26" - 32" LCD HDTV + Powerbook G4 rev D (15")

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by GoCubsGo, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. macrumors Nehalem


    I'll preface this with telling you all that I did search for quite some time but given the common search term you can imagine how many threads I've read!

    That said...
    My 1.67 rev D powerbook (15") is plugged into a Dell LCD right now but I want to buy a Sharp Aquos 32" LCD HD TV because right now where I watch TV is also where my PB is (temp). Can I plug a PB into a 32" LCD HD TV of any type? I've read issues with the macbook/ibook and such but I haven't come across anyone saying a rev D PB (15") looks good. It has to look good because I use the PB for photography.

    Buying options right now have been (some of the sizes vary as I haven't decided on the exact size yet):
    ViewSonic 26" LCD HDTV
    32" Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV
    Vizio 32" LCD HDTV

    Can anyone comment on a similar setup? I also did the whole setup thread and PM'd a couple of people but they posted a year ago so no doubt they're rich and famous and have no need for MR nowadays!
  2. macrumors 68030

    I haven't used that particular combination of hardware, but I'd assume it would work fine as long as the Powerbook supports the TV's resolution, and your TV has some sort of HD input for it, whether VGA, DVI or like a DVI -> HDMI adapter.

    I've hooked up my Dell through VGA to my 32" 720p Sony Bravia, and it works fantastically (after dealing with some annoying issues with how Windows deals with dual monitors at any rate). I just set it to the TV's native resolution of 1300ish x 768ish, and it looks great.
  3. Moderator emeritus


    My setup also isn't that similar... iMac G5 / rev. B -- I have the Radeon 9600 vs. the 9700 and I don't have DVI. I have an Insignia 32" LCD (1360x768). Two comments:

    1) Be prepared to use SwitchResX or the like. You'll probably need to.

    2) If you buy a TV, try to get one that does VGA and HDMI/DVI. For reasons I don't completely understand, the same TV will accept different resolutions on different input types. When you use the computer standards (DVI or VGA), you tend to get more flexibility than when you use HDMI (i.e. if you use a DVI->HDMI cable, you may only be able to get a few "HDTV" resolutions, but if you use a DVI->DVI or DVI->VGA cable, you are more likely to get the TV native resolution).
  4. macrumors 6502

    Actually I have a Sharp 32" Aquos HDTV (720p model)that I hook up to my Macbook. Actually getting your Powerbook to plug into a 26" or 32" HDTV won't be a problem. It's getting it to use the correct resolution of the tv is were the fun starts.

    Like a previous post states, you want to look for a set that has VGA and DVI/HDMI. This will give you more input options. My Sharp has 1xVGA and 2xHDMI. I have found each gives me different resolution options when I hook it up to my Macbook.(though the HDMI gives me the most flexability)

    Next is deciding what resolution HDTV to get. By which I mean, 720p versus 1080p. Most if not all 26" HDTV are 720p while most 32" models are starting to come out in 1080p models. There is a price jump when going to 1080p. With Sharp's for example, a 32" 1080p model generally goes for about $300-$500 more than a 720p model in my area. I went with a 720p model because I got a good deal since they were clearing them out to stock 1080p models. For tv viewing, your not going to see a big difference on a tv that size. It's just the 1080p model will give you more resolution options when hooking up a computer.

    Now to your specific Powerbook. When you hook it up to a HDTV should give you multiple resolution options to select from. This is the main problem that people run into. It looks like none of the Apple laptops have a 1:1 setting for 720p tv's. The 'true' resolution of a 720p lcd tv is 1360x768. The closest options my Macbook gives me are 1024x768(that's a 4:3 picture which gives me black borders on the sides) or 1360x780(which cuts off an inch or so of the top and bottom of my screen). A 1080p tv a has a native resolution of 1920x1080. Depending on your video card it might go up that high, but since I don't have 1080p tv I can't say for sure.

    This is why the previous poster suggested getting a piece of software like SwitchResx. This type of software lets you manually adjust the output resolution of your laptop. This gives you the option of setting it beyond the default resolution settings of the Powerbook. I haven't bothered to getting around to do this myself but have heard it does work. It should work with your Powerbook, at least with a 720p tv. In the end it mostly comes down to trial and error. You could try and take your Powerbook to a store and see if they let you hook it up to a tv to test it on. Also check the tv manufacturers documentation too see what resolution settings each of the input ports accept on the tv's(they will vary depending on model and connection port).

    Hope this wasn't too long winded. Also wanted to add that the Sharps are nice tv's. I haven't had a complaint with mine. They are a little more exspensive then the 'no-name' brands, but you do get better picture quality. I highly recomend them.
  5. macrumors Nehalem


    All of this is great information and hardly long winded. I have the 128 video card that I upgraded to, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700.

    I'll check things out. In the end spending an extra $200 on a Sharp if I will get a better picture for my laptop is key.

    On the Sharp I was looking at @ Costco here are the features. Nothing on VGA or 720p so I am not sure.

    Screen Size: 32"
    Aspect Ratio: 16:9
    Resolution: 1366 x 768
    Panel Type Advanced Super View / Black TFT LCD Panel
    Contrast Ratio 1200:1 (Dynamic Contrast Ratio 6000:1)
    Brightness 450 cd/m2
    Lamp Life 60,000 hours2
    Viewing Angles 176º H x 176º V
    Tuner: NTSC/ATSC/QAM
    Table Stand Included, removable
    Limited Warranty 1 year parts and labor
    Weight: 43 lbs. (TV and stand), 36.4 lbs. (TV only)
    Dimensions: (w x h x d) 31 11/32" x 23 13/64" x 9 37/64" (TV and stand)
    31 11/32" x 20 59/64" x 3 53/64" (TV only)
    Speakers: 10W + 10W
    Inputs/ Outputs:
    HDMI x 2
    Component Inputs Y/Pr/Pb x 2
    Composite Video Inputs (A/V) RCA x 2
    Audio Inputs RCA L/R x 4
    RGB D-Sub (PC) Input 15-pin x 1
    Digital Audio Outputs x1
  6. Moderator emeritus


    It can be hard to decode that stuff!

    This means it's 720p.

    This is a VGA port.
  7. macrumors 6502

    From the spec's you listed it sounds like it is very similar to my model(LC-32D43U). As mkrishnan posted the D-sub is a vga port(I think mine's labeled 'PC input'). As I said, I use one of the HDMI ports to hook up my Macbook but it is nice to have it for other equipment. For example Microsoft sells a vga adapter for the xbox 360. Trust me on this, once you start hooking things up you will run out of inputs quick. The more inputs you have the better.

    The biggest thing I found when I was looking at lcd HDTVs was the brightness level of the backlight. I found that the cheaper models couldn't get the blacks really dark. This left them with a washed out grey look. It's not very noticeable in bright rooms, but stands out with the lights off. My cheap lcd computer monitor for example kind of 'glows' when displaying a black screen in a dark room. I don't have that problem with my Sharp tv.

    With whatever tv you decide on it looks the best when it's video settings are properly set. An older episode of the http://dl.tv podcast had a very good segment on setting up a HDTV for the best picture. I'd suggest looking that one up on their site.
  8. macrumors 68030

    I'm surprised the OS X drivers can't automatically see the native resolution. My Windows PC actually did, although there were some oddities with the way it handles dual monitors, so it still took some fiddling.
  9. macrumors Nehalem


    Ah ok! Seemed odd that one of the better TVs on the market wouldn't be at least 720p. I didn't know which res was what.
  10. Moderator emeritus


    It's actually somewhat hard to predict... they *do*, sometimes, and they *don't* sometimes.... it seems to vary from video card to video card, TV to TV, etc.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Technically 720p is 1280x720. LCD TVs seem to use that slightly higher resolution for whatever reason.
  12. macrumors Nehalem


    Stoked! I bought the Sharp Aquos 32" LCD HDTVand out of the box it allowed me to use the native resolution without the use of SwitchResX. At first it didn't quite fit, but I just had to tell the TV I wanted to use that res and all was well.
    Now the damn thing is about 20" from me and scaring the hell out of me! hah hah
    Now to calibrate it with my Spyder software.

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