3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2008 7:37 PM by whocanitbenow
wolffy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've just purchased a digital projector (NEC VT695) under the impression that it would work as plug-and-play with my MacBook Pro. Not so, and I'd be grateful for some advice.

If I just connect and project, the image is distorted and I have to switch my display setting to 1024x768. I'm making this connection using a DVI to XGA adapter.

I'm wondering whether I should simply connect using a DVI cable alone (which I'd have to buy), as the projector has DVI input? Will this keep me from having to change the display settings, or is something else wrong here?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Brent R Level 2 Level 2 (195 points)
    There are two ways to use an external display using a Macbook Pro. Mirroring, and Extended Desktop. I'm assuming your projector uses the standard 4x3 ratio (such as 1024x768), while your MBP uses a wide aspect ratio (such as 1440x900).

    When you say "the image is distorted" I assume you mean the image appears compressed (as in the opposite of stretched). What is most likely happening is you have your display set to Mirror mode and it is trying to fit 1440x900 pixels into a space of 1024x768, thus causing it to shrink the image. In order to run two independent resolutions, you must turn off Mirroring.

    Plug in your projector, then go into System Preferences. Click on Displays. Then click on the Arrangement Tab. Uncheck the box that says "Mirror Displays". Go back to the "Display" tab. You will now notice that each monitor has its own "Display" screen. Now you can adjust each resolution independently to maximize your viewing pleasure.

    If you purchase a DVI cable, the projector will tell your MBP what its optimal resolution is and the Mac will adjust everything accordingly. With a VGA adapter you'll have to find the projectors optimal resolution manually.
  • wolffy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you so much. Very helpful and clear.
  • whocanitbenow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having a similar problem and tried your approach to setting different resolutions while not in mirroring mode, but to no effect. I wanted to ask you perhaps whether I am having a different problem, and whether you might know of a solution.

    I have a MacBook that's nearly two years old. I also have a Mitsubishi projector that I connect to the MacBook via a mini DVI connector. For over a year, when I connected the projector to the MacBook, it mirrored my desktop and displayed at the highest resolution available for my MacBook (1280X800).

    Recently, however, when I connect the projector it projects a distorted screen when the displays are set to the highest resolution. If I drop it down to 1024X600, then it is no longer garbled, but of course the projection size isn't as large.

    The other very strange thing is that when I connect the projector to the computer now, it displayed an older version of my desktop (probably about 3 months old), i.e. different wallpaper, different arrangement of folders on the desktop. If I unplug the DVI connector, the MacBook reverts to my current desktop, and if I was using a particular application like Safari for a moment while the projector was connected, I can no longer use Safari unless I reconnect to the projector.

    Somehow the projector seems to have saved settings onto it that I cannot change or even access. I have restarted both with and without mirroring on, to no effect. I went to the Genius Bar and they didn't know what to do, or even what I was really talking about.

    The strange thing is that neither piece of hardware has changed. The only thing I can think of is that somehow I shut the computer or projector off while they were still connected and the projector was receiving input which it stored somehow and will not allow me to change. I don't know a great deal about hardware, so I don't know whether that is even a possibility. Needless to say, it's driving me crazy.