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Digital Signage Solution with Mac mini

Everything you need to know about setting up digital signage using your Mac mini.

Jul 2020

Digital Signage Solution with Mac mini

Looking for an app that you can use with your Mac mini to create great-looking digital signage displays? Look no further.

ScreenCloud is designed to work with any hardware you have available - whether that’s an Android TV that can power itself or a regular TV made “smart” using a device like the Mac mini.

Mac mini: an introduction

A Mac mini is a 19.7cm device which has all of the power of a Mac PC inside it. The idea of a Mac mini is that you can hook it up to a regular PC screen, TV screen or other device to make it “smart”. The Mac mini supports HDTV which is useful for digital signage where you’re working with screens and it's also pretty small and light (under one and a half kilos) which makes fixing it somewhere behind your screen easy.

The cost starts at $799, which is a significant jump in price from their last model which cost $499. So while it’s not as cheap as say, an Amazon Fire TV Stick, it’s still much cheaper than trying to buy a brand new iMac or smart TV screen with an operating system already built in.

In 2018, Apple finally released a much needed updated version of their Mac Mini and introduced an entirely new model which is 5 times faster than the previous 2014 generation model (hence hte price jump). The Mac mini models can be differentiated by color and by their difference in RAM and storage. The new 2018 model looks fairly similar to the previous 2014 model in terms of size as they both measure at 7.7 inches across and deep and stand 1.4 inches tall, but the 2018 model comes in nice space gray like all the newly released Mac models. 

One of the main differences between devices is their upgrade capabilities. The old 2014 Mac Mini models have the ability to upgrade their storage but have a fixed RAM, whereas the new 2018 Mac Mini has a fixed storage but upgradable RAM, supporting up to 64 GB. The new 2018 Mac Mini comes in two types of processors, the Mac Mini Core i3 pushing 3.6 GHz and the Mac Mini Core i5 pushing 3.0 GHz.  

With a four-year gap between these models, Apple was able to put some real elbow grease into these newer models. The Mac Mini 2018 models are equipped with the very first quad-core “coffee lake” processors instead of the dual-core “Haswell” processor. It also has the ability to upgrade to a six core desktop class processor. The 2018 Mac Mini also comes Intel's latest 8th-generation intel chip with Intel UHD Graphics 630. 

The 2018 Mac Mini models come with 4 thunderbolt 3 ports, 2.0 HDMI ports, 2 USB 3.1 ports, a headphone jack and bluetooth support. However this model does not come with an SD card slot, if this is important to you then you can purchase a second hand 2014 model, but we do not recommend this as you will not be getting your ‘bang for your buck’ as the 2018 model is much much faster. 

Setting up your Mac mini with ScreenCloud

Once you’ve ordered your Mac mini, use this simple guide to get it setup.

1. Plug in your Mac mini and connect to Wi-Fi

Once you’ve connected to Wi-Fi on-screen, you can visit https://release.screen.cloud/ and download the ScreenCloud player for Mac mini.

2. Pair up ScreenCloud with your Mac mini

As soon as the ScreenCloud player has downloaded, the app will open and you’ll see a pairing code like the one below. Once you have this, open screencloud.com/getstarted on your laptop or PC and sign up for a ScreenCloud account.

3. Add your screen

Once you’ve signed up, navigate to the Screens section and add your screen in a few steps. By entering the pairing code you'll be able to manage your screen, and what plays there, from inside ScreenCloud. You can also label, tag and organize screens into groups to make your screen management easier.

Add screens to ScreenCloud

4. Choose your content

Enter ScreenCloud's superpower: content. Within your account there are many options for adding dynamic digital signage content to play on your screens. From over 60 apps for integrations like Twitter, OneDrive and Dropbox, to using the Canvas design editor to create your own content and simple upload for images, videos and PDFs already stored on your computer.

Adding, changing and playing content with ScreenCloud is easy.

To get started, sign up for a free trial at ScreenCloud today and begin showing powerful digital signage content.

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