MacBook Pro dual monitor options

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by xcaliber84, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #1
    Here's my dilemma, I am a film student and recently got a new MBP when I started classes. I have been doing a bit of research and am starting to run out of hope for finding a way to run dual monitors with the mini display port. Now i have heard about this matrox box that essentially stretches the desktop out, but I have also heard some not so good things about it as well. I was wondering if anyone here knew of any other way to run dual displays with a MBP? It just seems like Apple would realize that their users could really use this ability since the media industry is a major customer base of theirs. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

    cheers
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #2
    display link

    An article I read says something about displaylink. It's also for mac's. You get a box, on which you can attach a second screen (and mouse and keyboard, but those are optional). You put the other end of the box into your usb. So you use one usb port to attach another screen via displaylink. There is a "sd220v notebook docking station" made by kensington, " dynadock universal usb docking station" by toshiba, "syncmaster 94OUX" (or g40UX, I cant read the difference) from samsung. You probably need the beta driver form displaylink. You can get it from www.displaylink.com/mac

    I would say, do your research, this is just a hint.

    Good luck.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #3
    WAIT!!

    First, congrats on getting into film school, I'm a film student at Drexel in Philadelphia.

    Now. DONT get the original MXO with DVI. It won't work with DisplayPort and the box is extremely finicky if you do not use hardware on the compatibility list. Look into the MXO which uses the expresscard slot and has HDMI out so you can connect it to anything. Read the reviews, your milage may vary. I have an original MXO (my rig is in my sig) and it rocks.

    Don't use the display expanders, you might be pushing the video card too far and the results can be wonky. If you need more than 2 screens, you should have gotten a mac pro.

    question 2. Do you really need color accurate stuff? What career path are you looking into? Use your school's editing labs if you can, don't spend your money unless you have to.

    -Chip
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #4
  5. -DH
    macrumors 65816

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    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #6
    Macbook and Matrox DualHead2Go

    I found this thread very helpful. Trying to hook my new generation (just purchased) macbook and a last generation macbook to 2 Dell 19in monitors using a Matrox Analogue DualHead2Go. Only thing I cannot achieve (going mini-dvi to VGA) is 2560 x 1280 resolution. Highest I can obtain is 2048 x 768. This is the last piece of the puzzle, after which I'm sorted. Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #7
    It can be done now with the new ViDock GFX from Villagetronic device that uses the Expresscard 34 slot. With the built in DVI port you should be able to get upto 3 external monitors.


    http://www.villagetronic.com/vidock/index.html
     
  8. macrumors regular

    rdav

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Location:
    So/California.
    #8
    ExpressCard/34 to DVi or HDMI device?

    That VillageTronic device is Ok but it costs about $500.
    Also, does not work with my MacBook Pro v3.

    Is there no other OS-X compatible ExpressCard/34 to DVi or HDMI device?

    Like this, but ExpressCard/34 and NOT CardBus.
    http://www.villagetronic.com/vtbook/index.html
    Expensive too.

    Any other ideas out there?

    The new Tritton See2 Extreme box works with Mac OS-X and gives 1920x1200/16 from a USB2.
    http://www.trittontechnologies.com/products/TRIUV200.htm
    But 16 bit.

    And the Matrox box is one answer.
    But it provides one very wide screen, not two 1920x1200/32.
    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/

    Seems odd that on one has thought to design something for the EC/34 slot.
    Is there some big technical challenge involved?
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #9
    sorry i kind of got sucked into a project for the past several months. but thanks for all the suggestions. i have looked into matrox boxes before, but had heard some complaints on how well they work for certain situations. the card looks cool but unfortunately my mbp is a version 5 and it says they are only compatible with versions 1,2 and 4...so thats out as well. i picked up the mini plug to dvi adapter from mac and i am fairly pleased because i can use my 20" wide screen as my main monitor and my mac book screen as the preview monitor...this works great for now, but in the future i could see myself looking further into this. i definitely see the express card slot as being a possible growing option due to the fact that the new sony ex1s record on ssd that are express cards.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #10
    I have been following developments on this for a couple of years now. There are no easy solutions sadly. The best answer came with VillageTronic's ViDock but as you say it is only compatible with 2nd & 4th generation MBPs. It probably isn't an easy problem to solve, otherwise I am sure it would have been done by now. There is certainly a market for it. For it to really work, Apple need to liase with hardware manufacturers but it hasn't happened thus far.

    I am lucky in that I have a 2nd generation MBP so I may go ahead and buy Villagetronic's new ViDock. (Although at $500 it isn't a cheap solution).

    Anyone who is interested in reading a good independent review on the product go here:
    http://www.tuaw.com/2009/02/05/tuaw-review-vidock-gfx-multi-monitor-solution-for-macbook-pro/

    Finally one could use a USB Displaylink monitor which would work on any mac through the USB ports, but there are of course certain limitations using this approach. What's the problem with the Tritton See2 being only 16 bit? It supports resolutions up to 1200x1920 which is a 24" monitor.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    rdav

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Location:
    So/California.
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #12
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    #13
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    #14
    anyone know of any other forums that discuss these topics? My google keeps sending me here and this topic is basically dead here
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #16
    I have a 2006 MacBook Pro (2 ghz Core Duo, ATI Radeon X1600 w/256MB VRAM) and I use the digital Matrox box for three monitors--two 1920x1080 cheap flatscreens and my MBP's native monitor. I have had no problems with this set-up and my workspace is HUGE. The software driving the Matrox box does this by reporting to the OS that I have just one 3840x1080 monitor, and then just divides the signal in half between the two external monitors.

    The only real problem with this is that dialog boxes that pop up get divided right in the middle by the bezels between the two monitors, but that's a small price to pay for a massive desktop at a cheap price. I certainly couldn't afford a 30" ACD, and a wider/thinner workspace is more productive for me than a shorter/taller one would be.

    Now, keep in mind that I use this system largely for audio production, and only occasionally for video or graphic design work. Color is fine, though, and I bet with the proper calibration the Matrox system would work in your application.

    It is often stated that one of the biggest productivity gains from hardware is a bigger screen. I believe that. With my current rig I can do my sample editing on my first external monitor, have a 48 channel strip mixer open on the second external monitor, and manage my plug-ins on the MBP's screen.

    It's pretty "ghetto" compared to a sleek and beautiful 30" ACD, but it works just fine.
     

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