General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

Could I make my TV show my Macbook screen as clear as a monitor?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2551points) December 1st, 2008

I have an S-video adaptor for Mac and a 20 inch HDTV, but when I hook it up it looks more like a projector (fuzzy and text isn’t clear, videos look fine tho). Is this as good as it gets without an actual monitor? It isn’t horrible by any means, but it seems like it isn’t made to put out a clear picture like if I were to buy a 20 inch computer monitor.

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10 Answers

joeysefika's avatar

a) Is the TV Full HD, 1080i, 720p, etc
b) S-Video isn’t the best at displaying clear pictures as the max resolution is lower than what a HDMI cable can display, you’d be better using an HDMI cable
c) Under screen preferences in OS X try changing the resolutions that the MacBook is putting out to see if it gets clearer.

Jax's avatar

If the tv has a VGA-in try to hook it up like this:
Macbook-> vga output adapter ->vga cable ->TV.

This is the highest quality possible.

iwamoto's avatar

VGA the highest quality ? try DVI or HDMI kid….don’t they teach kids anything these days ?

anyway, you could use a mini-dvi -> dvi plug, and then a dvi -> hdmi cable, then you’ll just have to figure out how to get the sound over, but i’m sure you’ll figure that one out yourself

maccmann's avatar

The short answer if you are going to strictly use the s-video cable is “no.” Even if it’s HD, unless you have an HDTV with an 8-pin s-video port, it’s still not gonna be all that great.

And don’t just try different resolutions, but also refresh rates (the numbers with the “Mhz” attached to them). These make a huge difference in image quality.

You may want to look into a VGA to HDMI adapter. They have them out there. I have never used on, so I can’t vouch for the “goodness.”

iwamoto's avatar

VGA to HDMI ? so let’s get this straight, the macbook has a mini DVI signal, which is digital, VGA is analog, so, lesser quality, so then you would first convert a digital signal to an analog one, and then try to make it digital again ? do you see the logic here ?

joeysefika's avatar

@iwamoto, I personally have a 20inch iMac hooked up to a 37’ screen, Full 1080i, 100 hertz, etc. The output from the mac goes Mini DVI – DVI adaptor, DVI – HDMI adaptor, HDMI cable into the TV. This is very sharp and i can read whats on the screen etc.

justn's avatar

I hook my MacBook up to my 47” HDTV and it is beautiful! To do that I use the VGA input on the back of my TV. If your TV has a VGA input by the VGA adapter for the MacBook. Or if you have the DVI adapter and your TV has DVI use that or if your TV has HDMI, you may want something like this.

Also try different refresh rates and resolutions.

iwamoto's avatar

@joey, exactly, that’s what i mean, i do it the same way, only difference, my macbook pro already has a full DVI port, so i just use a DVI – HDMI cable, works like a charm, basically, when working with HD screens, use a digital signal kids !

sndfreQ's avatar

Adapter all you want-S-Video maxes out at 640×480i at 30 frames per second, and the fuzzy picture is a result of pixels being duplicated to fill the higher res display; VGA is optimized for 1024×768, and any adapter coming out of anything higher res will scale the pixels down to 1024×768 at 60i. HD res on the low end starts at 1440×720p (p for progressive which doesn’t skip lines when drawing the frame) at 60 frames per second.

Jax's avatar

Thank you sndfreQ!

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