Computer with HDTV instead of apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ben5959, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. ben5959 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #1
    Is it possible to connect a computer to a HDTV and if so wouldnt this do the same things Apple TV would, plus give you a huge freakin computer monitor? if this is at all possible could someone please help as I am lost!
     
  2. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #2
    no
     
  3. deetsnai macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #3
    Sure it will work. DVI-> HDMI. I used a 37" 1080p LCD TV as my monitor for 6 months and games were amazing. However, you won't be able to rent movies in HD.
     
  4. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Plenty of people have done exactly that with Mac Minis.

    But you don't get the on-demand rentals, 'cept through iTunes.
     
  5. Carlos E macrumors 6502

    Carlos E

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    You can setup a computer to act as a HTPC. (Home Theater PC.) A lot of people are doing this with the Mac Mini.

    Read here:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=115
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    In addition to the comments above, one of the bigger wildcards in using an HDTV with a Mac is Overscan.

    Some TVs don't allow for zero-overscan, so the desktop will be missing the edges. Not such a big deal with movies and TV shows, but on a computer desktop, it's a huge issue. You can play around with different settings and applications, but sometimes it just doesn't work.

    If your TV has a zero-overscan mode (1:1 pixel mapping, dot-by-dot, etc.), then it may not be an issue.

    ft
     
  7. ben5959 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #7
    thank you guys so much for all of the help I really appreciate it, I do have one questions still, someone above mentioned that I wont be able to rent HD movies, can someone confirm this as this was one of the main reasons that I was going to set it up this way?? Thanks in advance!!!!!
     
  8. imlucid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #8
    Correct, HD Movies are only available for ATV.

    Kevin
     
  9. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Yeah, the idea with AppleTV 2 is that it's a kind of portal for movie rentals, right down to the interface, HD etc..

    As i say, the old Apple TV could easily be replaced by a Mac Mini, but this new beast is different.
     
  10. ben5959 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #10
    All of the computer stores around me are selling the HDMI-DVI cables for 60-80-120 bucks!!!!!! but ive found multiple cables that claim to be the same thing all over AMAZON.com for 10-20 bucks, should i bite the bullet and go for the more expensive cables or should I save my money, especially since I obviously wont be renting any HD movies due to the lack of me having :apple:TV
     
  11. imlucid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #11
    Save your money and get the cheaper ones.

    Kevin
     
  12. BigYellow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    #12
    Get the best of both worlds. When I bought my 56" Toshiba DLP, I bought one of the hugely overpriced HDMI-to-DVI cables (to go from DVI on my satellite box to the HDMI on my TV) without looking into alternatives at all. I think it was priced at $140 and the salesguy gave me a "deal" for $100. Anyways, I stumbled on a StarTech (generic) HDMI-DVI cable for $30. Needless to say, I returned the expensive cable after picking up the Generic one.

    Then a couple months later, I needed a new HD cable for my old Xbox and I picked up a gold plated component video/optical audio cable off eBay for about $40. I decided, after seeing the difference over the Chinese knockoff that I had before, that i wanted the same quality for my satellite box.

    So back to eBay I went, and sure enough found an authentic Monster HDMI-DVI cable for about $25 shipped (retails for $119). It didn't make a huge difference, but it was noticeable over the StarTech, and was actually cheaper.

    If you buy from sellers based in north america, with a 99%+ seller feedback rating, you can get a steal of a deal on the brand name cables.
     
  13. avalys macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    #13
    There is no reason to go through all this effort. If you buy a cheap HDMI cable and hook it up, and see no glaring, obvious, HORRIBLE picture problems, the picture is as good as it will ever get. It's digital. It works or it doesn't. The difference you thought you saw between the expensive and cheap HDMI cables was imagined.

    Analog cables are a different matter.
     
  14. kyleaa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    #14
    Many HDTVs have a DVI input.

    Stores such as Best Buy make their greatest profit margin on cables. Markup can be several hundred percent over cost.
     
  15. ben5959 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #15
    thanks for the help guys yall really helped me make my decisions!!!!!!
     
  16. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #16
    Monoprice.com sells an HDMI to DVI adaptor for less than $4.

    Their HDMI cables, and HDMI to DVI cables, are similarly cheap, and they work well.

    As for the OP's original question, I'm still debating whether I want a Mac mini, or an Apple TV, driving the LCD I plan to mount in my kitchen.

    Apple TV advantages:
    - thinner (easier to hide behind TV)
    - seamless UI
    - cheaper
    - no power block to hide
    - direct HD rentals

    Mac mini advantages:
    - can play DVDs
    - can play any video/audio format
    - can display custom screen savers or widgets: weather, headline news, etc
    - can run other programs (e.g. recipe collection, PowerPoint shows)
    - can set to auto-sleep after idle inactivity

    Hmm, hmmm.
     
  17. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #17
    I've done it with my 24" iMac and yeah it works .... BUT ....

    I really do not want my computer where my TV resides so.....

    It's Apple TV for ME !!!
     
  18. ben5959 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #18
    Yah, I wouldnt want my computer in my livingroom either, but...... since i have a new Imac, and my old G5 is just sitting there collecting dust, i thought i'd hook it up to the big screen and have an appleTVesque experience, even though i dont have the cool UI. It would Be AWESOME if someone figured out a way to get this interface onto a computer, id deffinately be interested!!!!!!

    What do you guys think the odds are that Apple will bring HD rentals to regular Itunes in the Future??????

    BTW, I bought a HDMI-DVI cable on Amazon for $20 including s/h. It arrives today, Ill let you know how great it is/isnt!!!!!
     
  19. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #19
    I thought that FrontRow was an included part of Leopard. You might want to check to see if that's the case. You'll probably want a remote to control the interface as well.

    ft
     
  20. izibo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    #20
    Regarding the purchase of cables... there is only ONE place to go: www.monoprice.com

    They are amazing. Been using them for a few years. Really good quality stuff, dirt cheap, and FAST (and cheap) shipping.

    Also, the truth about digital: it will either work or it won't. Don't get sucked in by the whole monster cable difference. It's marketing hype.
     
  21. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #21
    My HDTV has a VGA input. Never used it, but it's very possible.
     
  22. ben5959 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #22
    Hells Yes!!!!!!!

    So my HDMI-DVI cable came yesterday, I hooked everything up, and HELLLS YES! It worked perfectly. There was no overscan, the desktop filled the entire screen and looked beautiful. Surfing on 50' is amazing. I rented my first itunes movie, The Invasion, it wasnt HD, but it was so seamless, and easy. A Huge THANK YOU to you all!!!!
    Now i just need to get some sort of lap desk to so i can more effectively use my wireless mouse and keyboard. Anyone have any knowledge on such a product?

    if anyone cares, I can post pics, ITS SO PRETTY
     

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