Combining the usable with the unusable
September 1, 2011 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Why does my LED Monitor complain about finding "no signal" when connected to my Mac Mini via an HDMI-HDMI cable?

Upon trying to boot my Mac Mini for the first time, I discovered that I have to first turn on my monitor, then turn on the Mac Mini. Otherwise the monitor will show "no signal" until I shut down both. This is due to the the fact that HDCP devices perform a "handshake" in a certain paranoid manner, and refuse to work if the handshake is unsuccessful (which clearly means that the user is a filthy pirate).

This previously minor annoyance has now morphed into a problem that has sparked within me the hatred of a thousand burning Suns. Things were working fine until I put the Mac Mini to sleep. The monitor then naturally lost its signal (as it should have), and itself went to sleep. All well and good so far. I then woke the Mac Mini and expected the monitor to awake as well. It didn't do that. Instead, it kept showing me the "no signal" message no matter how many times I put it and the Mac to sleep. I've tried waking up the two in different orders, to no avail. The only solution is to forcefully shut down the Mac and the monitor, then turn them back on in a specific order.

Should I give up and just use DVI instead? Or this there a way out of this madness?
posted by identitymap to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Can you describe your LED Monitor (make, model, etc.)?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:49 PM on September 1, 2011

It's an Asus VE248H. I discovered one workaround after posting the question. I can turn off the monitor, awaken the Mac, disconnect the HDMI cable, turn on the monitor and plug the HDMI cable back in. To say that it's annoying would be an understatement, but it's better than having to do a force-shut-down on the Mac.
posted by identitymap at 6:06 PM on September 1, 2011

ASUS says their display supports HDMI 1.3. You don't say what model of Mac mini you are using, but the 2011 Mac mini appears to support HDMI 1.4.

I'd start with first principles: Boot the Mac from an OS X installation disc, and try putting the machine to sleep, waking it, and seeing whether the display behaves or misbehaves.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:18 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

HDMI 1.4 should be backward-compatible with 1.3. Since OS X Lion doesn't have an installation disk, I can't try what you suggested.

I'll just get a DVI cable. Thanks nonetheless for the suggestion.
posted by identitymap at 6:32 PM on September 1, 2011

No prob. You could also try booting into the Lion recovery partition.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 PM on September 1, 2011

Does the monitor have an option (through the options accessed via the buttons on the monitor) for DDC/CI that you can disable?

It is a way for the computer and monitor to relay information but I have seen these same symptoms with a Mac and a Dell monitor and disabling DDC/CI solved it without any adverse effects for me.

More info here:
posted by ridogi at 9:16 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yes, the monitor does indeed have the option to disable DDC/CI. Fortunately it has behaved well since I posted this question, but I'll try doing that if the problem ever reappears. Thanks for the tip.
posted by identitymap at 8:34 PM on September 2, 2011

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