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Can I connect my Mac to my DVI HDTV?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 11 2007 - 08:09 AM

Can I connect my MacBook Pro with a DVI interface to my Sony Wega HDTV with a DVI HDCP interface? Is there a special cable and/or special software that will make this work? (and no, an AppleTV is not an option Posted Image)

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted October 11 2007 - 02:22 PM

I don't know why not. I connected my old PowerBook G4 via DVI to my Benq 7800 projector. I used a cable that came with the 7800.

What I didn't do, and what you might want to try, is downloading a utility that will let you set the resolution of the external display to the best res that your Wega will accept. 720P maybe?

In my PowerBook's case, it defaulted to 1024x768 and wouldn't let me change the resolution to anything else.

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As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#3 of 16 OFFLINE   ErichH

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Posted October 13 2007 - 07:27 AM

Some TVs don't like Mac's 1680 so you might have to rez down the 1400 or 1200 if you have the 15. Other than that, DVI should work.
Give us a report!

My bud Josh at Rockstar runs a Mini onto a 130 inch screen with a Sony Pearl. That's a Big Mac!

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted October 13 2007 - 07:57 AM

I don't see why not. I've connected by MBP to my plasma and OSX automatically detected the display, ran a calibration and voila instant perfection Posted Image Its laughable how much better OSX is at working with external monitors compared to Windows.

#5 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 13 2007 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for the tips. I need to check in some more TV-centric areas to make sure there aren't issues with the TV's HDCP-DVI connection from five years ago. And I need to find a DVI cable.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Christian Behrens

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Posted October 14 2007 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
Thanks for the tips. I need to check in some more TV-centric areas to make sure there aren't issues with the TV's HDCP-DVI connection from five years ago. And I need to find a DVI cable.
Since the Mac doesn't output a HDCP signal, all you need is a DVI-DVI cable. There should be no problems whatsoever, the TV should tell the Mac what resolution to use; that's part of DVI.

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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted October 17 2007 - 02:13 AM

Dave -- have you used an external monitor with the MBP before? A TV works exactly the same way, with the same options for extended desktop.

I hooked up a MacBook Pro to two older plasma HDTVs Sunday night for a presentation, and regularly hook my wife's MacBook up to our projector. No special software is needed, it's all in the OS. Just don't do monitor mirroring, or you'll be forcing one of the two screens to a sub-optimal resolution.

Let me know if you need more details.

#8 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 17 2007 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I've used an external monitor; that's easy. But for some reason, I thought that computer output to the "older" HDTVs with HDCP DVI input had some gotchas.

So, I need to get a cable and try it out. Do you know if it matters what sort of DVI cable is used? There are like 4 kinds of DVI. I suppose I want DVI-I single link on both ends.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted October 17 2007 - 09:05 AM

It depends on the monitor/TV, so look at that connector. The connector on the Mac (and most video cards) will do both digital and analog -- the analog is why those VGA converter dongles work. The connection requires dual-link only for the really high resolutions.

You will probably use a DVI-D cable. You actually don't want DVI-I, because if the monitor only accepts digital connections, which is likely, then an I cable will not work because of the extra prongs.

#10 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 17 2007 - 12:30 PM

Ok, re-checking my Sony manual, and it says (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Can accomodate a copy-protected digital connection (HDCP) to other devices...that have compatible interfaces. The DVI-HDTV input terminal is compliant with the EIA-861 standard and is not intended for use with personal computers.
Can the Mac talk to this?

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted October 18 2007 - 12:36 AM

I don't know why it wouldn't be able to -- though I don't have any idea of exactly what happens inside of a DVI cable.

If the cable is cheap enough, I'd buy it and just try hooking it up.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Christian Behrens

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Posted October 18 2007 - 05:48 PM

They are probably just talking about the fact that it's a digital input only, and therefore doesn't accept analog signals (from a computer's VGA output).

There is really nothing to it, get a decent DVI-DVI cable (from e.g. Monoprice) and you're good to go. Your Mac can talk to any display that has a DVI input.

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#13 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 20 2007 - 05:22 AM

After some more research, I ordered a DVI-D cable from RAMelectronics (an HTF advertiser) -- they had a good explanation of the various cables. I'll let you know how it works; hopefully I'll get the cable before next weekend.

#14 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 03 2007 - 03:15 PM

Finally gave it a go, and connected my MBP to my Sony HDTV -- and it worked straight off. But, new challenges are presented. Applications as a rule don't understand secondary screens; I can't tell iPhoto to do the slide show on the second screen. So I have to mirror my desktop. Workable but not ideal.

Most disappointing though is that Front Row won't play any movie trailers or TV shows when the screen is mirrored. It just goes black. I don't know if this is a bug or by design. Neither one makes any sense -- this is the obvious use for Front Row so I don't know why it wouldn't work.

I finished by playing an HD demo clip in QuickTime using mirrored screen. That works well is quite attractive. If nothing else, it will be good for photo slide shows and watching YouTube clips with company. Posted Image

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted November 04 2007 - 12:28 AM

You can flip the arrangement so that the TV is the "main" monitor and your laptop is the secondary. In the Arrangement part of Display Preferences, grab the little white bar that's at the top of the representation of your MBP monitor and drag it to the representation of the TV. Your dock will also move to the TV when you do this.

Now if you run iPhoto, it'll start on the TV. You can drag it to the MBP monitor, and then when you run the slideshow it'll still run on the TV -- so your guests don't see you setting up.

Most programs don't have the in-depth multi-monitor setup options that Keynote has.

#16 of 16 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 04 2007 - 03:59 AM

Thanks Aaron, that solves it. I also found the Apple support article on it.

Front Row: Videos only play on primary display

This opens up interesting new opportunities. I also saw the Front Row sees iMovie projects; I need to figure out how to take advantage of that as well.





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