View Full Version : Split screening/screen spanning from a 15" PB with a CRT?

Aug 27, 2004, 02:00 PM

I'm currently awaiting (salivating in anticipation of) the arival of my first Mac; a 15" 1.5GHz Powerbook with the 128MB ATI video chipset. I'll be using it primarily as a business and Final Cut Express 2 machine - maybe moving to FCP in the future.

I'd like to be able increase my screen area - especially for video editing - so need to know what my options are. While I know I can dual/split/span screen to another digital TFT display, I was wondering if I can do the same to a CRT display as this would be considerably less expensive.

The chap at Apple said split screening can only be done with other digital monitors, but info I've read elsewhere seems to suggest I may be able to do so with CRTs. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any definitive answers as to whether this is possible.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, particularly regarding any issues with native/external resolution etc.


Aug 27, 2004, 02:04 PM
I beleive there is a DVI to VGA adapter in the box. So yes you can.

Aug 27, 2004, 02:18 PM
Okay, great.

So, does that mean I can run the onboard display at the native 1280 x 854 and an additional CRT at a higher res to suit the extra screen area?

Aug 27, 2004, 02:40 PM
Okay, great.

So, does that mean I can run the onboard display at the native 1280 x 854 and an additional CRT at a higher res to suit the extra screen area?

You can use the CRT in spanning mode, and you can adjust the resolution of the CRT via the displays menu.

Aug 27, 2004, 02:45 PM
Great stuff, that'll ease the strain on my wallet then - it nearly collapsed on buying the powerbook, let alone another TFT to go with it.

Thanks very much for the advice folks.

Aug 27, 2004, 05:19 PM
Your CRT should work just fine, as others have stated.

I have used dual monitors on my G4 tower before. The only oddity that I recall was if the monitors were running on different refresh frequencies. Your PB screen should run at 75 Hz, so just make sure the monitor is set to do the same (via System Preferences).

It's a nice way to set things up. I haven't done that in quite a while as I don't have my parents extra monitor here (in another state now) with me.

Aug 27, 2004, 07:18 PM
I do screen spanning on a 19" CRT every day at work with my 2 month old 12" PB. I used the adapter that came with the PB, set the resolution and that was that.

I had a couple of freezes in the early days where the PB screen would black out and not recover, requiring a reboot, but I've got a sequence now that hasn't let me down for at least the last 6 weeks.

I never have a problem at the start of the day, so this assumes you've got your CRT plugged in and working, and it's time to disconnect it ......

Unplug the CRT monitor adapter from the PB
Wait a few seconds until the PB screen has finished flashing and stabilizes
Unplug any USB devices
Wait a couple of seconds
Unplug any ethernet cable
Shut the PB lid and wait for the light to start pulsing
Unplug the power adapter and you're good to go

I think what caused me the problems was being too hasty unplugging the USB devices while the screen was still sorting itself out, and/or closing the lid before I unplugged the USB devices

Hope this helps

Aug 27, 2004, 07:37 PM
You can do it no problem, I had that set up for a short while.

My only word of warning is that the CRT will look like crap compared to brightness, sharpness and pure beauty of the PowerBook screen.

Aug 28, 2004, 05:29 AM
Thanks for all the great tips people. Having been a power(ish) PC user for a long time, the prospect of switching is a little daunting at times.

Yippy, having had a play around with colleagues PowerBooks in the design studio I'm in no doubt that the screens are super sharp. I really just want more area so I can see more of the timeline in FCE2. I'll be using a 19" Ilyama Vision Master Pro, so it shouldn't be too bad in comparisson - I hope.


Powerbook G5
Aug 28, 2004, 05:40 AM
While on this topic, I tried hooking my PowerBook up to my HDTV a few days ago with a DVI cable and I could do 720p just fine, but for some reason I could not get it to work with 1080i without the image on the tv flickering. Is there a limit to the resolution the PowerBook could handle or is it just an incompatibility?