How To: Mac to Sony SXRD in 720p and 1080i via HDMI - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 72 Old 07-03-2006, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone,

I've been a longtime lurker on AVS Forum and wanted to contribute something.

I have figured out how to get 720p/1080i to my Sony 60" SXRD via the HDMI input from my MacBook as well as my older PowerBook G4. In fact it should work on any Mac that DisplayConfigX can handle.

I'm sure this information might be helpful to owners of other TV's as well.

It's a lot of information, so I've built a .mac site for it.

http://web.mac.com/darkknightreturns...ave/OSXRD.html

Hopefully this is helpful, and will answer many of the questions I have seen on the board lately.

brucewayne
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post #2 of 72 Old 07-04-2006, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post

Hello Everyone,

I've been a longtime lurker on AVS Forum and wanted to contribute something.

I have figured out how to get 720p/1080i to my Sony 60" SXRD via the HDMI input from my MacBook as well as my older PowerBook G4. In fact it should work on any Mac that DisplayConfigX can handle.

I'm sure this information might be helpful to owners of other TV's as well.

It's a lot of information, so I've built a .mac site for it.

http://web.mac.com/darkknightreturns...ave/OSXRD.html

Hopefully this is helpful, and will answer many of the questions I have seen on the board lately.

brucewayne

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!
I am using a mini, and I was naively thinking it would just "see" the Sony and give me the resolution of choice... NOT!!! After trying a couple of res changes via DisplayConfigX, and having to completely disconnect my setup and move the mini into my office to connect it to the monitor to "fix" it, I gave up. I will give your suggestions a try first thing tomorrow, and let you know what happens.
Very nice site, BTW.

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.

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post #3 of 72 Old 07-04-2006, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post

Hello Everyone,

I've been a longtime lurker on AVS Forum and wanted to contribute something.

I have figured out how to get 720p/1080i to my Sony 60" SXRD via the HDMI input from my MacBook as well as my older PowerBook G4. In fact it should work on any Mac that DisplayConfigX can handle.

I'm sure this information might be helpful to owners of other TV's as well.

It's a lot of information, so I've built a .mac site for it.

http://web.mac.com/darkknightreturns...ave/OSXRD.html

Hopefully this is helpful, and will answer many of the questions I have seen on the board lately.

brucewayne

I've read that the SXRD gives a better picture if you feed it the 1080i signal, have you found that to be the case from your Apple?

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.

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post #4 of 72 Old 07-04-2006, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm glad you like the site - if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I've been playing with it for a few days now and I'm not sure with I prefer.

The Cars trailer is a perfect example. On 1080i the detail is incredible BUT it is a little jerky on some motion scenes. 720p has smoother motion, but a little less detailed.(on the couch 10 feet away it's hard to tell the difference though)

Via FrontRow DVD's look better in 1080i. My test discs were The Incredibles and Penn & Teller BS. The Incredibles always looks great and I haven't seen any motion artifacts in 1080i. P&T is my test disc because of horrible picture quality, and it is watchable finally through the Mac. Unfortunately, my 80-dollar Sony upconverting DVD player looks better than the Mac hands down.

I want to look at some different material, but for right now I would say that I'd say 1080i produces the biggest initial 'WOW!' factor, but 720p is easier overall to watch.

brucewayne
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post #5 of 72 Old 07-05-2006, 02:02 PM
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So, it worked as advertized. However, if I use 1920x1080i, the desktop is well off the screen. So I RTFIed the DisplayConfigX website, and what it seems to say is that if 1920 doesn't fit, then make it smaller... which I assume is what you did to come up with the 1840x1020i (yeah, I know I can be pretty dense some times ). I guess I still don't understand why, if the Mac is putting out the resolution the SXRD is supposed to be most happy with, the froggin' thang doesn't fit Oh well.

Anyway, my new problem (or at least my problem that is now noticable since my desktop fills the screen ) is that my screen is not rotationally correct... the top left corner is overscanned vertically(i.e., off the top of the screen), while the top left corner is underscanned vertically, and the bottom corners are correspondingly out of wack (I guess the good news it the the screen seems to be squared... 90° corners). I bet that's a thing to tweak in the menu. Do you know???

Also, DVDs look better to me using Apple's Display Pref and checking that button the says something about improving moving pictures (I can't remember exactly what it was called, and it's no longer available with DisplayConfigX installed) so maybe that's why you prefer your DVD player over the Mac. King Kong definitely is not as clear during the fast-motion scenes as it was prior to installing DisplayConfigX.

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post #6 of 72 Old 07-05-2006, 05:24 PM
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Dude, it worked, you rock!
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post #7 of 72 Old 07-06-2006, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi grubavs,

The SXRD is displaying the 1920x1080, the edges are just being masked by the cabinet. Its just more noticable in this application because we know where the dock and menubar should be located on the screen. If Sony didn't intentionally overscan the picture on its rear-projection sets, small variances in the geometry of the mirrors and lenses inside would be very noticeable (i.e picture doesnt fill the screen, pincushion, etc). This is differnet than LCDs/Plasmas in which the pixels have a fixed area to be displayed. 1840x1020 just limits OS X to the viewable pixels.

The default apple preferences I believe you are talking about are 'Overscan' and 'Best for Video'. During the handshake (information passed from the TV to OS X telling it what kind of display it is), DisplayConfigX sort of 'intercepts' the SXRD from telling OS X that it is a TV and forces OS X to treat it is a standard monitor, which is why we can adjust the resolution.

You can reset the original Apple options by clicking 'Uninstall' under the Install tab of OS X. Either reboot (or unplug the hdmi cable of the monitor for a few seconds) and you are back to before. Of course the resolutions you set in DisplayConfigX will no longer be options.

My screen bows down about a half inch from left to right on both the top and bottom, which I think is due cabinet flex resulting from two things - the weight of the center speaker perched on top (pushing down the center), and the TV hanging about 4" off the back of the cabinet (weight of set isn't evenly distributed) . I'll have to live with it until this fall when I build a new cabinet.

A far as picture quality - I just don't think the Mac handles deinterlacing properly. Playing TV shows on DVD, even on my laptops screen, looks marginal. Sources progressive from the start (like the Quicktime HD trailers), have to be converted to interlaced, which I don't think my MacBooks integrated graphics card handles well. It's those same TV shows that look better via the 1020i output, so who knows.

The Sony DVD player via HDMI slightly 'underscans' causing the bowing to be very noticeable on full-screen DVD's - I have to set the 'overscan' option on the SXRD to +1 to eliminate the problem. Which makes me feel that if Sony can't even get two of it's products released the same year to work properly, how can I expect perfection from my Mac?

What model Mac are you using?


Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs View Post

So, it worked as advertized. However, if I use 1920x1080i, the desktop is well off the screen. So I RTFIed the DisplayConfigX website, and what it seems to say is that if 1920 doesn't fit, then make it smaller... which I assume is what you did to come up with the 1840x1020i (yeah, I know I can be pretty dense some times ). I guess I still don't understand why, if the Mac is putting out the resolution the SXRD is supposed to be most happy with, the froggin' thang doesn't fit Oh well.

Anyway, my new problem (or at least my problem that is now noticable since my desktop fills the screen ) is that my screen is not rotationally correct... the top left corner is overscanned vertically(i.e., off the top of the screen), while the top left corner is underscanned vertically, and the bottom corners are correspondingly out of wack (I guess the good news it the the screen seems to be squared... 90° corners). I bet that's a thing to tweak in the menu. Do you know???

Also, DVDs look better to me using Apple's Display Pref and checking that button the says something about improving moving pictures (I can't remember exactly what it was called, and it's no longer available with DisplayConfigX installed) so maybe that's why you prefer your DVD player over the Mac. King Kong definitely is not as clear during the fast-motion scenes as it was prior to installing DisplayConfigX.

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post #8 of 72 Old 07-07-2006, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post

Hi grubavs,

The SXRD is displaying the 1920x1080, the edges are just being masked by the cabinet. Its just more noticable in this application because we know where the dock and menubar should be located on the screen. If Sony didn't intentionally overscan the picture on its rear-projection sets, small variances in the geometry of the mirrors and lenses inside would be very noticeable (i.e picture doesnt fill the screen, pincushion, etc). This is differnet than LCDs/Plasmas in which the pixels have a fixed area to be displayed. 1840x1020 just limits OS X to the viewable pixels.

The default apple preferences I believe you are talking about are 'Overscan' and 'Best for Video'. During the handshake (information passed from the TV to OS X telling it what kind of display it is), DisplayConfigX sort of 'intercepts' the SXRD from telling OS X that it is a TV and forces OS X to treat it is a standard monitor, which is why we can adjust the resolution.

You can reset the original Apple options by clicking 'Uninstall' under the Install tab of OS X. Either reboot (or unplug the hdmi cable of the monitor for a few seconds) and you are back to before. Of course the resolutions you set in DisplayConfigX will no longer be options.

My screen bows down about a half inch from left to right on both the top and bottom, which I think is due cabinet flex resulting from two things - the weight of the center speaker perched on top (pushing down the center), and the TV hanging about 4" off the back of the cabinet (weight of set isn't evenly distributed) . I'll have to live with it until this fall when I build a new cabinet.

A far as picture quality - I just don't think the Mac handles deinterlacing properly. Playing TV shows on DVD, even on my laptops screen, looks marginal. Sources progressive from the start (like the Quicktime HD trailers), have to be converted to interlaced, which I don't think my MacBooks integrated graphics card handles well. It's those same TV shows that look better via the 1020i output, so who knows.

The Sony DVD player via HDMI slightly 'underscans' causing the bowing to be very noticeable on full-screen DVD's - I have to set the 'overscan' option on the SXRD to +1 to eliminate the problem. Which makes me feel that if Sony can't even get two of it's products released the same year to work properly, how can I expect perfection from my Mac?

What model Mac are you using?

Hey brucewayne! Thanks for the feedback. I'm using a mini Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz w/2GB RAM. From what I've read on this forum, I guess you're correct about the Mac's performance. I hadn't looked at King Kong since the first viewing, and I didn't remember any "fuzzyness" durning action shots, so that's why I suggested the "Best for Video" option. I may take the time to check out the difference by restarting with my firewire drive still running the Mac monitor preferences. I'll let you know if I see any difference.

As for the "complaint" about the screen rotation... and the bowing of your screen... my 20-inch SOny CRT monitor has adjustments for all of those parameters, so I was hoping somebody had found similar adjustments in the Service Menu on the SXRD. I posted on the Owner's Tweaks thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...08#post7953908), but no joy.

BTW: I hope my post didn't sound like I was complaining... I am not planning to deinstall. Your site was great... really easy to use. And the process worked flawlessly. Unplugging the HDMI is easy and works! Much better than the feeble attempts I made when first trying to "fix" my picture. I really thank you for your effort.

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.

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post #9 of 72 Old 07-13-2006, 06:36 AM
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Brucewayne, you are the man! Thank you so much for taking the time do make our beautiful tvs and our beautiful computers talk to each other. And for sharing it with all of us. Very nicely laid out website, by the by.

On another note, does anyone have trouble putting their intel mini to sleep on the sxrd? Mine can't wake up. I have the Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. But neither the remote nor the power button will wake it up.

arsy
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post #10 of 72 Old 07-20-2006, 08:48 AM
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Bruce,
I just wanted to thank you for your time and effort. It works perfectly. Thank you.

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - - Stephen Roberts
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post #11 of 72 Old 07-30-2006, 05:12 PM
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Well i was looking for a way to get a macbook to work on my 60" sxrd... well that was easy ha


couple questions/slight problems:
1. Picture is... i dunno, looks sharp?, like when you edit a picture and make it sharper, more and more, it looks kinda crappy, around the mouse is pixelated (had same thing when plugging my PC in... is there way to get rid of that

2. is there a way to have Mirrored displays (theres no real use of having the laptops monitor to be an extension of a 60" tv... and with mirrored displays i believe i can close the laptop and just use the tv

Thats it for now

Thanks again for this
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post #12 of 72 Old 08-10-2006, 05:20 PM
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anyy body?
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post #13 of 72 Old 08-11-2006, 07:45 AM
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don't mirror, just switch the title bar to the sxrd in the arrange window in the displays system preferences... and read mr. wayne's post (the reason for this thread!!) to get it to look sharp.
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post #14 of 72 Old 08-21-2006, 01:55 PM
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nice job!

I'm buying this TV later this year and already have my intel mac mini prep'd for the TV. I was a little concerned after reading all the other posts whether or not i'd be able to get it working (with the overscan mumbo-jumbo). But Batman saves the day again!
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post #15 of 72 Old 09-15-2006, 08:47 AM
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Brucewayne:

Your .mac site is down. Got a backup somewhere?

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post #16 of 72 Old 09-15-2006, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedward View Post

Brucewayne:

Your .mac site is down. Got a backup somewhere?

I sent Brucewayne a direct mail last week... no answer. Too bad.That was really a helpful site.

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.

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post #17 of 72 Old 09-15-2006, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs View Post

I sent Brucewayne a direct mail last week... no answer. Too bad.That was really a helpful site.

I sent him a PM today after posting that, although I guess if his registered email was a .mac account it'll be gone too, and he won't get any PM notification.

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post #18 of 72 Old 09-16-2006, 08:43 AM
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OK, in case other people find this like I did, here's the quick version of what I found in playing around once I knew that 1840x1020 was the target resolution:

The defaults as seen in SwitchResX for the KDS-R50XBR1 that I have are:

Code:
Pixel Clock 74.25 Mhz, Interlaced

            Horizontal      Vertical
Active:     1920 pixels     1080 lines
Frt. porch: 88 pixels       5 lines
Sync width: 44 pixels       10 lines
Back porch: 148 pixels      30 lines
Scan rate:  33.75 kHz       30 Hz
I have no idea why the vertical scan rate says 30Hz there, 'cause it should be 60Hz and if you enter those numbers manually it'll be calculated as 60.05Hz

If you use SwitchResX (Download -- you can just download the control panel if you like to avoid APE, as I do) you can then create a custom configuration for the SXRD. Start by entering the values above, then you can shrink the size of the visible display using the buttons in the bottom right corner of the Timing Parameters window, and move it up/down/left/right with the arrows at the top (which will adjust the porch values for you while keeping the pixel clock and scan rate the same). These are the values that worked for me:

Code:
Pixel clock: 74.25 Mhz (the same as above), Interlaced

            Horizontal      Vertical
Active:     1840 pixels     1020 lines
Frt. porch: 120 pixels      42 lines
Sync width: 44 pixels       10 lines
Back porch: 196 pixels      52 lines
Scan rate:  33.75 kHz       60.053 Hz
Depending on what order you enter those values, SwitchResX may recalculate other values while you're in the middle, so make sure before you save that they're all correct.

Like others, I've noticed that my display is slightly rotated clockwise, but those porch values result in a full picture with little loss to skew and overscan (which should still be enabled for this configuration). You may need to adjust your picture slightly along the vertical or horizontal axes in order to fit it to your actual display. While I find SwitchResX easier to use than DisplayConfigX, I did think that DisplayConfigX was also useful, as it can display an "Image Size Test" pattern (on the "Test Screen" tab) that lets you see exactly where you might need to shift the image.

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post #19 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 06:32 AM
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I am thinking about getting a Mac Mini for my SXRD and I have two questions. First, is the G4 Mac Mini powerful enough for driving an HD display? I would rather get an Intel Mac, but I am on a budget. I won't be watching very much video; photo viewing and iTunes are most necessary. And I see that you can get 760p and 1080i with some display configuration tools, but is there any way to get 1080p or a progressive resolution higher than 760p out of the Mac Mini?
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post #20 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistonsfan View Post

I am thinking about getting a Mac Mini for my SXRD and I have two questions. First, is the G4 Mac Mini powerful enough for driving an HD display? I would rather get an Intel Mac, but I am on a budget. I won't be watching very much video; photo viewing and iTunes are most necessary. And I see that you can get 760p and 1080i with some display configuration tools, but is there any way to get 1080p or a progressive resolution higher than 760p out of the Mac Mini?

According to Apple's support page on the topic the Mini can support a DVI display up to 1920x1200, which would include your 1920x1080 SXRD. Whether it's progressive or interlaced depends on your particular model of SXRD. The actual display in all SXRD models runs at 1080p, but last year's models (the KDS-R50XBR1 and KDS-R60XBR1) don't support 1080p input on their HDMI ports -- the new ones apparently do. I've got the old one and 1080i looks pretty good.

If your video needs don't include any HD content, the G4 Mini should be fine. I've been playing SD video with the Mini on my desk for a while now. The G4 Mini can't play any HD video at full resolution (MPEG2 streams play back at 1/4 size in EyeTV, although they're scaled up to fit the screen, and H.264 Quicktime movies from Apple don't work at all, IIRC). If there were an MPEG playback application that actually took advantage of the GPU in the G4 Mini (which has an integrated MPEG2 decoder) you could probably play HD streams (although not H.264 streams, which would require a newer GPU for hardware decoding). Elgato, however, has explained that Apple doesn't make it easy for them to use GPU decoding for MPEG streams, so they're not likely to do it, which means no accelerated MPEG2 playback, and no HD on the G4 Mini without it.

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post #21 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedward View Post

The G4 Mini can't play any HD video at full resolution

Can the 1.83 Core Duo Mini handle HD playback at full resolution? I'm new to the Mac world and I'm thinking about picking up one of these.
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post #22 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efranzen View Post

Can the 1.83 Core Duo Mini handle HD playback at full resolution? I'm new to the Mac world and I'm thinking about picking up one of these.

I am using the 1.66 Core Duo mini with my SXRD 60", DVI->HDMI. It works flawlessly. Especially since I used BruceWayne's method for SwitchResX (aparently no longer posted). My SXRD is the one that accepts 1080i only on HDMI, but presents all as 1080p. I am blown away by the HD previews from Apple's site... I don't have any other HD method yet, but when I get 'em, look out!!! Go for it! BTW: get loads of RAM. I got 2GB, but a few have said 1GB is enough. Of course, 5-years ago 1MB was enough

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post #23 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 03:24 PM
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I haven't seen anything that would indicate you'd need the 1.83Ghz Core Duo for HD playback, but it does give you the advantage of a built-in dual layer DVD burner. If you don't anticipate wanting to burn DVDs directly, you can probably get away with the 1.66Ghz Core Duo.

I can't speak to minimum RAM requirements, since I've actually been hooking up a MacBook Pro and not a Mac Mini, and I have 2GB in my MBP. I suspect that you could still play any content without all that RAM, but the interface will slow down when you switch applications.

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post #24 of 72 Old 09-22-2006, 04:16 PM
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I think the dual-layer burner is an option I would like to have. I would like to have the option of burning HD content to disk for playback on my HD DVD player.
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post #25 of 72 Old 09-23-2006, 05:37 AM
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With the previous G4 Mac mini models, the combo drive was replaceable with a slimline IDE burner... I haven't heard that the same isn't true of the current Intel-based models. Alternatively, you could always just buy an even cheaper dual-layer burner and throw it into an external enclosure with either USB2.0 or Firewire connections. Last year I bought a dual-layer Pioneer for my G5 for less than $40, so there are options available to you.

Also, a while back when the Intel minis first came out, I was in my local Apple store with a mini hooked up to a Cinema 23" display (1920x1200) and the Core Duo 1.66 was playing the "1080p" H.264 trailers from Apple's movie site without problems. (Note: I use quotes because the actual vertical resolution of many of Apple's trailers is not the full 1080 because of the original aspect ratio)
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post #26 of 72 Old 09-25-2006, 06:17 PM
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OK so this may sound like a stupid question but how the heck are you guys getting your Macs to your TV when Apple doesn't even supply the proper cables????

I've got a 15" Powerbook that needs a mini DVI plug and a Samsung LNS40 LCD that takes a D-Sub (Male) (HD-15) PC in. For the life of me I can not find a cable with these configurations. Mini DVI / D-Sub HD-15.

All I can find from Apple are those puny little monitor connects but none of them have a Male D-Sub and none of them are over 6 inches long.

I need a hand (link) to a place where I can get at least a 10 foot cable with a mini DVI/Male HD-15 D-sub connection so I can run my laptop on my TV from my couch. HELP!!!!!! Please.

UPDATE: Nevermind. I used one of those puny Apple adapters (mini DVI/VGA) and fed it to a VGA/HDMI cable by-passing the D-Sub PC port on the TV all together.
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post #27 of 72 Old 10-29-2006, 08:14 PM
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post #28 of 72 Old 10-30-2006, 03:50 AM
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Now this is awesome! iTunes Visualizer at full screen on a 70" display. Totally mesmerizing...

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post #29 of 72 Old 10-31-2006, 10:23 AM
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I'm really glad I stumbled across this page. I was getting set to do preliminary tests w/ my Powerbook and my Sony 55XS955 HDTV using either DisplayConfigX or SwitchResX (in prep for an Intel Mac Mini purchase and install)...but alas, the site is down.

Has anyone hooked up to a 2004/5 model Sony RPTV such as mine? I know that the panel resolutions on my set are 1386x788...but I wasn't sure what the input resolution/etc. should be.

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post #30 of 72 Old 10-31-2006, 05:06 PM
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You shouldn't have any problem. Does your set accept its native resolution of 1386x788? Probably not. Therefore you will need to sent it a 720p signal which will give you a desktop size of 1280 x 720. Then use SwitchResX to adjust out the overscan so the menu bar and dock are not cut off.

Let me know if you have any problems figuring out SwitchResX. I poked around until I found the Custom Timing Parameters window, as shown in my post. Select the SONY from the menu. See if you can get default settings of 1280 and 720 to show in the active line. Then decrease the active size in both directions with the shrink arrows. My Sony has an overscan of 5%, so try decreasing the active until its around 1216 (1280 x 0.95) by 684 (720 x 0.95). Save and reboot. Then go to Display Pref, click on Arrangement, and drag the tiny menu bar from one display to the other. See how it looks--from here it's trial and error to get the size and position fine tuned.

Good luck!
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