The Thunderbolt port is your only option. Not true at all.
A Beginner’s Guide to Apple’s Mac Mini
We have some in use with Apple TVs on one of our campuses. These work perfectly: Just grabbed one I had on my desk and tested it with one of our MAC minis, it worked perfectly, running Brand Representative for Tripp Lite. On the product pages, click on the "Support" tab for installation manuals to see if these will work for you.
I am using it to connect an Apple TV to the VGA input on a projector, and have also tested it with the screen on my office computer. To continue this discussion, please ask a new question.
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By Alvin Alexander. Last updated: June 3 A Mac Mini. A mouse and keyboard. The Mac Mini doesn't come with a mouse and keyboard, and I recommend Apple's Blutooth wireless mouse and keyboard, as you'll likely want those to remotely control your Mac Mini TV at least occasionally.
You may also want an external monitor, at least temporarily, for your initial Mac Mini configuration. If you take this approach, and want to use an old monitor, you may also need a monitor adapter. So much will vary here depending on the age of your TV, this can become a bit of a rabbit hole. A cable to connect your Mac Mini to your TV. Again, this will vary, but the current Mac Mini comes with an HDMI port that supports video and multichannel audio output.
Connecting a VGA monitor to new Mac Mini? - Apple Community
Make sure you by an HDMI cable that is long enough for your home setup. An Apple Remote. Thunderbolt port and an HDMI port.
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Because most Mac video adapters are only 2 or 3 inches long, they are almost always too short to reach the screen -- so you'll need a monitor cable, too. After you connect the cable and adapter to the screen and the Mac Mini and power them on, the Mac Mini should automatically detect the monitor. If it doesn't, turn off both the monitor and the Mac Mini, turn on the monitor, and then restart the Mac Mini.
Build a Dummy Dongle for a headless Mac mini
In most cases, the Mac Mini should automatically detect the optimal display settings for the screen it's connected to. If you need to adjust the settings, open System Preferences from the Apple menu and select "Display. You can also manually adjust the brightness by dragging the slider.
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To adjust the color settings, click the "Color" tab. Mac Minis manufactured between early and mid come with a Mini DisplayPort instead of a Thunderbolt port.
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