  1. Oron Joffe
    April 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    No, there's no easy way to "wire up" the screen and keyboard of your laptop directly to your Mac Mini. Remote access solutions will always be too slow for videos, but I find that TeamViewer works very well and the lag is minimal as long as the network connection is decent.

  2. jhpot
    April 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    So here's my idea: set up XBMC, the all-in-on media center, up on the Mac Mini with all of your media. Then use the web-based remote from the laptop. You'll be able to browse your media using a slick interface and instantly set it up to play on your Mac Mini. Believe me: it's perfect.

    It's a little complicated to set up, but it's going to be totally worth it.

    Download XBMC: http://xbmc.org/
    Using the web interface: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Web_interface

    I should really write an article about this sometime, because it's a great way to accomplish what you're looking for. Way better than anything based on screen sharing.

    Bonus points: send any YouTube video from your laptop to XBMC https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jppnfaihnlahjjfpddpbpcmbnkjlohij

    Otherwise: buy a remote.

  3. ha14
    April 18, 2012 at 7:03 am

    well you have to connect monitors by cable to laptop. also your laptop is a mac OS? Your laptops VGA port is one way only. Out.?

    Maybe you could connect them with ethernet and view them via VNC