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Art Collectibles Reflections by Kathy and Bill Lair

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WHERE oh WHERE is a simple AB monitor switch?

June 19th, 2008 · 3 Comments · HowTo, HTPC

Mac Mini to HDTV home entertainment

My main computer is a first generation Mac Mini. I have the Mini set up next to my TV lounge chair, which allows me to work while watching TV. I wanted to hook up the Mini to my HDTV to share some of my web video content. So I bought an 18 foot HDMI DVI cable to hook up my Mini to the TV. I plugged the DVI end into my Mini and the HDMI into the TV. The Mini automatically reset to the resolution of the TV and I was browsing the internet and playing videos with my TV as a monitor. So now I just have to plug in which display I want, TV or monitor. The next step seemed like the simplest, but the next step turned out to be impossible, a small step for engineer kind, but a giant step for my kind. This next step was to purchase an AB switch for 2 DVI monitors, nothing complicated or amplified, just a simple toggle switch from one monitor to another monitor. I couldn”t find a simple AB switch so I tried the least expensive experiment with a video splitter. (DVI-D Male to 2 DVI-D Females). My Mini didn”t know which resolution to read and so I got no image on either monitor. Next I tried an expensive experiment. I purchased a Gefen powered splitter. This would let the Mac Mini”s one DVI out feed 2 different monitors. Both my DVI monitor and my HDMI TV displayed an image, but the resolution being different causes either my monitor to be pinched in or my display TV to be stretched out. Using the splitter from my Mac Mini to my monitor and my wife”s monitor worked fine… our monitors are the same resolution. Conclusion: the monitors need to be the same resolution. Another failed experiment.  I’m still left with a need for a simple AB switch, maybe I can make one, or maybe Makezine has the plans for constructing one. Until then I”ll just keep plugging and unplugging along.

Bill”s words

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Morel

    KVMs.com probably has the splitter for DVI for a monitor and 2 pcs and keyboard & mouse. Try TigerDirect.com; they have the same thing but maybe cheaper ($150). I won’t pay that much and am still looking.

  • Bill

    What I need is a switch for one PC to 2 monitors, the KVM switches are for multiple PCs to 1 monitor.

  • Sean

    I found this page because I was looking for the same thing… after hours and hours of research, I found it…

    http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=3033

    Now this product supports 4 out going ports from 1 DVI source… even though I only need it for 2 (my LCD monitor and my 1080P DLP TV.. it works… I also got a DVI + Audio (digital & analog) to HDMI box and put it after the switcher

    http://www.provantage.com/siig-ce-hm0031-s1~7SII205K.htm

    and now I press the switch box my Mac’s video and audio get sent to my entertainment system… and IT ROCKS… I hope this helps…

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