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Thread: Using TV as monitor

  1. #1
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    Default Using TV as monitor

    Hello.

    Just got a fancy new TV with a PC-input socket, so I've ordered a mini DV to DV cable, plus a DV/DV cable.

    Should it just be a question of plugging it in and then it works, i.e. my TV screen becomes my iMac monitor, or have I got anything else to worry about?

    Thanks.

    Allen.
    iMac, OS 10.4.11, bits.

  2. #2
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    Default Well I ........

    I have an iMac and with a mini DVI to VGA connector running 20 or 25 feet to my 42" 120Hz LG TV and it's just like dual monitors.

    It should work good with the right connections.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Something that I had never thought of! So if you have a wireless keyboard and mouse you can just sit in front of the TV. Sounds great for those with very poor vision.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  4. #4
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    RWM:

    Can I ask for some assistance, please.

    Does my iMac have to have anything special, like extra cards etc., to work with this set-up?

    I've got a brand-new Panasonic TV with VGA connection (marked PC), and you can choose 'PC' in the AV input menu on the TV.

    I've got them connected by a brand-new VGA/VGA lead, plus a brand-new VGA to mini DV connector going into the iMac.

    I've tried changing output resolutions on the iMac, but nothing appears at all on the TV screen (except the letters PC to confirm I'm in the right mode). Not a glimmer.

    The Panasonic's manual goes into PCs, basically saying that using the right cable will mean that any compatible PC will run through the TV, and then going on about fine-tuning if necessary, once you've got your picture.

    I've tried turning it all off, then on, just in case it needed a reboot, but again not a glimmer.

    What would you suspect first? (And second, etc).


    Appreciate any advice you can offer.


    Allen.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Allen,

    How big is your TV? If it's too big the iMac may not have enough VRAM or may not support a resolution your allegedly monstrous TV can use.
    Damien,

  6. #6
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    Default billybobski try this first....

    (Damien posted while I was typing) You have a mac-mini or iMac? My TV is a 42" and my iMac has 256MB VRAM. My neighbor friend runs his 42" from his mini. My iMac treats the TV like a second monitor. I have to manually switch my TV to RGB-PC mode also then back to HDMI to watch TV.

    Look in your Systems Prefs -> Displays and see if the TV shows up. Try pressing the **Detect Display** button when the TV is connected and in VGA/PC mode.

    Mine just worked. My next guess would be to verify the mini DVI to VGA adapter.
    Last edited by rwm; 12-03-2009 at 12:03 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I would agree, depends on the exact model of machine, and how big a monitor it can drive externally.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  8. #8
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    Question

    billybobski

    Which iMac do you have? My iMac is a 2008 20" 2.66 GHz Duo Core with 2 GB RAM and 256 MB VRAM it has the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card.

    Check your system profiler.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Hello, and thanks for the replies.

    Here are what details I can dig up:

    iMac, bought new early (Jan) 2007

    17" iMac 5,1
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    2 GHz
    Memory 1GB

    Graphics/Display reads:

    ATI Radeon X1600:

    Chipset Model: ATY,RadeonX1600
    Type: Display
    Bus: PCIe
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 128 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x71c5
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-xxxxxx-139
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.139
    Displays:
    iMac:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 1440 x 900
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Built-In: Yes
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Display Connector:
    Status: No display connected


    Tele is Panasonic TX-L26X10B, only a 26" screen - a) we tend not to have those enormous things you go for in the US, and anyway b) flats in London are SO small, that if I had a 54" screen I'd need to knock a wall down.

    I must say that the first cable, i.e. the one that goes into the iMac, is a possible suspect, as it doesn't go in 'cleanly' if you know what I mean. You have to push it quite hard to get it home, so for five pounds (not many dollars) I might replace that in the morning - unless the above data gives you any better view of the problem.

    Oh, and I did try the 'detect' while the TV was in PC mode, and nothing appeared, which again seems to point to that cable/connection, I think...

    Thanks again for helping.


    Allen, London.

  10. #10
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    Arrow My System prefs --> Graphics

    Allen

    Here is what my System prefs --> Graphics looks like with the TV connected. Unc or Damien might have a better feel as to 128 MB VRAM vs 256 MB.

    ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro:

    Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 256 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x9583
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-B2250L-259
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.259
    Displays:
    iMac:
    Resolution: 1680 x 1050
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Built-In: Yes
    LG TV:
    Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported
    Television: Yes

  11. #11
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    Default

    Allen,
    Looks to me like it is that first cable:
    Display Connector:
    Status: No display connected

    I hope the port connector on the iMac is not damaged since it was so difficult to push the first cable in. Hopefully it is the first cable itself. k

  12. #12
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    Default

    I would agree. Your iMac should drive it but that's my personal guess. I never looked for anything to verify it.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Hello guys.

    Well, going for the simplest option, I got another 1st cable (i.e. iMac mini dvi to vga), but no go. Never mind, it was only a few quid.

    Still under 3-year extended warranty, so I'll get the socket checked out by a Mac repairer, but I can't do that till Monday. I'll report back with results when I get some.

    (Talking of which, and it's just an aside: when last I phoned Apple service to get a repair under the warranty, they got me to phone a 'genuine' Apple repair outfit, who came and got the machine, repaired it, and brought it back a couple of days later. This time, the Apple service people suggested I take it to my nearest Apple dealer, which they told me was a place called 'Carphone Warehouse'. UK readers will not need reminding that Carphone Warehouse is a tatty, warehouse-type operation, flogging (as it says) car phones and cell phones by the dumpster-load. Cheap and adequate, but an APPLE dealership? Come on. I paid me 3 year extended warranty money expecting to have Apple engineers to help me, not this gang.)

    Allen.

  14. #14
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    Default

    In the US, you can take your Mac to any authorized Apple repair provider. Your choice. Pick wisely, and support the good ones!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  15. #15
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    Default

    So, we progress, in that I'm typing this from my armchair on my shiney new Logitech wireless keyboard - currently on offer, with mouse, from Amazon UK at less than $50. Don't know how they do it.

    Anyway... it was the first lead, or rather it was the mini dv output port that was knackered, but as the Mac was still under its extended 3 year warranty I got it replaced, and hey presto, we have TV output.

    There are difficulties, partly I think because of the Laws of Physics, which don't help get a Mac-shaped screen onto a wide-format television. You either have the right dimension plonked in the middle of the TV screen, or the wrong dimensions stretched out to the edges. Hey ho, we'll find a compromise.

    However, I wondered about 'mirror on/off'. If I have mirror OFF, then all my Mac panels disappear eft or right on the TV. There is an adjustment on the TV for PC output, but only by a few degrees left or right, and nothing like enough to get the mac panels in the right place. The only way I've found is by turning mirror ON, and making some minor adjustments to the shapes of the panels. And of course once I return to my proper computer chair I'll have to adjust the panels on the iMac, then once I return to the armchair readjust for the tele, and so on. It's going to get a bit tedious, I think.

    Any rules of thumb for screen resolution for TV and/or Mac? I've got to a point where it is usable, but any further advice would be appreciated.

    My current system profile is:

    Displays:
    iMac:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 1440 x 900
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Built-In: Yes
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Mirror: On
    Mirror Status: Hardware Mirror
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    VGA Display:
    Resolution: 800 x 600 @ 60 Hz
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: On
    Mirror Status: Master Mirror
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Rotation: Supported

    which means little to me.


    Thanks in anticipation.


    Allen.

  16. #16
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    Smile

    Check these guys out: http://www.hardforum.com/index.php
    Lots of GOOOOD information on the subject of TV/monitor!

    Just need to be into research.
    Hope this helps someone!

    h

  17. #17
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    I have my mirror OFF or unchecked also. Maybe your graphics card can only support up to a specific resolution xxxx X xxxx that is smaller than your TV? That is just a guess from me.

    Mine just worked.

  18. #18
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    Thanks - I'll do some experimentation and try to discover the cause. It might just be that a 17" iMac-shaped screen doesn't lend itself at all well to a 26" modern wide-format TV screen, but I'll see if I can crack it.

    I'll try the website that Hazkell mentioned, which does seem to be chock-full of nerdie-types going on about their screens and kit!

    Allen.

  19. #19
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    Smile

    There's also a section devoted for Mac.
    Think I saw it on the bottom of one of the pages.

    Most definitely read about an LG TV used as an monitor.
    Think it was about in the middle of the thread .... on the NEC EA231WMi monitor.

    There is too much there to read at one sitting .... I spent about sixteen hours one day, got a cramped neck and had to go to bed.

    Get your research cap on! .... lots there!

    h

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