Any way to increase font size? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-14-2015, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Any way to increase font size?

I have just replaced an AppleTV3 with a MacMini in my living room. It is connected to a 55" 1080P Vizio through a Yamaha receiver and the couch is about 12 feet away. Everything is working swimimgly with the exception of font sizes. Does anyone know how to increase the font sizes so I can view text from the couch? I know using a program such as XMBC or Plex helps but one of the reasons for switching to the Mini was so that we could use some browser based apps and have the full functionality of the Mini. Is my only option to switch to 720P? That does not seem optimal. Am I missing a setting maybe in Accessibility Options that could fix this?

Thanks!

Brad
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 08:24 AM
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I'm pretty sure there's a font size rule in Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Accessibility but that's only going to get you so far. You already realize this, but this is why front ends like XBMC/Kodi and Plex, with add-ons, extensions and plug-ins, are so valuable, they're specifically designed for you to be 12 feet away.

Which specific "browser based apps" are you trying to use?

You also didn't mention how you're trying to control all of this, what you're using as a remote, etc, but you might find it's easier managing Safari activity screen-sharing from an iPad in your lap...Screens is the app I use most often from the iPad.

There's also no reason you can't keep an Apple TV hooked up right next to your Mini in the living room, I have a new 4 alongside a 2012 Mini and a 3 alongside a 2011, some things are just better on the Apple TV than within a browser.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply!

Browser based apps:

Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity (Comcast), YouTube, Amazon Prime

I'd also like to run iTunes and Spotify

Control is a combo of Harmony Hub and iPhones along with a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard and trackpad.

The Harmony works well because everyone can have the app on their phone and I don't have to dedicate an iPad to the living room and the keyboard sits in a drawer in the coffee table.

When I moved the Mini to the living room, I moved the AppleTV to the bedroom. Moving the Apple TV back complicates things for the family because they now have two devices to juggle and I lose having the AppleTV in the bedroom.

I guess I have been hoping someone knew of a front end that would help with this. I have not used XMBC for years and then I was only using it as an iTunes substitute for watching ripped movies. I have since embraced iTunes for all of my ripped content but don't know of an elegant way to get streaming content. Are there any programs such as XMBC that will integrate with streaming services? Whatever solution I try it based to be very simple for the rest of the technically challenged.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-18-2015, 01:43 PM
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Are there any programs such as XMBC that will integrate with streaming services? Whatever solution I try it based to be very simple for the rest of the technically challenged.
Short answer to the most elegant way to get the streaming services is via apps on a streamer box.

No matter what you do there will be compromises and tradeoffs, but my experience with my wife has been that if 1) streaming and 2) simplicity/ease of use across multiple users were your highest priorities, then moving a Mini running OS X into the living room to take the place of what you did with the aTV3 (or on an iPad) adds complication. It's also harder to support, i.e. it takes more of my time. I've found it a lot easier and much more seamless doing NF, Hulu, HBO, YouTube and Amazon Prime with an aTV 3 (and that's including the caveat of having to Airplay Amazon Prime to the aTV from an iOS device since Amazon is being stubborn.) There was a time when I tried to do things like NF, Amazon and EyeTV within a front end like Plex and XBMC, but all of those solutions were kludgy and unofficial, whenever NF or Amazon updated their drm or changed their website the functionality would break and you'd have to head over to the support forums to see how long a fix would take. Very tedious.

I guess my ultimate advice is to pursue this change and see how far you can go, but you may end up concluding that doing things within a browser from across the room sucks. And in that case, for streaming media, use apps on a streamer like an aTV3 or 4; for accessing and playing back your own vast media collection, use a front end like XMBC/Kodi (or Plex) on a Mini. I have over 30 TB of media, a decade plus of archived HDTV, a decade of ripped dvd and blurays, that's what I use XMBC for. And yet I keep the aTV because it is so much easier to leave the internet streaming to it.

Adding another aTV3 for the living room might make sense for you, it can be had very inexpensively or consider an aTV4 for the living room and use the Mini mainly as a media server--I've had the 4 since day one, overall it is fantastic, you'll enjoy the streaming services within apps that are officially supported, Airplaying Amazon Prime from an iOS device is still seamless, and with an app like Air Video (or Plex) you can officially and easily stream all your locally stored content, MakeMKV rips, video with subtitles, odd containers and codecs et al with no need to "hack" the Apple TV. Just keep the companion server app running on the Mini and you'll be fine. That is until MrMC is released on the aTV app store

http://mrmc.tv/forum/viewforum.php?f=6

when that's released I'll be switching from Air Video to it immediately. Among other things it'll have DVR support and won't require a server app running on a Mac.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-19-2015, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I'll have to play with some options.

I have to say that I'm surprised that there isn't an option for those who are sight impaired or for younger kids. Even outside of the HT world, I think there would be an application beyond what Apple currently does with there Accessibility controls.

Thanks again!

Brad
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-29-2015, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brussell View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'll have to play with some options.

I have to say that I'm surprised that there isn't an option for those who are sight impaired or for younger kids. Even outside of the HT world, I think there would be an application beyond what Apple currently does with there Accessibility controls.

Thanks again!

Brad
I may not understand your question, but I just hit Command+ to enlarge fonts on my browser as necessary for a given site. You can also set the default font in Safari prefs.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-30-2015, 07:55 AM
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I have a Mac Mini and the system font size cannot be enlarged. It is a total PIA. I have been on several Mac forums, and unfortunately, there is no way to fix it. I have increased the pointer/mouse icon size and turned on the magnifying glass for the Apps/command programs. But font size is still as small s ever. Sitting 12' back sux, I have to get up to read anything on the screen...I hate it.


Some suggestions were to change the actual font, however, I still have not been able to increase it size, it is fixed.


If anyone does find out a way to increase the font size on a MM, it would be greatly appreciated.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-20-2016, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post
I have a Mac Mini and the system font size cannot be enlarged. It is a total PIA. I have been on several Mac forums, and unfortunately, there is no way to fix it. I have increased the pointer/mouse icon size and turned on the magnifying glass for the Apps/command programs. But font size is still as small s ever. Sitting 12' back sux, I have to get up to read anything on the screen...I hate it.


Some suggestions were to change the actual font, however, I still have not been able to increase it size, it is fixed.


If anyone does find out a way to increase the font size on a MM, it would be greatly appreciated.
Hey I know this is OLD but I wanted to just give my .02.


I figured out how to make it work perfect with 4k. Just do this it works great. Basically it increases the size of everything by actually using more pixels instead of just using the lower resolution. Instantly makes everything the perfect size and nice and crisp. I'm typing this from 10 feet away on my couch lol.

https://www.tekrevue.com/tip/hidpi-mode-os-x/
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-26-2016, 09:50 AM
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I run a Mac mini HTPC on a 50" TV and the font size at 10 feet is definitely a pain. There isn't much you can do about it for the OS in general, or for individual apps like EyeTV which we use constantly to record and watch programs.

In Safari, you used to be able to set a Minimum Font Size in the Advanced preferences but that didn't work on some sites. Then, more recently, I was using the custom Style Sheet setting (again, in the Advanced options) to increase the default font size using a line of CSS code. But this was not an ideal solution because it broke some layouts and controls.

In Safari 10, which was just released, Apple has taken away the Minimum Font Size option and replaced it with a much better Page Zoom feature that sets the default zoom so you don't have to hit Command+ for each page. I have Page Zoom set for 150%. That is much more readable from the sofa, and it doesn't break any pages, so I have stopped using a custom style sheet.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-26-2016, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Minimus7 View Post
I run a Mac mini HTPC on a 50" TV and the font size at 10 feet is definitely a pain. There isn't much you can do about it for the OS in general, or for individual apps like EyeTV which we use constantly to record and watch programs.

In Safari, you used to be able to set a Minimum Font Size in the Advanced preferences but that didn't work on some sites. Then, more recently, I was using the custom Style Sheet setting (again, in the Advanced options) to increase the default font size using a line of CSS code. But this was not an ideal solution because it broke some layouts and controls.

In Safari 10, which was just released, Apple has taken away the Minimum Font Size option and replaced it with a much better Page Zoom feature that sets the default zoom so you don't have to hit Command+ for each page. I have Page Zoom set for 150%. That is much more readable from the sofa, and it doesn't break any pages, so I have stopped using a custom style sheet.
Do what I stated in my post. Fixes everything.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-26-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ToiletDucky View Post
Do what I stated in my post. Fixes everything.
I'm suspicious of that "fix." What was the HiDPI resolution you chose on your Mac, and what is the resolution of your TV?

What I'm concerned about is whether 1080p video content will actually display on my 1080p monitor at 1080p, or at the much lower "effective resolution."
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-27-2016, 01:51 PM
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(I updated this post after testing again)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToiletDucky View Post
Do what I stated in my post. Fixes everything.
OK. I just concluded a test.

I have a 1080p TV, so when I enable HiDPI, the effective resolution goes from 1920 x 1080 to 960 x 540. This is expected, 1 pixel of standard resolution content becomes 4 pixels of HiDPI, since resolution is doubled along both dimensions but the total number of pixels was not allowed to change. Everything looks bigger as expected, and sharp, which is nice, even though there's a lot less room on the screen now.

I prepared a 1920 x 1080 test image, basically a checkerboard where each black or white square is one pixel. At first I thought it might be pixel-doubling, but it's looking like it's able to display non-UI content at the full 1920 x 1080.

That was a synthetic image, so then I took screen shots of the same frame of 1080 video content with HiDPI disabled and enabled. My first test seemed to show a slight difference, but a second test looked better.

Overall, we're going to try this HiDPI solution for a while to make sure actual video content is showing at full device resolution and that the 960 x 540 isn't going to be too small for some of the media applications we use. iTunes, for example, puts up a warning that it would work better if you had a monitor with minimum 1024x768.

I am going to guess that the reason you are happy with the result is that you have a 4K TV. For you, cutting 4K in half results in an effective resolution of 2K/1080, which is an average computer display size these days so you'll have a lot more real estate for non-full-screen content and UI. So this technique probably works very well on 4K TVs and less well on 2K TVs, where the effective workspace gets cut down to a rather cramped 960 x 540.

Last edited by Minimus7; 09-27-2016 at 02:16 PM.
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