Mac to HDTV questions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BillG07, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. BillG07 macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    I have two questions regarding working my mac into a home theatre system.

    The first deals with resolution. I'm connecting my early 2008 (penryn) macbook pro to a 1080p hdtv via the xtremehd dvi to hdmi cable, which only uses single-link dvi. With this setup the best resolution I can get is 1900 x 1080 (interlaced) and I'm wondering if there is a way to get 1080p without interlacing. I'm thinking the only issue could be the cable, and I have seen dual link dvi to hdmi cables out there. Would one of these give me full 1080 without interlacing or is that the best I'm going to get?

    Second, I'm looking at getting a receiver/speaker system, and am currently looking at the Onkyo HT-S9100THX. This can handle HDMI inputs and outputs but in its guide it states: "The AV receiver uses HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), so only HDCP-compatible components will display a picture." and "Other devices connected to the AV receiver via HDMI must also support HDCP." Also, "In addition, video signals from a PC are not supported. "

    Based on these quotes I'm thinking I will not be able to run video from the computer through the receiver but I'm wondering if anyone has any actual experience with this or a similar Onkyo system and if they've had any luck with it.

  2. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    If the mac dv is hdcp compliant (can't find if it is) then yes otherwise do not believe the TV or receiever will acknowledge the connection due to the missing hdcp handshake signal.

    2. you may be able to find a DVI to RGB converter, feed that into the receiever and if the receiver is capable, allow the receiver to upscale to 1080p. This may cause some artifacts but should still look nice.

    An alternative is to buy a bluray play for critical watching and use the mac for streaming video.
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    HDMI = single-link DVI + multichannel digital audio + HDCP (High Def Content Protection) + smaller connector

    HDCP via a DVI connector/cable is also possible.

    Single-link DVI or HDMI = 1080p (1920x1080) and 1920x1200

    You can freely convert "HDMI" to "DVI" with simple adapters/gender-benders, though you'd lose any HDMI audio in the stream. In fact, the monitor I've presently got connected to my Mac (an LG 24") has only VGA and HDMI connectors; no large rectangular DVI connector. The monitor uses a cable that has a DVI connector at the computer's end and an HDMI connector at the monitor's end. You could make your own with any combination of DVI-to-HDMI or HDMI-to-DVI dongles.

    Dual-link DVI is only required for resolutions higher, like the 2560x1600 of the 30" Cinema Display. Dual-link is not required for 1080p video; you are not limited to 1080i. I do not believe you can cram a dual-link DVI signal down a standard HDMI cable & connector.

    A digital video signal without HDCP protection shouldn't require an HDCP-compatible display, so I don't know why the Onkyo wouldn't allow non-HDCP video to be played through it. I know my Yamaha doesn't have a problem with non-HDCP video sources or content, including those from my MacBook. But I cannot confirm or refute what Onkyo specifies.

    At present, the only Macs that produce a video signal with HDCP are those with the new mini-Display Port connector (i.e., the new MacBook line). AFAIK, the current drivers for DVI-based Macs do not enable HDCP in machines who's graphics chipsets can otherwise support it. Though note that running Windows in Boot Camp may enable the HDCP over DVI on certain video cards.
  4. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    I was poking through the video standards and couldn't find mention of the HDCP handling. If in fact the signal out of the mac is HDCP then the DVI to HDMI convert will work.

    I am pretty sure the receiver and TV require the HDCP signal to be present.
  5. jMc macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2001
    London N8, Late-16th Century
    I'm connecting my hacked up 750mhz G4 to my HDTV using a standard (cheap) DVI to HDMI cable from a Radeon 9800 and can get full 1080p from that (on a Sharp LC32D65E). That's not much help to you, I know, but if that machine can output 1080p I shouldn't have thought a new(ish) MacBook Pro would have a problem.

    I assume you're able to get 1080p out of your TV from other inputs? Are you sure your TV is definitely full HD and not just HD ready (some of which I believe will output 1080i).

  6. BillG07 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Thanks for the responses so far. To answer a few questions, the TV does say 1900 x 1080p when the laptop is plugged in, its just the computer resolution that says the TV is getting its signal interlaced. I don't think the problem is the TV as I've used this setup on at least 3 different HDTVs and never seen a non-interlaced 1080 as an option. xraydoc: when using your external does your resolution say interlaced as well or not?

    As for the receiver, I don't believe that DVI supports HDCP at all but I could be wrong. There's always a chance that the receiver would only require HDCP for movies that are protected with it, of which I have none so that isn't my worry. Plugging the computer straight into the TV of course works as the TV doesn't care about protection schemes.

    So no one has tried passing HDMI from a mac through an Onkyo receiver??
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'm not exactly sure what you're asking, any Mac that can produce a 1920x1200 image on a desktop LCD display can produce a 1080p image - ALL desktop LCD monitors are progressive displays, thus technically you could call 1920x1200 desktop resolution "1200p."

    The problem comes in that not all TVs or video switchers (like the one in your Onkyo receiver), unlike desktop computer displays, play friendly with computers - Mac or PC. Desktop displays send out certain signals, called DDC signals, to tell the computer's graphics card driver what resolutions, timings and refresh rates it supports. Unfortunately, since televisions and surround receivers aren't necessarily designed with a computer as a source component in mind, they don't always send out DDC information, or if they do it's a reduced set. Because of this, the video card/driver may not understand how to configure itself for the display.

    As an example, I have a Optoma DLP projector in my basement that has no problem accepting DVI video from my MacBook. One of my older TVs, a Sony LCD 55" 720p rear projection, absolutely refuses to display an image whatsoever from my MacBook (connected to the TV's single HDMI port), regardless of what resolution I attempt to set the MacBook to.

    Now, sometimes you can force the computer and the display to talk to each other - there are some software utilities that can override the video card driver's settings and output any resolution and various other technical timings (that I wont pretend to understand). I do not recall off hand their names, but most are written for Windows. A Google search should help.

    Once you toss a third device into the mix, such as your Onkyo, then its very hard to predict what will happen to the signals as they pass through - encoding may get changed or filtered. For example, my Samsung Blu-Ray BDP-1000 used to keep reseting itself to 720p when going through my Yamaha receiver (but not when connected to the projector directly), while my Toshiba HD-DVD and my Comcast cable box do no such thing and stay at 1080p settings. One of the Samsung firmware updates to the Blu-Ray player fixed that eventually, but clearly the HDMI signaling spec isn't quite perfected.

    And likely not all Onkyo receivers behave the same way - depending on what firmware and which company's video controller they use inside will likely have a major affect on its behavior.

    I'm not sure I can solve your problem, but you aren't the only one suffering from HDMI voodoo. In the end, without trying a different receiver, you may just have to bypass it to connect your computer to your display and get a proper image, or that your current HDTV will just never play nicely with your current Mac without hacking the video drivers. Sucks.
  8. BillG07 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    It works.

    In case anyone stumbles across this thread later, I did eventually get the Onkyo reciever and connect my MBP to the TV through it. Despite the manual's claim that computers won't work through it I have yet to have a problem. Thanks to all who responded earlier.

  9. abiel macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    Questions about DVI to VGA cables

    I purchased a dvi-vga adapter to watch my macbook in my hdtv I conected vga from hdtv to dvi-vga adapter but I don't get any sound in my Tv. Does any body know what is the solution?
  10. Acidglaze macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Audio is not carried from the DVI port. There are no current single cable solutions to get both sound and video from a mac to your TV. You'll need to use your current solution for video and then attach a stereo cable from your macbook audio jack and connect that to your TV/receiver audio input. I use a mini stereo to RCA cable. Basically it looks like a headphone jack on one end and the dual left/right RCA audio connections on the other.
  11. jam jar macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    i am trying to connect my powerbook g4 17" 1.5 ghz to my hdtv and i cant find a cable that will let me do that but in hd.
    i bought a hdmi to dvi cable but that didnt fit
    what cable do i need?
  12. Pomnut macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Las Vegas
    MacBook to HDTV

    mac cable - HEMI - Hitachi TV... all that shows up is the picture used on the desktop even with a browser open. What do I need or what am I doing wrong?
  13. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2006
  14. Blackjack07 macrumors member


    May 15, 2009
    Hey, you are almost there. The next step is very easy... there is a monitor symbol located to your airport signal. Click on the monitor symbol and once you have a connection with your TV, you should be able to see the option "Turn Mirroring On", once clicked, you whole desktop, along with the rest of your screen, will be displayed.

    Good luck,
    Let me know if you run into any errors,

  15. Blackjack07 macrumors member


    May 15, 2009
    If you have the old dvi plug on your mac, it should fit. I recently bought and HDMI - DVI cable to connect my MBP, and it works just fine. Is your DVI side female or male? It should be male!
    If you have the newer video connection, you will have to buy a little piece from DVI- to that entrance, sadly I dont know the name...

    Good luck

  16. emarzan macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Mac to HDTV

    :eek:I recently got a new HDTV. I connected my MacBook to my HDTV by connecting a mini-DVI adapter to an HDMI cable, then HDMI cable to a free HDMI port on the tv. All I see on my tv is my MacBook wallpaper, but no dock or programs. I've tried reconnecting the cable, rebooting, you name it. My MacBook works while I'm connected, but other than the wallpaper as described, nothing else happens. Perhaps there's a setting I need to adjust? Help!
  17. METOO999 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2007
    It is extending the desktop. Your dock and icons are probably on the Macbook. You need to open up Display Preferences and there should be a tab called something like "Arrangement," which will show you two screen icons (one large and one small). Drag the little white Apple Menu bar to the top of the larger screen (HDTV).

    I had the same problem with 1080i/1080p when connecting mini-DVI to HDMI on my Samsung and the above fix worked (posted by Ottawa Guy).

    Now on Snow Leopard, it lists the proper progressive resolutions in the Display Preferences.

    If you want the desktop only on the HDTV for better video playback, then you can do clamshell mode. Connect the HDTV, close the Macbook (sleep mode), make sure the power supply is connected, then plug in a USB flash drive or something. It should wake up with the whole screen on the TV.
  18. emarzan macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    HDMI Connection

    Ok I tried your suggestion and it worked. Thanks a bunch! Also, I didn't mention before but I also have a Samsung HDTV. Looks great!
  19. METOO999 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2007
    Yeah I love my Samsung LCD. I should also mention about clamshell mode: you don't have to keep the lid closed all the time. Once you get the desktop fully on the TV (with Dock and menu), then you can just open it to use the keyboard and it won't revert back to the Macbook screen. It's probably better for airflow to keep it open it anyway.
  20. greenmatter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2009
    ah ha, thanks. had the same problem but now rock n rollin :)
  21. MABS macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2009
    Dvi>hdmi Cable Connected-now What?

    Okay, purchased Belkin DVI to HDMI cord at Apple Store today, so that I can watch a t.v. show that will be streaming to my MacBook Pro (purchased April, 2008) ON my Panasonic HDTV WHILE it's streaming live to my MBP. Also purchased audio cables. Apple reps @ store said this would be a cinch. hmmm... I have the DVI to HDMI cable set up - that part was easy. Now what? How do I get the program to show up on my TV screen? Same question would apply for how to get a DVD to show on the TV when DVD is in my MBP. As is typical these days, I have two remotes for the t.v. - one that turns it on and controls volume, and a 2nd remote that controls channels and tv/video. I'll deal with the audio cables next, but want to be sure this cable works to play the program first. Thanks!
  22. jennamarzena macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2010
    i'm in a similar dilema

    I have found myself looking through milions o forums not yet finding a solution, I even found a you tube video how to connect apple eqipment with dvi socket to hdmi socket i got the right cable and all plug in all right to my large flatscreen and the picture was great but no sound with the little flatscreen (both hdtv) had a little more trouble with the set up but yet again no sound. is there anyone out there to let me know if the dvi to hdmi cable carries audio? i got mixed results as dvi is only a video output how can an adapter with hdmi at the other end get an audio output? please help
  23. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    DVI does not carry sound. Sound on the Mac comes through the 1/8" audio jack or optical audio out. You need to hook that up seperately.
  24. Nightwing macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2010

    Thank you so much for this METOO999 - you're a lifesaver and have saved me from a spell in the loony bin! I've been tearing my hair out for 2 days after buying a mini-DVI to VGA adapter, connecting my Mac to my Bravia HDTV and only seeing the wallpaper and not the dock or the icons. Was about to return the mini-DVI to VGA adapter to the Mac store as I thought it may have been defective.

    Itching to try this fix out when I get home - only 7 hours to go :(

    Will let you know how I get on. Thanks again!
  25. Nightwing macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2010
    Sorry, just a quick thought: I am having this problem with my iMac - presumably the display settings that I would need to tweak will be the same?

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