Advanced Laptop Configuration


Setting up a projector with a laptop for the first time may take a few minutes, turn the projector on first, and then use the monitor toggle keystrokes. For a quick getting started guide see the article Connecting Your Laptop.

Unfortunately, due to the diversified nature of today's laptops and operating systems, there can still be some interface issues between your projector and laptop. These issues can usually be taken care of by changing the way your laptop talks to your monitor.

Native resolution

The first thing to be familiar with is the term "native resolution". This is the actual resolution of the components inside the projector that generate the image. Any signal received by the projector that is at a higher resolution will be reduced or compressed to this native resolution. Most XGA projectors can handle an input with a resolution up to 1280x1024, but the image will only be displayed at 1024x768. If you are experiencing image problems, start by setting your laptop's resolution to match the native resolution of your projector.

Windows XP natively supports multiple monitors
but the option must be set up to view a projected image.

Configuring the video card

The next step is configuring the video card on your laptop. Today many of the laptops come with an option for viewing multiple monitors. The multiple monitor option must be setup to view a projected image. One example of this is the ATI Rage display. Set up for the ATI Rage is as follows:

1. Go to the display properties by right clicking the desktop and then go to the properties options on the pop menu.

2. In the following window click on the settings tab.

3. Check the screen area in the lower right hand corner of the window. The screen area is the resolution for the laptop and would be best set to the native resolution of the projector.

4. Next click on the advanced tab directly under the screen area.

5. The new window should have several tabs. Please find the tab marked Displays. Click the displays tab to make it active.

6. In the Displays window there are three choices: Monitor, Panel, and TV. The focus should be the monitor and panel only.

a. The monitor should be active. To determine if the monitor is active, check to see if the word monitor is black. If the monitor is not active it will be gray.

b. To activate the monitor click on the green triangle to the left of monitor.

c. Once the monitor is active, set it to primary by clicking the green circle directly below the monitor.

d. Now check to see if the panel is active and set to secondary. Follow steps a thru c.

7. Click apply and save all changes.

This setup only applies to the ATI Rage display. Settings will vary from one display setup to another. The best option for display setup is to call the laptop manufacturer.

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