I have an TV which accepts a DVI and VGA input, and a retina macbook pro with Mini Display Port and HDMI. I needed to connect my mac to the monitor so I decided to go for an HDMI to DVI cable since it was cheaper than the Mini Display Port one.

When I plugged my mac into the monitor, the mac's screen flashed and the discrete gpu was activated, which would seem to indicate that it is attached to an external monitor. However, the monitor does not display an image and in a few seconds says that it is "entering power save mode" (when nothing is connected it does not display this, indicating that it detects that something is connected).

I tried using boot camp to see if that would help but there was no difference. I also tried an older mac. It did not have an HDMI port, but I had a Mini-Dvi to HDMI adapter. Again, nothing displayed.

I thought that it might be an issue with the inputs or the cable, but I connected an Xbox 360 to it and it displayed perfectly, so it must have to do with the mac

Any possible fixes to this issue?

  • 1
    If you go to Settings > Displays > Arrangement in your Mac, does it show 2 screens? Is the external tv/monitor configured to show the input from the DVI? Commented May 4, 2014 at 7:04
  • @ViniciusPinto no the tv does not show up in display settings
    – benjih555
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


You could use the ColorSync Utility.app located in your Utility folder.

It will tell you all about the monitors connected and the mode they are using.

Check the profile used for your TV and if it is the correct one, the run a profile repair.

  • The tv doesn't seem to be showing up in ColorSyncUtility
    – benjih555
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 17:20
  • Than you have your answer!, it is not recognized by your Mac.
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 17:48
  • @Buscar...but why does the mac not recognize it, when it works fine with other devices like an xbox
    – benjih555
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 21:27
  • Because your Mac does not have the driver for your TV, so it does not knows how to deal with it. WHAT TV model is it ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 23:30
  • it is an old dell w2300 tv.
    – benjih555
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 0:04

Since it sounds like your TV is very old, the problem may be that the EDID it supplies to your Mac is incompatible/incorrect. (EDID is a standard used by both DVI and HDMI that can provide information about the device's supported resolutions and refresh rates.)

In the past, I've used an app called SwitchResX to work aronud similar issues, you could try using it to force the right settings across the cable to your TV.

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