How to use monitor as HDTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by splitpea, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    My cable company will upgrade me for free to an HD cable box, so I was thinking of going HD.

    The HD cable box has an S-Video out, and my Dell monitor has an S-Video in, so I was thinking I could just use the monitor as a TV instead of buying something expensive. Would that work, or would I also need additional converters?

    The other issue is that the monitor doesn't do audio, and all I have are bog-standard computer speakers -- how could I get the audio to work without investing a lot of cash?

    Thanks!
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    you will need something like eyetv for the tuner and external speakers for the audio
     
  3. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    eyetv takes your cable signal and transmits it over usb so you can watch tv on your computer screen

    http://www.elgato.com/
     
  5. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #5
    S-Video only carries standard definition, so if your HD cable box has S-Video out, it must be down-converted to standard definition.

    The only HD video interconnects (in this arena) that ARE actually high definition are:
    1) component video (three RCA plugs - needing two more RCA plugs for audio) or
    2) HDMI, which carries the lot down a single cable - and is the best choice, if available.

    Alternatives for HD are to use computer/monitor interconnects like DVI (or, I suppose VGA) - but only if you're using images at least 720 pixels high, or better: 1080 pixels high, otherwise (again!) it's not HD!
     
  6. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Is that still necessary if the monitor has a video input that matches one of the cable box's outputs? I don't want to run it through my computer, just directly to the monitor.
     
  7. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Ah, I didn't know that!

    The cable box appears to have a component out (red, white, and yellow RCA jacks); the monitor has a yellow RCA jack -- so I could use the component video and an adapter for the speakers? There's also another video out on the cable box that uses red/green/blue RCA jacks.

    The monitor supports up to 1600x1050, so I'd presumably be using a 720px vertical resolution with letterboxing. Converting from the cable box's output to DVI sounds like more trouble than it's worth, though, if the monitor will support the video output directly.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    nope, if the connections line up between the box and monitor, then you can hook up straight to monitor
     
  9. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #9
    Careful here! - Yellow+Red+White is NOT component video, it's composite video - easily confused. Composite Video again, is STANDARD DEFINITION only! (on yellow, with left+right audio on white+red).

    The Red+Green+Blue RCA trio is component and is high definition (and probably labelled "YPbPr"). That's what you want for HD video.
    If you monitor is, for example, a Dell 2407 or 2408, it has component inputs on a trio of RCAs (red+blue+green). That will do.

    You'll have to get audio from the white+red RCAs (from the yellow+white+red trio) and feed that to an amplifier+speakers or self-powered speakers.

    Sounds like you'd better tell us the exact Dell monitor model number, or at least all the inputs it has! Sounds like a 2007WFP or similar? If so, it might be that the ONLY HD-video input is DVI, in which case you can't connect it directly to the HD cable box. :(
     
  10. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Oops, thanks for setting me straight. Guess that would have been too easy.

    The monitor is a 2007, not a 2407, and it's got S-Video, composite (just the yellow one), VGA, and DVI inputs.

    The cable box appears to have component, digital audio, optical audio, composite, S-Video, and HDMI outputs.

    So basically the DVI is the only digital input? Does that mean that to get HD I'll need an adapter from the cable box's HDMI or component outs to the monitor's DVI in? (Plus a DVI splitter if I'm going to keep using it with the computer.)
     
  11. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #11
    OK, the only HD way-in is DVI (or VGA), but DVI is preferable.

    OK, an HDMI-to-DVI adapter should be what you need, to feed the HDMI output from the cable box to the DVI input on your monitor.

    Exactly.
    I suggest - avoid the DVI splitter or switch, and feed the computer into the VGA input, then you can use the front panel switches on the monitor to switch between computer (VGA) and HD-TV (DVI).

    Then I suggest you ALSO run a RCA-to-RCA cable from the box composite video output (yellow) to the monitor's composite video input and then you can probably do picture-in-picture too! ...and watch both at once. :) It will only be using the standard definition picture from the cable box, but the video image is reduced anyway (not HD size) and it's a very useful feature!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Thanks, that's very helpful! I'd probably get a splitter anyway, so as not to lose graphics quality from the computer -- esp. since I do graphics work.
     
  13. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #13
    Well, I can understand that, but STILL run the composite video link (or S-video link) between the cable box and monitor, so you get the picture-in-picture facility as well. (You won't get that facility at all, with a splitter, of course!) Good luck. :)
     

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