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post #1 of 7 Old 11-16-2009, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

We have a Samsung PN42B450. We bought the Mini Display Port to DVI adapter and a DVI to HDMI extension cable. Plugged it in, set it to 720p (on MBP) and when we set the Display Properties to Overscan, the weirdest thing occurred - the top and bottom of the OS X desktop are cut off on all TV modes (16x9, etc). When Overscan is off, then there is a black matte all around the picture.

Is there any way to fix this so that if fills the whole screen? We were hoping to output iTunes to our TV.

Finally, should we have done another type of setup? Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-16-2009, 05:51 AM
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the weirdest thing occurred - the top and bottom of the OS X desktop are cut off on all TV modes (16x9, etc). When Overscan is off, then there is a black matte all around the picture

Not weird, quite common actually, especially with odd plasma resolutions. You can try 1) going VGA instead or 2) third party software like SwitchResX to tweak the settings. Much discussion going back years about using SwitchResX or DisplayConfigX...

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Is there any way to fix this so that if fills the whole screen? We were hoping to output iTunes to our TV

You can still output iTunes to your TV; tweaking the resolution with something like SwitchRes can be a painful, frustrating experience, but some do succeed with it. Otherwise, try VGA, get a 1080p LCD instead, or get used to watching a 40" instead of the full 42" screen size.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-16-2009, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Thanks for your insight. I had a few more questions, and I was wondering if you could answer them about outputting my MBP via DVI/HDMI

I noticed in the manual it says that a PC must either be placed in the VGA or HDMI/DVI #2 Input rather than just an HDMI Input (both look identical, as you know).

First, I was wondering what the difference between the "HDMI #1 and #3" inputs and the "HDMI/DVI #2" input is? Would plugging the PC into the HDMI/DVI #2 input allow it to be full-screen?

Second, the only way I'm able to get it full-screen 720p via HDMI #3, is to set the Samsung to Screen Fit mode (rather than the 16x9 mode I have for my other HDMI inputs). Will this Screen Fit mode harm my TV given that Pixel Shift is disabled?

We want to use this to output iTunes content to our plasma.

Thanks for your help!
DW
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-17-2009, 04:26 AM
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I noticed in the manual it says that a PC must either be placed in the VGA or HDMI/DVI #2 Input rather than just an HDMI Input (both look identical, as you know)

OK, you've read the manual, that's a good start...so what happens when you connect your MBP up to input #2?

And what happens when you go VGA?

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First, I was wondering what the difference between the "HDMI #1 and #3" inputs and the "HDMI/DVI #2" input is? Would plugging the PC into the HDMI/DVI #2 input allow it to be full-screen?

I have no idea, I've never owned a plasma let alone your model; I'm a DLP and LCD guy because they're much easier to hook up to computers.

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Second, the only way I'm able to get it full-screen 720p via HDMI #3, is to set the Samsung to Screen Fit mode (rather than the 16x9 mode I have for my other HDMI inputs). Will this Screen Fit mode harm my TV given that Pixel Shift is disabled?

Plasmas, sometimes, can be tricky to set up as computer monitors into the HDMI port, especially since they're not actually 720p, as in 1280 x 720, but rather 1024 x 768.

So, reassess why you're plugged into #3 when the manual says to use #2 for a PC.

It's not uncommon for a TV, internally, to process/scale different inputs differently, i.e. to have one HDMI input that's "special" and others that are not. It may be that you can only get a certain max resolution in one of them and not the others, you won't really know until you tap into a knowledge base for that particular set and learn its intricacies. There's probably a big thread on this display in the AVS flat panel forum, find it, read up on how successful other users have been hooking up computers to it, and what they had to do.

But my guess is, you'll keep coming back to that native resolution of 1024 x 768--what I'd do in the meantime is read the whole owners thread and test both going into VGA and into HDMI #2. Maybe one of them will allow your Mac to fit the screen exactly, and wouldn't that be nice (because tweaking with SwitchResX to fill out that last inch or so can often be a frustrating experience.) If you're lucky, you'll find other Mac users who have already done the legwork for you and have determined whether it's less of a hassle to go VGA than into HDMI.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-17-2009, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by direwolf2009 View Post

First, I was wondering what the difference between the "HDMI #1 and #3" inputs and the "HDMI/DVI #2" input is? Would plugging the PC into the HDMI/DVI #2 input allow it to be full-screen?

The most likely reason the manual says that is because the are RCA audio inputs paired with HDMI2 but not the other HDMIs. There is no difference of any kind among the HDMI ports themselves. That was the case on a different model Samsung LCD that I played with.

Best advice Chef has given -- get a 1080P set. They are much better, they are cheaper and cheaper these days, and your connection troubles will likely go away -- especially, because this time around you will go to the store with your MBP and test before you buy the TV
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-17-2009, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

That was it. Switched it to DVI/HDMI #2 and it worked perfectly, with anti burn-in features enabled. No problems. The desktop is perfect.

Only problem now is TV has cables coming out of everywhere, with HDMI #3 on the side. My wife and don't like that, not so clean looking, so instead of DVI/HDMI #2, I will use the PC (VGA) Input on the TV.

My question is what will iTunes HD content (Films, TV Series) look like with MBP to VGA? I understand it won't be HDTV-quality (given input), but if we started to download some HD content from iTunes, would it be at least DVD-quality? If at some point, it becomes the main feature for us, we will switch our HD Cable to Component.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-18-2009, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf2009 View Post

My question is what will iTunes HD content (Films, TV Series) look like with MBP to VGA? I understand it won't be HDTV-quality (given input), but if we started to download some HD content from iTunes, would it be at least DVD-quality? If at some point, it becomes the main feature for us, we will switch our HD Cable to Component.

That could be a problem. I think iTunes HD movies (and perhaps TV shows) includes HDCP protection, so using the VGA port would result in a black screen.

At least that's how it used to be.

You might want to check it with a rental before buying a whole bunch of HD movies.

As for the quality ... I don't think you'd notice that big of a difference between HDMI and VGA. VGA is quite capable of full HD resolutions and more. HDMI might get you better color and perhaps more contrast (just my guess) since it's a digital connection, but VGA should be perfectly fine.
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