MBP to tv/monitor connections - please enlighten me

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sagnier, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. sagnier macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #1
    im helping my girlfriend choose a tv for her new place. she wants to use it as a monitor also with her 2010 macbook pro. can someone cleverer than me please explain what i need to consider, primarily regarding the various ports im encountering as i research TVs. They all generally have one HDMI, and some mention a VGA, and some have DVI.

    HDMI i understand - my 2009 mbp is connected to my monitor via HDMI and its fine so im not changing, but for her - is DVI preferable/acceptable? Some tvs only have one HDMI and she'll need that to connect her hd cable tv box - so should she look for one with at least 2 hdmi? i understand the 2010 mbp carries sound through the minidisplay/hdmi link to a monitor/tv with speakers, so should she be favouring that port, or will another be fine?

    thanks
     
  2. davidinva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA
    #2
    Using HD tv with a Mac

    I would get a tv with two HDMI ports if possible. Not sure what size screen you have to get to have more than one port.
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #3
    I'd get a TV with at least two HDMI ports, and use the HDMI connection, as that's typically the easiest to do and will carry sound with an adapter that supports it. If that's not going to work, then either DVI or VGA will work, although DVI is typically better. If she is just looking to use it for watching movies, etc, a TV will work great, however, if she wants to use it full time as a monitor, that might not be ideal, as TVs and monitors aren't exactly interchangeable. Also, most HD cable boxes have component output, which you could use with the TV and would give you the same HD quality as HDMI, if the TV only has one port.
     
  4. sagnier thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #4
    So what are the differences between a tv and a dedicated monitor?
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #5
    TVs generally have considerably lower pixel density, so text, icons, etc. will tend to look a bit on the grainy side. This effect is compounded if it is a 720p model rather than a 1080p. Also, TVs use overscan, so some of the stuff on the edges will get cut off.
     
  6. sagnier thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #6
    ok got that. but my monitor (samsung b2230h) has 1080p, and so do lots of tvs. how does this relate to pixel density, or does it not?

    thanks again
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    If you have 1080p on what looks to be a 22 or 23", the pixels will be much smaller and closer together than they would on your average 32" TV with 1080p
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    As mentioned... using TVs as a monitor is generally not very high quality. If you go this route, I would be sure to get a 1080P resolution which will support 1920X1080, and I would go for a smaller set... ideally under 23". Smaller is better.

    If you are only using it to watch movies played from the laptop... then it will not be as critical. When you use it as a real monitor is when the flaws show.

    /Jim
     
  9. sagnier thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #9
    but what is the difference between pixel density on a 1080p 22" monitor and a 1080p 22" tv? :) im just trying to get my head around the factors that are actually responsible for the differences in quality. for the record, she's going to be buying a tv, not a dedicated monitor. and its going to be 22" in all likelihood.
     
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #10
    For the most part, she will be fine with a 22" TV as a monitor. She should be able to run it at 1920x1080 which will be OK at 22".

    The price of monitors really jumps when you move from 1920 -> 2560. The later is really preferable for computer monitor, especially at the larger sizes.

    If she was going to buy a 32" TV, then i would discourage use as a monitor. At 22" she should be fine.

    She could get mini displayport to HDMI converter to connect to her MacBook. I would recommend that she gets enough HDMI connections to meet her needs... as most everything in consumer electronics is moving to HDMI.

    /Jim

    /Jim
     
  11. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #11
    I'm surprised that you say that most only have 1 HDMI port (though it is more common on smaller TVs). I bought a 32" LCD about 6 months ago and it has 2 HDMI ports, and almost all of them in that size had at least 2, and larger sizes generally had 3-4.

    I've never connected my MacBook to this TV but I used to hook up my old MacBook Pro to a 26" LCD (720p) with a DVI->HDMI converter and it looked fine. I didn't normally do day-to-day computing on it though, I only used the larger screen for watching videos so it made less of a difference.
     

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