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HIS Multi-View II Adapter - Page 2
Written by Scott Harness   
Thursday, 25 March 2010 00:00

Testing

Test Setup 1: Intel Core 2 Duo 6420 @ 3.20GHz, 4GB of OCZ PC2-6400 Ram @ 960MHz, Asus Blitz Formula, Silicon Power M10 32GB + WD640AAKS, Asetek Waterchill Watercooling, Hyper Type M 730w PSU, HIS 5830 Turbo. OS is Windows 7 64bit.

Test Setup 2: Acer Aspire One 8.9" Netbook, 1.5GB Ram, OS is Windows 7 32bit.

Displays: Relisys 14" LCD – 1024x768, Dell Ultrasharp 20.1" Widescreen – 1680x1050, Pioneer Kuro 50" plasma – 1080p @ 60Hz, Sony 50" DLP HDTV – 720p and 1080i

PICT0011

All of the testing is going to be pretty much subjective with a product of this nature. I was going to do a graph showing with and without CPU usage, but there was no extra CPU usage. I then thought about showing gaming scores but the main display showed no drop in FPS, and any game played on the other Multi-View attached screen was pretty much unplayable (as expected, it's an adapter, not a high end 3D graphics card). That left us with what worked and what didn't.

As I've mentioned, other than solitaire, you can pretty much forget gaming, but that's not the aim of this device anyway. But as a device to add an extra screen to your system quickly and easily it works exceptionally well.

I've tried the adapter in a few different configurations and with some very different displays. The first two initial installations were done using an old 14” screen, and even this was a simple affair. I can't say that a 14” 1024x768 screen offers the best experience as an extra screen but it does work. I played a 720p mp4 movie in Media Player Classic using the first Test Setup and then dragged it from one screen to the other. Whilst the film was moving between screens, the players video output went blank, but once the player was completely on one screen, the movie video was once again displayed as normal. Sound was not interrupted. Naturally, the 1024x768 screen was too small for displaying the full 720p movie, but maximizing the movie had it fill the screen nicely and with perfect playback. Same with anything else I tried; if it worked on the main screen, it worked on the extended screen too.

Of course a 1024x768 screen is not really a good test so we tried something bigger next. I hooked it up to my netbook and took it downstairs and connected by VGA to my 50” Sony HDTV. Again, a few flashes of the screen and instant extended mode. Duplicating the desktop worked as well. Next up, I swapped the VGA cable for a DVI to HDMI cable, and again, instant extended screen. My Netbook isn't the greatest at displaying video media, but trying a lesser DivX file worked fine, on both displays, with the USB adapter displaying at 720p. I tried to get the display to go to 1080i, my TV's maximum but 720p was the maximum reported.

After this, I decided to try my friends Pioneer 50” plasma TV using his PC as the host, a similar setup to my own Test Setup 1. Again, plug and play, and the secondary display happily went to 1080p. It just plain works. I've not had any luck with 30hz interlaced displays, but anything that runs at 60hz works just fine.

Amongst the settings in the tray options, was an Optimize for Video, which was a simple on/off feature. As far as I could tell, this made the secondary screen become blocky in it's output, so I dubbed it the 8bit option and turned it off. Apart from this one feature, everything else about the device has plain and simply worked, with little to no input from me.

PICT0009

Final Words

I must admit I was curious about the but overly excited about reviewing it? Not really. Now though I've found myself carrying my netbook around finding things to plug it in too and I smile every time. Yeah, yeah, I'm easily amused but it is great when you think of the portability of it. So far it's not failed on anything from old 1024x768 monitors to 50" HDTV's. I've used VGA and DVI (DVI to HDMI cable for TV's) and it's worked flawlessly every time. And it's just so easy, that's the real big advantage of it.

For many, using a multi-monitor setup is going to be something very useful, but no doubt they will have already invested in a graphics card that can output to multiple screens. But this portable setup will plug into any USB PC (or Mac), and in under 5 minutes you will have a configured screen ready to go. And you can use multiple Multi-View II Display Adapters (up to 6) for multiple screens regardless of what your graphics card is capable of.

Regular readers will know that I like my gadgets, but I cannot abide useless gadgets or gimmicks. The is the total opposite of being useless and is in fact a device that I could use a lot. As a gamer, it's nice to be able to see my chat window in the other screen while playing a game from a display that I can pick up and take to another machine later on. Sitting downstairs working on my netbook, it's nice to have an extended screen set up so I can edit or write a review without having to go upstairs to my main PC just for some screen real estate. With an audio lead of some kind, there is no reason why this couldn't be used with a laptop for media playback on the big screen. Many laptops of course have VGA out and some even HDMI or DisplayPort; the HDMI connection would be as simple and one less cable, but if all you have is VGA out and a headphone socket, the simplicity of USB is going to be a big boon in this situation. Perhaps you want to display something from your notebook on to a friends screen without transferring said media to their computer (or perhaps they don't have a PC). Plug the cable into the display, the USB into your notebook, wait less than 20 seconds for the screens to be configured and you're good to go. Maybe you need the multi-screen setup for an office production environment but require the portability of a laptop and a quick way to transition between the two. It might seem obvious that since it's USB it's that quick and easy, but I'm going on and on about it because ... well because it IS that quick and easy. I love it, I really do.

Optimize for video ... for me, it just made the screen images blocky, so to be honest I'm not sure what that's all about. But everything else just worked, and without any real need for input from myself; the automatic configuration every time a new screen was attached took seconds and was always correct. Any screen configuration was done using the usual Windows dialogues.

The package is great with including everything you could need and a neat little pouch to carry everything in. I have to admit that the USB lead, the adapter, the DVI-VGA adapter and then the connector on the display itself all plugged in at once makes the setup a little unwieldy (works very well indeed, just looks a little ... unrefined), but it doesn't look as simple as using a DVI only connection. Appearances are however secondary here.

I like the . Obviously, you're going to need a specific use for it, but I would think that many who require multi-monitor, non-gaming setups can see where this would fit in for you. As for the price, at time of writing, was the only listing I could find and it was a pre-order at $89.99. I think that's a pretty reasonable price to allow you the portability of your multi-screen PC/Mac/Laptop setup.

Even while typing this, I'm still going through the displays my friends have in my head, thinking about what else to plug it in to. In fact, 5 doors down they have a 1080p projector ...


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