use macbook pro as external monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by noday42, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. noday42 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    is it possible to use the screen of a macbook pro as an external monitor for a different device?

    specifically, I have a mythtv system at home that I want to bring to school, and was wondering if i could get the monitor of the macbook to display the mythtv system (preferably via the VGA connector). thanks!
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Not really. At least not right out of the box. I think there is a way to do it with a slingbox, but don't quote me on that.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Though you can not connect the mythtv directly as you want to there appears to be another option.

    From what I have been reading you can install a MythTV frontend on your Macbook, since it has been compiled for OS X. Then you would have to connect them by ethernet cable to view content on your Macbook. Since I am not familiar with Myth TV I am assuming that when turned on, whatever Linux variant automatically loads your Myth TV backend correct. If not you would need to make sure that it automatically does so and that all of the networking features for Myth TV and Linux start at boot and are available without logging on to the Myth TV, since you would be running it without a monitor.

    Your other option would be to make your MythTV's hard drive external and bring that with you. Then connect to it using the MythTV frontend, if that is not possible use something like Video LAN Client to access your video directly.

    You may also be able to transfer the files you want over your network beforehand. But if you do this I think you have to delete the file from the Myth TV box, since as I understand fair use laws for recorded broadcasts you can only have one copy at a time.
  4. alljunks macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2007
    why u would want to do that???

    what a expensive external monitor...
  5. Not-a-cliche macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2007
    By the way, the MacBooks and MacBook Pros don't have VGA connectors. They have Mini-DVI connectors.
  6. Trepex macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2007
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, MBPs have DVI connections, not mini-DVI.
  7. pennynme macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    Well, in my case the cat just broke my external monitor and my only other option is my 19" crt tv .. complete with VCR and stunning mono sound.
    I am SO upset. This happened about 10 minutes ago .. it flipped off the desk and 3 different corners hit the screen on the way down, where it came smashing to a halt on top of a drinking glass, which shattered. I seriously don't want to play xbox on that tv, and this renders my PC useless.

    So no one has found a solution? apparently I can borrow a 15" lcd from my bf but that's just depressing. The worst part is I can't even adequately punish the cat because she isn't going to understand.
  8. WildPalms macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2006
    Honolulu, HI
    Like this?

    The laptop will need to be bootable and you'll need to be able to view the install. Here's hoping you had remote desktop on ;)

    There is a freeware version that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac but I cannot remember the name of the software. Perhaps some Googling.
  9. Yixian macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Anyone know of a solution now, with the new MBPs?

    I want to use my MBP as an external monitor for a gaming PC, any ideas?
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Well Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2 may somewhat work but it would be slow, awkward, suffer from high latency and really not work for gaming. RDC basically allows you to manipulate and see what would be displayed on the screen of the Windows computer you are connected too.

    The only real option though is to bight the bullet and buy a monitor.

    $160 will get you a nice 20" widescreen.
  11. Yixian macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    America is so cheap...
  12. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Why not get a TV Tuner.

    I havn't used Elgato's rather expensive offerings, but it may be the only thing that'll give you lag free gaming (which obviously is a must)

    My pinnacle HDTV stick is great for tv but a horrible solution for gaming. I'm unable to play my wii with it because there is about a 2 second lag, this on my macbook pro and mac pro :/
  13. ortizgab macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2009
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
    Hi, guys!
    I have a MBP and a MB. I want to use the MB as a second monitor...
    any ideas?
    btw where I am monitors are not that cheap...

  14. joelnybeck macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2009
    Anyone find a way to do this yet?

    I need to connect to a remote server and typically have my laptop on me when I go, it would be a pain in the ass to have to bring an external monitor along with me.
  15. mckaigg macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2010
    would be handy for a field tech

    I was recently sent out on a field support job where I needed to bring a monitor that supported 1320x1024. In order to do this job, I had to pull my Acer 24" monitor from my home computer and take it with me, squeeze behind a server rack, and plug my monitor into each server to test. My question was, "why was none of this on a KVM?" but that is beside the point. Being able to use my macbook as a monitor would have been very handy. I figure since Apple includes "target disk mode" to make a macbook a dumb external hard drive. Why not a monitor? The new iMac supports this.

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