Help me use my digital projecter with my MacBook Pro.
August 18, 2006 7:57 PM   Subscribe

How can I JUST show the DVD footage using my digital projecter hooked up to a macbook pro, without exposing the audience to the computer operation itself?

I just got a Dell 3400MP and I want to use it with my 15 inch MacBook Pro in the following way. I want the operator of the computer to be able to navigate through different tracks on a DVD without the people watching the output of the projecter seeing the mouse arrow, the DVD control, etc, but then when the correct chapter is located and played .. the audience does see that perfectly.

Is this possible? As of now I have it hooked up fine, but it either JUST shows my desktop image and nothing else (if I have the displays not mirroring), or I mirror the displays and it shows all the nitty gritty.

A bad workaround (plan B, if ask can't help me out), is to switch between mirrorer and non-mirrored displays on the fly so that the audience won't see the location of new tracks, etc. . . but that really is less then perfect since the screen flashes blue for a second as the new resolutions take hold and it just doesn't look seamless.

Possible? Impossible? Help me out. The show is tomorrow.
posted by visual mechanic to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Does the 3400MP have a 'freeze' function?
posted by SirStan at 8:03 PM on August 18, 2006

Just checked and it doesnt. Can you program the dvd player app to play certain chapters in order?
posted by SirStan at 8:06 PM on August 18, 2006

Well the thing is that the visual is going along with a live band, so the timing might not be perfect and chapters may have to be cut earlier or go on longer, you know. . . based on the live performance.
posted by visual mechanic at 8:07 PM on August 18, 2006

Use the Blank Screen button on the projector remote. Obviously you'll have to practice blanking the screen at the end of each video clip, but in the time you've got I don't think you'll find a better solution.
posted by cillit bang at 8:16 PM on August 18, 2006

Rip the DVDs, and play the tracks back with a player program that knows how to use your alternate display adapter?
posted by baylink at 8:26 PM on August 18, 2006

The FrontRow remote doesn't help with this? It seems only natural to me that you could use it to skip chapters, pause, etc.

Haven't really played with it much, so I don't know myself
posted by sbutler at 8:30 PM on August 18, 2006

Lens cap. Or a thick book will do.
posted by roue at 8:41 PM on August 18, 2006

Okay, it's a bit hairy, but you can run it all off the main display if you're careful. If the tracks are sequential, you should be able to move between them with the keyboard. This article lists all the key commands. Under preferences you can enable kiosk mode to hide the menu bar completely, but it will autohide in full screen mode automatically as long as you don't mouse over it. Also turn off "Display Status Information" so you don't get messages like chapter numbers and such on screen. Select "Hide Controller" in the Window menu. The mouse cursor vanishes on its own when playback starts. As long as you avoid the trackpad you won't see it again.

You might be able to run VLC player on separate non-mirrored displays, but I don't have a way to test that. It's free, so you should at least check it out.
posted by O9scar at 8:51 PM on August 18, 2006

*slaps forehead*

I didn't even think about the remote. I forget those are standard issue now.
posted by O9scar at 8:53 PM on August 18, 2006

oh thanks, now I have to find that remote!
posted by visual mechanic at 9:08 PM on August 18, 2006

I can confirm O9scar's speculation that you can run VLC on multiple displays like this. Put the UI on the laptop screen, and the video window on the projector, then use apple-F to make it fullscreen.

The remote would work too, but this might be easier to do quickly if you can't find the remote (and if you're still watching this question ...).
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:24 PM on August 18, 2006

Using a Powerbook I have found VLC doesn't always work the way you want in this regard (fullscreen doesn't always go to the second monitor, or it has a menubar), but that MPlayer is slightly more predictable. It can be done, however...
posted by mzurer at 7:12 AM on August 19, 2006

I've used the solution that 09scar used. Also, you can get the Apple Remote Helper to control VLC using the remote - or try Remote Buddy.

I had an anime night a month or so back and hooked up my MBP to a large monitor to show DVDs on.
posted by tommorris at 9:46 AM on August 19, 2006


I ran into that weirdness with VLC constantly, I ended up code-diving to figure it out, and it turned out that it fullscreens on the monitor that the controller is on. Once it's in full screen you can Command-Shift-C to bring the controller to the forefront and drag it to another monitor if you wish.
posted by blasdelf at 3:18 AM on August 21, 2006

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