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William Fedanzo
Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 6:09:47 am

Probably picking up a new Imac here shortly and wanted to get some opinions, suggestions on a triple monitor setup...

Here is what is going on..

I would have the new imac be monitor 1..then thunderbolt to vga my viewsonic 22" lcd for monitor 2...

BUT I want my 32" TV as a 3rd display for clients sitting in my studio they can watch the final video on the tv mounted to the wall.

So...How do I go about that? I know I can use the thunderbolt port to connect the imac and vs monitor... Would I just have to get a USB-VGA adapter for the TV??... Also is there a way to from FCP 6 or 7 when playing back video from the timeline have the full frame video display on the TV that would now be usb-vga??

Thoughts???


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Neil Patience
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:33:01 am

In order to get a video output from FCP to a video monitor, rather than a computer monitor, you need a video i/o card or box.

Since you are looking at an iMac with Thunderbolt then possibly something like :

http://www.aja.com/products/io/io-xt.php

This has SDI outputs for broadcast monitors but also HDMI which should work with your TV.

I prefer AJA for i/o they have very good support and are totally solid also see Blackmagic and Matrox who have similar products.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Bret Williams
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:28:14 pm

I think you'll find the Blackmagic Intensity Extreme probably does all you need for now. It's less than $300. It has the standard analog connections of component, composite, and s-video as well as HDMI. No SDI. It is also powered by the thunderbolt connection which is a nice bonus. It also supports the free version of Davinci Resolve. Blackmagic also comes with some nice capture software. Their current beta drivers work for CS5+ apps, FCP 7, and FCP X all at the same time.

The Matrox MXO2 mini is a little better, but will cost you $600. All the same connections and basic functionality but it'll do a lot more cross conversion and up/down conversion on input and output. it requires an external power source. The capture and playback software it comes with is kinda weak. It doesn't support Resolve (well, Resolve doesn't support it), and their beta drivers for FCP X are still flakey and don't support other apps while installed. It requires a thunderbolt adapter to work with the iMac (included in the price).

I haven't used AJA in years. Everybody raves about their support, although I'm not really sure why you need support for a hardware card/box. Either it works or it doesn't. Their new thunderbolt box is the only one that has thunderbolt pass through which isn't as necessary on an iMac, but essential if you want 2 computer monitors on your MacBook Pro and an external drive.

I use Pegasus Promise thunderbolt raid and so far I love it.


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Shane Ross
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:55:29 pm

[Bret Williams] " Everybody raves about their support, although I'm not really sure why you need support for a hardware card/box. Either it works or it doesn't."

Because when it doesn't work, they have top notch tech support that help you MAKE it work. And if it is broken, they replace it. Fast. Other NLE vendors tech support doesn't hold up to AJA's. And when you need something to work, you need it NOW. Faster the better. But yes, you pay for it.

If you buy cheap, you don't get all the perks you get when you spend a little more. It's a trade off. Not everyone needs that tech support.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bret Williams
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:31:15 am

I can always purchase another and have it overnighted from any number of sources. And if an MXO2 is half the price of an AJA, then I'd come out the same. Except now I'd have two - after I got the first fixed if it's under warranty. For that matter, I could have bought two in the first place and carry a spare. Even better.


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Neil Patience
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:17:48 pm

[Bret Williams] "I haven't used AJA in years. Everybody raves about their support, although I'm not really sure why you need support for a hardware card/box."

On a day to day basis, fair comment. you dont need that much help.

However without too many boring details I have needed help with drivers not working for 4 suites - Aja were super helpful, sent me pre release beta drivers that fixed our issue and did it all quickly - same day.

Its only when things go wrong do you find out who gives good support and my experience of AJA, the few times I have needed help, has always been positive.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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William Fedanzo
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:58:45 pm

All these boxes look cool but is it needed for what I'm doing is the question....

I shoot on a Sony Z1U (Tape) and capture via firewire. If Im using my 2nd cam which is a smaller cannon vixia its card so a box that can capture really doesn't do anything for me as Ive never needed one...simply want to have an extended desktop on the one monitor with video playback for my client on the tv....

Other suggestions, tips, etc?

You guys are very helpful thank you


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Neil Patience
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:28:20 pm

FCP can only input/output video via an i/o box/card so although you would not need the input of the box to capture you do need the output to display on your TV.
Its not an extension of your computer desktop - its a totally seperate video input/output.

The Itensity Extreme that was suggested by Bret is probably about your cheapest option.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Bret Williams
Re: Imac Triple Monitor Setup Questions
on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:47:57 am

If your system can support 3 monitors then any number of adapter cables can be used to use the TV as a third computer monitor and have FCP use it to output the video. There will be judder issues, gamma issues, and no interlacing support as its putting a computer signal on a TV. Be sure to address those issues with your client and let him know that you don't have a proper way to view his product on a television display while you work.

If thats cool, Im still not sure if the iMac can support 3 monitors. If so, just order a $10 minidisplay port to HDMI cable from Amazon. Then use the FCP digital cinema desktop preview function to use the monitor as a full screen playback.


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