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What can you plug into the USB ports on a 20" Mac display?

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What can you plug into the USB ports on a 20" Mac display?
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Florida
2005-02-15, 20:32

I just unpacked my new 20" Apple LCD display. There's two USB ports and a Firewire 400 port on the display back. A card with the display says not to plug your keyboard into the display.

I just got a Power Mac Dual G5.

So now I have both rear USB ports full. (One for the display & one for the keyboard.) That leaves only my front USB port empty and I want to hook up my printer & scanner and was going to leave the front port free to download my dig. camera.

If the display won't handle the keyboard, will it handle the printer and the scanner?

How can I have moved to the top of the line and not be able to hook up a basic set up????
2005-02-15, 20:38

You're moniter is connected to the G5 with USB? isn't it DVI?
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Taunton, Ma
2005-02-15, 21:24

my guess is maybe it says not to plug in the keyboard maybe it checks for the keyboard on bootup before it would check what display(so like if you were gonna boot from cd or something that requires a key held down, it may not work if going through the keyboard..?
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Recife, Brazil
2005-02-15, 22:02

here's an idea... how about trying to hook the printer up and see if it'll work???

I can't see why they'd tell you not to hook the keyboard up to the display! I have a 17" ADC Studio Display and I get to hook up whatever I want to any of my ports. I realize it's an older display, but I'd figure you'd be able to do the same with the new ones. Oh well, give it a shot though, I'm sure it'll take whatever you plug there.
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
2005-02-16, 00:15

Maybe the ports don't have enough power? When I plug certain things into my keyboard, it gives me a low power error. However, this shouldn't happen on a display - it has a power cable and stuff. I'd think that you can just plug in whatever you want. However, if you're going to want more stuff just get a cheap USB hub. That's the best way to go.
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle
2005-02-18, 02:33

I have the 20" display, and I've found 2 things that I can't hook up to my monitor's built in USB ports: (1) the keyboard. It just doesn't get recognized properly on bootup if it is attached to the monitor, and (2) my USB audio device. I found that when it went through the monitor, a noticable amount of latency was added, which is the bane of digital audio recording.

So I have the keyboard and the audio interface connected to the two USB ports in the back of my PowerMac, which leaves no room for the monitor's USB interface, so its just not hooked up at all :-(

I wish Apple put a couple more USB ports on the BACK of the box, I don't want that cabling coming out of the front port...
Fishhead Family Reunited
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
2005-02-18, 04:24

I've hooked up plenty of systems with keyboards hooked up to the display. Sounds like your display's USB hub may have a problem. You can either try to approach that with Apple, or you can get a powered USB 2.0 hub to hook up to one of the rear USB ports.
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
2005-03-02, 18:14

I have the lacie 20" monitor (which is a very good alternative to the apple 20" BTW), and its built-in usb hub can't handle the apple keyboard either. It kind of makes sense in a way. It is an unpowered hub plugged into a unpowered hub. Me thinks it is more an issue of the hub in the monitor being passive than the order in which the computer checks things out...but that is just from the experiences i have had. try some different setups and see what happens.
Join Date: Feb 2005
2005-03-04, 12:06

I have a new Apple 20in Monitor and a 12in Powerbook. My Keyboard IS hooked up directly to the monitor and it DOES work ALL THE TIME. I just plug the monitor USB into my PB and all my periferals are conncected and work JUST FINE.


13" Blackbook 2GHz Intel Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 20" Cinema Display
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
2005-07-31, 02:49

I have read on the Apple Discussion forums that tech support have been advising people not to plug any devices into the Cinema display other than devices relating to the display itself (not sure what that means really, but never mind).

My previous display was the Apple 17" Studio Display (ADC) and it's ports worked very reliably, including with the keyboard and mouse.

However, from my experience with the 20" Cinema Display (aluminium case, DVI connector, uSB 2.0 ports) it is a very temperamental hub. I have had problems with my bluetooth dongle not working in it. I'm using a bluetooth keyboard so I don't have to plug that into anything.

The situation that really highlights how poor the hub is in this display is when you install a third party USB 2.0 card in the G5 (I've tried 2 different brands). When the display's USB cable is plugged into the G5's rear ports it's hub stops working altogether. When it's plugged into the USB card the ports work intermittently, often devices disappearing while in use, or after a restart.

Because the display is an Apple product, I naturally assumed that the third party USB card was to blame. I therefore returned the cards. The more I read now about the USB hub in this display, the more I realise that it's the display that's at fault rather than the cards. When I say at fault - I think it's a design fault rather than a 'faulty display'.

Apple advertise the display as having a 2 port self-powered USB 2.0 hub. It seems ridiculous even to say not to plug the keyboard into it (as that's the neatest, most logical place to plug they keyboard), and even more bizzarre to be telling people not to use the ports at all.
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Welshland
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2005-07-31, 09:59

I have read on the Apple Discussion forums that tech support have been advising people not to plug any devices into the Cinema display other than devices relating to the display itself (not sure what that means really, but never mind).

i guess it means iSight etc.
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