advice on monitor/tv set up

Mr Andy

Active Member
I'm moving into a shared house where I have a fairly large room. I currently have a desktop pc running two monitors, one 19in widescreen and one 17in standard. I really like this for normal PC use and find dual monitors handy.

Neither is really big enough to use as a TV when sitting further back. I'd like either connect a large (24in) monitor or a TV (26in most likely) but would need to be able to switch between the big single screen and two smaller screens.

The room is L shaped so everything would be very close but I would have them facing outwards from a corner. Is this possible? If so I figured it would be a good middle ground before getting my own place and building a media PC. I've already spent a bit of money making the current PC fairly quiet (put better fans in and fitted rubber grommets, bought a sythe ninja CPU cooler) and have a 1.5TB HDD with stuff to watch
 

GaryRW

Active Member
I assume you want the tv connected to the computer to use for HTPC use?

If so, then this may sound stupid, but why not get rid of the smaller 17inch monitor and just replace with the larger tv? Any recent LCD will have connections on it that let you use as a monitor. Then you just have both connected all the time rather than switching between 2 different monitor set ups. What motherboard have you got, and have you got a discrete graphics card?

If you're worried about the tv being too big to use close up and want to keep the 2 monitors for normal pc use, then I'm not sure you can switch between without physically switching the cables over. most graphics cards will only have 2 outputs although the most recent ATI cards can have 3 or even 6 outputs. It's the 5xxx cards, but I think it's only specific models that support >2 monitors.

One possibility is that if your motherboard has integrated graphics and you have a discrete graphics card, you might be able to make use of both for a total of 3 outputs. Never had integrated graphics and a card in the same pc personally to try it though! You might also be able to buy a cheap graphics card for a 3rd output. I'd do a bit of searching though to check that'll work - again, I've never done it myself.
 

Mr Andy

Active Member
Yes I'm wanting the TV for HTPC use

The room is L shaped due to the en suite and I was hoping to put the pc desk in the smaller section and have the TV facing the main area of the room so getting rid of the 17inch screen would mean for normal PC use I'd be down to one screen.

I don't have onboard graphics and currently have a Nvidia 8600GT card with DVI,VGA and after looking the TV out.
 

GaryRW

Active Member
Ok - that kind of makes sense. How about some sort of swivel stand?? (Only semi-joking :))

I think that with discrete cards other than the new ATI/AMD 5xxx series, even if it has >2 physical outputs on the card, you can still only use 2 of them at any one time (electroncially, I think it switches the 2 outputs it has between the physical outputs.)

You could look for a cheap PCI graphics card - really not sure whether they're still about and what the max resolution would be. Again, I'm really not sure they'd play nice with the nvidia drivers either. Come to think of it, I think it is only win 7 that allows >1 graphics driver to be active at once.

The other option that might help you is display link. (not display port.) Display link is a technology that allows you to hook up a monitor via USB. I've seen reviews for monitors with built in display link but I'm not sure whether you can get display link adapters to work with a monitor you already have.

cue elevator music......

Google to the rescue as always!! Something like this: USB To Dvi Sparkle X-link Converter - SVP

As above, no idea how nicely that adapter will work with the nvidia card you've already got though
 

Mr Andy

Active Member
Google to the rescue as always!! Something like this: USB To Dvi Sparkle X-link Converter - SVP

As above, no idea how nicely that adapter will work with the nvidia card you've already got though
Even if the software did allow me to run the computer as a tri monitor set up I'd still not be able to see the start menu as that would be on a screen around a corner.

If I used a DVI splitter cable am I right in thinking that the only issue might be that a fairly large screen would be at the same resulotion as a much smaller screen?
The 19in will run at 1440 by 900

Thanks for all the advice
 

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