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I'm running a Mac mini into a television set via HDMI. With the Plex application for Mac, the experience is fantastic. But I've been looking for ways to make the "computer side" more couch friendly. I'm not expecting to write Pages documents or anything, but Web browsing, or working with system settings would be great too.

I've been able to enlarge some on screen text (like title bars, etc.) but it's still not a great experience. In the end, I'd like to keep the same screen real estate, but be able to read the screen more comfortably from my Lay Z Boy. For example, increasing the size of text in menus would be really helpful.

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DaveL17, I had to do a lot of Googling and heavily edit your question and description to make your question intelligible. When you write a question like this, you should explain what terms like "HTPC" and "Plex" are, and you should explain simply that you are using a television set--something you never mentioned in your post and left for readers to deduce. Your question as originally written would make little sense to most computer users. – user9290 Jan 13 '12 at 14:18
Sorry Wheat, and thanks for setting me straight. I was under the impression that HTPC was a common acronym, and as such, a television was presumed. I won't make the same mistake again. – DaveL17 Jan 13 '12 at 14:25
+1I was going to ask the same question myself. – daviesgeek Feb 14 '12 at 4:21

The following will work on Lion. You need Xcode as well (maybe you can copy just Quartz Debug from another machine; if not, you can remove the developer tools after following my steps).

Run Quartz Debug from /Developer/Applications/Performance Tools/, click on Window menu, then on UI Resolution, then check Enable HiDPI display modes.

Log out, log back in and go to System Preferences, Displays and choose one of the HiDPI resolutions.

This will effectively double all UI elements, including font and button sizes, menus etc. This is still work-in-progress, though, so expect glitches. Apple is working on resolution independent UI since forever, but with Lion came a new way of just doubling every pixel. The advantage is that this will work with nearly every application, whereas truly resolution independent UI would need vector graphics for every UI element.

I'm using this on a 46" LCD TV from time to time, to make accessing iTunes easier. One way to quickly switch between HiDPI and normal modes is to check "Show displays in the menu bar" (translating from german, might be labelled differently) in Displays preferences. This will add a menu extra to the menu bar with which you can quickly choose from previously used resolutions.

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Thanks @Crazor. Based on my own research and your reply, it doesn't seem like this is possible in Snow Leopard (I haven't bitten the bullet to upgrade to Lion on my machines yet--there are still some things that I use which aren't Lion friendly.) I may have to limp along until such time as I install Lion on the Mini. – DaveL17 Jan 13 '12 at 12:06
Quartz Debug on Snow Leopard will let you set a UI scaling factor. But as I said, this is WIP, and UI scaling is much worse than HiDPI modes. – Crazor Jan 13 '12 at 12:34
Thanks again. I will check out Quartz. – DaveL17 Jan 13 '12 at 14:27

I connect to my Mac Mini HTPC in one of two ways. I use a laptop to remote desktop into the mini and control it that way or I use my iPad and and app called iTeleport to remotely control the mini. I changed the display settings to 1600x900 and everything is a lot bigger and easier to read. Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the response. Just to be clear, do you switch between 1600x900 for computing and another resolution for watching video? – DaveL17 Jan 14 '12 at 12:11

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