View Full Version : Monitor Buying advice

2005-02-12, 22:05
I want to get a monitor in July, but i'm not really sure which one to get. I really dont understand all of the specs for monitors, it all just confuses me, so the other threads make no sense. Basically i want to be able to run my girlfriends 14" ibook, my 17" powerbook, and my p4 pc on the one monitor. (all at different times of course) I also want to be able to run it like a television. Can a monitor do this? Im really not sure about any of this. Any help would be great. I am looking at the 23" apple and the 30" at themoment. Thanks for any help.

2005-02-12, 22:15
You have to get a KVM Switch (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) to do this. Basically you plug the video cables from the box to each computer, same with your keyboard/mouse cables and you can share a single display and keyboard/mouse between multiple computers.

As far as a good monitor for this, I'd say anything with a DVI connector will work just fine for you. I personally run two of Sillicon Graphics' 1600SW displays with Multilink adapters. You can find the setup on ebay for about $700-800 these days, but there are a lot of options for new displays as well.

2005-02-12, 22:47
Thats great. Thanks. So can you watch tv through the monitors, or are you better of buying a seperate tv for that? sorry just dont want to spend a heap of cash only to turn around and have to buy a nice tv too.

2005-02-13, 19:30
You need a TV tuner box for your Mac notebooks, or a TV tuner card in your P4 PC, to watch TV on an external display. I couldn't advise you about PC tuner cards, but Elgato (http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetvmain2&countrytogo=33) and Eyegonomic (http://www.eyegonomic.com/page.dsp?page=205) make TV tuner boxes.

2005-02-13, 23:16
It could well be possible to do without a KVM switch, if the screen was a Benq FP231W or HP L2335.
- PB and iBook connect through the same VGA cable in turn
- the PC is attached with DVI
- TV comes in via SVHS, or in the case of the L2335, component video also possible, which enables HDTV use. External tuner or HDTV box needed.

I think that's a reasonable setup, but depends on what you want specifically.

edit: The switches can be tricky when you're pushing the limits of "normal". Many support only up to 1600x1200 resolution, not enough to drive the 23" ACD. The 30" ACD is one huge problem in a multi computer setup, I wouldn't even try a KVM with that. In any case you'd need only dual link DVI sources - Powermac with dual link graphics, new Powerbook with dual link graphics, etc.

2005-02-13, 23:26
Also, DVI KVM switches in general are spendy and it's hard to find good ones. Now if you want one with more than two outputs, you're looking at probably a couple hundred bucks. So I'd do what Koodari suggests - find a monitor with dual inputs (DVI plus VGA), connect the DVI to one computer, then use a cheap two-output VGA switch for the other two. Or just skip the switch altogether and physically move the VGA cable between the two computers.

2005-02-14, 00:24
TV comes in via SVHS

im so so sorry to go OT and nit pick, but is S-Video, not SVHS. SVHS is a tape format, S-Video is a video I/O port.

damn pet peeves

anyhoo, back on topic