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  1. #1

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    Using HDTV As PowerBook Monitor
    Hi, I was wondering if I buy a 23in hdtv, (720p) would the quality be good if I hook it up to my powerbook. The tv has a pc connection, not sure what kind though. Here's a link to it http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11216786&whse=BC&Ne=5000001+40 00000&N=4001382%204294967156&Mo=1&pos=1&No=1&Nr=P_ CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&Sp=C&ec=& topnav= . I wanted to use it as a 2nd display while using final cut. Would it look as good as a real monitor. I wanted to just kill two birds with one stone and use this as a tv as well??

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz, 160 GB at 7200rpms 4GB ram...iPhone 3G
    I'm not sure how it's going to look, my guess would be awesome... But i'm pretty sure you need to buy a HDMI to DVI adapter to plug your powerbook into an LCD.

  3. #3

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    o yea i forgot all about that, but i just found out that the tv uses d-sub, never heard of it before but their is a adapter for it, cost about $8. Anybody else have any experience using tvs like this.

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    It does not have a DVI input, it does however, have a VGA input.

    Since this MBP is my first venture into the Mac world, I have no experience with the PowerBook.

    I have done some experimenting with my MBP connecting it to 26", 32", 50" and 55" HDTV's, all of them 720p. Haven't upgraded to a 1080 set yet.
    Have tried VGA and HDMI inputs on most of them and edit: did not find a whole lot of difference between the two.
    For watching DVDs it's pretty good.
    For me, it is not fine for browsing or any type of text.
    The primary monitor for my XP box is a 26" HDTV at 720p. I will just say that it far surpasses the clarity I am able to obtain with my Mac.
    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.

  5. #5

    fleurya's Avatar
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    doesn't 720p limit the resolution of your screen relatively low?
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    doesn't 720p limit the resolution of your screen relatively low?
    Relative to monitors, yes. The 720p for the Samsung in question is 1366 x 720 (1368 - forget which) vs a typical 22"monitor at 1680 x 1050 or a 24" monitor at 1920 x 1200.

    But, if you are looking for multi-purpose monitor an HDTV is about your only option due to the limited connections on almost all monitors.

    For instance, my toyroom currently has a 26" Sony HDTV serving triple duty with my Desktop system, Xbox 360 and satellite HD feed all going to it.

    Dell does have one option - a 24", 1920 x 1200, with exceptional connectivity options - DVI, VGA, composite, s-video and component provided. Has had pretty good reviews and at it's current $670, not bad compared to it's intro price I believe was around $1400. The other side, if you're wanting HDTV on this one, you'll need an external tuner.
    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.

  7. #7

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    Very good stuff, but it has a ATSC Tuner, is that not the same as a hd tuner? About the connection it says d-sub, I read that d-sub is just as good as hdmi. Heres where it says d-sub http://samsung.com/Products/TV/LCDTV...?page=Features
    I think its better then vga, im not to sure though. Another question does it make a difference like if you are siting to close to the tv how its grainy. I want it to look almost as good as if im using a apple or dell monitor. Thanks

  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    The one you're looking at which costco carries has both ATSC (digital) and NTSC (analog) tuners.
    Most HDTV's, as this one does, will list "PC input", this is VGA.
    You will not find the specific model Costco carries on the Samsung web site.
    The model per Costco is [Model LN-T1221H] (listed at the bottom of the page). As with most of the TV's at both Costco and Sam's, the models they carry are not the same retail models you will find at other stores. They are typically either last years left over models, or as I believe is probably this case, it was manufactured specifically for costco and has had many of the features chopped to get it for a cheaper price. Most of the time this will have to do with the available menu options and adjustments available on the set. They can still be good values.

    However, you will not find the HDTV that will look almost as good as a monitor particularly with text. If this is what you really expect, would highly recommend you start looking at monitors and forget the HDTV's.

    Am hoping this is one of the things being worked on with Leopard. XP does blow away Tiger in the aspect of the clarity of text when using these types of screens as monitors.
    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.

  9. #9

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    O ok yea I was thinking that the costco one was mostlikly different. I don't really need it for text though, just video when using final cut. I also have another thing I'm worrying about, when I hook my powerbook to this 23" hd apple display at my church and mirror the image I can't get the full size resolution on the screen, any tips on how to scale it right. I don't want to buy a display if it won't even show right. The mini mac does it right though.

  10. #10

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Preface: My first experience with Mac's is with 10.4.8. So, if you are using an older OS, any directions I give related to settings may be incorrect.

    From what I found - the video card in your PowerBook is the ATI 9700. It was a decent card in it's day. Actually still not bad, just not up to date. But, at that time there just was not the call for widescreen resolutions as part of the default settings. It should be able to handle them, just may not have it as one of the default options.

    Am assuming that is the Apple 23" cinema display you currently have. Am guessing the PB does not have a default option of 1920 x 1200 since there were few 16:9 displays and as far as I am aware there were no 16:10 aspect displays in production at the time. Am guessing all of the default resolution settings on the 9700 are probably 4:3 aspect ratio. This is why you're getting the stretching effect. You will probably have to play around with different resolutions to find the one that's the best with the PB. There is a 3rd party software (it was mentioned and linked on another post here not too long ago, just couldn't find it with a quick search) that will allow you to manually set the proper resolution.

    With the Samsung, and most all 720p HDTV's, it should accept incoming signals of at least these three: 720 x 480, 1280 x 720 & 1920 x 1080. It would then scale these to it's actual 1366 x 768.

    When you have the PB connected to the cinema display, do have any of these widescreen resolution options available, or are they all 4:3 aspect ratios? If they are all 4:3 options, we'll probably need to find that 3rd party software.

    edit: found it - original link by Aptmunich - DisplayConfigX
    and here is the original thread - we never got a report back as to whether it worked or not
    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.

  11. #11

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    Yes it does have the different types of 16:9 settings and 1920x1200 but I try all of them and it just doesn't give me a clear picture or doesn't fill up the hole screen.. Do you know the subject you seen the post in?

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Link is at bottom of previous post.
    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.

  13. #13

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
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    Thanks I will try to get that soon, my internet is down at my house so ill have to wait a while. Thanks again

  14. #14

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Hope it works for ya.

    edit: Here's another one I happened across SwitchResX
    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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