2 Monitors for MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Biffy, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Biffy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #1
    Hi all

    I have just made the switch to Macs at long last and am now enjoying my stunning MBP! Was wondering if it is possbile to set up 2 monitors on MBPs? Not just a video out but 2 separate work areas.

    Ive unfortuanately got used to working on 2 monitors and its painful to go back to one now!

    Would appreciate some help.

    Cheers
     
  2. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    I assume you mean two external monitors so that you would have three in total (two external and the MBPs screen itself).

    Currently, it is not possible. However, it might be that in the future someone releases a video adapter card for the expresscard slot and then you could use that to hook up the 2nd monitor.
     
  3. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #3
    Well, if Apple makes an AirTunes thingy that can stream video, you could use three. The MBP, one through DVI, and one through AirPort Express. The AirTunes might not support as big displays as DVI, but it's the only way I can see ('cept video adapter for expresscard/34):(
     
  4. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    I'm quite sure 802.11G doesn't have the bandwidth to support any decent resolution at any useable speed. For the 20" ACD that would be what?

    1680x1050 = 1764000 pixels
    Multiplied by the number of bits per pixel...
    32 * 1764000 = 56448000 bits

    So that's the number of bits for one image which is about 6.7MB per image. The ACDs run at 60Hz like most screens so that's 60*6.7 = 403.75MB.

    So we need 403.75MB per second if it's going to work. 802.11 is well under that at only 6.75MB a second so there's no way you could stream a live image to another display. Not even close.

    Any encoding would introduce lag which is fine on a video as what does it matter if when you start the video it takes a second or two before the image arrives and you start watching a two hour long movie? However, for a display you are using to work on a two second lag every time you press a key or move the mouse is obviously not suitable. Also nobody is going to accept any loss on image quality so you can forget any kind of compression.

    In short, forget AirTunes as an option.
     
  5. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #5
    I don't think they released a new version yet, but check out:
    http://www.villagetronic.com
    They have these kind of solutions and support the Mac platform a long time.
     
  6. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #6
    An alternative is the "desktop manager" program. It creates four separate desktops accessible on the tool bar. Combine that with dual monitors (the MBP and the external) and you've got a TON of workspace (albeit not all visible at once).
     
  7. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    AirTunes could definitely support streaming video since that will be encoded and compressed bringing the size right down. For example, a modern divx codec will require less than 0.15MB per second which is way below what wireless the 6.5MB wireless can handle. In fact wireless could probably even handle HD content.

    However, I don't think any wireless could handle live interactive input such as that of normal desktop use at the moment.
     
  8. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #8
    Okay, so "un HD-ready" tv's would probably be supported. I guess the next airport express will have 108mbps instead of 54, so it will be 13 MB. How about a wired gigabit airport express? possible for HD streaming?
     
  9. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    No I said that I think AirTunes could support streaming HD content. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure it could.
     
  10. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #10
    Ok, let's figure. 1 Gbit, is around 150 magebytes per second. A 1.7 megapixel ACD would require 450, so an ordinary 1 mpix HD-TV could support a bit compressed HD. Cool!:D
     
  11. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    Huh? I'm sorry but I don't understand your math.

    The highest HD resolution is 1080p which is actually 1920x1080. So that's 2073600 pixels per image. Now you have to multiply that value by the number of bits you need per pixel for the colour. I can't find info on that but let's assume it's 32 bit which would be the best. So that's 2073600x32 = 66,355,200 bits per image. And there's 50 or 60 images per second which makes that 3,981,312,000 bits per second or 474.6 MB per second.

    However that calculation is completely pointless. HD content is, of course, encoded and compressed and I have no idea how that affects it other than that I know it makes it a lot smaller :) It's probably best just to look at the final sizes of movies on the Apple HD gallery at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/.

    The Imax Deep Sea trailer at 1080p (the highest HD format) is 67MB for 59 seconds. So that's 1.14MB per second. Well under the 6.7 wireless can handle. So yeah, an AirTunes could easily handle streaming the best quality HD content to a TV. Now we just need Apple to implement it.
     
  12. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #12
    It's very few HD Tv's that can handle 1080p. Most are 1280x768 or 1366x768, which both are approx. 1 mpix.;)
     
  13. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #13
    I stream Lost off of my eMac to my MBP all the time and it looks fine.
     

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