Mac Pro Monitor in Another Room?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 3fingerbrown, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. 3fingerbrown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #1
    I have a 2008 Mac Pro 8-core with 10GB of ram. I'm building a new house and I'd like to be able to access this this computer from a different room. So my plan was to get a DVI-to-Cat5 converter device, run a cat5 cable between the rooms, and hook it all in the second monitor output on the Mac Pro tower, and voila, you have a monitor in the second room:

    http://www.hdtvsupply.com/dvi-to-cat5-converter.html

    For the 2nd monitor in a different room, I would have to get a monitor that had a built-in USB connection, and hook in the mouse/computer through that USB. This was the concept.

    But then I realized, the Mac Pro 2nd monitor feature is not designed to have the monitor in a different room, because all of the files and the toolbar are on the primary monitor, making a second monitor useless if it is in a different room. You wouldn't be able to access the toolbar and files from the 2nd monitor (right?).

    So this is the challenge: any creative ideas out there on how to make this work?

    Perhaps if there was some type of switch allowing you to manually switch between monitors. But if it all gets too expensive, then you just buy a secondary computer, and share files on the network. It would be cool to use the same computer in a different room, but maybe its just a dream of mine.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #2
    Put the dock on the second monitor or have them mirrored.
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #3
    Couldn't you just use desktop mirroring instead of expanding your desktop? Then both monitors would always display the same information.
     
  4. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #4
    You can have the toolbar/dock on both monitors? Or just one at a time? Will new applications only open on the primary monitor? This would also be a problem.

    Sorry, its actually my wife thats the user, she knows a lot about photoshop but not much about how a computer works, so I'm putting this together for her. I'm a Mac fan, but no expert.

    Thanks!

    How does desktop mirroring work? Is it as simple as selecting "desktop mirroring" somehow in the system preferences in the OS? Then everything is mirrored? That seems like a great solution. Thanks!
     
  5. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #5
    In system preferences choose "Displays" then the "Arrangement" tab. There is a checkbox for mirroring down there.
     

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  6. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #6
    Great! I think that is the solution. The only question is if the mouse/keyboard will really work running through the USB input on the second monitor, out the DVI, through this converter device, over the cat5, back through another converter, and back in to the Mac Pro tower. Only one way to find out!
     
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #7
    You could also, depending on how far away the room is, buy a wireless mouse that would be in range.
     
  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #8
    To the best of my knowledge, USB won't travel over DVI. Most monitors that act as hubs also have a USB cable that goes from them to the computer. A wireless setup would probably be better in your case as thegoldenmackid mentioned.
     
  9. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #9
    Would Remote Desktop be good enough? You can probably get a really long DVI cable from monoprice :D I got one that was 6' long and they sell longer ones. Maybe a few DVI repeaters too. Use that plus wireless keyboard/mouse and you're set to go.
     
  10. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #10
    The room for the second monitor is actually downstairs one floor, so wireless doesn't seem like an option.

    I know there are some monitors that run the mouse and keyboard through the DVI connection to the computer, because the Dell monitor I'm using right now at work has two USB inputs but only connects to the tower via DVI. I don't think any Apple monitors work this way, however.

    This is another option if for some reason the converter doesn't pass the mouse/keyboard data through to the Mac Pro:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...=OTC-Froogle-_-Cables-_-Tripp+Lite-_-12120180
     
  11. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #11
    Do you know what model monitor it is? It seems interesting to me as I've not seen one that does that (although I haven't looked hard either).

    Depending on the build of your house the wireless may work fine through the floor/ceiling. You may want to put the receiver upstairs though and on the floor.
     
  12. 3fingerbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #12
    I must correct myself. On the side of my monitor there is a USB input, and I just found that on the back of my monitor there is a USB output, its just not being used.

    So for the mouse/keyboard I will need to run a cat5 and use the converter sold by New egg.
     
  13. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #13
    Depending on the age of your house and your need for your current telephone wires, you might be able to convert your phone jacks to ethernet. Then no need to run cables. :)
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #14
    I understand there is also the Belkin Gigabit Ethernet via power line available. This would use the mains as medium for signal distribution.
     
  15. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #15
    All of these converters are very pricey. On top of that, you're limiting yourself in several ways, including:

    Maximum monitor resolution
    Input lag
    Quality of the image after the signal conversions

    IMO, it is a much wiser decision to spend a similar amount of a second computer, and then set up a home network so that you can share files. You can even set up remote access if you wish.

    Going through all these great lengths to get a possibly flawed user experience (see above points) seems kind of silly.
     
  16. rtrt, Oct 8, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  17. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #17
    Check this out on monoprice it's 50 feet which would be more than sufficient. Then bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
     
  18. forester54 macrumors member

    forester54

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    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Washington
    #18
    I have a 25 foot DVI to HDMI for my 40" lcd tv which is my main monitor so they do make long DVI cables
     
  19. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #19
    Remote desktop is a pretty great option, but screen real estate is an issue. I do micro-manage my Mac Pro from a laptop from time to time across the house, but since I've got 4 big screens hooked up, they're pretty hard to see on my MBP 15.4" screen to do actual work.

    I haven't really figured out the reason you want to do it other than it being 'cool to use the same computer in a different room'. Screen sharing (remote desktop) works really well even over N wifi, it's almost transparent over gigabit ethernet (wouldn't want to game but otherwise...). But on an on-going basis, I can't imagine any scenario where it's worth-while in the same house. If you want to edit video - you really want the big screen and to be on the Mac Pro. If you just want to browse - then the second machine will do that just fine. if you want access to several hard drives in the tower - networking will do that without the screen sharing.
     

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