OS X Mavericks, Good or Bad for Multiscreen?

Is the new OS X good or bad for multiscreen

With the recent release of Apple’s newest operating system, expected to land this fall… there’s been a lot of discussion for the multi-screen community about weather or not it’s a good thing. For those avid or power users of Mountain Lion, the current version of Apple’s operating system, a few features make multi-screen very difficult.

One of the first issues with the current version of OS X (Mountain Lion) is full screen mode. It disables the use of other output screens and turns them to grey. This means if you’re using a VJ app or a presentation software, you can’t benefit from the full screen mode as it disables the ability to have a secondary output monitor.

It seems OS X Mavericks has fixed this issue, however has lost some key features in the process. Take a look at this video below to see one YouTube user’s experience with the new OS X and multi-screen.

Things to note are the demo of the full screen mode and the lack of ability to move an application across multiple outputs. It also seems to fix the issues with spaces ruining your video output on the rest of your screens (something I’ve been wanting for a while).

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The New Mac Pro

Apple Computer's New Mac Pro

Of course one of the other announcements recently from Apple was the redesign of the MacPro, the powerhouse desktop computer. Not only does it have an unbelievable processor system with a good deal of RAM, it has an impressive 6 thunderbolt outs.

The downside is that Apple has announced that the Mac Pro is limited to three video outputs… which causes an issue. My Macbook Pro Retina has the ability (in theory) to more displays because of the same rule. However there is one difference between these two machines, My retina MBP has a screen attached to the system and the Mac Pro does not. If we used a TripleHead2Go out of the three outputs from a Macbook Pro we could have 9 output screens and a control screen. If we used a TripleHead2Go out of the three outputs from a Mac Pro, we don’t have the ability to have a control screen.

Apple has confirmed that the Mac Pro’s thunderbolt outputs will support up to “4k” per monitor. This means that Apple is shifting from a limitation of a specific pixel space (currently it’s 4096×4096 and will now support a potential pixel count instead of space. Meaning there’s a chance they would allow up to 3x “4k” instead of a limitation in either direction. This has great potential for Environmental Projection and other multi-screen applications.

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This is a HUGE addition to the possibilities of multi-screen and being able to do more advanced setups within a single computer hardware/software setup. The era of media servers may be on it’s way out with if video software companies make sure to allow the output of video from multiple video cards.


What are your favorite features of the new OS X Mavericks? How do you feel it will help with multi-screen or video production?


Do you want to learn more about multiscreen? We have an exclusive video series on setting up and configuring the DataPathX4 for multiscreen and environmental projection. This is the swiss army knife you need to get started. Click here to download.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • zangsax says:

    The “not being able to stretch an application across screens” is a deal killer! I use Logic studio and often have my 4 screens full and move things screen to screen constantly. I cant afford a 60″ monitor so I hope they fix that one before release

    • JJAbrams says:

      I guarantee you don’t want a 60″ monitor. The resolution would still be 1080p, and you wouldn’t get any extra utility out of it. Perhaps if you wait until 4k and 8k displays are more common, that 60″ monitor will be worth the wait.

  • Luke McElroy says:

    I agree with JJAbrams on this… you don’t want size of screen… you want pixels… however on projection, events and multi-screen you want size over pixels depending on how far your audience is from the screen or video surface. This is why I’m excited about the potential of MacPro!

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