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Why can't I connect my computer to my HDTV?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Amino, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Amino

    Amino
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    Ok, so I tried hooking my computer upto my TV before, but it didn't work. I only got the POST screens to come up on my TV, and they were partially off screen or something to that nature. After the windows loading screen, all I got was black...

    I was wondering if anyone else has tried this. I have an ATI 9700 Pro, and my TV is the Toshiba 42H83 Widescreen HDTV. I'm connecting via VGA port.

    There has got to be a way to do this. I REALLY want to get this done. Please, anyone who can help me, I would be SOOOO overjoyed if I got this deal to work. If your advice helps me, I don't know... I'll send you a gift or something. This HAS to happen for me.

    Also, does anyone know the Toshiba help hotline? or will Toshiba not help me with this?
     
  2. Kramer

    Kramer
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    Windows "boots" at 640x480 AFAIK but then goes to whatever resolution/refresh rate your desktop's set to.

    You'll need to know what resolution/refresh your TV will accept. Try your manual, followed by Google followed by Toshiba.

    HDTVs are deisgned for use with set-top HDTV boxes, not PCs. Still should be possible but only when you've the necessary information.

    Best of luck :)
     
  3. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    It can certainly be done, but be careful, because the computer may try to send a signal that the TV cannot sync to, and you may damage the TV. As a rule, you should avoid viewing the POST screens on an HDTV, because the frequencies are out of range (and the display settings cannot be changed).

    For Windows usage, it is a different matter. The reason it goes blank with windows is probably because it is trying to display a resolution of 800x600 or 1024x768, but the TV cannot handle these resolutions. As a test, try switching the resolution (in Windows->Display Properties) to 640x480, with an adaptor refresh rate of 60Hz. Then connect the PC to the HTDV, and see if it can sync to the frequency (and the desktop appears). If it doesn't sync properly, disconnect immediately to avoid damaging the HDTV.

    Basically an HDTV can only handle very specific frequencies and resolutions (that conform to the HDTV standard). For most HDTV's, this means that they can handle 480 progressive lines, or 540 progressive lines of resolution (at 60Hz).

    In order to send the TV the correct resolutions and frequencies, you need to obtain a copy of the "Powerstrip" software, and configure some custom resolutions. This will allow you to configure some non-standard resolutions (such as 720x480p or 960x540p), which should display happily on the HDTV. Typically, you won't be able to display resolutions with a higher vertical resolution than these. Powerstrip comes with some in-built timings specifically for HDTV's, and these should work fine.

    Always get the resolutions working first on a computer monitor, before trying on your TV.

    Many people connect PCs to HDTV's (including me), and so you should be able find lots of information on the web, to help. Search for "powerstrip", "custom resolutions", and "HDTV".
     
  4. Amino

    Amino
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    I tried using a widescreen res the last time I tried this, but it didn't work. I also tried using powerstrip, but there were so many options and I didn't know what to change and what not to, or even how to create a custom resolution.

    My TV can handle 540p, 720p and 1080i. A bestbuy rep told me the latter was equivalent to roughly 1280x1024 or so, which is a widescreen res set by windows...

    I also tried looking for the refresh rate of my TV, but there's nothing in the specs section on it, and Toshiba doesn't have a hotline listed on their "ways to contact Toshiba" section on their website. Google hasn't really been helpful either...
     
  5. beyond

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    I recommend you check on our guides at www.htpcnews.com

    in the software section we have a few guides on doing this for various types of HD TV's. We also have the authors of the two main guides for this type of problem on our Forums for questions to the answers that you may have.

    Check in the "video cards and powerstrip settings" forum for answers, as well as ask your question in there. (forums are only 2 days old but the people are already there to answer your questions.)
     
  6. Amino

    Amino
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    Crap. Ok, I made a mistake, I'm connecting with DVI, not VGA. If that makes a difference...
     
  7. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    DVI does make a difference. I'm not familiar with using DVI and an HDTV.
     
  8. Amino

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    yeah, I guess that was my problem last time. I couldn't get the signal to run through my DVI port on my video card. At least I think that was what it was.

    In the display properties, settings tab, my secondary display is always grayed out, and when I try to make it my primary, it just doesn't work...

    Any idea on how to deal with this guys?
     
  9. renardi

    renardi
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    Could it be your driver?

    Christophe.
    Belgium.
     
  10. CENSORED

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    Hang on, your desktop is 1280 x 1024 and your TV accepts 1080i. I'm not too clued up on this but the first thing I spotted wrong here is that your TV will accept a 1080 interlaced signal but your PC will be sending a 1024 deinterlaced signal! Not sure, but that sounds like a compatibility issue.
     
  11. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I agree with censored - 1080 interlaced is nothing like 1024 progressive, and so the TV is unlikely to accept it. I would try 640x480p at 60Hz refresh rate first, and then experiment with other resolutions using the powerstrip HDTV timings. But begin with the progressive timings 480p, 540p and 720p. If you can get 720p working, you are way ahead of most people with HDTV's, because most HDTV's only support 540p at best.

    Interlaced timings (eg. 1080i) are more troublesome than progressive signals - because graphics cards usually do not support interlaced timings. I believe the Radeons will support 1080i, but you will need to be using the right drivers for it to work (and you may have difficulties).

    Windows doesn't support 16x9 (widescreen) resolutions as standard (which is what an HDTV expects), which is why you need powerstrip. I believe the resolutions you will want to configure are 720x480p, 960x540p and 1280x720p.

    Powerstrip also provides some interlaced 1080i timings too. Powerstrip isn't that hard to use, once you get the hang of it. The tricky thing is tweaking the custom resolution settings to optimise them for you display (usually the edges of the desktop will be cut off - this is called overscan, and is normal).

    Good luck.
     

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