SUMMARY: Presentation on Suns

From: Ken Ferguson (
Date: Fri May 10 1996 - 17:30:36 CDT


Sorry about the delay in summarizing but none of the solutions the many people
offered were acceptable to the end user. The original problem was to use an LCD projector to display a sparc 5 output for a demo. The projection system we have is made for a pc with an HD15 video connector. We eventually sent the
guy over to the education department where the have the ability to pipe the
sun through a video manipulator device and display it on a large screen TV.

There were a lot of really good sugestions and they boil down to these options.

1) A specialized graphics card for the sbus which pipes out the pc compatible
video signal.

2) xterm emulator on a PC and login to the sun from there and display the program in an xterm.

3) Kind of the way we went. Get a video splitter that will take the input and
give you any output format you want.

4) LCD projection screen from Sun.

The bottom line is that there is no cable solution to this problem and no nativesolution beyond an LCD projection screen.

I've included all the reponses of suggestions below because this seemed to be a subject lots of people were interested in and there was little to go on in the archives. Hopefully the info below will give someoneelse a lead if they want another solution.

I'd like to thank the following people who all responded and tried to help. (Rod L. Henry) (Michael Ramchand - Systems Integration and Networking Manager) (Steve Gray)
Justin Young <> (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services)
Butch Deal NRL <>
Michael Baumann <>
Tim Carlson <> (Edward C. Zimmermann)
amgen!usops! (Steve Pomush)
"Robert Moyer" <> (Frank Greco)



Workstation express (1-800-844-5757) sells a series of vga/svga
graphics cards that are compatible w/cg6 (no software drivers).

  They advertise it as "an inexpensive way to connect svga monitors to
suns and a perfect solution for connecting to an overhead video projector"

I have not tried this, but we are looking into it. They range from
$350 for cg3 emulation, $695 for cg6 and $1500 for double buffering,


The way we suggest is to pick up a Megatek SBus card... They support all the
resolutions down to plain old 640x400 VGA to drive any low end projection system...
all one then needs is a cable... And with the Esprit card you can add a head to
a Sun (and support 1600x1200 resolution on the new sun monitors) when one is
not doing a presentation. Drivers are available for both SunOS 4.1.x and
Solaris 2.x.
I recommend them not just because we sell them but we sell them because we
can recommend them...


We do it with a big 3 gun projection device that we can hook a
mac/pc/video/sun into. We rent the machine for about $300 a day.
It is expensive, but quite impressive. You might want to ask a
local A/V place about renting such a beast.


Not true.. depends on the panel. The panel in question must accept the
composite sync is all.. I run a PC monitor from a GX card, and if I can
run a monitor, I should be able to run a LCD. The real problem is that
I have not seen an LCD panel that does better than 800x600 and you would
need 1280x1024 from what I have seen my monitors do.


There are probably lots of ways to do this, but here's a pretty cheap

If the the presentation you want to do is an X-windows application,
you could:

  1. Hook up the projection system to a PC.
  2. Put the PC and the SUN on a network.
  3. load an x-windows package on the PC , (maybe Hummingbird X-ceed, or
     Reflections). I know that Hummingbird's package even comes with an
     IP stack for the PC (SuperTCP, I think), if you don't have one
  4. Display the presentation (application) on the PC via X.

Total cost would be ~400 - 500 dollars for the X-windows stuff for the
PC. And, for mixed environments (UNIX & PCs), a PC X-windows package
is a pretty handy thing to have around. You'll probably find some use
for it after the presentation....

Most Sun resellers should AT LEAST know where to get a PC X package.
Hummingbird's URL on the web is:, if you're
interested. We use the stuff, it's pretty good.


there are scan rate converters, adapters and video buffers fo such things.
check the the manufacturer of the projection system you have


Try using an Xterminal emulator on a big fast PC, and project from the PC.

(This won't wokr all that well of course if you are trying to demo a 3D
rendering package or something like that.


check and then send email. depending on your geographic location,
we can probably arrange an on-site demo.


In past jobs I've used a video projector that takes RGB + Sync input
and driven that from a Sun. Don't know about the LCD panels though,
since they are primarily designed for use with PC VGA output which is a
lot different to the Sun video output. Have you checked the archives
looking for summaries on using PC monitors on Suns? Can this LCD screen
do the equivalent of multi-sync, if so you may be able to get it to


I don't know about Sun. However, depending on the presentation you
can export your images to a PC using whatever standard file formats
(gif,jpeg, miff, png, mpeg, whatever).


I have tried for years. A few years back, the closest that I got was
using IslandPresents (which I don't even know is still around) with a
Voyager. And then I had to struggle with a compatible projection
system, which was no easy thing. It was painful.

I have since switched to using PowerPoint on my Toshiba multimedia
laptop and have not had any problems whatsoever.

At the last JavaDay in Washington, all the Sun presenters used PowerPoint,
including top executives of the company.


There are probably many answers to this, what I do is use a PC running an
Xserver, plug the PC into the LCD panel, login to the Sun and display the
application back to the PC which in turn gets displayed to the screen through
the LCD.

I have used many Xservers in the past and am now using a product from Starnet
called Micro-X 32, very cheap and very solid product. You can run one demo copy
on each subnet at no cost, additional copies are $150 each.

Anyway, if this sounds like something you would be interested in and would like
more info. feel free to contact me.


There are a few products on the market that project directly. They
are placed in line between the base and the monitor. We just purchased

We brought our unit from a company called Minnesota Western. Our
Rep's name is Mitch Beron (800) 382-8748 x805

Status: RO

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