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The Ins and Outs of Macs



  • Hello folks.

    I'm designing a projection installation - at the moment it looks like i might be able to achieve what i want with 4 projectors. problem is that it needs to be one big projector on one floor, and 3 smaller projectors upstairs, with a 30m+ cable run down the corridor and up the staircase.

    I think the best way to sync mov files will be to have a mac on each floor, networked together with one machine sending a control timecode to its Movie Player and the Movie Players on the other machine.

    The problem is this: I have a 2013 Retina MacBook with 2 x thunderbolt and 1 x HDMI. - fine for 3 projectors, but no RJ45 port (i tend to use a thunderbolt to RJ45 adapter) The other machine is a Mac Mini with 2 x thunderbolt and 1 x HDMI and RJ45. But, if I use this machine for the 3 projectors, I don't get a control screen.

    Possible solution: Use the laptop for the 3 projectors (with control screen on the main display - makes sense) and the Mini for the single projector and a monitor.

    Question: Does anyone have experience of using a USB to RJ45 adapter/external network device? I have a couple of USB3 ports on the laptop that are free. Is this a solution? Or any other ideas? (that don't involve Matrox display adaptors - i have a couple of DH2Gs and they generally piss me off whenever i try to use them)

    cheers!


  • Tech Staff

    @dbini

    I've only ever used USB to RJ45 for my Macbook Pro and it's worked fine for me



  • cool. thanks @Woland. it also seems like a pretty cheap solution. i'm having some difficulty networking the machines at the moment - can only get 2 Izzys talking to each other if one machine is on WiFi to the router the other is ethernetted to. which is shit. (i hate setting up networks)


  • Tech Staff

    @dbini

    It's a pain sometimes to be sure. But I've had no problem networking Macs by hardwiring them to a gigabit switch. I generally have my control computer in the booth and have a LAN with a gigabit switch and send a run of Cat6 to the tech table to control the show computer remotely from my laptop so that I don't have to run signal from the projectors to the tech table, and then dismantle and re-run to the booth when we break down tech tables.



  • @woland - nice idea. with the added benefit of shorter signal cables. i'm going to check out the local council office equipment recycling centre, see if there's a switch in there and give that a try. at the moment i'm using an old cable modem and i guess that's just not right. 

     


  • Tech Staff

    @dbini

    The 8-port gigabit ethernet switches I just got weren't super-expensive. I bought them new for around $30 USD each, so if the recycling centre doesn't pan out,  it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to purchase.



  • I HATE SETTING UP NETWORKS

    so, i got paid for a job i did earlier this year, and bought a USB3 to RJ45 adaptor and a gigabit switch. (you're right Lucas - the switches are much cheaper than i expected)

    i plug up my 2 machines into the switch and i get a yellow dot in the Network preferences, and no data streaming from Izzy to Izzy. is it because the network has a Self-Assigned IP address? what am i doing wrong? any ideas?


  • Beta Gold

    @dbini

    A switch won't act like a router does and assign IP addresses (ie act like a DHCP server), so you will probably have to manually configure the network settings on both machines to make sure they're on the same network. A quick internet search reveals many articles on how to do this, if you don't know already. And yes, I know you hate networks :-)

    And since I am not a Mac expert I won't talk you through it in case I mislead you.



  • thanks Mark, i managed to get a Net Broadcaster to Listener working in one direction. i only need it going one way at the moment, so at least i know my installation will work. now i just need to film and edit everything ready to go onsite and map to 6 windows.