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New Mini, connections to Vizio LCD TV
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: New Mini, connections to Vizio LCD TV Reply with quote

Hi -

First post here.

I've searched the site, and found that some of you have connected a Mini to a Vizio VX37L and had it "just work." Before pm-ing one of those folks, I thought I'd ask about the connection in a regular forum.

I'd like to connect the Mini straight to the Vizio, including using the Vizio speakers for the moment. The Vizio manual recommends connecting a computer to the RGB-in and mini stereo-in.

How does this translate into monoprice cable speak? Would I get a mini-dvi or dvi-to-VGA adapter and plug that in for video? Or use the display port to RGB with an adapter cable? And how about the sound connection?

I'd love to hear from someone who has done this with good results. I'm a little lost as to what the actually optimal connections will be, and don't feel like just buying a bunch of cables and trying them out.

Monoprice customer service recommended their new "Mini Displayport Male and USB Male/Toslink Audio to HDMI Female Converting Adapter" but that seems like overkill for my situationwhen Vizio recommends the RGB connection.
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gayle. The Mini DisplayPort Male to VGA Male will work just fine. Also the
3.5mm Stereo Plug/Plug M/M Cable will work as well. If you go with an HDMI connection then you will have to use a third party program to get the full 1366x768 resolution.
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
Hi Gayle. The Mini DisplayPort Male to VGA Male will work just fine. Also the
3.5mm Stereo Plug/Plug M/M Cable will work as well. If you go with an HDMI connection then you will have to use a third party program to get the full 1366x768 resolution.


Are you using HDMI, or did you go with the combo you linked to? I also was looking at this Super VGA HD15 M/M 3ft Cable w/ Stereo Audio and Triple Shielding, http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10201&cs_id=1020105&p_id=556&seq=1&format=2 to provide audio and bridge the short distance from the Mini to the LCD. Would this work to plug into the mini DVI to VGA adapter ?http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10419&cs_id=1041912&p_id=4850&seq=1&format=2

Yours was one of the posts I was referring to. Thanks for helping the noob! And sorry about the crazy long links. I haven't gotten the correct html down, so left it as it is.
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to sort of highjack my own thread with another, only vaguely related question: Do I need to borrow a USB keyboard for initial setup? Right now I'm planning to control the mini with some as yet to be determined iPhone app, or over my network with my MacBook Pro via screen sharing. Will this work even for initial setup or will I need to have a keyboard plugged in?
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Gayle

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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was using HDMI with a program called SwitchResX. You will need these settings.
Pixel Clock – 85.25

Horizontal:
Active – 1366 pixels
Front Porch – 128 pixels
Sync Width – 130 pixels
Back Porch – 174 pixels
Scan Rate – 47.414 kHz

Vertical:
Active – 768 lines
Front Porch – 2 lines
Sync Width – 6 lines
Back Porch – 19 lines
Scan Rate – 59.64 kHz

Positive sync unchecked for Horizontal.
Positive sync checked for Vertical.

Slight pain in the butt. Better picture though. Currently I use the VGA input because the Apple remote will wake and sleep the Vizio. (wife friendly, less remotes) Also I'm connected analogue for sound so, again, the Apple remote controlls the audio levels. And...( wife friendly, less remotes. )
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gayle28607 wrote:
I'm going to sort of highjack my own thread with another, only vaguely related question: Do I need to borrow a USB keyboard for initial setup? Right now I'm planning to control the mini with some as yet to be determined iPhone app, or over my network with my MacBook Pro via screen sharing. Will this work even for initial setup or will I need to have a keyboard plugged in?


You will want the usb keyboard for the initial setup. After that you can ditch the keyboard and do all maintenance using Snow Leopards screen sharing options from the macbook.
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as free iPhone app's. Touch Mouse from Logitech is awesome. Also if you want to run Boxee (multimedia player/app) it has a great free remote as well for the iPhone.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gayle which Macmini do you have.
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a refurb 2.53 GHz 4 mb ram, 320 GB HD coming next week. Caught it when a few were posted a couple days ago. Razz

I've been using an EyeTV hybrid with my MacBook pro for about a year now, and it got me thinking in the direction of the Mini.

You mentioned your PQ. So HDMI really produces a better quality picture on the Vizio from the Mini? Is that for both the Mac desktop and DVD playback, archived DVD files and general HTPC stuff? I won't be using it as a computer display much, though. I want to optimize playback in the HTPC realm.

I'm experimenting with Plex right now, but will take a look at Boxee. Front Row, too, will get played with. I have to optimize the child acceptance factor. It's "her" TV. Smile

Running off to do my child duties. I'll check back later; I know I wanted to follow up on a couple other things you said, but I ran out of time.
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The VGA compared to DVI or HDMI on this model Vizio isn't that noticeable. I'd go the VGA route for a child's setup. The mini will put the display to sleep when it goes to sleep and save some power in the long run. Obviously for optimal picture and sound you will want to run all digital signals to the Vizio.
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hers but also the only one we have, so I'm invested in the the PQ, too. The mini will only put the display to sleep if it's connected over VGA, or does it do the same with an HDMI connection?

Is there a specific reason you'd go VGA on this TV for a child? I guess I'm wondering if any of the interfaces like Plex or Boxee play nicer with the hardware via VGA, that sort of thing.
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will only put it to sleep connected VGA. And as I said earlier the only way to get a full picture on the screen using HDMI is by using a third party display application. These can be nightmare-ish. If you use the settings I gave you with the app SwitchResX it should work fine. With out a third party app you will have a black unusable border on the screen using HDMI. Regardless if you go VGA or HDMI, Plex, Front row, Boxee ect will run the same. 720p HD looks perfectly fine on the Vizio using a VGA cable.
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The monoprice website is down for the next few days. "Server maintenance." They say, "call us and we'll still sell you stuff," then don't list their phone number on the message. Makes me re-think how well I used to like them. Blue Jeans doesn't seem to have as many varieties of cable though. Can't find the mini-dvi to vga adapter there.
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Gayle

Mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB 5400 RPM HD (Booted from FW Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB 7200 RPM HD in OWC Merc Elite enclosure) - MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 1.5 TB 5400 RPM HD - Verizon iPad 2 64GB - AT&T iPhone 4s 64GB
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
I was using HDMI with a program called SwitchResX. You will need these settings.
Pixel Clock – 85.25

Horizontal:
Active – 1366 pixels
Front Porch – 128 pixels
Sync Width – 130 pixels
Back Porch – 174 pixels
Scan Rate – 47.414 kHz

Vertical:
Active – 768 lines
Front Porch – 2 lines
Sync Width – 6 lines
Back Porch – 19 lines
Scan Rate – 59.64 kHz

Positive sync unchecked for Horizontal.
Positive sync checked for Vertical.

Slight pain in the butt. Better picture though. Currently I use the VGA input because the Apple remote will wake and sleep the Vizio. (wife friendly, less remotes) Also I'm connected analogue for sound so, again, the Apple remote controlls the audio levels. And...( wife friendly, less remotes. )


Thanks so much for these. I've got questions though: When I tried to use them I ended up having to set the horizontal scan rate at 47.573. Anything else made the other numbers change automatically. But even then I can't get 1366 to stick. It always goes back to 1360 - automatically. What's going on, do you think?
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Gayle

Mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB 5400 RPM HD (Booted from FW Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB 7200 RPM HD in OWC Merc Elite enclosure) - MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 1.5 TB 5400 RPM HD - Verizon iPad 2 64GB - AT&T iPhone 4s 64GB
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gayle28607
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading a lot around the web (helpful), including the SwitchResX manual (not so helpful), I realized I have to make sure certain numbers add up, and so on, and so forth. I think it is possible my Vizio has a slightly different configuration of its innards from yours, TonyM.

I have exported my EDID file, and found that is was manufactured in "Week 2 of year 2007." Rolling Eyes It's the Vizio VX37L10a that Costco sold. I love, love, love the quality of the display.

Anyway, lots of information to digest. Meanwhile, I have a fully functioning mini-based HTPC (with a black border around the screen).

Plex looks absolutely amazing.

I do have my manual for the Vizio which has loads of info regarding preset PC resolutions. My mini is reading it as a 1080i display over HDMI, and since it is 1080i, and it looks pretty darn good, I'm going to save making it look really good for when I have time to learn how to use SwitchResX. At least the black border is nice and black....

I'm also going to get the PC connection cable (probably DVI to VGA?), and see if the mini will make the Vizio use it's whole screen.
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Gayle

Mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB 5400 RPM HD (Booted from FW Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB 7200 RPM HD in OWC Merc Elite enclosure) - MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 1.5 TB 5400 RPM HD - Verizon iPad 2 64GB - AT&T iPhone 4s 64GB
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