In October, we covered evolving support issues for Apple, Boot Camp Beta, and video output from Windows on Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Boot Camp is still in beta, but it is widely used, and people understandably want to know if they’ll be able to output from Windows to a projector. It opens up possibilities like, for instance, booting your Mac laptop into Windows to run Resolume.

We’ve gotten lots of feedback since then (another reason to subscribe to the CDMotion comments RSS feed), but still no conclusive evidence. Al, for instance, has had trouble with his MacBook Pro:

I just bought a 2.16 MBP 15″ and plugged a walmart 15″ “balance” LCD (1024×768) via the DVI to VGA adapter and here’s what I get:

1) using the ATI driver under bootcamp XP with the monitor plugged in, the computer starts up and mirrors the windows startup screens. Once started up, the Balance LCD goes black and the MBP’s screen goes into extended desktop mode. (no pull-down menus) Can’t configure anything at this point. I can move the cursor toward the external monitor, but it’s black, so I can’t configure anything.

2) At this point, I pull the VGA adapter out of the MBP and its screen resets. I check the display properties and it’s set at 1400 wide or something. (just as under OSX) I try everything, but can’t get the external monitor to light up. The only thing that works is uninstalling the ATI driver where I can run mirrored at 1024×768 on both MBP and external LCD. Video performance is SLOW and MBP looks like crap.

3) I run Parallels too. A bit sluggish performance wise, but I’m able to run mirrored or exteneded desktop to the external LCD. To get it working correctly for me, I must set my internal monitor to 1024×768 stretched.

Not sure where to go from here, but a $399 ACER PC is looking like a better option than trying to run bootcamp beta. Considering windows is $100-200, $399 is a pretty good deal for the OS and a completely different laptop.

Hope they fix this problem soon. I was really hoping the MBP was the be all end all. I was previously using a MacBook and it worked fine with the mini dvi adapter to the same 15″ external LCD monitor.

Bart from the Resolume team, in contrast, says the mini-DVI adapter is working fine on the MacBook Pro. He also notes that DirectX and OpenGL support may soon be coming to Parallels, so this could also be an option.

I’d still be wary of purchasing a Mac laptop with the intention of primarily running Windows, for a whole host of reasons. But for those of us wanting to occasionally boot the Macs into Windows, hopefully we’ll have some more luck soon — and I’m holding out for an updated Boot Camp beta that addresses this issue. If I track down the right people at Apple at Macworld in just over a week, I’ll be sure to let you know what I find!

Anyone know anything about (non-pro) MacBook video out support in Boot Camp? Apple says it doesn’t work, but … maybe they’re wrong?

  • I'm having similar TV out issues with my other laptop.
    But that could be a technical limitation.

    The reality is, with a scan converter you can easily have S-Vid/Composite out out of a MacBook Pro. Hell, you can live in windows with bootcamp without any major issues – currently I'm using Vista 99% of the day, the odd boot to OS-X for Modul8/FCP but mostly I'm playing in Resolume and working without a problem in Winblows.

    Theres drivers for everything except the remote control. Bluetooth, Wifi, Screen Dimmer, Keyboard Lights…. all fine if you're a complete muppet/amateur to computers/VJing that its not ideal but if you have half a clue the problems are minor.

    Happy New Yeah!

  • I believe that Bart (or perhaps Edwin) from Resolume has an MBP which only runs windows.

    I'll be picking one up early next year, so I'll be watching Paralells/Boot Camp progress closely. It will be interesting to see what happens when Vista enters the mix.

  • RobG

    I had the same problem with my intel imac. I had a secondary 20" lcd connected through the mini-dvi. I would boot into windows the secondary monitor would work while it was booting into windows but then go black. All I had to do was open the ATI control panel (forget exactly which tab to click, but the tab you have to click shows 4 small boxes with primary, secondary and so on monitors). After I selected the right configuration my secondary monitor ran in extended desktop mode like a champ. I never had a problem again with the secondary monitor going black. Then I picked up a 24" iMac 🙂

  • thinkx

    I remember at one point, during a specific beta release of BootCamp, there was a note that VGA was no longer supported, only DVI. Is this the problem you're facing?

  • I bought a MBP in early December 06 and was sad to find that the S-Video out adaptor works fine in OSX, but with Windows there was just no way to get it to work. I took the computer back and I've been waiting eagerly for this to be fixed. 10.5 Leopard, perhaps?

    Regarding DirectX/OpenGL support via Parallels – I am skeptical about the performance of such a solution, even if they do get it "working". OpenGL might work well if Parallels provides a special opengl32.dll driver for Windows that routes calls out to OSX native OpenGL.. DirectX might work but would probably require some kind of software translation from DirectX to OpenGL.


  • I am just wondering if a OSX solution for PC will ever get some steam over at Apple. It seems like if apple would release a Beta to do that, there would be a whole host of PC users giving OSX a try:)

  • I bought a duo core Mac Book Pro 17" and a 20" flat screen with the hope of developing ASP.NET apps in a Windows environment. BAD IDEA. The Mac WAS NOT the right purchase. Using Bootcamp it takes approximately 5 minutes to load my desktop and more often than not it takes several boot attempts. Additionally, I cannot use my external monitor (it only works on the Mac side). I was specific with regards to the software and purposes I have with the Apple Genius's at the [Apple] store and they assured me the Mac will do the job. If I had only got their words in writing I would sue them for recision.

  • Rancho, the Mac geniuses should indeed have qualified their advice, but, in fairness, Boot Camp is technically beta software. I haven't heard people having trouble booting into it; thanks for those warnings. But if you're just running Visual Studio or other developer tools, why not run Parallels? The version that was just released supports booting the virtual environment right off of your Boot Camp partition. You'd then be able to take advantage of any Mac tools simultaneously.

  • Ben

    So, has anyone figured out the external montior bug on the MBP in bootcamp? Is Apple even working on it?

  • James

    Downloaded the latest version of bootcamp from the apple website.
    Installed the bootcamp assistant on my new 17'' macbook pro c2d w/ 3 gigs of memory and burned the mac drivers disk.
    When I put the install disk in and try the install, the computer reboots and goes to a black screen. It flashes up a message saying "Checking system configuration…" or something similar and then goes to black again and doesn't do a thing after that. I've tried it repeatedly using both windows xp home and pro sp2 editions and get the same result every time. I read somewhere that someone had to take out "extra" memory from their mac to get windws to install… not excited about that idea. Any suggestions?

  • Sorry, James, I'm completely clueless. I hadn't heard about the memory issue; do you mean 3rd-party memory?

    If anyone does find more information, do write us and we'll spread the word!

    @Ben: see above; this is actually working under some circumstances.

    My guess is all bets are off until Leopard. Presumably the finished version of Boot Camp will show up there. I'd guess it's even possible Apple has builds out that we don't have access to yet. I'm hoping the rumors of a March release are correct, but otherwise, we wait a little longer …

  • Dbayer

    MB Core2Duo here 2G Hz, RAM 2G, HD 120G

    Try to connect to Sharp LCD 37'

    1) Bookcamp Windows XP SP2 Does NOT have DVI output
    2) OS X DVI works but not great. I lost top and bottem image while overscan checked. If overscan turned off, the image quality is so so. Cann't read from 3 meters away.

    Wish Apple's new release of bootcamp can solve the problem.

  • noise

    Works fine for me w/ a DVI cable on a Dell 24" LCD and my 17" MBP running Win XP SP2


  • Raven

    I 'm running MBP 15.4" , Win XP SP2, with 20"LG 20wt, dvi-vga adapter, only being able to get mirrored 1024×768 on windows xp bootcamp 1.2
    no good for now, but testing as of May 20.

  • Raven

    was able to get the secondary monitor to work on xpprosp2 bootcamp 1.2
    with dvi-vga on macbookpro 15.4
    LG Monitor L204wt using mac dvi-vga adapter to vga cable

    had to reinstall LG monitor drivers to make it work

    problems: DDC (display data channel) not supported , these are needed for the monitor to communicate properly with the pc host system to inform the pc about monitor capabiltes. As a result , the desktop background image does not fill screen.

    However, Arkaos runs full screen on second monitor ok which is what I am after!

  • For the record, I just went through the tortuous Boot Camp install on my Macbook (it refused to partition my drive until I manually defragmented it with iDefrag) to find out that, yes indeed, S-Video still doesn't work.