Macs in auditoriums and A/V booths

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Stecchino, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Stecchino macrumors member

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    Norfolk, Virginia, USA
    #1
    I'm the leader of an audio/visual ministry team at my church. Currently there a Shuttle PC clone in the A/V booth that we use for recording audio from the main sound mixer during seminars and services. The other main use is for on-screen presentations via PowerPoint. This little Shuttle wannabe powers a 15" CRT and the main auditorium projector.

    SOOOOO... my wife and I want to help modernize this A/V booth (mainly it's me, I admit) but can a Mac Mini (new or old) replace this cheapo-PC? My main concern is that Mac Minis cannot provide video "panning" for use with PowerPoint and the like.

    Does anyone have any experience using any Mac mini in this capacity? What about an iMac (old or new)? My wife and I have to donate everything so the cheaper the better but there's got to be a way for a Mac to send it's PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to a second monitor (projector) and still let you do stuff in the background on the main monitor.

    Thanks SO MUCH for your advice.
     
  2. Stecchino thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    Has no one use a Mac in this setting for this purpose? I'm convinced that a Mac do anything that the dumb Shuttle PC can do, but need some help with it.
     
  3. jsw123 macrumors member

    jsw123

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    Mar 19, 2006
    #3
    this can be done. i have a teacher who is great with macs and does this all the time. however, i myself dont know how to do this. you might want to take a (rather long) field trip down to your nearest apple store to get some help on this, if you really want to switch.
     
  4. jsw123 macrumors member

    jsw123

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    #4
    ps, next time you might get more if you put this in basics and help
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #6
    PS: use the edit button before making a new post. ;)

    Anyways, If you need to run two displays, I don't think a mini would be well suited. Perhaps an iMac wince it has a built-in display and a mini-DVI, and now also supports display spanning.
     
  7. Stecchino thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Thanks for your responses. Aye. The newer iMacs support this and perhaps the new MacBooks will when they are released.

    I have also discovered Screen Spanning Doctor which modified the firmware of many low-end Macs (not the Mini) to allow this "screen spanning". http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
     
  8. rusty018 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 27, 2006
    #8
    Screen Spanning Doctor is a great program! We use several iBooks in our A/V booth at church and we have installed Screen Spanning Doctor on all of them. Not sure if it works on mini's though.

    Good luck. Hope you figure something out. We only have two PC's in our tech booth, one for lights and one for live video production. The only reason we have them is because the software is Microsoft only. And guess what...they are the only two computers that ever give us problems. Go figure.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    Firmware is nice...but the core problem is that you have one port. What would you plug the second monitor into, anyway? Unless you bought a device like that one in the article I linked earlier... Or perhaps if there's a way to force the DVI-I plug to output one screen as analog in the DVI-A component of the plug, and one as digital to the DVI-D part....
     
  10. Stecchino thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    That's exactly why the Firmware mod won't work on the Mini.

    With the iBooks and iMac G4's and iMac G5's and eMacs, you already have one monitor built-in which will continue to act as your primary monitor while the firmware change will modify the "video mirroring" to "video spanning" and allow your second screen or projector to be the second monitor.

    This is how I understand it. I have to try it of course, but there are many good reports on this working.

    Supported machines list: http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/supportlist_e.html

    Forum:
    http://forum.macparts.de/

    I hope it works as well as it as for others...I'll probably actually do this in a few months.
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    I use my iBook to drive LCD monitors for teaching my class every week, with the spanning hack. The external signal drives the two monitors, and in my case, I just use Powerpoint's presenter tools, so I can see previews of all the slides in the presentation while the current slide is up on the other screen. It works very well.... This is with the Rev. A iBook G4 / 800 MHz (so it only has 32 MB of video ram).

    Depending on your budget, you might just get an iMac (old or new... even the Rev A iMac G5 has more than enough horsepower for this job) and put it in the cabinet (maybe like how monitors are integrated into the top surface of a podium?) and then run the projector with the video output. With the current Core Duo iMac, you wouldn't need anything. With any other iMac, just run the hack. If you get a Rev. B or later iMac G5 (or a Core Duo), you'll get 128 MB of video RAM, and it will be very robust.
     
  12. Stecchino thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Thanks so much for your input, the Mac community and forums like ours are G-R-E-A-T. I'm excited to try it out...anyone got a spare iBook G4 or iMac G5 to donate (tax write-off)? :D :D
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Oh, sorry, one more piece of advice...an iMac would work better, because it has a bigger, brighter screen. But if you get an iBook, try to get the last G4 revision (the current one). The graphics card was substantially revised, and if you're going to use it regularly with two screens, you'll want that.
     

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