Will iTV Work on all HDTVs?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by chicagdan, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I'm a little nervous about buying an iTV when it comes out (probably in January) because I just had a bad experience trying to hook up a new Mac Mini with my HDTV. The computer recognized a display, but the resolution was so awful that I couldn't read anything on the screen ... and when I changed the display setting (basically by making a wild guess), the video blacked out and I could never get it to work again.

    I eventually just returned the Mini because working out display settings got way too complicated for me. So I wonder ... if the Mini didn't work on my HDTV, why should I be confident that an iTV will? Is there a different technology at work here? (The Mini was being connected to an HDMI via a DVI to HDMI plug.)
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I've connected my mini to four TV's (one SD, the video in my minivan, my HDTV, and a neighbor's HDTV) with no issues whatsoever, so it's as likely it's an issue with your TV and how it reports its resolution as it is one with the mini you returned.

    Also note that many TV manufacturers do not support full HD via certain of their inputs.

    As the iTV hasn't been released, it's impossible to tell how well it'll display, but I suspect it'll work fine with most TVs.
  3. chicagdan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Most of what you write here makes a lot of sense -- thank you -- but how can it be that an HDMI input on an HDTV doesn't support full HD?
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    While it is true that HDMI and DVI are pin compatible, the timing of the signals on those pins are not 100% compatible. Particularly, as I understand it, the signalling from the device to the host that tells it what resolutions are supported.

    EDIT: Many HDTVs explicitly say "don't connect a computer to the HDMI port" because of this, and some provide a VGA port which is for computers, but sometimes does not support full resolution of the display. I have a Toshiba that only accepts 1024x768 on the VGA even though it's a 1280x720 native display.

    EDIT 2: You can use SwitchResX or similar tools to adjust the timing of the video on the Mac to make it work at full res for many HDTVs.

    Since iTV will have an HDMI port (at least the prototype did) and component video out this will be a non-issue.

  5. chicagdan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Thank you ... issue closed. That's the best posting I've ever read on Macrumors, thank you very much for the concise, complete answer.

    As for SwitchResX, I downloaded it but quickly became frustrated ... for example, it asks for you to input the manufacturer and model IDs for the HD device, but I couldn't find mine anywhere. Absent that, I had no idea what I was doing.
  6. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    mini to hdtv is a different issue than the iTV to HDTV.


    its designed to hook up to "TVs" not computer monitors.
  7. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    A more important question IMO about the iTV is will it support heaps of video/audio formats or will you be stuck with stuff that plays out of the box in iTunes only. For me I want to be able to play xvid, divx, etc and I really want El Gato EyeTV support!

    Here's hoping...

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