Total external display newbie...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gothamm, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    i am so lost when it comes to external displays, even though i would really like to buy one to complement my 13 incher macbook.

    with the resolutions, the HD, the compatibility...AHH

    like, whats the difference b/t hooking it up to a 720p HDTV vs. a monitor which is 1920-1200?

    is there an intoduction/faq guide i can find somewhere?


  2. wallaby macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2007
    PC monitors are a much higher resolution than HDTVs, so the picture tends to look nicer. However, your Macbook will have to work harder to display it. Apple's website should have information on how high your Macbook can display to external monitors (or I'm sure someone around here knows).

    But the process of hooking up your MB to an external HDTV or external monitor are basically the same. Your MB came with a mini-DVI to VGA cable, so you'll need a monitor with VGA input (most have this) or an HDTV with VGA input (depends on the TV). Do your research on this. Then basically all you need is a VGA cable to connect the two, and some display detection in OS X (pretty easy).

    As far as whether to get an external monitor or an HDTV to hook it up to, that depends on what you'd use it for. If you want an HDTV, go for it. If you want something cheaper and are only doing this for computer use though, I would go with an external monitor. Just make sure it's widescreen.

    (also, avoid 22" monitors. Go for 17"-20", then 24" and up)
  3. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    thanks for the response! HDTV's are good but so far from what i have read their display is not as crisp and clear when used as a monitor.

    so maybe a monitor that does 1920X1200 and has a built-in hdtv tuner that does 720p?
  4. anotherarunan macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    1. macbooks dont come with any monitor adapter (well mine didnt anyway!), i think its only the MBP's that do
    2. if you want the best quality, get a mini dvi- to DVI rather than mini-dvi to VGA, and then get a DVI-HDMI adapter (very cheap), and you'll get a slightly better picture quality (although some say they cant tell the difference :confused:)

    EDIT - the HDMI thing is best to use as all HDTV's are guaranteed to have a HDMI port, but not all will have VGA. Although, some might have a DVI input which you could also use. Again, do your reasearch.
  5. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007

    this really helped. quick question: how is the quality on the hdtv? say, i am mirroring the displays. i was at best buy and they had a macbook pro hooked up to an apple display. the macbook pro's screen looked MUCH sharper than the monitor's.

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