DVI splitting

Dear Lazyweb,

I want to get an S/Video output from my iMac, so that when it plays videos I can watch them on my TV.

The iMac has (in addition to its built-in LCD) a mini-DVI output. I have a CRT monitor plugged into that via a mini-DVI-to-SVGA adapter, giving me a two-monitor desktop.

I think that what I want is for the picture on that second monitor to just be mirrored onto an S/Video cable. That way, anything I full-screen over on that monitor will be viewable on the TV.

So I guess I need either:

  1. an SVGA splitter, and an SVGA-to-S/Video converter; or
  2. a DVI splitter, and a DVI-to-S/Video converter.

I have this MiniDVI-to-S/Video adapter, and it works good, but when I plug it in, the iMac realizes that it should be doing 800x600, which makes me suspect that DVI is "too smart" for what I want to do, and it would force me to run the desktop CRT at 800x600, which would be not ok. Is that the case?

(I can't find any DVI splitters that don't look like some kind of crazy distribution-amplifier boxes, or that seem like they aren't really splitters, but are for driving a single giant monitor with two video cards, or something weird like that. How does this crap work? Does the thing I want exist?)

So, I guess I should go the other route, and get an SVGA-to-S/Video adapter, since SVGA is "dumb". Central was out of this one, but the guy behind the counter said "you shouldn't buy that anyway, it sucks." Do they all suck?

It wouldn't be that big a hassle to just go behind the iMac and un-plug the external monitor and plug in the video dingus when I want to watch TV, except that doing that causes all my windows to move around, as Finder shifts my 1600x1200 desktop around to fit in 800x600, which is very annoying.

Is there a better way to do this?

Update: I got an AverKey 300 Gold, and it seems to do the job. It made the pass-thru VGA image a bit fuzzier, but that may actually be because my cables are too long now.

Update 2: Yeah, it was the cables. Replacing them with a pair of triple-sheilded 1M cables cleared it up.

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