∞ Newer offers USB video display adapter

Newer Technology on Thursday announced its USB Video Display Adapter. The device adds the ability to connect an external video display to a Mac using a USB 2.0 interface instead of a video port. It costs $96.

NTdisplayad_1209The USB Video Adapter, based on technology developed by DisplayLink, supports 32-bit color and resolutions up to 2048 x 1152 pixels. You can connect up to four adapters on a Mac simultaneously. The adapter can be used to either extend your Mac’s desktop or to clone (or mirror) a primary screen. The interface supports DVI natively, and Newer includes DVI to HDMI and DVI to VGA adapters.

Practical applications for the adapter include adding more displays to a system with limited expansion capabilities, such as a laptop, iMac or Mac mini; or adding additional displays to a Mac Pro without having to install additional video cards. The adapter can be used to display large spreadsheets, show additional windows without having to overlap them on one another, using palettes or toolbars in applications like Photoshop, or view Internet TV or DVD movies on one screen while retaining another for the desktop.

There are limitations, however. The device does not support OpenGL graphics acceleration, so it’s incompatible with applications that rely on such technology – games, for example, or presentation software like Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie, all of which leverage OpenGL transitions and special effects built into the operating system.

System requirements call for an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.