apple tv vs. vga

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ztark, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    May 25, 2007
    I recently bought a 40 inch Samsung LCD HDTV and am wanting to play movies and shows from itunes on it. My iMac (intel core duo, 1.83 Ghz) is literally four feet away from the new tv. AppleTV seems a little pricey for the purpose of moving media a mere four feet. Considering the fact that my mac is so close, I could even use the mac remote. Any reasons I should not do this? Also, does anyone know if there is a way to play media off my imac on my tv with a vga cable without leaving my imac screen on?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    Not very convenient to do it this way but it can certainly be done. You'll need the miniDVI->VGA adapter and also a cable to carry the audio if you want to use the TV's speakers. I'm not sure if you can turn the brightness all the way down on the iMac like you can with my MacBook Pro but if you can then you could do that to 'hide' the screen on the iMac. Otherwise, you're stuck with turning it away from your line of sight.

    I don't have an ATV because I can use my Xbox360 with Connect360 software to view my iTunes movies on my TV. I'm considering an ATV though because the Xbox is so noisy.
  3. macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2007
    :apple:TV is a little pricey- but dammit it is convenient. sure you could get the proper cord to display a mirror of your computer and play your movies- but i personally would save up some money. bye an apple tv(refurbished if u must) and learn to love it. i used to basically use my tv as an external monitor- but the :apple:tv came about and made my life a whole lot easer...subract 300 dollars- worth every penny. ps. the apple tv will upconvert your movies too look beautiful on your new tv. DO IT
  4. macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Go with the Apple TV...however, wait until Macworld on Jan 15th...could be an update.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    What?! For 300 dollars? There must be a better (cheaper :D) solution than that! I like what ztark said.

    How much money do you guys have?! :p
  6. macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    It's not that we have piles of money to burn, but we need a convenient way to display iTunes' media on our beautiful HDTVs we got for Christmas. ;) Connecting your Mac directly looks like crap, btw (Tried it on my 46" 1080p Samsung LCD - Messed with all the settings, etc. Still looked like crap!)
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    Might be that you have a specific reason for wanting to use a VGA connection, but if your TV has a free HDMI input you might want to consider Mini-DVI --> DVI --> HDMI, using Apple's mini-DVI cable (or whatever cable connects to the iMac's video out) and a DVI to HDMI cable.

    Using the iMac's monitor spanning would give you functionality that the :apple:TV wouldn't, like playing DVD's or videos that aren't in your iTunes library, but it's going to take some screwing around every time you want to watch something: access the computer to start the video and put it on the TV screen, set it to full screen, dim the computer monitor, etc, whereas the :apple:TV is very slick and convenient.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I did this for a brief period of time, and pronounced it LAME.

    Screen mirroring will work but it will jack up your resolutions, so you're stuck with spanning. The primary problem is that Front Row will only work with the primary display. So if you work on your iMac, you'd then have to open up the Display pane in System Preferences, switch the menu bar to the TV, do your Front Row-ing, and then switch it back before you can do any work. The iMac screen will go black, since it's secondary, but it's a "bright" black with the backlight on, so it'll still be a distraction.

    Granted, this was the case in mid-2006. Apple might have updated software to get rid of this problem -- ha ha ha... sorry, been awake too long.

    So yeah, it's possible. Yeah, it's also a pain in the ass. I'd suggest something -- anything -- else. The Apple TV is fantastic, imho, and sounds like just what you're looking for. It is also nice because you can move your iMac away from the danged TV without screwing up your setup. Never underestimate the value that a wireless connection or CAT5E cable can provide over a bulky and expensive VGA/HDMI cable with a proprietary adapter on one end.

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