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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 25, 2010
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    9
    Help with TV Connection!
    Hey all.

    My roommate recently got an HDTV tv for his birthday, so I thought it would be a fantastic idea to be able to plug my laptop in and use the TV as an external monitor.

    I have a black macbook, mini-DVI to VGA, VGA cable, running into a RCA L42FHD37R tv. The TV's resolution is 1920 by 1080, and when I bring up the monitor preferences on my computer, it shows the TV and that it's outputting at that resolution at 60hz (which I believe is the refresh rate for the TV). However, all I get is a blue screen on the TV that says "not supported." If I lower the output resolution on my macbook, the TV will accept the signal, but of course it doesn't fit the screen properly and I'd obviously like it to look as best as it can.

    I've searched diligently around the internet and haven't been able to find any answer to this question. Perhaps someone here has a suggestion? The only other thing I could think of doing is going with an HDMI connection, as this TV has overscan correction. However if I can avoid purchasing another adapter and cable, I'd be happy to stick with VGA.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Sean

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 25, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Oh yes, if this helps, here's the full specifications for the tv.

    RCA L42FHD37R specs

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    My guess would be a limitation of the VGA cable. Any way you can hook up mini-DVI to DVI, then DVI-to-DVI? I think the problem here is the analog signal won't sync that high.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 25, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Unfortunately my TV doesn't have a DVI input (that would make so much sense in this day and age...) so I guess my only option would be to upgrade to an HDMI connection. However I never knew that VGA wouldn't be able to handle this resolution, really wish it would. Any chance some sort of software upgrade could remedy this problem and enable me to use VGA?

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,455
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    No, there is no software that will fix it, as the problem is not with your computer or the cable, but with the TV.

    The VGA connection on the vast majority of HDTVs will not accept a 1920 x 1080 input. For that matter, most of them will not even accept a 16:9 input through VGA. Yours is one of them. Most of the better manufacturers will list the resolutions the VGA port will accept in the owners manual, not yours. It does provide the technical info however, saying the PC input accepts VGA, SVGA and XGA. This now has to be interpreted.

    VGA = 640 x 480
    SVGA = 800 x 600
    XGA = 1024 x 768

    These are the resolutions you'll be able to use. You'll notice they are all 4:3 aspect ratios also. The TV doesn't have the ability to interpret any other resolutions through the VGA port. This is very typical. Only in the last 1-2 years have a "few" of the HDTV manufacturers begun using better quality VGA ports to allow a VGA connection matching the resolution of the HDTV.

    You'll need to upgrade to HDMI if you want the best you can get on the TV. You'll need a mini-DVI to HDMI adapter. You can grab one from Apple or monoprice or others and a HDMI cable.

    If you want the sound from your TV also, you must use the HDMI/DVI 1 port. That is the only one that will allow for separate audio with HDMI.
    You'll need a stereo mini-plug (3.5mm) to RCA cable for connecting the audio.

    I do not recommend a mini-DVI to DVI and then a DVI to HDMI cable. The mini-DVI to HDMI adapter is much smaller and will fit better in your trash drawer of cables at the end of it's life than the cable will.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Mar 25, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Well thanks, that definitely clears it up for me! Seeing as how I'm a broke-*** individual, I was hoping there was some way I could just go with VGA, but I now see why that's not possible.

    I would definitely just buy a Mini-DVI to HDMI cable. Mini-DVI seems to be on the way out and in the future when I buy a new Mac and this adapter becomes obsolete, it would make sense to still have a good quality HDMI cable.

    Thanks again for your help!

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,455
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    You can use your VGA, you'll just be limited to those resolutions until you can get that new adapter/cable. It'll still be alright, and a bigger screen for movies than your notebook.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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