UPDATE: Dual External Monitors with Laptop

Currently, I connect my laptop to a 22-inch TV. I do this using HDMI. But, I’m now planning to get two 22-inch LCD monitors. However, I was wondering how can I connect the two external monitors to my laptop to independent screens.

I was reading online that getting a DualHead2Go device would be one of the options (regardless of its resolution restrictions). Does anyone have one of this??

Or, Does anyone know of a USB to VGA (or HDMI) adapter that works out of the box in Ubuntu, and provides a decent resolution for 22 inch LCD’s?

UPDATE: Today, I decided to make a little test with my laptop in the attempt to connect two external monitors to it. (HP dv4t with an nVidia GeForce G 105M). What I simply did is:

First, I connected an external monitor through VGA. I enabled it and disabled the laptop LCD.
Second, I connected a second external monitor through HDMI. The monitor was recognized, I enabled, and it was supposedly enabled. However, there was no video output. The reason is because it was HDMI and I was using the Nouveau driver due to the X breakage in Natty.

So, wondering if this would actually work I decided to try the same in Windows. And you know what? It worked! I didn’t test it throughly though. I just connected two external monitors, one to VGA and one to HDMI (and of course turned of my LCD screen). So, whenever the nVidia/X fix is available in Natty I’ll try the same configuration. I’m pretty sure it will work.

I’m now wondering if this would work with any other computer using Intel video cards?

Posted in Planet, Ubuntu. . 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “UPDATE: Dual External Monitors with Laptop”

  1. Tweets that mention RoAkSoAx’s Weblog » Dual External Monitors with Laptop -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Zuissi and Ubuntu World Wide, Arjan Waardenburg. Arjan Waardenburg said: Andres Rodriguez: Dual External Monitors with Laptop: Currently, I connect my laptop to a 22-inch TV. I do this … http://bit.ly/goPmip [...]

  2. Rick Harding Says:

    The problem with the DualHead2Go was that the resolutions supported was limiting. I purchased a dock for my X201 and the dock supports VGA and displayport out. I grabbed a displayport to DVI adapter and run dual displays off the laptop dock to two 22″ displays.

    You don’t specify the laptop you have, but I’d start there.

  3. Robert Aldridge Says:

    I do as Rick suggested… I have a dock for my Dell Latitude E6400 that has DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort out. I drive two 22″ LCD monitors. One from the DVI port, the other from the DisplayPort via a DisplayPort-to-DVI adaptor. My E6400 has the NVidia graphics card, and using the NVidia drivers, I get 1680×1050 on both external LCDs.

    Works great!


  4. roaksoax Says:

    Thank you for the suggestions! Unfortunately I’m looking for something more “Universal”, that works regardless the laptop brand, but if it comes to worse, I guess I’ll have to get a dock.


  5. rick Says:

    i have an analog (VGA) dualhead2go, running on an ubuntu 10.04 desktop, in order to have 3 monitors. i like it with 1 gripe: the “break” between the 2 outputs isn’t clean, 1 or 2 pixels (pixel columns, rather) from monitor 1 end up along the edge of monitor 2. i’m willing to bet that the digital (DVI) version doesn’t have this flaw. if your resolution is supported, i’d recommend the digital dualhead2go in a heartbeat.

  6. Anon Says:

    If my calculations are correct, uncompressed 24bpp signal at 1920×1080@60Hz requires 373MB/s. USB2 caps at ~40MB/s under optimal conditions, so unless the drivers for those USB dongles can compress the signal 1:10 in realtime, what you are searching for doesn’t look very feasible. Additionally, the USB-powered monitor won’t be getting any hardware acceleration or 3d support, so it won’t be very useful…

    A dock or a displayport 1.2 laptop would be your best bet. Docks typically provide extra monitor connectors, while displayport 1.2 supports daisy-chaining, where you can hook up to 4 monitors onto one connector.

  7. Brendan Miller Says:

    I have an Acer 1410 laptop with the Intel® GMA 4500MHD chipset. It has a 11.6″ (1366×768) builtin LCD, an HDMI, and a VGA port. I have successfully driven a 23″ 1920×1200 off both the VGA and the HDMI (to DVI) connectors (with the LCD off). I had to do as you said–enable one external and douse the LCD first. Continuing with the LCD on would not allow a second external to function. Getting the order right or clicking through the monitor properties tool was too tedious, and at point I left myself with no display whatsoever, so I don’t do this often. But it did work once! Unfortunately, I don’t remember which build this was–it may have been 9.10.

  8. Brendan Miller Says:

    Just updating this post to say that I still do this today on the Acer AS1410 in Ubuntu 10.10. It works fabulously, if you make sure you never ask to have 3 displays “lit” at one time.

  9. Teodoro Flathers Says:

    DVI is a great interface since it supports higher resolution video and of course more colors.’

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