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Old Sep 10, 2009, 04:40 PM   #1
mxracer700
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Mac / Yamaha Rx-V3900 display issues

Hey Guys,

After weeks of reading up on the whole HTPC deal I have decided to jump in, thanks to all who have posted their experiences!

I knew it wouldn't be plug and play but I've already hit a ton of stumblers and I'm just testing this out. The solution for one issue may cure another so I'll start with first one.

My setup is Yamaha RX-V3900 receiver (now with latest firmware) to which I have attached a Sanyo PLV-Z3000 projector and a Panny PZ80U plasma. The screens are in the same place and the projectors is for the serious movie viewing and the plasma is for everything else. I have a PS3, ATV, and WD player all attached and all operate no issue with either display.

Rather than use a mini, I thought "get a new laptop" (which I use all the time) and "HTPC" my current 2.0ghz Black MB (late 2008) laptop. So before I start dropping bux, I decide to test this whole deal and make sure it'll work like I want. So first step, download Plex and hook to HT.

I pick up a mini-DVI to HDMI and plug in. After hours and hours of testing different things including calling Yamaha and updating firmware, basic problem #1 is this: When you try to feed either display through the Yamaha it will only show a picture at 1920X1080 @ 24hz.

I can connect either display direct to the MB and get it to work on some level. There are issues but for intents it works. With either display the best setting is 1920X1080 @ 60hz. (on the plasma I have to uncheck overscanning to get the picture in the frame and on the projector the pic never fills the frame, overscan or not and the picture is way dark.)

Because I can feed this setup with PS3, ATV and WD with perfect results I'm thinking this issue is contained within the MB and likely the video card. Not that it should matter but in the Yammy I have changed every setting including setting everything to 'pass thru" so the signal is untouched. Bottom line is when I connect the Yammy to the Mac it see either display (one at a time only) and gives the option for 24 or 60hz at 1080 but when you choose 60hz you get blue or black blank screen.

So I'll open the floor to your collective thoughts on that one and throw in a question about the sound. I have crappy results using the headphone jack to RCA in on the Yammy.(feedback, low audio) Is there another way to connect?

Am I trying to do the impossible here? Am I going to see the same issues with a mini or other Mac?

Thanks in advance.

MXR.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 05:37 PM   #2
silencer88
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For sound, you could use an optical connection. The headphone jack on your Macbook is an analog and a digital output. You would just need one of these.

As far as the video goes, I'm not sure what the problem is. What you're doing should work, but I have no experience with your Yamaha receiver.
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 05:58 PM   #3
Cliff3
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The manual indicates the receiver supports a 60Hz refresh rate for a 1080p signal. There are a couple of firmware updates available for download on the US Yamaha site, assuming you are from the US and are using a US-spec receiver. Have you applied those? You might want to look at page 94 of the manual and try changing the HDMI->HDMI setting to see if that has any effect on the refresh rate.

(Caveat: I don't own this particular Yamaha receiver, so I can't test anything on your behalf.)
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 06:50 PM   #4
mxracer700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silencer88 View Post
For sound, you could use an optical connection. The headphone jack on your Macbook is an analog and a digital output. You would just need one of these.

As far as the video goes, I'm not sure what the problem is. What you're doing should work, but I have no experience with your Yamaha receiver.

AWESOME.. Thank you!

I had read something along those lines but didn't have time to check into my MB to see if it supported that.. I assume that's what you boys are using with the Mini?
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 07:13 PM   #5
mxracer700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff3 View Post
The manual indicates the receiver supports a 60Hz refresh rate for a 1080p signal. There are a couple of firmware updates available for download on the US Yamaha site, assuming you are from the US and are using a US-spec receiver. Have you applied those? You might want to look at page 94 of the manual and try changing the HDMI->HDMI setting to see if that has any effect on the refresh rate.

(Caveat: I don't own this particular Yamaha receiver, so I can't test anything on your behalf.)
Hi Cliff,

Yeah I've been up and down this one with Yamaha US. Their position is since all other supply devices work properly it must be the computer. He could not however tell me technically what the MB was not supplying to cause the issue. I installed the updates anyway despite his assurance it wouldn't change anything and it didn't.

Further research on the Apple site shows the following specs:

My computer: 2.0ghz (late 2006)
* Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory(3)
* Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

Mac Mini (late 2006) 1.83ghz
* Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory(1)
* DVI video output to support digital resolutions up to 1920 by 1200 pixels; supports 20-inch Apple Cinema Display and 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display; supports coherent digital displays up to 154MHz; supports noncoherent digital displays up to 135MHz
* VGA video output (using included adapter) to support analog resolutions up to 1920 by 1080 pixels
* S-video and composite video output to connect directly to a TV or projector (using Apple DVI to Video Adapter, sold separately)

Based on the assumption this vintage of mini works (guys with projectors and big plasmas chime in please) I decided to look at the differences in machines to see if there is something missing on my MB.

So, if I understand this correctly in order to go larger than 1920X1200 on the mini you have to do it through the Apple mini dvi to vga cable which will give you up to 1920 X 1080. Have you guys done this using the miniDvi to HDMI adapter?

Once again in the 'odd' category is my MB offers and lets me select the 1920X1080 option but it only displays at 24hz not at 60. Is this a big deal? Hz is the refresh rate and the faster the better when dealing with movement..correct? and even so on the projector it doesn't fill out the screen.
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