Link MacBook with an HDTV

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FrenchPB, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    Hey guys,


    I have a black MacBook since September of 2006 (2Ghz, 2Go RAM), and will get a 32" HDTV (Sony Bravia KLD-32D3000). Since I have plenty of football games on my laptop captured from an HD source and encoded in awesome quality (h264, 1024x576), I would love to link my MacBook to my HDTV the best possible way. I have a few questions :

    - can you choose the resolution of the output on your MacBook, cause I'd like it to be 1366 x 768 (native resolution of the HDTV)
    - how should I link the sound ? is it a normal jack in the MacBook, or an optical one ?
    - do you advise me to buy an external USB sound card ? or will a jack to RCA cable be good enough ?
    - I have an other laptop, an hp compaq nc6220 with a VGA output. Should I use this one to display those videos on the screen ?
    - same question for the sound if I use this system
    - should I use a mirror image on the HDTV screen, or use it as a second display ? I'm not quite sure how that works... I want to display those videos full screen obviously, but don't know exactly how to do it.

    Thanks for you advices !!! You guys are the experts :cool:
     
  2. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

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    Nunya, Business TX
    #2
    I'll answer what I can...

    When MacBook's in Dual Display, using mirror mode will make both displays the same resolution. There won't be an exact match (unless your secondary monitor matches MacBook's resolution) so you'll get black bars either side. Better to use extended display to utilise the full res of both monitors.

    Resolution is dependent on your connection - for instance VGA can output 1366x768 on my Samsung, but HDMI couldn't get an exact match with my Mac Mini so I'm still left with small borders on each side of the screen. I haven't tried with the MacBook because I only have a mini-DVI to VGA adapter, rather than mini-DVI to DVI (which would then connect to a DVI-HDMI cable).

    I use 2.1 speakers that connect through the audio jack, so I have no issue with sound!

    hope that helps a little...
     
  3. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Yes, it looks like VGA is the only way to get a native resolution on the hdtv. Besides, it will allow me to connect both my Mac and PCs to the hdtv, which adds a lot. The DVI/HDMI might show better image quality, but since the videos I want to watch are captured over the air, their quality is not perfect and VGA might make them look better by not showing all their defaults ;)

    Now for the sound, I might get the simple jack to RCA cable, in order to use it as well with my PC.
     
  4. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

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    #4
    Not sure RCA will work on the TV, it'll be running the VGA source for the visual, I wouldn't think you could simultaneously access the RCA source for sound??
     
  5. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Are you sure about that ? That would suck big time !!!

    There will be 15ft between my TV and my computer, so there nos point of having the sound at the other end of the room :mad:
     
  6. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #6
    This is the back of my HDTV, what do you think ?

    [​IMG]

    I could plug a RCA on the right side, or the jack in under the VGA input ?
     
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #7
    If you don't have a DVI connection on your TV, get a DVI female to HDMI male adapter (just for video obviously).

    Use the mini DVI to DVI adapter and DO NOT mirror your displays. Make the TV your default display by dragging the menu bar to it in System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement Tab. That will get your videos to play full screen on your TV. And yes, it will support whatever resolution your TV is.

    The audio is optical on the MB so get a mini TOSLINK to regular (square) optical cable or adapter if you already have a cable and you're in business.

    Quite easy and you should have stunning results. Hope that helps.
     
  8. TurboLag macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #8
    I connect my MacBook to my HDTV in the same way QuarterSwede suggests. It looks and sounds great. You get a very sharp picture, at the TVs native resolution, and the toslink able will pass 5.1 to your reciever for decoding.
     
  9. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

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    #9
    Looks like you could use the jack under the VGA input for audio at the same time as a VGA input itself for video. My current Samsung doesn't offer that afaik, but my old SyncMaster did. So yeah, you could be alright there.

    The TV doesn't have to be the main display for fullscreen, at least not with VLC.
     
  10. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I had been told on other boards that I would never get 1366x768 resolution (Bravia native resolution) with DVI. I was scared about that and turned to VGA. But if you guys tell me for sure that DVI is working great and that I could use optical cable for the sound, I will jump on it !

    If I use this solution, will I still see something on the macbook screen ? Since the laptop and the HDTV will be 15ft away, I'd like to be able to select the file on the laptop screen before displaying to the HDTV. How will that work ?
     
  11. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #11
    If he doesn't want to spend any money and still get results, that would work. Just know that DVI on a digital TV is going to be much better (as well as optical audio).

    True, but if he uses FrontRow he does. Just makes it easier and causes a lot less problems. That and it's just plain cool!
     
  12. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #12
    I'm not garaunteeing it'll work because I don't have that specific TV but at a friends who has a 61" Samsung 720p HDTV it picked up whatever resolution it was in no problem, and I don't think it was standard.

    you'll see your wallpaper on you MB screen but the cursor will be able to jump to the TV. Try it in VGA to see for yourself. It's pretty cool.
     
  13. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    No, what he meant is that you need to select it as your main display to get native resolution on the HDTV, in this case 1366x768. The video could indeed be full screen, it wouldn't cover all your HDTV screen (wide black line on each side for example).
     
  14. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Now I'm confused, because many people were saying that you can't get native resolution on an HDTV screen by using DVI. I agree it would look much better, but I'm afraid I'll get black lines on each side or on top and bottom of the screen.
     
  15. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If I use the DVI/HDMI cable, then where do I connect the optical sound cable ? I don't see the plug for it on the picture. There are just the two RCA plugs in the HDMI section. :confused:
     
  16. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #16
    I wasn't comprehending that so sorry. But yes, native res on the video's probably won't happen. Just get used to the bars.

    Ah ha. I think I read too fast. Didn't see the Digital Optical OUT. Just use analog audio and you'll be set.
     
  17. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Well, I don't know how big a deal it is... will it only be black lines on the sides OR on top and bottom, or could I have black lines all round the video ?

    Is the HDMI quality much better than the VGA that could allow me to get native resolution on the TV ? Do you think black lines are woth the quality upgrade ?
     
  18. fkntotalkaos macrumors 6502

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    Nov 24, 2007
    #18
    keep it all digital. DVI to HDMI cable, i use one on my 42 inch
     
  19. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

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    #19
    HDMI did look sharper than VGA when I used it. but VGA isn't bad, and it'll allow you to use the full area of the screen in 1366x768.
     
  20. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #20
    DVI to HDMI ought to allow him to use the full area of the TV as well. The problem comes in when viewing widescreen or 4:3 video. BUT that's a problem no matter what system you're watching it from anyway. If he wanted he could always use the TV's built in OSD (on screen display) to stretch the image. I'd deal with the black bars during video watching personally. The desktop, however, will display on the entire screen area or at least it should.
     
  21. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    It's important for me to note that I'm not gonna use my HDTV for any other activity than watching movies and videos. When I do watch them on my laptop, I get black lines on top and bottom or on both sides, depending on the video resolution...

    As a consequence, I'm really looking forward to getting the best quality out of these videos. HDMI seems to be the road to take, but VGA seems like the more conventional way. :confused:

    Besides, it's important for me to be able to choose the files on the lapscreen, before starting the movie on the HDTV. The reason is that when I sit on my desk, I have no view on the HDTV. Should that help me in choosing between HDMI and VGA ? I'm not sure I understand all the impacts.
     
  22. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Here's something new for people like me who would like to use HDMI on their HD Ready TV with a native resolution of 1366x768 : SwitctResX.

    However, I don't know if the quality you get with that software is better than VGA, even though it's a numeric connection.
     
  23. calvy macrumors 65816

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #23
    The difference between HDMI and VGA is that HDMI is digital, VGA is analog. This does not make HDMI better. It's not like you are making copy after copy of that analog signal. It's only going from your PC to your TV. If you've got a decent cable, you aren't going to see one bit of difference in picture quality on VGA vs HDMI.

    Think of it this way. Component cables are analog in the same way VGA is. This doesn't mean that the picture quality is sub par compared to HDMI. It just means you have more cables to hook up and hide.

    Stick with VGA and don't worry about using HDMI. I have a Linux box hooked up to my 1080p Samsung DLP which I use to play all the bluray and hddvd sourced 720p movies I download from newsgroups. Also HDTV shows, like Dexter. They look every bit as good over the VGA connection as they do on an HDTV broadcast.
     
  24. Aegelward macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #24
    oh, this topic is somewhat relative to something i wanted to ask, i'm aware using VGA is the best way to achieve the native resolution. but i was wondering...

    i already have a mini-dvi to DVI adaptor, but i was wondering if i can re-use this with a DVI-to-VGA cable, or would it better to buy a mini-dvi to VGA adaptor and then just get a straight VGA cable?
     
  25. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #25
    If I use VGA, I'll have to use a jack/jack connector for the sound...

    My solution is to get a mini-DVI/DVI adapter and a DVI/HDMI cable for the video, change the resolution with SwitchResX to 1360x768, and use a jack to RCA cable for the sound. Will that work smoothly on the Bravia 32D3000 ?
     

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