Connecting multiple displays (5)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Team Jeff, May 6, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I hope this is an appropriate place for this question!

    I'm working on connecting five Tv's on a boat. I would like to display the same image from the Mac Mini on all screens, I don't need audio because that gets routed through the existing system already installed - basically car audio equipment.

    All the tv's have rca, component, s-video, and 15 pin vga (or pc in), except one that only has vga in.

    So they all have a vga in connection. Would it be possible to connect them all using vga "y" adapters? Like this -

    They are all relatively small tv's, I think the biggest is 26" and the rest are about 17".

    It cant be as easy as just plugging it all in with VGA connections.... can it? Thanks for the input!
  2. VoR
    macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    I've absolutely no experience with these but I know you can get powered vga splitters that will simultaneously output on all ports, and they don't cost too much. Plug the mini into that, and run 5 cables to the tvs.
    You'll be outputting the same resolution to all tvs, and any non-native resolutions will have to be scaled by the tv - probably not, but worth checking to see if that's an issue.
  3. macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you don't want to spit the signal that many times using just a cable, your signal will go to crap.

    as VoR said a powered device would be your best option, the proper name is vga distribution amp or DA (8 output model). You might get away with splitting each output, but keep in mind that will also cut the distance you can run your cable and get a usable signal at the other end. even on an un-split signal I wouldn't go over about 100ft

    you could also look at something like this which will let you run cat5 to each monitor and put an adapter there (this is not ethernet, just uses the same cables, so regular switches won't work) it also gets you up to 500 feet transmission, and cat5 is easier to pull to where you want it.

    There are several other devices from the same manufacturer at new egg, look through those.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    Thank you for the direction!

    I ended up using a VGA DA I found locally at an electronics store, it works just fine & for the most part the project is going great! Only issue now is that one of the TV's is 4:3 & the others are 16:9 so in order to get the 4:3 TV to accept the signal I have to set the output on the mac mini to the lowest setting. The result is a smaller picture on all the 16:9 TV's, but it's not too bad & unless theres an easy way to correct this I'll be happy as it is!
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    another minor snag

    I was mistaken about all the tv's having a pc port (vga). There is one that does not - So I used an adapter to convert vga to component & it does not display any video :confused:. Couldn't get the adapter to work on the other tvs either. Any ideas?
  6. macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    Convertor or Adapter

    Well there are adapters and there are convertors. Just because it has the right colored connectors does not mean it will do what you need it to.

    this guy right here is an adapter

    while this one is a convertor

    Essentially if your device does not require power, it probably is an adaptor and not a convertor.

    Now that said, if I am wrong and you have a convertor, many VGA to component (not composite) convertors can output at multiple resolutions, there is some gear out there that only does 480i but has component inputs. I would recommend trying to cycle the resolution on the convertor to try to find one that works. For what its worth, VGA does not down convert with a lot of grace, you may find that a better and possibly cheaper option is to replace the tv with a new one with the inputs you need.

    I hope you find this helpful and good luck!
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    cwaddell2002 - Thanks for that clarification on converters & adapters. What I have is an adapter, not a converter - which I assume is my problem. For $30 I think I'll try that converter!

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