How to connect a Samsung LE26R41B to my Mac Mini?

Steven Jackson

Novice Member
Hi,

I've just purchased a Samsung LE26R41B and want to connect it to my Mac Mini with the best possible connection. The Mac Mini has a DVI output (I think) and the TV has an HDMI input (I think). I can't seem to find a DVI to HDMI cable, though -- so I might be a bit confused.

Can anyone suggest what cable I should buy to get the best possible picture from my Mac? I don't want a really expensive cable though, just a good one.

Thanks in advance,

Steve

(Edited to correct a spelling mistake -- changed "DVD" to "DVI")
 

Moogle

Novice Member
I believe you have two options. I'm not sure if the Mac Mini came with a DVI to VGA adapter. My Powerbook came with one of those. At the moment I use one of those along with a VGA cable to connect my Powerbook to the VGA connection on the Samsung.

I'm not sure if connecting to the DVI will give you a significant boost in picture quality or not. You can buy DVI to HDMI cables ( Micro Anvika here in London sells them for about 40 quid ) or you should be able to get a DVI to HDMI adapter and use it with an HDMI cable which would probably be more expensive and not as convenient like the VGA solution I use.

I thought about getting the DVI to HDMI cable but at 40 quid I don't know if it makes a big enough difference to be a justifiable expense. DVI to HDMI is I believe an all digital connection where as DVI to VGA is digital to analogue. Maybe someone else can answer that. DVI and HDMI cables tend to be more expensive then other types of video cables.
 

rnicoll

Novice Member
Steven Jackson said:
I've just purchased a Samsung LE26R41B and want to connect it to my Mac Mini with the best possible connection. The Mac Mini has a DVI output (I think) and the TV has an HDMI input (I think). I can't seem to find a DVI to HDMI cable, though -- so I might be a bit confused.

Can anyone suggest what cable I should buy to get the best possible picture from my Mac? I don't want a really expensive cable though, just a good one.
Not sure whether you'll see a difference between a DVI-HDMI connection, and a DVI-VGA connection, but the latter will definitely involve a digital-analogue-digital conversion (which is bad). For a cheap DVI-HDMI cable, try http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=132108 . Keep in mind, these are digital, so interference is pretty much a non-issue on short cables (certainly, that's in the price range for DVI-DVI cables we use at work, and I've never seen interference on one).

I've been thinking of using a Mac Mini as video upscaler and DVD player, I'd love to know what you think of the result?
 

Moogle

Novice Member
I'm not sure what you mean by full resolution. One problem I have with the VGA connection is that I get black borders on the left and right side all be it thin ones. I haven't been able to figure out how to get rid of them. I don't know if using the HDMI connection has this issue or not. I would try the HDMI connection if I could find a place that stocked them and had a full refund policy if I wasn't satisfied with the quality.
 

Steven Jackson

Novice Member
Thanks rnicol, I'll let you know about the DVD quality when the TV and cable arrive!

Thanks again, Moogle, but I think I'll go with the DVI-HDMI cable mentioned above.

Cheers,

Steve.
 

Steven Jackson

Novice Member
Moogle -- I've just received the telly and DVI-HDMI cable. It's all running smoothly, but the picture output by my Mac is bigger than the screen (ie. I can't see the edges; about 1 inch is missing on all four sides). I can rectify this by de-selecting overscan in OS X's Display menu, but then the picture is smaller than the telly, leaving a black picture-frame, about 1 inch wide, all around the screen. OS X (or just the Mini) doesn't seem to be able to output in the native resolution of this television. Ho hum.

rnicoll -- I've tried playing a DVD, using OS X's built-in DVD player, and apart from the picture-frame mentioned above, it's very good indeed. I'm very happy with my purchase.

Thanks to both of you for your helpful replies to my original post.

Cheers,

Steve.
 

rnicoll

Novice Member
Steven Jackson said:
Moogle -- I've just received the telly and DVI-HDMI cable. It's all running smoothly, but the picture output by my Mac is bigger than the screen (ie. I can't see the edges; about 1 inch is missing on all four sides). I can rectify this by de-selecting overscan in OS X's Display menu, but then the picture is smaller than the telly, leaving a black picture-frame, about 1 inch wide, all around the screen. OS X (or just the Mini) doesn't seem to be able to output in the native resolution of this television. Ho hum.

rnicoll -- I've tried playing a DVD, using OS X's built-in DVD player, and apart from the picture-frame mentioned above, it's very good indeed. I'm very happy with my purchase.
I'm confused it's not fitting the screen properly - this is at 1280x720, yeah? Good to hear that the result looks good though...
 

Moogle

Novice Member
Steven Jackson said:
Moogle -- I've just received the telly and DVI-HDMI cable. It's all running smoothly, but the picture output by my Mac is bigger than the screen (ie. I can't see the edges; about 1 inch is missing on all four sides). I can rectify this by de-selecting overscan in OS X's Display menu, but then the picture is smaller than the telly, leaving a black picture-frame, about 1 inch wide, all around the screen. OS X (or just the Mini) doesn't seem to be able to output in the native resolution of this television. Ho hum.
Thanks for letting me know. I'm not sure why that's happening unless it's something to do with the TV's 1 to 1 pixel mapping. I know on a PC you can use a software called powerstrip to access additional resolutions and obtain the right resolution on LCD monitors/TV's. I don't know if there is anything simiar for the Mac.
 

Unreal_Legend

Novice Member
Thanks for all of your input, a 'lurker' here got a lot of help. Cheers!
 

cwick

Novice Member
Moogle said:
Thanks for letting me know. I'm not sure why that's happening unless it's something to do with the TV's 1 to 1 pixel mapping. I know on a PC you can use a software called powerstrip to access additional resolutions and obtain the right resolution on LCD monitors/TV's. I don't know if there is anything simiar for the Mac.
DisplayConfigX does the same job for a Mac.

If, after disabling overscan, the picture doesn't fit then you may need to look for some picture positioning controls on your tv to shrink or stretch the picture to fit.
 

Steven Jackson

Novice Member
The picture positioning controls on this particular TV seem to be disables for HDMI input. They're only available when connecting via VGA.

Nevermind, it's not too bad -- I'm a bit worried about burn-in, though.

Steve.
 

Moogle

Novice Member
Steven Jackson said:
The picture positioning controls on this particular TV seem to be disables for HDMI input. They're only available when connecting via VGA.

Nevermind, it's not too bad -- I'm a bit worried about burn-in, though.

Steve.
There is no burn in issue with LCD's like there is with CRT's and plasma's.
 

Moogle

Novice Member
cwick said:
DisplayConfigX does the same job for a Mac.

If, after disabling overscan, the picture doesn't fit then you may need to look for some picture positioning controls on your tv to shrink or stretch the picture to fit.
Thanks for that tip. I take a look at that software. :)
 

Steven Jackson

Novice Member
Re: burn-in...

The first two pages of the manual are devoted to it, however. Is this just being over-cautious, do you think?

Actually, I'm very interested to hear the answer to this. When I watch a 4:3 broadcast or DVD I like to watch it in 4:3 -- loads of people don't seem to mind the distortion caused by stretching it to full-screen, but I hate it. Similarly, films. If the aspect ratio of a film means there should be black bars at the top and bottom, I want to see them -- I don't really want to see the film stretched to some strange aspect ratio that just happens to be convenient for the size of the telly. The manual seems to suggest that watching the TV in this way could be harmful -- is it really true?

Cheers,

Steve.
 

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