Mac Mini to 32" HDTV via DVI/HDMI

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rubberduck007, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. rubberduck007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2006
    I want to connect a 1.83 MHz Intel Core Duo Mac Mini (2GB RAM) to a Samsung LE32R74BDX 32" LCD HDTV (native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and compatibility with 720p and 1080i HD formats).

    Now I assumed I could get a DVI to HDMI convertor to link the two, but according to the manual, to quote, "Do not attempt to connect the HDMI/DVI connector to a PC or Laptop Graphics Card. (This will result in a blank screen being displayed)"


    So will I need to connect with a regular monitor cable (using the Apple supplied DVI to VGA adapter and a VGA cable)? What resolution will I get? Up to my TVs 1,366 x 768?

    Help please!

    EDIT according to Apple,

    DVI is an all-digital interface used for both computer displays and TVs. If your TV uses DVI, all you need is a simple DVI cable to connect your Mac mini to the HDTV.

    HDMI is electrically similar to DVI, but has a different physical connector that may include an audio signal. You’ll need a DVI to HDMI adapter, such as the Belkin PureAV HDMI to DVI cable to use these televisions. You may need a seperate audio cable.

    Anyone tried this????

    EDIT (again)

    Not fully compatible with Mac Mini!

    Oh sure, you get a picture, but it won't fit your television screen properly. This is because the graphics cards in Apple Macs are not HDMI compatible.

    You can download some very complicated software that will help you adjust the screen, but this means hours of configuring it, rebooting your Mac, then looking to see how much of the display is missing, ad infinitum.

    But, due to a technical limitation in OS X, you will never get the bottom 12 pixels of the display to show, no matter what you do. This means the bottom of the dock will be off the bottom of the screen, so you won't see those little arrows that tell you whether a program is running or not.

    I advise you forget this item and use a decent VGA cable (or DVI if your TV supports it).
  2. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Well, you can always place the Dock on the side, instead of the bottom. You'd still have to use a program to go through a lot of different combinations of settings to get the connection going. I remember reading about one such app last year, but I cannot remember the name right now. Try searching in, I think I saw an article there.

    In any case, some LCD TVs does not let you get its maximum native resolution if you connect it to a computer, even with Windows, so I don't know if you'll get the full widescreen resolution anyways.

    I have a Samsung TV as well and I only learnt that DVI input on it is not compatible with computers when I started reading the manual. There was no such warning before the purchase, so needless to say Samsung is not my favorite company.
  3. mckvakk macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    Oslo, Norway
    I use a samsung 26" LCD (not sure about the model) with my mini via DVI/HDMI and it works perfectly. Well, almost. i get a black frame around the picture, but everything is showing.

    I tried a VGA cable, but got no luck with that either

    But hey, it works :D
  4. Tumme macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007

    I have a Samsung (LE32S71B) connected to a PowerBook 17" via a 10 meters HDMI-cable.

    My experince this far:

    1. Best result with 1280x720 set to 'Overscan' at TV Output (Display Preferences/Options - for the HDTV in this case). With the HDTV as second monitor.

    As long as the HDTV is second monitor - the Powerbook holds the Dock and the menu bar - its quite OK. Good enough for movies on the HDTV. Not OK when you want to use the HDTV as main screen.

    The overscan will crop of the menu bar, the Dock and so on. (If the Overscan is turned of, there will be a black border around the HDTV image. In other words, a smaller image. To small for the viewing distance in this case.)

    2. Really tricky to get working with 1360x768.

    3. Have tried with SwitchResX and DisplayConfigX to make a proper configuration for 1360x768. No success yet. Sort of given up. Belive there is some kind of restrections in the HDTV, that makes it to ignore 1360x768 from a computer, via HDMI.

    A warning here - this is a very technical experiment, it will get your monitor all black... Make sure you know how to revert.

    Also to be mentioned:

    PowerBook >> DVI/VGA >> HDTV works perfect at 1360x768 image. Fills the entire TV. No borders. Even better image quality. (Just a test, with a short VGA-cable.) How strange is that?

    I bought the 10 meter HDMI to get a all digital transfer.

    The DVI/VGA solution - I assume, is digital / analogue /digital mock-up.


    Have noticed that when a Mac starts up with the HDTV connected through HDMI, it fills the HDTV at full resolution. Looks very much like 1360x768 at an OK setting.

    Later on in the start up process, when the Finder login window gets displayed, the resolution lowers. The black borders show up. Not sure if it is the TV or the Mac (or the graphics card) that makes that.

    (In my set-up, audio goes a separate path. From the Mac analouge output, to a amplifier. Or sometimes, digital, via an AirTunes-device, digital to the amplifier. Doesn't use the speakers in the HDTV.)

    See also
  5. 210 macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2004
    London, England
    If you connect a Mac mini to a HDTV, does the Mac mini upscale DVDs for the HDTV?
  6. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Yes, it upscales DVDs.

    To the OP and to Tumme....I believe that weird comment in the TV manual may refer to the possible input resolutions. It sounds like it only accepts HDTV resolutions and not PC resolutions, even though it is a WXGA panel. Silly, really.

    However, it probably accepts PC resolutions over the "PC" interface, which is a standard VGA input. Also, if you can get the Mac to output an HDTV resolution it should work over DVI.
  7. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Oh, also, the DVI-VGA is simply a VGA cable with a special pinout. Apple's DVI outputs can also be used as VGA with the right cable. Then the computer recognizes this and outputs analog instead. Some other video cards can also do this, it is fairly common. Presumably to save on connector space.
  8. mark88 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2004
    I've tried many times to hook up my PB 12" and Macbook to my Sony Bravia 32" that runs 1366x768 via DVI/HDMI.

    It's either underscan and a thick black border all the way around, or overscan and missing menu bar and part of the doc.

    Real PITA, seems to me DVI and HDMI are a bad mix as HDMI is expecting a 720p or 1080 signal. DVI>DVI or DVI>VGA is much better and you'll be able to drive the TV at 1:1 pixel mapping. Sadly my TV has no VGA or DVI :-(
  9. Tumme macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    768p ?

    "...DVI>VGA is much better...", "...1 to 1 pixel mapping..."

    Yes, thats true, for the Samsung I have. It has VGA and HDMI interfaces. Like I tried to explain in the previous post.

    Still qurios: anyway to make the HDTV accept a 1 to 1 pixel mapping thruu the Mac DVI >> in to the HDMI-interface...?...

    My TV manual says the VGA PC input should be 1360x768. (That works very fine. But in this case, I have no use of my looooooooooong HDMI-cable.)

    There seems to be a HDTV resolution named "768p", supposed to be 1366x768 pixels.

    So, may it be that a Mac output of 1366x768 (not 1360x768) could work?

    Or is it some limitation in OS X, or on the ATI-card, or in the TVs acceptance of a computer signal? Or perhaps something with the HDPC - content protection schemes..?...

    Someone with a hint?
  10. Starflyer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2003
    I want to hook my Mac Mini up to this!

    Will the DVI -> HDMI work?
  11. Starflyer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2003
  12. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    I would buy the dvi to hdmi cable and try it. simply return it if it doesnt work properly.

    Ive hooked up both my mini and my powerbook to a 720p hdtv (1366x768) with no problems and no black bars. Both computers have recognized the monitor and output the appropriate signal for the tv.
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If the VGA is working, just use it. VGA really is not that notably worse than DVI. DVI or HDMI *is* better because it's digital all the way through -- but really, we've been using VGA with resolutions in this range for ages before DVI came out and there weren't really any complaints.

    That being said, I'm not technically sure why you shouldn't always be able to get an HDMI input from a computer (through DVI) to work properly with something like SwitchResX, assuming the video card can handle the settings. Beyond the settings for resolution and refresh rate, what else is there that could be coming across the video component of HDMI that would fail to match what the TV expects?
  14. Tumme macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    did you use like SwitchResX or DisplayConfigX to make a new resolution setting for 1366x768 for those Macs you have?
  15. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    no. when i connected the tv both the mini and the powerbook set the resolution to standard 720p. But, under system prefrences/display I was able to select from the options the native resolution of the tv 1366x768.
  16. Tumme macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007

    Doesn't work with my Powerbook, DVI to HDMI. 1.67 GHz G4, 17" OS X 10.4.8.

    The mode 1360x768 show up automatically, but doesn't work. TV says its an unsupported mode. All HDTV modes should work, according to the TV manual.

    Expiremented with 1366x768, but sort of given up now. At 1280x720 with Overscan its OK, TV as second monitor to the Powerbook
  17. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    I've got the same powerbook but I'm using a syntax-brillian tv (partly made by samsung but not samsung)
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If you've gotten it displaying at all, it's almost certain that you can get the res settings right with SwitchResX or DisplayConfigX. But you'll have to play around with it....
  19. superB macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2007
    hey guys,

    very new here. just about to pick up my first mac mini and i want to hook it up to a 42 plasma so i can use it as my dvd player as well.

    is there a difference between dvi and hdmi other than sound?

    are all of the problems with minis and hdtv's simply because of the dvi to hdmi transfer?

    if i get a tv with a dvi input will i have any issues with these resolution problems?

  20. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    You won't have any of these problems if you stick with an input that is designed for PC connections, be it VGA, DVI or even HDMI. Most TVs day "don't connect a PC to the HDMI port" for a reason. You can get it to work, but it won't be as easy/good as the input designed for PCs.

  21. Jonny Dynamic macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    Tumme I'm right there with you. It's as if you've spent the hours surfing my couch with me trying to fix this problem. All I want is to be able to recline on my sofa with my wireless keyboard and mouse. I want full resolution without downloading all these third party software programs.

    I just want the black border to go away. I've been to the Genius Bar, online to all these forums and the best advice I've seen so far is on I guess there is a tab in Preferences > Displays > Geometry Tab. states if you don't have it your monitor doesn't support it (meaning your TV wont react when you adjust the borders/geometry).

    IF YOU FIND OUT how to get mini dvi > dvi > hdmi > HDTV (720, 1080) please let me know! Here's my little system in a nutshell... and just a side note... I'm pissed as all hell about this.

    13" Black MacBook running OS X Leapord, 56'' Samsung DLP 1080p <bought Dec '06>
  22. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    My son is using VGA from his mini to a 37 inch LCD and it works perfectly. The mini recognized the panel and went full screen with no borders. I dont think he had to do anything. Looks awesome and he still has his HDMI ports free for PS3 and XBOX.

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