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I have a 2007 iMac and an Epson 730HD projector. I want to dedicate this iMac to playing media on the projector but I'm having problems with extending my display.

I'm using a Mini-DVI to HDMI adapter and connecting to the projector using an HDMI cable. The computer is detecting the projector, but the projector is saying there's no signal. I've tried playing with all of the resolution settings–thinking that maybe the projector just didn't like the resolution that the computer was sending–as I've had this problem before with other displays and setting the resolution to "Best for display" usually did the trick. The projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 720, I've tried every scaled resolution while extending the display and while mirroring. No luck.

My MiniDVI to VGA adapter works, so this appears to be only an HD problem.

Is there anything I haven't tried? Or is my iMac just too old for this projector?


Screen captures of available scaled resolution settings: enter image description here

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My Mac (24" Intel iMac, 2007):

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  • Can you verify that the projector is functioning normally? If you have a game console, or a blue ray player, plug it in and check. – ecnepsnai Jan 7 '15 at 5:03
  • Yes the projector works fine, I watch HD movies on it all the time. – ShemSeger Jan 7 '15 at 5:50
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2007 had 2 iMac models. The white Intel iMac and then the start of the Aluminum models. Based on the info and pictures above, you have the Aluminum Core2Duo model, which should be able to handle up to 1920x1200 digital external display in extended desktop mode so it isn't a limitation of the iMac video RAM.

In the list above, when in extended desktop mode, the appropriate resolution setting for the projector would be 720p. Have you tried configuring the iMac and projector in mirroring mode? Check the box in the Arrangement tab on the iMac window then set the resolution to 1280x800 or 720p (which will be 1280x720 with black bars on the side of the iMac display).

Finally if that still doesn't work, most likely it is the DVI to HDMI adapter at fault, especially if the DVI to VGA adapter is working. Try replacing it with a new/different adapter, if possible with an Apple brand. 3rd party adapters might not be 100% compatible.

  • I tried every resolution combination, in mirroring mode as well, it may be the adapter, but I would think that if the adapter was faulty that the iMac wouldn't be able to detect the projector at all. – ShemSeger Jan 7 '15 at 6:52
  • It isn't often an "all or nothing" type of issue. The adapter could be passing the HDMI CEC info, which is how it gets the supported resolutions and the projector name, but it isn't able to send the HDMI picture signal properly. I once had an adapter that corrupted the info and would only work with a very odd resolution like 437x1749. If you can't find an Apple adapter, try monoprice.com. I've have very good success with their products. – Insomniac Software Jan 7 '15 at 7:02
  • I'd like to rule everything else out first before I go out and buy a second adapter. – ShemSeger Jan 7 '15 at 21:18
  • Well with the troubleshooting you've already done, you are pretty much to that point. The only other possibility I can think of is the HDMI cable. Have you tried a different cable? Also, how long is the cable? I once had issues at work with my Mac properly seeing a ceiling mounted projector because the HDMI cable thru the wall was about 40 feet. It detected the projector but couldn't send the signal. Worked fine when I used a shorter 10' cable plugged directly to the back of the projector. The Mac/adapter couldn't push the signal that far whereas an XBox could do it just fine. – Insomniac Software Jan 8 '15 at 16:02
  • So I was able to determine that it was the adapter at fault, some serious jiggling and torquing on the cable managed to get it to display, but only when the cable is torqued, so I need a new adapter. – ShemSeger Feb 12 '15 at 17:28

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