Mac out to HDTV via HDMI - whats best setup?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by illpickle, May 17, 2009.

  1. illpickle macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009

    So I'm trying to figure out what my best route for going out of my Mac Pro to my HDTV would be via HDMI. I just bought a blackmagic intensity pro card, but it really only handles well when using applications like Final Cut or After Effects. Overall I would love to use something like VLC on my mac to play video files out to my HDTV via HDMI so I can get both the audio and video at the same time. Ideally I would love to be able to play streaming content such as netflix "watch now" feature onto my TV as well.

    Since I have the intensity pro, I guess this is a two part question:

    1) Has anyone had result doing this sort of thing with the blackmagic intensity pro?
    2) If not, has anyone had any luck doing this at all?

    I know there are DVI to HDMI cable out there, but I'm more curious doing it HDMI to HDMI. Curious what this thread might lead to.
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    the intensity card is really only meant for editing solutions and isn't meant for media playback. to my knowledge you can't use the card for playing within QT or VLC.

    for going to a TV, you're better off with a DVI>HDMI cable and mini-toslink going to an audio receiver or mini-stereo to RCA connected directly to the TV for audio.
  3. illpickle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    Yeah, I thought that would be the case but I don't want to always have to go beneath the machine and switch wires around when trying to work/view between my computer and TV. Does anyone know of any switchers that let me route the HDMI signals back and forth?

    I'm also thinking of upgrading the audio components to a receive as my MAC has the optical out...
  4. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Well, what you can do really depends on where you want the switch placed. If you want to keep the panel near your computer, I would recommend something from iogear if you do your research. However, depending on your monitor resolution, you may have to shell out a chunk extra. What is your monitor resolution? If it is over 1900x1200, a single-link DVI switch will not cut it - you will have to shell out a load more for dual-link DVI switch. In fact, depending on how much you wanted to spend in the first place, you may be better off getting a new GT120 or a MDP->DVI connector for the monitor and DVI->HDMI for your HDTV. Not the most glamorous solution, but probably the cheapest. You could then probably disable or enable the HDTV at your whim.
  5. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Similar situation...

    I've got the same thing going on and I'm planning to buy this 4 X 2 matrix switcher. I want to control the input to my Blackmagic Intensity Pro with one output from it and and the HDMI input of my HDTV with the other matrix output. I do have two NVIDIA video cards in my Mac Pro running three desktop WS monitors already, so I have a fourth DVI free to dedicate to run the HDTV. Haven't figured out what I'll do for audio to the HDTV yet.

    An issue with a second video card is that Final Cut Pro and Color don't work well with two video cards. Everything mostly works in FCP and I don't use Color enough to care. Using the fourth DVI out with a DVI>HDMI converter works great for playing regular quicktime files. You can also set up the screen spanning to have the big HDTV mirror any of your other screens. So you don't have to worry about losing you cursor off of your desktop. I'm hopeful that the matrix will reset the auto-sensing on my computer to three monitors when I have it switched off. I don't want it to "think" it has a fourth monitor available when I'm not using it, since I don't usually use the HDTV to mirror one of my desktop monitors.

    Maybe someone will write a program to let us output everything else to our blackmagic's HDMI port.
  6. illpickle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009

    Although I wanted to streamline the process by just means of my intensity pro, I'm realizing that there isn't a cheaper solution without springing for additional hardware. What I'm opted for now is purchasing the Popcorn Hour A-110:

    My friend snagged one of these and the results are pretty amazing. It creates a network based solution much like the appleTV only it plays almost any file rendered with pretty much every codec imaginable and even supports the newer version of HDMI: v1.3a. Whats even better is now all I have to do is create a shared folder where my video files reside on my computer hard drive and share this folder with the popcorn hour on the my makeshift network and not have to worry about unplugging my computer montors and switching things around. Can't wait for this baby to show up to start tinkering with it.
  7. Maoltuile macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    A word on DVI-HDMI. I (and many others) are finding issues after 10.5.7 with OS X being able to detect the proper resolutions available at the other end of a DVI-HDMI cable.

    This affects those of us with HDMI-equipped monitors with non-standard HD resolutions (usually 24" monitors with native resolutions of 1920x1200). Only 1920x1080 is available after the update - very annoying!
  8. fatespawn macrumors member


    Feb 22, 2009
  9. illpickle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    What sounds like advertising fatespawn? I'm just curious what setups people have utilized to achieve this? Have you setup your MAC to do this?
  10. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
  11. fatespawn macrumors member


    Feb 22, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    It sounds like advertising because you went from "what do you guys do..." to "I bought this fantastic piece of $250 hardware..." in about 2 days.

    No. I don't have an hdmi cable running from my macpro to my tv. I personally use my TiVo HD to archive my hi-def content via an airport express. I use 3rd party (free) software to stream my mp4, h264, flv etc... Video back to my mac.

    I just find it interesting that you asked for advice and on 48 hours you bought a device nobody mentioned. If I'm mistaken I'm sorry.

  12. illpickle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    Well Fatespawn, I'm glad you actually finally opened up and divulged a little insight into what you were doing to make this possible in regards to my post rather then make a one line snarky statement which offered no insight. Care to share what 3rd party (free) software you are using to make this possible? The only option I have found in my research in regards to the intensity pro and making this happen was to:

    1) Buy an DVI to HDMI cable
    2) Route cable from the DVI of my monitor into the input HDMI of intensity
    3) Use the HDMI output of my intensity into the input HDMI of my HDTV

    Seems like a hell of a work around when I could just plug the DVI to HDMI cable from my computer to my HDTV directly, no? I opted for a hardware base solution (popcorn hour) because I was attempting to avoid going this route and had no other answers. My original intention of my post was not to advertise, but rather open up the forum and talk about solutions on what other MAC users have come up with in an effort to help those blinded by the same issues. I encourage more input as there is never a one fit all solution.
  13. illpickle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    I heard back from blackmagic today in regards to the intensity pro, and looks like it isn't possible. Here is what they wrote me:

    What you need xbox. Intensity will only output via applications that
    initiate it, like Media Express, Premiere and After Effects.

    It is possible that if your application used a DirectShow interface that it
    might be able to see Intensity as an input/output device but this depends on
    the application. FF, and even VLC will probably not do this correctly.

    So for what you are trying to do with Intensity, this may not work.

    looks like you can't do it with the intensity pro sadly...

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