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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2009
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    Hi, I'm trying to use my Philips Plasma Tv as a monitor for my desktop. Silly me, I thought all I had to do was buy a dvi to hdmi converter and be done with it.......lol. I have 2 different video cards (ati radeon 9000 mac edition and flashed nvidia geforce fx 5200), and both of them do not work no matter what resolution I set them to. the computer recognizes the Philips, but there is no image on my tv. My TV is 720p, and from what I now understand the reason i receive no image is that my processor is too slow (dual 1.25ghz), god hates me, or a combination of the two. I've been looking into various solutions. The two most appealing are buying a vga to hdmi converter (I've found on for 40 dollars online), or even better, buying a dvi or vga to component cable (but I understand these will only work with certain video cards, and it hasn't exactly been easy trying to find one that is compatible with my mac, or even compatible with these cables, when I search for a TVout vid card they just show up with s-video outs). I should also add that I'm not super interested in an hd quality image, so it doesn't matter to me if I lose some image quality in the transfer process. As long as its better than s-video (which is totally illegible on my tv), then I'm good. Thanks for your help!
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
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    It all depends on the circumstances...... my desktop is a really outdated Athlon XP 3000 single- core, the CPU you're using shouldn't have anything to do with it...... I wasn't able to get a picture on my Plasma TV unless I disconnected the VGA output
    that goes into the computer monitor, then, using a DVI to DVI connector, it worked. Picture only, no sound.....my video card is an NVidia FX5200 with a DVI connection. Once it worked, I set the resolution to 1920X1080i on the computer, got a very nice picture. My plasma is also a 720p, but accepts resolutions to 1080i.
    Sometimes the refresh rates of the video card have to match the plasma or lcd TV, that could be a potential problem.
    The DVI to HDMI convertors don't always work because of the HDCP built into these flat screen TV's.
    If you have two video cards in your computer, maybe removing one of them would help
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  3. Member
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    Should have clarified, the video cards are not both in the computer. The nvidia card is the one I use, but when it didnt work for this application I tried the Ati. Now the nvidia is back in there. I just tried your method of disconnecting the vga but that isn't working either. Thanks for your reply though!

    p.s. I also read about the refresh rates, the tv only works with a 60 hertz refresh. still not working though
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Let's start with the TV model number. Does it have a VGA input?
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  5. Member
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    no it doesnt that definitely would've been my first choice. the model number is 42pf7321d/37. It has hdmi, s-video, component and rca inputs.
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  6. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Hmm tough case, the issues

    Your TV manual should list raster sizes and frame rates (60hz usual) accepted from a computer over HDMI. Older HDTVs avoided computers. Later they caved. For this you connect with a DVI-D to HDMI cable.

    I can't read your manual now.

    Second choice is YPbPr (analog component). The PC9000 is a no go. You need at least the 9550up and the HD adapter. I don't know about the Mac version 9000.

    The FX5200 will output YPbPr as 1080i with adapter cable on a PC. I have no idea with a convered Mac version. The problem with computer connection at 1080i is flicker in white areas. The NVidia has a flicker filter check box but that smears out video.
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  7. Member
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    Just tried to use the s-video out on my nvidia into the tv and that doesnt work either. An s-video connect from my laptop to the tv worked though (looked awful but it did work)
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    Just tried to use the s-video out on my nvidia into the tv and that doesnt work either. An s-video connect from my laptop to the tv worked though (looked awful but it did work)
    I added more info above.

    S-Video will be low res ~640x480.

    Try to make DVI-D to HDMI work first. Read the TV manual. 1024x768 at 60Hz is most likely to work as a first attempt.
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  9. Member
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    Thanks EdDV! ok heres what my manual says.

    HD standard def 640/720 x 480i
    enhanced def 640/720 x 480p
    high def 1920x1080i
    1280x720p

    PC vga 640x480 60hz
    svga 800x600 60hz
    xvga 1280x768 60 hz

    what kind of adapter are you talking about I know there are several diff types.
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  10. An HDTV doesn't have to accept anything other than standard HDTV resolutions via HDMI. Did you try 1280x720 at 60 Hz?
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  11. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    Thanks EdDV! ok heres what my manual says.

    HD standard def 640/720 x 480i
    enhanced def 640/720 x 480p
    high def 1920x1080i
    1280x720p

    PC vga 640x480 60hz
    svga 800x600 60hz
    xvga 1280x768 60 hz

    what kind of adapter are you talking about I know there are several diff types.
    I'll have more time for this this evening but I see your TV is native 1024x768 but your info doesn't allow this so use 1280x768 over VGA.

    Cable looks like this. You should have gotten a PC DVI-I to VGA adapter with the Mac.

    Adapter


    Cable


    Over DVI-D to HDMI it looks like you are limited to 1920x1080i/29.97
    That will be flickery
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  12. Member
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    I bought the mac used so I didn't get that adapter. I'm sure I can find one online for cheap though. Thanks for your help!!!!!!
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  13. I didn't see VGA listed in the specs for that HDTV.
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  14. Member
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    so just to be clear before i buy this, I'm going to plug this adapter into the vga output of my video card, then plug my dvi to hdmi cable into the adapter and then my tv? I realize this probly sounds stupid but I want to double check before spending more money. Thanks
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  15. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    so just to be clear before i buy this, I'm going to plug this adapter into the vga output of my video card, then plug my dvi to hdmi cable into the adapter and then my tv? I realize this probly sounds stupid but I want to double check before spending more money. Thanks
    OK if no VGA on the TV, you need to make it work on the DVI-D to HDMI cable.


    I'll be back this evening.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    so just to be clear before i buy this, I'm going to plug this adapter into the vga output of my video card, then plug my dvi to hdmi cable into the adapter and then my tv? I realize this probly sounds stupid but I want to double check before spending more money. Thanks
    No that won't work.
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  17. Member
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    ok yeah i didnt think so. What about one of these resolution changing programs that are available for mac? I'm gonna try switchresx i'll be back on later with the results
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  18. Maybe there's an EDID miscommunication between the graphics card and HDTV. Have you tried turning on the HDTV before turning on the computer?

    http://www.hdtvsupply.com/dviedidadapter.html
    http://analogbit.com/node/23
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  19. Member
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    yeah i've tried just about everything. tomorrow I'm going to buy an hdmi to hdmi cable and test the tv with my friends xbox to make sure its not the tv but I dont think it is. Also switchres has been a failure so far, maybe im just not putting the right settings in
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  20. Member
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    im thinking this might have something to do with the HDCP on the tv, maybe thats why the dvi signal isn't getting through.

    the way its looking right now Im either going to need a new vid card that's component friendly that i'll be able to hook either a dvi or vga to component cable to, or a vga cable, vga to hdmi converter, and an hdmi cable......not thrilling prospects either of them
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  21. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    Thanks EdDV! ok heres what my manual says.

    HD standard def 640/720 x 480i
    enhanced def 640/720 x 480p
    high def 1920x1080i
    1280x720p

    PC vga 640x480 60hz
    svga 800x600 60hz
    xvga 1280x768 60 hz

    what kind of adapter are you talking about I know there are several diff types.
    OK back to it. I assume the manual is referencing the HDMI port. First you need a DVI-D to HDMI cable like I showed above.

    The best connection setup for your TV would be 1280x720p/60Hz or 1280x768/60Hz. The better of the two for the computer desktop would be 1280x768. Vertical scaling should be avoided. You may find the edges cropped due to TV overscan.

    Are you saying the Mac doesn't offer those options from the card you have?
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  22. Member
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    "OK back to it. I assume the manual is referencing the HDMI port. First you need a DVI-D to HDMI cable like I showed above."

    That's the first thing I that I bought. Yes the mac offers both those resolutions and I've tried both with no result. Thanks for trying man but this is looking worse and worse.

    What do you know about these vga/dvi to component cables or vga to hdmi converters? I've tried just about everything with the dvi to hdmi cable I have now and I'm pretty sure it just wont work.

    p.s. the manual that I quoted is for the TV not the vid card
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  23. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    "OK back to it. I assume the manual is referencing the HDMI port. First you need a DVI-D to HDMI cable like I showed above."

    That's the first thing I that I bought. Yes the mac offers both those resolutions and I've tried both with no result. Thanks for trying man but this is looking worse and worse.

    What do you know about these vga/dvi to component cables or vga to hdmi converters? I've tried just about everything with the dvi to hdmi cable I have now and I'm pretty sure it just wont work.

    p.s. the manual that I quoted is for the TV not the vid card
    Was the TV set to that HDMI input when you booted the computer? The card must detect the TV.

    Next thing to try is analog component from the FX5200 or try a different video card in your Mac. Maybe a Mac service shop will let you try a few cards.

    The VGA to component converters are active boxes that are expensive and degrade the picture. Better to get another display card. Try to find a card that supports both DVI-D and analog component 1080i/720p out.
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  24. Member
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    yes the tv was on and set to that input.

    what do you mean by analog component from the fx5200?

    As I said earlier, Im not to concerened with the crystal clear picture quality, I'm not going to be watching dvds on the computer, I just need to be able to see my desktop and read text, so if thats the difference between spending another several hundred dollars on a vid card and cables, or buying one of the adapters (vga to hdmi, or a vga/dvi to component out) I keep talking about for a few bucks and losing some picture quality then thats the option I'd rather take.
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  25. Originally Posted by thadisrad
    As I said earlier, Im not to concerened with the crystal clear picture quality, I'm not going to be watching dvds on the computer, I just need to be able to see my desktop and read text
    You have this backwards. You need crystal clear quality for the desktop. Otherwise it will be hard or impossible to read small text. You don't need crystal clear quality to view DVDs. DVDs are low resolution (compared to your desktop). Do you want your Desktop to look like this (except bigger)?



    Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. That's what the picture would look like via an s-video connection.

    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    so if thats the difference between spending another several hundred dollars on a vid card and cables
    These days any $50 graphics card can output 1280x720 at 60 Hz via DVI/HDMI or component video. You should be able to find a pigtail adapter to get component video out of your current cards.

    The bigger issue, as has been mentioned already, is that TVs normally overscan. On an HDTV the outer ~3 percent of each of the four sides of the Desktop will not be visible unless your HDTV has a non-overscan option. On a 1280x760 desktop that would leave about 38 pixels of the left and right edges, and 22 pixels at the top and bottom edges, not visible.

    For use with a computer the best option would be to get a different HDTV. One with pixel-for-pixel mapping, no overscan, and one that accepts input from a computer. I suppose that's not an option though.
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  26. Member
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    1280x720 is a resolution that I'm able to select in my computers display settings for my 2nd monitor which is the HDTV connected with the dvi-d to hdmi cable. the mac recognizes the tv and as I've said I've tried every resolution including the one posted above. So I'm thinking the reason I'm not getting an image is because of the HDCP built into the tv.

    Thanks and I'll look into the pigtail adapter
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  27. Originally Posted by thadisrad
    1280x720 is a resolution that I'm able to select in my computers display settings for my 2nd monitor which is the HDTV connected with the dvi-d to hdmi cable. the mac recognizes the tv and as I've said I've tried every resolution including the one posted above.
    Did you also verify that it was set to 60 Hz? If the graphics card defaulted to some other refresh rate I wouldn't expect it to work.

    Originally Posted by thadisrad
    So I'm thinking the reason I'm not getting an image is because of the HDCP built into the tv.
    If you've verified that the output is working with another monitor/tv, lack of HDCP support is about the only thing left that could cause the problem.
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  28. Member
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    ok. The problem is 100% my vid card. I just bought a dvi to s-video (which also has a yellow rca jack) adapter which doesn't work with either the rca or the s-video plugged into either of the s-video inputs on the tv which worked earlier when connected to my laptop with a s-video cable.
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  29. Member
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    So in case anyone was wondering Nvidia products do not support tv out capability through VGA. making it impossible to use a vga to component cable.
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  30. Member
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    Some promising signs here. I put the radeon card back in, and hooked up my spare monitor to it, set the res to 1024x768 at 60 hz. Then I unplugged the monitor and turned the computer off. I plugged in the tv, set it to that input and turned the comp back on. Now I'm periodically getting the macintosh blue gray screen to appear on the tv, which is definitely better than nothing.......any ideas about what to do next?
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