TV as second screen

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mackerman93, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. mackerman93 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    I have a late-2006 iMac and I've been considering using my TV as another screen, mostly for watching movies but I'd also like to use both for browsing and stuff. I've been reading the internets and right now I'm considering three options:

    1) Getting a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter and a VGA cable

    2) Getting a Mini-DVI to S-Video adapter and an S-Video cable

    3) Getting a Mini-DVI to HDMI cable and an HDMI cable

    What I really want is the highest picture quality, but I don't know which is the best.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    defiantly not s-video, it would probably look OK (but not great) for video, but text would be unreadable.

    depending on your graphics card (check under system profiler) either vga or hdmi

    i have a mac mini, don't remember when i got it, but it's got the intel GMA 950 graphics, and it doesn't do well with hdmi (has problems getting the resolution right), but VGA is perfect.

    my early 2008 MBpro does good on either vga or HDMI.

    also be sure to check out monoprice they have good deals on cables.
  3. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    You definitely want the mini-DVI to HDMI dongle. The video quality will take a big hit if you drop it down to s-video.

    Think of the video quality as water rushing through a hose and out the spigot. If you crimp the line anywhere (such as converting your pretty 1280x1024 iMac resolution to crappy 720x480 NTSC; aka s-video), the pressure of the water that comes out the nozzle is only as fast as the pressure at the tightest bottleneck in that hose.

    So mini-DVI to HDMI will push 1080x720px resolution out of your iMac and onto your lovely HD TV. However, using the s-video dongle instead, the 720x480 signal would then need to be stretched to fill up your 1080x720 HDtv television screen.

    Assuming your TV is not hi-def you'd still want to stick with HDMI since it is a digital signal and is therefore higher quality than the s-video analog signal even at the same resolution.

    VGA: also analog

    DVI: digital

    Avoid dropping your signal down to Analog at any point if at all possible.
  4. mackerman93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    Wait, HDMI will only get me 1080x720 on the TV? because the manual said that the TV's resolution was 1440x900, and I want all of those pixels :p.

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