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Apple Mac on PV500?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by j633295, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. j633295

    j633295
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    Has anyone tried connecting a mac to the PV500 via HDMI connection?

    I have a 12" Apple G4 Powerbook which comes with both Mini-DVI to DVI adapter & Mini-DVI to VGA adapter.
    I have tried connecting using the mini-DVI to VGA adapter to the PV500 VGA port and can confirm that it doesn't work (XGA resolution). The screen just goes blank. However with a PC laptop it works fine on the same resolution.

    I am thinking of getting a DVI to HDMI cable to see whether it would work with the HDMI connection.

    Any ideas anyone?
     
  2. thornton

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    A relative is bringing over a Mac mini in the near future to try with a PV500 so I will report back - your comments are a bit worrying as I want to use a Mac mini as well.
     
  3. Sulis

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    I have just connected my G4 PowerBook, and it works. You need to choose the correct resolution is all. Some it works with, others it doesn't - from the manual, different size PV500s support different resolutions. In all of the working ones (at the moment) the picture is a bit squashed. I believe there is a program that will rectify that - if I find it I'll post details.

    You may want to set up the Display preference (in Sytem prefs) first - I set it first to Video Mirroring, then once I could see a picture on the PV500 I turned that off. It worked for me on the standard PowerBook resolution (1280 x 854 @ 60Hz, I think).

    The other thing that isn't intuitive is actually selecting the PC input. You have to press TV/AV to AV, then press the coloured buttons on the remote to select More>, then SD/HDMI/PC. I think you even have to push the SD/HDMI/PC button a couple of times, too!

    Let me know if this helps...

    Edit: This looks like the chap > http://voodoofx.all.de/displayconfigx/ .
     
  4. stroppygoblin

    stroppygoblin
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    treat this with as much PFY sales speak as you like, but I recently visited the Apple shop in B'ham. I spoke to a sales guy there and mentioned I was considering getting a 42" plasma and hooking a mac mini up to it. He advised against it as the definition would be (and i quote) "absolutely diabolical and practically unreadable" :rolleyes: ) He went on to say that they have a lot of people wanting to do this and they always advise against it. I was surprised as I had seen numerous media centre PC's hooked up to plasmas and they all look good (the 10' display UI helps though) Other posters on this forum have attached some good looking pictures showing windows desktops, I wonder if there is something about the antialiasing in the apple fonts that makes it such a problem?
     
  5. Sulis

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    stroppy goblin - this is, I believe, uneducated ballocks from the Apple Store rep. Check out this thread > http://www.osxhax.com/archives/000063.html . As you can see from my post above, my 1.25 PowerBook can do it, no problem. I'll try it with DisplayConfigX to see if the squashed look can go...
     
  6. johndon

    johndon
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    Haven't got a Mac myself, but, if you can get the Mac to output at the native res of the PV500 then I woud expect the definition to be as good as a monitor as there would be no scaling.

    John
     
  7. Sulis

    Sulis
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    Just as you need Powerstrip for PCs, I think you need DisplayConfigX for Macs - though it might be that if you use OS X Tiger this is unnecessary...
     
  8. foz

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    never tried a mac but my old hitachi pma400 worked fine with pc and that wernt even a very good plasma.will be getting a vga cable to try pv500 soon
     
  9. stroppygoblin

    stroppygoblin
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    Sulis,
    Thanks for the update. As suspected, Sales people with *zero* product knowledge :mad:

    Can you post some pictures of the OSX desktop on the PV500 ?
     
  10. Sulis

    Sulis
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    Have to be later - I've put it all away now, and work will reluctantly have to take precedence... Hopefully I will have DisplayConfigX working, too.
     
  11. Jazz Monkey Jr

    Jazz Monkey Jr
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    If you output native res it looks spot on, like a monitor.
     
  12. Supersonic72

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    Typical AppleStore staff...

    Should have gone to the experts in the AppleCentre in the Pallasades instead - proper Apple-grounded people, not johnny come latelys like the Applestore...Ahem!
     
  13. j633295

    j633295
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    ok, I upgraded to Tiger on the powerbook and all seem to work fine now. :thumbsup:
     
  14. orange66

    orange66
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    interesting thead; I have a 42 inch PV500 like a lot of you, and have just taken delivery of the new spec 20 inch iMac G5 with tiger loaded onto it. I have to say, the video out socket on the back of this mac is mighty wierd looking to me, what socket is it?
     
  15. Sulis

    Sulis
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  16. stroppygoblin

    stroppygoblin
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    If it is a female connector with lots of tiny pin holes on the left and 3 'prong' holes on the right (don't you love getting technical :eek: ) then it's probably a DVI connector. you can get converters to chnage this into a DVMI connector that matches the one on the PV500
     
  17. stroppygoblin

    stroppygoblin
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    Ah ok, not the one I was thinking of then :oops:
     
  18. orange66

    orange66
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    thanks for the info guys :thumbsup:
     
  19. Bobajobbob

    Bobajobbob
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    The resolution of the plasma combined with a VGA connection is not going to give you a great image so in a way the comment from the shop assistant mentioned above was not too off the mark. Even though they call this plasma High Def it is decidely low def when compared to computer monitors. Consider that my Apple monitor runs at 1920x1200 and even my 12" Powerbook has a screen res of 1024 x 768. Expand that to 37" or thereabouts and you are going to get some screen aliasing. The VGA connection isn't going to help either.

    Having said divx and xvid movies look OK. It is text and browser windows which suffer the most.
     
  20. Sulis

    Sulis
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    I still haven't got DisplayConfigX installed on the PBook yet. Sorry. However, I have to say that the screen images I've already got looked pretty damn good. I don't think it's that big an issue.
     
  21. Popcorn

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    I've been following this thread with interest. I'm about to take delivery of a TH-42PV500 and I'm unclear about a couple of issues.

    1. Is the VGA port on this plasma located on the front or rear of this screen? Panasonic's brochure says it's on the front in one place and on the rear in another place.

    2. Has anyone tried sending a Mac or PC DVI signal to the HDMI input with the appropriate cable (I already have a DVI->HDMI cable ready to go when my screen arrives) and if so what resolutions have you tested? Ideally I would want to send a 1280x768 resolution signal to preserve the correct aspect ratio and let the plasma scale (as should be done if you send this resolution over VGA). Alternative resolutions would be 1280x720 or 1024x768, but these last 2 would stretch the image somewhat - okay for playing DVDs but not so good for Mac or PC desktops. Some guy also told me that the computer would need to send HDCP data over DVI to work with the HDMI input on the television, however I’m somewhat sceptical about this.

    Any comments anyone?
     
  22. stroppygoblin

    stroppygoblin
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    VGA port is on the rear. There is no corresponding port on the front.
     
  23. Popcorn

    Popcorn
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    Thanks stroppygoblin, that's good :thumbsup:

    After a bit of research it seems that VGA is the way to go anyway when connecting a PC or Mac to this plasma, or any plasma that doesn't specifically have PC support through DVI.

    Will be hooking up a Mac Mini to play DVDs from my network attached storage, It will be interesting to see what the difference in quality will be between my component progressive DVD output and the Mac. I expect the DVD player will be better quality than the Mac but maybe I'll be surprised. Has anyone done this type of comparison?
     
  24. welsh113

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    imac g5 does not any form of video out!!!!! It is an all in one job
     
  25. MAW

    MAW
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    Popcorn, there is another thread on DVI-HDMI on the PV500. What becomes apparent is that HDMI is a video connector. Overscan is a problem with computer images on HDMI, and the resolutions accepted are limited to the video sets, 1280/720 is likely to be the best bet. This is the one offering no aspect distortion, 1280/768 is not actually 16/9. Besides, it's not accepted on HDMI. It's not far off though, it might work on VGA. It does on the PHD7 Panasonic.
     
  26. Sulis

    Sulis
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    That's not quite right, as any connection to a monitor is capable of displaying video (as your computer monitor can). Since my PowerBook happily displays on my PV500 I don't see that there'd be a problem - you just need the display adapter. Like the Mac mini, the iMac has a mini-VGA connector (http://www.apple.com/uk/imac/graphics.html).
     
  27. FaxFan2002

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    I bought a vga adapter for my imac, hooked it up to my dual lcd panel and the picture was rubbish - basically as the apple guy said, virtually undreadable. It is a mirror image of my main monitor so you have mess round with the resolutions to output something decent. I'll give it a try on the plasma and see what happens.

    I must try this displayconfigx
     
  28. Sulis

    Sulis
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    ^^ Can you describe what's wrong with the picture? The iMac has a Radeon 9600 graphics processor (it's what I'm using on my PowerMac to drive 2x22" screens) so there really shouldn't be a problem. I think that somewhere there's also a fix that lets you enable monitor spanning (ie. not just mirroring the iMac display).
     
  29. FaxFan2002

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    I've got the fix for the monitor spanning - haven't tried it. In it's native form the text is quite blurred and not very well defined at all, it's like looking text on a zx spectrum.
     
  30. thornton

    thornton
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    This is a report on connecting a Mac Mini to

    Panny 37PV500
    Panny 42PV500
    Hitachi 7200 plasma

    This was carried out both with my kit (the 37 PV 500) and on the 42in PV500 and Hitachi in John Lewis High Wycombe (they were extremely helpful and I hope my relative, who has the Mac Mini, buys from them!).

    We tried DVI-HDMI and analogue on all 3 TVs, and DVI-DVI on the Hitachi, which has the extra DVI port. All tests were carried out using out-of-the-box hardware and MACOS Tiger with no extra downloaded bits and pieces. So the following describes minimum functionality.

    For those who don't know, the Mac-Mini has a DVI out as standard, and can use analogue VGA at various resolutions with a supplied adaptor.

    DVI-DVI on the Hitachi was a big disappointment. We were only able to access 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and therefore got a distorted picture. Maybe OK for text but photos and movies looked bad. We could not find a way to adjust but maybe someone else can.

    DVI-HDMI operation gave similar results on all three TVs, in that we could get a very good image was either too big (overscan on) or a bit small (overscan off), and this applied at all available resolutions. But it DOES work using a cable with DVI at the Mac end and HDMI at the plasma. ALL modes tried had aspect ratio distortion, which is probably just a reflection of the fact that all three TVs use non-square pixels.

    Analog gave, for us, the most satisfying results on all three TVs. If you use the analog mode then (a) you get access to a sensible non-distorted (or more carefully not very distorted) resolution (which from memory was 1280 by 768 or 720) (b) the setup on all three plasmas allowed access to H and V position, and in the case of the Hitachi, to H and V size (actually it also had an auto mode that just nicely filled the screen). In the case of the Panny the PC input setup did not appear to have detailed size control but at that resolution it happened to be about the right size anyway. At the 1280 by 7xx resolution you do not get 1-1 pixel mapping of course, but it is an extremely impressive display of the Tiger Desktop that is very clear despite the non 1-1 mapping.

    Which screen work best?

    1. The extra DVI port on the Hitachi, does not, at least with the standard OS, add any useful display modes.
    2. The Pannys and the Hitachi behaved in a very similar way using DVI-HDMI and analogue.
    3. The Hitachi has a bit more control than the Panny wrt analogue image size, but the Panny fitted well.
    4. The image on both Pannys was noticeably sharper than on the Hitachi.
    5. The extra size of the 42 Panny helps quite a bit over the 37 when using 1280 by 7xx if you want to sit way back.

    HDTV on the Mac

    All of the above relates to looking at text and still pictures. We downloaded some HDTV 720p samples and played them using regular QuickTime 7. This means you get access to TV in a window. Full Screen mode needs QT7 PRO and we did not try (20 quid gets it). Detail was superb, but frames were a bit jumpy. I think this is due to the Mac Mini being below the official spec for displaying 720p. Use of Mac for HDTV display seems to need a 2GHz G5 or better, according to the offical Apple spec, whereas the Mac Mini has a 1.4GHZ G4. The G5 is a big box, whereas the Mac Mini sits nicely on a small bit of an AV stand. There is a good case, IMHO, for a HDTV enabled Mac that is small enough to fit in an AV environment and fast enough to do 720p smoothly.

    After doing these experiments, I am tempted to get a Mac Mini, though wonder if I should wait for a small box with uncompromised HDTV ability.

    That was longer than I intended, but I hope it helps! If anyone gets a 50in Pann7 PV500 with a Mac please post the results - the H resolution on that model is higher and offers better prospects for the DVI-HDMI link.
     

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