Can i use the iMac 27" mid 2011 as an external display for, let's say, a Playstation 3?

Is this possible for the latest iMac?


4 Answers 4


Three things need to align for a game console to send video out and have it be mirrored on an iMac.

First, the iMac needs Target Display Mode.

The 2011 iMac and later run thunderbolt - so you need a legitimate thunderbolt video connection for Target Display Mode to work.

The older iMacs had Mini DisplayPort video out and video in, so you would simply need to get an inexpensive adapter to change HDMI to miniDP (note - most adapters go the other way - take a MiniDP signal and split out HDMI - this would need to function in the other direction.)

I believe PS3 doesn't have native thunderbolt adapter or even a mini DP adapter, so you'd need additional hardware for Macs older than 2011 and I don't know of a box that takes HDMI and converts it into thunderbolt - so you might be out of luck on 2011 and newer iMacs.

  • Target display mode*
    – Macmaniman
    Feb 21, 2013 at 16:20

It is possible, but you'll need and adapter/converter to do it.

You can find a HDMI to Mini DisplayPort adapter on some sites, like this one, although it is a little expensive. Other models/types can be found here, for other input types, or Kanex's one.

Editing: right now I'm reading the new iMac tech specs and it is clearly that it does not support input: Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately). Some users on forums are tolding that thunderbolt adapters are not ready and no one even know if it will be possible.

  • 1
    No, it does support input using Target Display Mode
    – njboot
    Jun 10, 2014 at 4:11
  • 1
    @njboot Target Display Mode works only as a display for another Mac, not for everything, like PS3, as asked. Jun 10, 2014 at 19:32
  • 1
    I realize that. You should clarify your answer, as it reads that no form of input is support.
    – njboot
    Jun 10, 2014 at 20:40

You could use the Intensity Shuttle from Blackmagic Design to capture HDMI video to Thunderbolt, then use a program running in full screen on the iMac to display the incoming video stream.


Besides using target display mode you can use say a elgato game capture, this will mirror your ps3 onto the iMac.

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