How do you hook up a TV to use as the monitor for a macbook?? I'm having some problems..
May 18, 2009 10:43 PM   Subscribe

How do you hook up a TV to use as the monitor for a macbook?? I'm having some problems..

I want to use my TV as the main screen for my macbook, and have everything plugged into a receiver.

The TV is a Sony Bravia, 40". Macbook is I think from 2004. I have the miniDVI-to-video adapter and a s-video cable. The audio goes out from headphone jack to rca and that works fine.

But the s-video to the receiver, no video shows up. I think it might be that it can't convert it to those component outs. Is that what it is??

Anyone know details on getting this to work? The more geeky the better.. if it helps, heres an image of the back of my receiver:
Denon AVR-2803

*If I plug the s-vid directly from mac to the TV, it does show up.

*While I'm at it, I also want to know how to get it to fill the entire screen. There's about 2 inches of black space around it. I played around with resolution settings but the bars stay there.

posted by 0217174 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
But the s-video to the receiver, no video shows up. I think it might be that it can't convert it to those component outs. Is that what it is??

Almost certainly. My receiver would do the same thing... S-Vid in goes to S-Vid out. Component-in to component-out. It's not a translator box.

What happens if you put the receiver's S-Vid out to the TV's S-Vid in? I reckon you'll get your image.
posted by pompomtom at 10:56 PM on May 18, 2009

I think the problem is you are trying to use the component outs. The miniDVI-to-video adapter only supports s video and composite. It's going to look pretty bad to use as an actual display too.

You confuse me at the end saying that video doesn't fill the entire screen. How do you know if it's not working?
posted by zephyr_words at 10:56 PM on May 18, 2009

How do you know if it's not working?

It works if he connects directly to the TV. The problem comes from putting the receiver in the middle.
posted by pompomtom at 11:04 PM on May 18, 2009

^Aahh don't know how I missed that after reading the post twice, haha.

I guess the receiver should be able to convert from the svideo in to component out for te TV though. The video quality won't be any better though so there is no point in doing it. Just use all svideo or composite and you'll be fine.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:17 PM on May 18, 2009

If you've got a 40" Bravia, I'm assuming it has HDMI... I'd seriously recommend getting a DVI -> HDMI adaptor and plugging your mac in that way. That way you've got a chance of using somewhere near your full possible resolution.
posted by cheaily at 11:34 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's looking like I might have to do that, use a DVI-HDMI and go straight to the TV.

I think I need a newer receiver but I'm pissed cause I paid like 800 bucks for that and technology changes so fast.. I just want to hack it and make it work. And it sucks that it only has 2 component inputs both being used, otherwise I could use a miniDVI->component.

I might be able to do that actually, if I could switch back and forth between the cable box and the mac, both going into one of the component inputs. But do they make a switch like that with component? One of those old school A/B things.. I seen them at fry's, but not sure if it has component in/out..
posted by 0217174 at 11:55 PM on May 18, 2009

DVI/HDMI will give you a much better picture than converting to component in between. So don't feel so bad - turns out the only thing you can do is also the technically superior option.
posted by flabdablet at 1:11 AM on May 19, 2009

I agree with flabdablet, DVI->HDMI is the best way to get the picture to the tv, just run the audio to your receiver. It's not like there are any more to plug in once you have the cables run. No need to buy a new receiver!
posted by defcom1 at 2:32 AM on May 19, 2009

There is no guarantee that a particular TV will work properly with a computer via DVI-HDMI either. I have a Samsung 42" that looks HORRIBLE connected to my Mac via DVI->HDMI (on every setting). The manual says digital input not intended for computer, but it does kinda work. It just looks like hell. I connected it via VGA and it looks MUCH better. Do you have VGA?
posted by Studiogeek at 4:35 AM on May 19, 2009

Seconding Studiogeek's suggestion of VGA. My Bravia has a "PC" option, so I went mini-dvi -> vga -> television just last night, and it worked fine.

In fact, I tried mini-dvi -> vga -> dvi -> hdmi -> television, and got no signal at all.

One thing to note, is that if you use the "PC" route, your bravia may not detect that there's a vga cable connected, and thus not allow you to switch to the PC input source. There's a tv option that forces the availability of it even if no plug is connected, I needed that to get it working.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:46 AM on May 19, 2009

I hook my MacBook to the component input on my DVD player. Works fine.
posted by RichardS at 5:07 AM on May 19, 2009

I have a Sony Bravia that is connected to a PC (not macbook) I have used the S-Video direct inputs but it looks terrible. very very fuzzy.

however When I use the Bravia PC input with a standard VGA it looks great. you can actually use it as a monitor.

But I have found it a bit flaky if your computer is not putting out the Exctly right Resulotion that the Bravia wants. - 1060 x 700 or something weird.
posted by mary8nne at 5:13 AM on May 19, 2009

I just did thlis with a Bravia and an iBook. I had an open HMDI on the TV and bought a PTC Mini-DVI to HDMI Adapter to connect the iBook. When playing dvds I can zoom the tv and lose the bars. I assume the image with the bars is the native resolution of the dvd so I get a bigger, blurrier pic when I zoom. I run the sound to the reciever as you do.
posted by pointilist at 6:41 AM on May 19, 2009

I tried DVI with my MBP but could never get the proper resolution on my 37" LCD (black bars and squashed one way or the other) and eventually went with VGA and after calibrating, it looks fantastic.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:55 AM on May 19, 2009

Monoprice has Amazon beat by about 4 bucks, get a long HDMI cable and audio cable and you're set... If you wanna step it up a bit, you can get a fancy optical cable to plug into your receiver too (they have different lengths of this too).
posted by ijoyner at 11:48 PM on May 19, 2009

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