I have also got the Acer Aspire Idea 500 and am having troubles using the HDMI output. I have a SONY BRAVIA 42" LCD Screen and I cant get ANYTHING out of the HDMI at all!
Also the PC input on my LCD screen only supports 4:3 aspect resolutions such as 1024 x 768, so without HDMI I get black bars left and right of the image, not to distort the image! (CR*P!)
Another problem, I cant get the IR Blasters to recognise either SKY or SKY+ remote controls!
I found the user manuals and instructions for the Acer Aspire iDea 500 VERY poor!
Any help is much appreciated!