Which external display adapter? VGA, HDMI, S-video?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by clevo22, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. clevo22 macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    Hey, I'd like to hook it up so my Macbook display shows up on my HDTV set. My TV has got several female inputs for external video: VGA, HDMI and S-Video. It's also got a USB input, but not sure if that applies here.

    At any rate, I'm wondering which adapter/cord to buy.

    It seems like I will inevitably have to buy an adapter and a cord.

    The output on my Macbook is a Mini DVI.

    I am only seeing for sale Mini DVI adapters that have a *female* VGA, HDMI or S-Video connection on the other end.

    I would love to find a longer cord with a male Mini DVI connection on one end, and a male VGA or HDMI connector on the other end. But I don't think that exists... at any rate... here's my question..

    Out of my options, which is best?

    Is there any benefit to using HDMI in this case? HDMI cables are very expensive... so unless there was a huge benefit that wouldn't be my first choice. I haven't heard of many people using S-video, so I am leaning against that and leaning toward the VGA.... Any advice would be appreciated, though.

    Also, I guess whichever adapter I use I will need to find a cable to go with it that is male on both ends... is this easy to find? I will continue my Googling...


    Edit: I guess this is actually exactly what I'm looking for: http://www.convertermarts.com/servlet/the-256/Mini-DVI-to-VGA/Detail

    Think that's a good choice? $12 and I only have to buy one cord...
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    HDMI is the best. Buy cables from monoprice. Don't pay over $10 for an HDMI cable.
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Seconded. Buy a Mini-DVI to HDMI + HDMI cable of your choosing from Monoprice.
  4. clevo22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010

    thanks for the responses. I know HDMI is the best kind of cable, I was just wondering if it will make a difference in this application.

    I should say that the TV in question is a 42 inch, 720p HDTV..

    Also, I'm wondering.. why is it impossible to find a cable with a male Mini DVI connector on one end and a male HDMI connector on the other?

    Buying an adapter and a cable at the same time seems silly.. why not just buy the right kind of cable? (except for the fact that it doesn't seem to exist.)
  5. bluskale macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2010
    s-video won't get you high definition. I believe vga or hdmi will... but there is probably some downside to using vga that I'm not thinking of... copy protection compatibility or some such?

    If you buy a specific cable like a mini-dvi to hdmi, then you can only use that cable with a mini-dvi device... if you later upgrade and need to connect to, say, mini display port, then you need to buy a whole new cable. If you'd simply gone with a converter and a hdmi-hdmi cable, then you would still have to buy a new converter, but you'd also have the flexibility of using the hdmi cable for some other hdmi-hdmi connection, and you don't have a long (mostly) worthless cable to keep around in case you want to connect your old device.

    the alternative would be this combo converter + cable

    one more thing- last time I tried connecting to a hdtv through vga vs hdmi, it seemed that the laptop had a much easier time finding the correct native resolution through hdmi.
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Some TVs don't work with VGA very well. My LG plasma won't do anything but 1024X768 on VGA but can do 1920X1080 on HDMI.
  7. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2009
    Both VGA and HDMI will get you 720p resolution, but I would recommend HDMI, as my past experiences with VGA cables have sometimes led to weird artifacts whereas a digital connection did not.
  8. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I actually use VGA to connect my xbox 360 and macbook to an HDTV. VGA looks better than HDMI on my tv.

Share This Page