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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Pro AV Forum => Topic started by: Bob Cap on February 01, 2013, 09:30:44 am

Title: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Bob Cap on February 01, 2013, 09:30:44 am
I've been in the sound business for over forty years and things just keep on a changing.

I've got a gig coming up where the BE wants to also run some video from FOH.

Here is the setup:

Mac laptop output

200' VGA cable

Rear screen projector on stage with VGA input

What would be the most cost effective way to do this?

Thanks

Bob Cap
Advanced Audio Inc.
Gilbert, MN
Title: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Tommy Peel on February 01, 2013, 10:23:25 am
Monoprice has this kind of stuff cheap. They've got 100 ft VGA cables for around $30ea(either M/M or M/F) and this http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10104&cs_id=1010401&p_id=4017&seq=1&format=3#specification (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10104&cs_id=1010401&p_id=4017&seq=1&format=3#specification) splitter/booster is rated for 100 meters.


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Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Bob Cap on February 01, 2013, 10:45:00 am
Thanks, looks good.

But what do I use to go from the Mac Laptop HDMI output to the VGA input on the amplifier/splitter?

Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: George Friedman-Jimenez on February 01, 2013, 10:47:21 am
Make sure you have the right adapter for the Mac video out so you can connect VGA to it. The video out depends on the year and model of the Macbook. I got burned on that a few months ago when I gave a talk and did not bother to confirm ahead of time that the place I gave the talk had the right adapter.
Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Bob Cap on February 01, 2013, 10:55:35 am
Make sure you have the right adapter for the Mac video out so you can connect VGA to it. The video out depends on the year and model of the Macbook. I got burned on that a few months ago when I gave a talk and did not bother to confirm ahead of time that the place I gave the talk had the right adapter.

How many adapters are there?
Title: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Tommy Peel on February 01, 2013, 10:58:20 am
Thanks, looks good.

But what do I use to go from the Mac Laptop HDMI output to the VGA input on the amplifier/splitter?

I'd use a Mini Displayport(also works with the newer Thunderbolt ports) to VGA adapter cable. I have cable I got on Amazon that has MiniDP on one end and a male VGA on the other; it works much better than the "dongle" type adapters. All MacBooks made in the last 4-5 years have either MiniDP or Thunderbolt.


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Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Brad Weber on February 01, 2013, 12:48:29 pm
Make sure you have the right adapter for the Mac video out so you can connect VGA to it. The video out depends on the year and model of the Macbook. I got burned on that a few months ago when I gave a talk and did not bother to confirm ahead of time that the place I gave the talk had the right adapter.
Having dealt with this from the other side, with the variety and variations on connectors out there it is impractical for venues to try to accommodate every 'common' possibility.  My approach is to provide VGA/HD15, HDMI and in some cases DVI inputs and expect people to use devices that support those or to bring along their own adapters or interfaces. 
Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Gerry Seymour on February 01, 2013, 02:23:21 pm
I'd use a Mini Displayport(also works with the newer Thunderbolt ports) to VGA adapter cable. I have cable I got on Amazon that has MiniDP on one end and a male VGA on the other; it works much better than the "dongle" type adapters. All MacBooks made in the last 4-5 years have either MiniDP or Thunderbolt.


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+1. If I had to guess blindly, this would be my bet. If I were adding another adapter "just in case" for future-proofing with PC's, it would be a standard Displayport-to-VGA adapter (like I carry when I'm out training).
Title: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Brian Larson on February 01, 2013, 03:32:21 pm
I'd use a Mini Displayport(also works with the newer Thunderbolt ports) to VGA adapter cable. I have cable I got on Amazon that has MiniDP on one end and a male VGA on the other; it works much better than the "dongle" type adapters. All MacBooks made in the last 4-5 years have either MiniDP or Thunderbolt.


It's not a matter of preference. Just find out what he actually has.

If the output is in fact HDMI (make sure) then you could run into HDCP/EDID issues depending on the computer/preferences/content/adaptor/cable/booster/projector. These issues have been discussed to death lately. The way to really do it right if you plan on doing more video in the future is to pick up a bunch of Apple adapters on eBay. I've got about 30 and inevitably someone will show up with some obscure proprietary connector on their laptop and expect me to have it and I don't.
Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Gerry Seymour on February 01, 2013, 04:56:01 pm
It's not a matter of preference. Just find out what he actually has.

I think his point was that all of the recent models would be able to use that, so it's a matter of figuring out if he has one of those models.

Quote
If the output is in fact HDMI (make sure)...

This is another good point. Full-sized Displayport can look a lot like an HDMI port. If it's Displayport, it's easy - an inexpensive DP-to-VGA connector like the one I mentioned earlier. Mine was $10 on eBay from a US seller.
Title: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: brian maddox on February 01, 2013, 11:57:43 pm
No Mac laptop has an HDMI output.  The older models had mini DVI or full sized DVI.  anything from the last several years will have Displayport or Thunderbolt, which for your purposes is the same thing.

Worth contacting your guy to verify if he's got display port.  But that's probably what he's got.  Adapters for that to VGA are readily available.
Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Tommy Peel on February 02, 2013, 12:50:53 am
No Mac laptop has an HDMI output.  The older models had mini DVI or full sized DVI.  anything from the last several years will have Displayport or Thunderbolt, which for your purposes is the same thing.

Worth contacting your guy to verify if he's got display port.  But that's probably what he's got.  Adapters for that to VGA are readily available.

FYI the new Retina Macbook Pros(13"&15") do have HDMI ports as well as thunderbolt.

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Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: brian maddox on February 02, 2013, 01:49:04 am
FYI the new Retina Macbook Pros(13"&15") do have HDMI ports as well as thunderbolt.

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well, there you go.  that's what i get for not qualifying my statement with a 'as far as i know'.

i wonder why they chose to put that on there?  such a screwy standard.  although i think i saw it on the newer Mac Minis as well....

either way, i still think i'd go with a Display Port adapter to get to VGA rather than mess with the HDMI.  But that's just me...
Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Brad Weber on February 02, 2013, 07:37:04 am
either way, i still think i'd go with a Display Port adapter to get to VGA rather than mess with the HDMI.  But that's just me...
I have already encountered Macs that will enable HDCP if they are simply connected to a HDCP compliant input and not output HD content it to non-HDCP compliant devices so I wonder how they work with high resolution signals if you are using a DisplayPort to VGA adapter?
Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: brian maddox on February 02, 2013, 08:47:56 pm
I have already encountered Macs that will enable HDCP if they are simply connected to a HDCP compliant input and not output HD content it to non-HDCP compliant devices so I wonder how they work with high resolution signals if you are using a DisplayPort to VGA adapter?

I'm far from an expert on this kind of thing, but I've done exactly what you're describing with no issues.  I used my MacBook Pro to feed a projector via VGA and playing HD Content.  Worked a champ.  Just one anecdote so not really worth much I know...

In the VGA world is there even a way for the MacBook to see if the input is HDCP compliant?  I.e. I thought that stuff only worked in the digital realm.
Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: Brad Weber on February 03, 2013, 08:15:30 am
In the VGA world is there even a way for the MacBook to see if the input is HDCP compliant?  I.e. I thought that stuff only worked in the digital realm.
That's sort of the point, if it can't see an HDCP compliant input then should/will it output HD signals or any protected HD content?  It shouldn't be an issue unless the content flags it but since they are also a content provider, in order to protect their content Apple has been known to provide hardware that goes beyond the minimum requirements .
Title: Re: Re: Mac laptop to vga to projector
Post by: brian maddox on February 03, 2013, 02:49:23 pm
That's sort of the point, if it can't see an HDCP compliant input then should/will it output HD signals or any protected HD content?  It shouldn't be an issue unless the content flags it but since they are also a content provider, in order to protect their content Apple has been known to provide hardware that goes beyond the minimum requirements .

Oh, now I understand you.  Yeah, that's a good question.  I don't really ever have a need to show anything like that so I haven't ever come across that issue.  I'd be curious to know if anyone ever has just to see if Apple was applying their HDCP compliance to that output.