Adding multiple displays to your PC with the USB to DVI High Res External Video Card
12/17/07 Update: The newest version of the driver
now supports Windows Vista Aero effects. You do not need to do anything
with your hardware - simply download and install this newest driver and
you’ll be running Vista Aero on your additional displays in no time.
Note: We got a very interesting and informative
comment from a representative of DisplayLink,
which makes the chip in the USB to DVI external video card, explaining
some crucial points of the USB to DVI’s capabilities:
- this page mentions a limit of displays up to 20″ - that’s not
really true - it will support any display up to 1600×1200 or
1680×1050 (wide), regardless of the panel size. For instance,
most 22″ panels these days are 1680×1050 and this resolution is
compatible with this adapter.
- The big thing about our technology is its low-latency; that’s
what DisplayLink does best. The USB connected display will feel like a
DVI connected display in almost every respect, and it will get better
quality than VGA especially at high resolutions. This isn’t anything
like previous generations of USB to video products.
- Support for Vista Aero is coming soon - we have demonstrated
this at WinHEC this year:
Special thanks to Jason at DisplayLink for the update. Hey Jason:
any word on Mac compatibility?
So, we love our new-found USB to DVI
External Video Card. Well, the news just gets better and better and
we’ve come to really appreciate her older sister (yes, design this
brilliant deserves a feminine pronoun in personifying a PC adapter….),
the USB to DVI High Res version.
The new addition boasts two big time features that
the low-end model simply doesn’t have. First off, it obviously (by its
name) supports a higher resolution, up to 1600×1200. This means
you get a clear picture on any display up to 20 inches.
The second major difference between the low and high res versions is
that the high resolution USB to DVI video card will let you use
MULTIPLE adapters on a single computer. That’s right - you can add up
to 5 additional displays from a computer with available USB ports.
Sounds too cool to be true, right? It’s not. I tested it just this
afternoon. And I even have photo-proof (you’ll have to trust me on this
since I recognize it would be pretty easy to duplicate this scenario
without actually driving displays via USB). Want to see?
Neat stuff, right? It’s a beautiful thing, too, since the USB to DVI
high res is a pretty affordable solution at about $150/unit. (Compare
that to the VTBook
which retails at $230 and maxes out at 2 additional displays)
I was quite the skeptic regarding what it would actually be able to
do when using multiple displays, but I was very impressed when I
actually tested the adapters. I was able to do my regular work stuff,
navigating between FireFox, Outlook, etc. while running (on the 3
monitors in the distance) an instance of Windows Media Player full
screen at 1600×1200, a video in FLV player at full screen, and a
YouTube video in FireFox. I was very impressed as all the videos ran
fine. I’m not running a supercomputer either. This was all driven by a
Dell Inspiron 9400 with 1 gig of RAM, an Intel Core2Duo @ 1.73 GHz.
The bottom line? Check out the USB External Video Card over at Sewell Direct.
This adapter would work well with a touch
screen monitor as well.