Can I Pull It Off?
January 22, 2006 10:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm toying with the idea of getting a display to use with my 14" iBook (1.33 GHz, 768 MB RAM), mostly to watch movies on (VLC, fullscreen). Ideally, I'd like to do this while using the iBook's screen for other things (internet browsing, word processing, etc) (and on second thought, I may want to run VLC on the 14" screen and do other things on the larger display -- but that's probably irrelevant).

Anyway, my question is: is it going to be worth it? I know that iBooks don't support dual monitors, but I know about the hack to make it work (a patch you have to install, no?). Am I going to have horribly slow performance if I try to run VLC fullscreen while doing other things? Am I better off just saving up another $500 and buying a Mac mini with the display?

Also, recommendations for monitors would be nice but not necessary. I know about the Dell ones that are like the Apple cinema displays minus the prettiness... are these probably the best bet?

Also, sorry about the excessive parentheses (me fail English? That's unpossible...).
posted by rossination to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
It probably depends what you would be doing while watching the dvds, but you should be fine if you are just surfing the web or word processing.

I'd go with the dells yes, I just got a 2005FPW (20" widescreen) and it is brilliant. Another option would be to buy a cheap dvd player with dvi out and use that instead of investing in a mac mini.
posted by meta87 at 10:58 PM on January 22, 2006

iBooks do indeed support dual monitors. The hack simply re-enables a feature Apple turned off to encourage Powerbook (nee MacBook) sales.
posted by Rothko at 11:08 PM on January 22, 2006

My media center is a slow old eMac outputting to my tv using exactly this hack. It works great, but I'd say if you're just doing video then it's better to just output to a TV over S-Video. The adapter is about 20 dollars from apple and you can buy a s-video cable as long as you need to reach the television.
posted by shanevsevil at 11:16 PM on January 22, 2006

Oh and running a (television as a) second monitor doesn't effect the speed of my computer. If you have any problems running VLC and other apps at the same time now they will obviously persist, but I don't think you'll have any problems if you can already play a video in the background while surfing the web etc.
posted by shanevsevil at 11:22 PM on January 22, 2006

It's fine. I had a slower iBook than yours (at first, 800mhz!) and I ran a second Dell 20" monitor via VGA monitor spanning perfectly well, including things like DVDs.
posted by adrianhon at 12:51 AM on January 23, 2006

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