Switcher questions - Intel iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cb31, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. cb31 macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2005

    I hope someone can help me with these questions. I am about to buy a 17" iMac next week and was wondering:-

    I have a 32" LCD TV next to where the iMac will go. I want to be able to watch dvd's and divx's on the TV streamed from a PC server using frontrow. Is this going to be possible? I presume that I will connect it via a mini-dvi -> dvi cable but the resolution is 1368x768 I think, which is different to iMac. Will screen mirroring work or will I have to extend the desktop. I don't really want to extend the screen as I won't be watching many movies compared to working on the iMac. Does frontrow do divx, xvid, wmv and streaming?

    If I connect my Canon Pixma inkjet to the iMac, can this be shared out to the other PC's in my house?

    Can I use something similar to Windows Remote Desktop to connect to the iMac from my Sony laptop? Possibly vnc?

    If I have my iTunes library on a PC server can this be used on the iMac?

    If I buy Office for the mac will it read in PC files from a PC server and then write them back in the same format so my laptop can still read them?

    Sorry for the amount of questions.

  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The only problem I see is that Front Row doesn't do divX, avi or wma streaming. I'm pretty sure it's limited only to movies located within the "Movies" folder on other Macs on the network. And then it's only limited to movies playable in Quicktime, I don't know if it will handle codec plug-ins if any of them have gone Universal yet.

    I'm pretty sure VLC will be able to play all those files from a networked drive but you won't be able to use the FrontRow interface.

    You might need to wait for a few more responses but I'm pretty sure Front Row isn't going to be able to handle what you want it to.

    Other than that, printer sharing should work just fine, you'll have to run extended desktop because if you mirror the screen your external monitor isn't going to want to run at 1440x900, I think the PC and Mac .xml files are interchangeable so you'll just have to point iTunes to the networked folder where the two .xml files are. Office will be just fine so long as you don't use some of the more fancy Mac-only effects and formatting like transparency and stuff, if you keep it simple it will be just fine. Make sure you do a compatibility report though if you want to be sure.
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Yes, see this page.

    Yes, in two ways, if the server is always on you can using iTunes Music Sharing (but cannot change ratings) you switch this on on the server under the sharing tab in preferences. Or you can share as Chundles said

    Yes definitely, I do this all the time at Uni as I don't have a printer, you may have occasional problems if you drag images into word from some programs rather than importing them.

    If you install the Mac divx plugin from www.divx.com and can import the divx movies into iTunes on your PC you should be able to watch them with Frontrow but as I don't have an Intel Mac I don't know.
  4. cb31 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Thanks for the quick replies. So now I'm sorted on the remote desktop, MS Office and iTunes library. Printer sharing should be ok so that leaves the frontrow.

    I've found some info on the internet that says you can get divx and wmv plugins for quicktime so that should allow frontrow to play them. It seems that desktop mirroring will not work so I will have to extend the desktop which may be ok. Is it possible with OS X to always open an app, such as frontrow, on the second monitor, and never use that monitor for anything else? Can you also switch off the primary monitor if frontrow is running?

    One other question I have thought of, how long are the apple dvi cables as the website doesn't mention their length?
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I dunno, about frontrow or the cable length, maybe it'd be worth giving apple a call about Frontrow and the cable length as no-ones answered yet, call 0800 0391010 in the UK or 1800 692 7753 in the USA. (you can use Skype to call both for free (+448000391010 for the UK) if you aren't in either country.)

    I have connected my TV up to my iMac in a similar way to yours, i have used VLC to watch video as I don't have frontrow. If you drag the VLC window onto the second display and click full screen it full screens on the second monitor. I believe VLC has an option to set this up automatically but again I don't know how.

    You cannot switch off the primary monitor if you are watching on the second monitor unfortunately, at least on the iMac G5, however I have to use a 3rd party hack to enable it so it may be possible with an intel iMac... You could also ask Apple if this is an option.
  6. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Just buy one dude. I just did.

    Mere words cannot describe the awesomeness of this machine...
  7. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2006
    HB, CA
    there's a divx beta that works for intel imacs. really useful, considering you'd like to use front row alot with divx media.

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