HDTV For iMac Display?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Darkroom, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Darkroom Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #1
    i'm thinking about getting a large Plasma or LCD display for my apartment, and use it as a second display for my 24" iMac... i know very little about using second displays. i assume it will not act as a second, extended display, but will simply show what is on the iMac. this would be fine for me.

    questions:

    1. is it possible to delegate the HDTV as the main display and therefore be able to turn off the iMac's screen (temporarily, of course)?

    2. my iMac has a max resolution of 1920x1200... how will that translate on a 32", 40", or even 50", etc. HDTV? 720 or 1080? clueless... so what stats on the HDTV should i look for that will display the top resolution of the iMac (if possible)...
     
  2. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    1 scores no idea from me.

    2 Your iMac supports 1920x1200, 1920×1080 is the native resolution for a 1080p LCD or Plasma HDTV set. The bugger is that the computer's resolution has more vertical pixels than horizontal.

    What that means is, if you get an actual HDTV, you will be missing out on some of the resolution. May I suggest getting an actual computer monitor capable of displaying native 1920x1200? Then you get the benefit of all your pixels. Apple's Cinema Displays are notoriously overpriced, but you can find many other high quality monitors out there, depending on your budget. Unfortunately they only go to about 30" but there are some bigger ones, you shouldn't need anything over that anyway. (Note: 30" is only supported with 2560x1600 as far as my knowledge.)

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #3
    1. No, the iMac will not do this, much to the dismay of me and many others who wish to use our HDTV in this mode.

    2. When you plug your HDTV into your Mac, the Mac should recognize the native resolution of the TV at 1920x1080 and give you the option of mirroring the display or running it in extended desktop (that is what mine does using VGA and the PC input on my HDTV). When I run it in extended desktop, both the iMac and HDTV are running in their native resolution. When I choose mirroring, it sets the resolution of the iMac to 1920x1080 to match the TV, resulting in black bars across the top and bottom of the iMac screen.
     
  4. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #4
    u can do that. its called screen spanning
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    If the iMac is anything like the MB and MBPs, you can do both. The TV can be an extended display or the only display. Whatever you want. The only thing is if you extend the desktop, you're spreading out the VRAM over twice as many pixels. Might not be a big deal with the iMac's video card, but with a Macbook's integrated video, I do notice certain issues.

    I'm not sure if this is doable on the iMac. On a MB (and presumably a MBP), you can close the lid with it connected to the HDTV and wake it up using the remote. I'm guessing you could figure a way to do it with the iMac. Otherwise, just dim the screen to the lowest setting to save your backlight.

    Definately get a TV with 1080p. You'll be able to get close to the iMac's native resolution. Also do some research to see if the TV has a zero-overscan mode (aka dot-by-dot, 1:1 pixel mapping, etc). This is a key element. Also, you'll want a TV that has a separate VGA or DVI input for PC/Mac use. These inputs typically are set at zero-overscan. Otherwise, you'd have to use a DVI/HDMI adapter ... just make sure the HDTV has auxillary audio inputs for at least one HDMI input.
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #6
    None will. Get a TV with a 1920x1080 resolution (1080p).
     
  7. Darkroom thread starter Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #7
    also, my iMac has the "ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory"... is this sufficient to support a large display in extended display mode? will it support all large displays, even 60" HDTVs? or does it not matter how large the display is as they are all 1080p?
     
  8. Arne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    can't you just turn on screen synchronization and turn the brightness of your iMac screen to zero?
     
  9. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #9
    Unlike a laptop, screen brightness at zero on an iMac does not turn the backlight off, unfortunately. If anyone else has a solution for this, I am all ears. The biggest thing that upsets me is the need to physically plug and unplug the adapter to the TV from the back of the iMac to toggle display modes properly, as opposed to being able to do this from software. Have the iMac mirror everything that is on the HDTV is not that big of a deal for me, as the iMac is behind me when I am watching movies on the TV played on the iMac, so it is not a big distraction. From an energy standpoint, it would be nice to turn the iMac display off. I know others would like to turn it off for other reasons.

    Darkroom - it does not matter how big the TV is, just the resolution. The highest resolution available of 1080p will produce 1920 x 1080 resolution from the iMac, and yes, the iMac graphics card is capable of pushing both the iMac screen and a 1080p TV set in extended desktop mode.
     
  10. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
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    Denver

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