Help with MacBook to Sharp 46 HDTV 1080p

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by UrsaMajor, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. UrsaMajor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    #1
    Maybe someone can lend some words of advice. I'm trying to output my Macbook to my new Sharp 46" screen [1920x1080] (Mini DVI to DVI - DVI to HDMI to TV). When I do, I have 2 options, Overscan and lose my top bar, or set it to have a 2" black frame around the screen.

    I've seen some 3rd party software like DisplayConfigx but I don't want to pay for something unless I'm sure it will work. Can someone point me in the right direction?
     
  2. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #2
    I've got the 52" version of that screen and I'm having the same problem.

    Sharp LCDs support one to one pixel mapping, so I'm really not sure what the problem might be. It seems to be displaying 1920 x 1080, but there's a 2 inch border like you said around the screen.

    What's strange is that my DVD player has no problem displaying 1080i full screen through the hdmi port with a hdmi to dvi converter.

    Hopefully a tv expert will read this thread and help out.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    I think you do want to try the 3rd party software. I'd recommend SwitchResX instead of DisplayConfigX, though. SwitchResX is also shareware, but actually, it does a bunch of different things, and if all you want to do is modify the display profile to add some resolutions, you can do that in the trial and not buy it. Once you add the resolutions, I think you can even uninstall SwitchResX and forget about it.

    It will let you adjust the resolution slightly so that it fits correctly. I don't know about this specific TV, but sometimes there's some goofiness in terms of the resolution you're supposed to have and what it wants to be provided. For instance, my TV is 1366x768 native, but takes 1360x768 from a computer. I don't understand it completely, but it works, and it looks to me like it's pixel-to-pixel when it's doing that.
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    Here's my experience with a MacBook and the 46" D62U TV.

    I'm going from mini-DVI to DVI and then DVI to HDMI. I'm also outputting the sound via minijack-RCA. These are going to HDMI Input 4 with the HDMI audio bypass to RCA.

    IIRC, I set my Sharp to be the primary display and the Macbook to extend the desktop. The Sharp is set for 1920x1080 (interlaced) as shown on the Display System Pref and the Overscan button is checked. TV is set on Dot-By-Dot.

    Now, when I first set it up, the screen had funny looking text, but everything was shown properly (i.e. no overscan). The text had a blurry, interlaced look to it and was not acceptable. I had to switch through the inputs a few times and viola, the screen looked perfect. Don't know what happened, but the TV was still reporting 1080i.

    In my pursuit to get 1080p, I read something that helped me out. Apparently, when you go up into the Display "widget" in the Menu bar, there are listed resolutions that have been recently used. There were (2) separate resolutions listed for 1920x1080 60Hz. When selecting one of them, the TV reported 1080p. Looking in the Display system pref, it still showed 1920x1080 (interlaced), but the screen looked great, so I'm convinced that the Macbook is outputting 1080p.

    Now, with my set-up, whenever I connect the Macbook, it reverts to the last setting and I no longer get the "funny" text. TV always reports 1080p and the full desktop is displayed. No need for SwitchResX or DisplayConfigX.

    ft
     
  5. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #5
    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Overscan button was the problem. It works now! Posting this from beautiful 1080p goodness.

    I'll post pictures in a few minutes.
     
  6. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    #6
    [​IMG]

    Notice that the overscan box must be checked. The picture looks really good. My powerbook can't play 1080p video at full frame-rates, but the individual frames sure look good!
     
  7. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #7
    TV set up looks awesome. I am looking into the 46'' or the 52'' and was wondering about these kinds of issues also. One question or comment. I noticed how small the dock looks. Do you leave it that small purposefully or is it due to the fact that you are using a 13'' screen and now a 46'' and on the 13'' the dock proportionally fits and works better for you at that size? If not, do you have to keep switching the dock size around? I am leaning towards just getting a mac mini or iTV to hook up to the tv depending on what we hear tuesday and then getting a new MBP in the summer. I'm excited.

    Also in line with this, I am working through what wireless keyboards and mice to get in order to really take advantage of this. I am leaning towards the perific wireless mouse (it's pretty cool and can be used in the air, i.e., no surface needed). I am also looking at an integrated keyboard with a mini track ball that operates as a mouse. Any cool ideas or products you all know of?
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Interesting! This is a really good point, though... one minor nuisance for me of the Apple ones is definitely that the Wireless Mouse does not work on glass surfaces for the most part, and my coffee table is glass. So, while I can just take the keyboard and mouse over to the coffee table, I have to find something to use as a mouse pad....

    Another thing that's probably worth exploring is getting something like Sailing Clicker set up so that you can have a sophisticated bluetooth remote control for your Mac from the couch (I haven't done that yet....) I wonder if there are any similar products that'd work from my bluetooth WM5 device (Axim x51v)?

    panoz7, the setup is gorgeous! Nice.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    Aniej,

    Regarding the keyboard thing, I have my hopes resting on Apple filling the void. Right now, Apple's only wireless offerings are the Bluetooth Keyboard and the Bluetooth Mouse. 3rd party stuff is geared towards Windows machince and don't have the correct keyboard layout (i.e. no CMD key, Alt in the wrong spot, etc) and I don't want to deal with remapping.

    I'm hoping that with the launch of the iTV and Apple's newly found interst in the "media center" space, that they'll release one of the following:

    1. Bluetooth Keyboard/Trackpad combination. Basically, take a Macbook keyboard and trackpad and fit it in a nice enclosure, slap some BT guts in it a VIOLA! The trackpad must have the two-finger operation that the MB and MBP have.

    2. An updated apple remote operating on BT. Put some gyros (or whatever happens to be used in the Wii Remote) to allow it to function as a "mouse" type device. It could be called the Apple Cool Remote (ACR for short0 If it had enough buttons (or some sort of virtual keyboard), you could use it to surf from the couch without a keyboard. Just move the ACR to move the pointer and click some button to bring up a virtual keyboard. I'm sure Apple could implement this in a very intuitive way.

    Either one would work for me in my future HTPC Mac mini. Add that to a pending Core 2 Duo Mac mini with "hidden" 802.11n ability, and I'm game.

    ft
     
  10. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #10
    Just a note. If you have not done so already, I hope the collective group that has been posting in this thread subscribes to it so that we can each explore these different aspects and help each other out. I tend to get into a thread and then lose it, but this is one that I would like to hold on to. Also the type of stuff we are looking into likely is not of the sort we just figure out, suggest the person "repair permissions" ;) and walk away from, it will likely be a bit extended. I have been really impressed with the contributions of the small little group we have going here and hope we continue it over time.

    I will post a bit more later, but have the same glass surface apple mouse problem. I am going to post some more info I found on some cool input devices either later tonight or wednesday (tuesday there is a little event going on, but I can't remember its name).

    Some more pictures of your set ups would be a nice addition as well as I am trying to decide between the 46'' or 52'' Sharp, the Sony KDL XBR2 46'', the Samsung LN-S (insert # here) line ranging from the 46"-52". (all of these are 1080p needless to say).
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    anjiel,

    Good thinking. I'm set-up to automatically subscribe to any thread that I participate in.

    Regarding the (3) TVs that you've listed, there are many different threads regarding these specific ones over at avsforum.com. Just a warning though, the posters at avsforum are very picky. If you buy a TV, consider yourself warned about reading that forum. You could be perfectly happy with your purchase, then after reading that forum, you'll be able to nitpick any and every imperfection on your TV. It'll get to a point where you'll get OCD about the flaws on the TV.

    Specifically, the Sharps have a "banding" problem (luckily for me, it's not very noticeable to me) and the Sony's have the "cloudiness" problem. The Samsungs aren't the best for PC/Mac use because the overscan on the HDMI input is not defeatable (however, the VGA connection may work - but it's not digital).

    I'll be happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of my set-up on this thread if that's what you want to hear. For the record, I have the Sharp LC-46D62U (with a B610 series serial number) and I have an extremely mild case of horizontal banding. I've been wary of uploading my photos to avsforum for the fear that the posters there will pinpoint all of the bands, therefore ruining the enjoyment that I get from my viewing. Also, I am connecting my wife's Macbook to it via DVI-HDMI. It will be replaced in the future by a Mac mini.

    ft
     
  12. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #12
    So what do you think, any merit to the 50" display rumors? I would be really really surprised, but if they did I would love one.
     
  13. UrsaMajor thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    #13
    I'll give this a shot later today and report back.

    I waited a couple of months before pulling the trigger on the set. I knew I wanted 1080p. Someone pointed out that even if newer sets are announced this month and next it will be till spring before we see them. Since this is for work I couldn't wait any longer.

    I've successfully outputed this Macbook to a Sceptre 37" 1080p which look beautiful and didn't have any issues with it need to fuss with any settings.

    The only issue I've had with it is a dead pixel. PS3 output and playback looks beautiful.

    My plan is to add a Mac Mini for basic web surfing and displaying Mac content. Has anyone tried a Mini at 1920x1080 on a set like this?
     
  14. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #14
    This touches on a larger issue I have been working though and keep coming back to the same conclusion. I am just about positive that I will be getting a new MBP come this spring (I wonder why I am waiting until then) and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. If I simply need to run HDMI between the MBP and the LCD (thanks for continuing to help with the decision) and there is a remote that can run all the digital media, plus all the content and tools I have on the MBP, I am having a hard time seeing why I would get an appleTV or even a mini to run content.

    What I am quite certain on is that apple TV is really not what I need, and actually I don't think it was designed for a user like me, which is just fine. appleTV is cool, but personally I want its features, but really want to have the access to streaming web content, general internet surfing, word processing, and the list goes on and on. What I am somewhat ambivalent on though is the mini. I really like the notion of not having to hook my MBP into the tv every time I want to do this and having the ability to independently jump on the internet without having too leave a movie I am watching that is coming from my computer hooked into the tv, but I am not quite sure I want to drop $500-700 on a mini for this ability. Not really a gripe, but just trying to think through the decision a bit more, especially as it relates to where the money would go otherwise, i.e., blue-ray/HD-DVD.
     
  15. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #15
    In addition to my posted earlier question about appleTV, I looked back at our thread and noticed this:

    I must admit I actually have no idea about any of what you were referring to mkrishnan, can you explain this to me a bit more?
     
  16. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #16
    As for the previous question, I think a mini hooked up to the living room TV would be the best option. It's a full fledged computer, so you can do the surfing and other things via Safari. If you want a simpler front end, then Front Row will do the job. The only thing is the keyboard and mouse dilemma.

    As for using the Axim that mkrishnan referred to, Sailing Clicker seems like the product to allow BT smart devices to be used as remotes. Also, Remote Buddy may be an option.

    ft
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Yeah, sorry, Sailing Clicker is a product primarily for making a cellphone a remote control, etc. It actually does work with products like my Axim. It's supposed to be really nice. Anyway, though, it gives you a non-IR remote for your setup that can do much more than the Apple remote can, albeit not quite as simply. So that, when you are not using your keyboard and mouse, you can control a lot of the "entertainment" features using the remote. :)
     
  18. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #18
    Ok TV buying team, I'm sending out the collective bat signal and need some advice. I got what I think to be a great deal by a store that I just lucked into. I was using retrevo.com, which I highly recommend for searching tech related items and came across a seller on ebay who also has a store, surprise surprise. I ended up talking to the guy on the phone for about 45 minutes and then called each other back about 3 more times on follow-up issues. I am very skeptical and normally hang up with most of the sellers I have called within 4 minutes, but this guy was friendly, smart and really had the best deals I have ever seen. More importantly he was accommodating to MY needs in delivery, stuck to the types of TVs I was interested in, but also offered new sets, which is difficult to do without feeling like you are being hustled. Anyway this is not a pitch for him or his company, but I would be happy to give you the info if you want it.

    I just kind of want final confirmation. He is going to get me the Sony KDL-52XBR2, have it shipped from a warehouse in PA and arrive for me on Saturday with two delivery people to bring the set up to my condo and remove it from the box with shipping insurance as part of the deal. The cost for everything $3900. I am pretty amazed and have yet to see a price like this for what I listed anywhere. I want to make sure I have my bases covered so:

    1. What else do I need to ask about?

    2. Should I get an extended protection plan (3yrs)?

    3. Any knowledge about how these Sony products play with our Macs?

    4. New products that would suggest holding off?
     
  19. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #19
    My suggestion is to check out the reseller to see if he's an authorized Sony dealer. Sony is one of those companies (I think) that won't honor their warranty if it's not purchased through an authorized dealer. Also check the guy out through the Better Business Bureau. I have a buddy who does TV installations and he's able to sell most brands, but Sony's a tougher one to get. Personally, I'd shop around at a regular retailer like Best Buy or Circuit City. You can return it, or get price protection. Delivery might cost you some, but if you can get hold of a minivan and a buddy, it's no problem to get into your place (unless you're on the 80th floor with no elevators - which isn't a problem since you're in Philly).

    As for the protection plan, if you pay with a premium credit card, they usually add 1 or 2 years to the warranty. Of course, you'd have to deal with the CC company after the OEM warranty runs out, but at least you don't have to shell out $300-$500.

    I've read lots of stuff where the XBR2/3 play very nicely with Macs. With the Sony's, you get (2) choices. HDMI or VGA. Both have 1:1 pixel mapping. However, there are reports of the XBR's having "clouding" issues. Not quite sure what it is, but avsforum.com has a big thread about it. Make sure you can return it if it has a problem.

    As for new models, CES 2007 has happened this week. Lots of 1080p devices have been announced. If you're set on LCDs, the newest 1080p development is 120Hz screens. Not sure if it really makes a difference or if it's just marketing mumbo jumbo. Sharp announce a slew of new 1080p models and now have several tier levels. Other companies announced new stuff too.

    Also, if you're not set on LCD, they've just started announcing 1080p plasmas in smaller sizes. Six months ago, the smallest 1080p plasma you could get was the $8000 Pioneer Pro something. Now, everyone is announcing 1080p plasmas that go as small as 42". Something to think about.

    ft
     
  20. UrsaMajor thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    #20
    I agree with what was just said... My concerns too, would be if they are indeed authorized dealers of Sonys. The price you're getting is VERY good. A quick search turned up prices near $5k. To have it delivered and including tax seems a little TOO good to me. Even with that all being said, getting a great price means nothing if you don't have support for it, you'll have a $4k paperweight.
     
  21. UrsaMajor thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    #21
    [​IMG]

    Here's a quick pic of the 46" Sharp mounted on the wall. The wireless keyboard and mouse allows the computer to be located in the next room. There's also an IR repeater under the left wall speaker to beam any remote control to the next room (so I can use a receiver remote or the mac remote).

    The idea with this setup is that no wires are ever seen and components can be swapped out in seconds. Everything comes to a wall plate (including the HDMIs) so its easy and clean. Right now I'm using my macbook and a Playstation 3 to display content.
     
  22. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #22
    Sweet set-up. What kind of room is this? Is this in your house or some office meeting room?

    I like the wall sconces and the paint color.
     
  23. mojohojo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    #23
    got a noob question - when connecting to a lcd tv with macbook. is there lower performances? like playing avi movies would lag?
     
  24. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #24
    I've noticed a few things with the Macbook connected to my 1080p TV (running at 1920x1080p).

    When desktop extension was ON, and the TV (1920x1080p) was set as the primary disply, I noticed that Front Row was a little "off". I figured it out and what happens is that when you go back to a previous menu, the screen doesn't have that smooth sliding transition. The menu just had an abrupt change. When the TV was set to 1360x960 (or something like that), the problem disappeared.

    However, I figured out how to run the Macbook with just the TV as the display, meaning the Macbook's screen is off. With the TV running at 1080p, Front Row works fine.

    I guess the fewer number of pixels took some load off of the CPU/GPU system.

    Note - I am running a Macbook 2ghz, 512MB RAM.

    ft
     
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #25
    Yes, I think you're correct, basically. I think Quartz Extreme and other system-level APIs are designed automatically to make choices on your behalf about what to display. Basically, they're intended to automatically give you the "best" viewing experience possible on your hardware. So when the system is taxed, they drop frames or altogether suppress some of the system animations like the cube transitions and the ripples and so on.
     

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