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Can you have 2 monitors going at once

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by gpender, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. gpender

    gpender
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    showing the same thing......If the resolutions are completely different. :confused:

    For example I'll use the VGA out to feed my CRT (16:9 high resolution), but I want to use the tft (4:3 normal resolution) at the same time to show the same image

    I've had two going before, at different resolutions, but only in a "extended desktop" scenario.

    If this can be done...is at the detrement of one of the images...

    I'm trying to be sure on all the variables before I start making the purchases. :)
     
  2. Lostinapc

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    you can "mirror" your displays so that they are both displaying the same image, this does mean that they'll both be at the same resolution so one of your screens is likely to suffer. I'm surprised you say your CRT is higher resolution than your TFT... TFTs are usually higher, especially if you are taking about a CRT TV.
    hope it helps
     
  3. gpender

    gpender
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    Thanks for your reply but the key issue here is that they need to be different resolutions.

    Identical resolutions in the instance is no good for me. :(
     
  4. Werner

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    if your gfx card has dual ramdacs then you can run different resolutions independantly
     
  5. gpender

    gpender
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    O.K that sounds good :)

    Werner, I don't suppose you can explain what dual ramdacs are and if it's a facility available on lots/few cards and if so which ones. I've never heard the term mentioned before.

    Cheers
     
  6. Werner

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    it's simple really, Random Access Memory Digital-to-Analog Converter :thumbsup:

    Really, any consumer card nowdays will have dual ramdacs, certainly the ati and nvidia card. I think the first card I saw with dual ramdacs was a geforce2 back when I was but a wee lad

    I cant find a conscise list online, but the term will be in the spec sheets of the card.
    e.g. fx5200 nvidia
    - nVidia® Geforce FX 5200 256 bit graphics accelerator
    - 128MB DDR Memory
    - 256-bit Graphics Core
    - 4 Pixels Per Clock
    - 16 Textures per pixel (max per pass)
    - Dual 350MHz RAMDACs

    just google it..

    Forgot to mention (you asked if it will be at the detriment of one of the displays) if you run two display then you have a primary display and a secondary display. When running dvd's it may use overlay or VMR (video mixing renderer) to display the image. And, I believe that type of output wil only be active on one display. So, clone an image, play a dvd, one side will be black, the other side will show the image. Extended desktop, play a dvd, half will be black and half will be the movie (if I remember correctly...it's been a while since I played with this), two different displays (proper dual monitor setup) and a dvd can only be played on one, the primary one. The other one should either play but wil be black, or you will get an error. Same holds true for tv, avi, mpeg playback if you use your pc for this. To make matters worse, different versions of windows handle this differently. Hopefully somebody will correct me if I am wrong on the sequence mentioned above.
     
  7. gpender

    gpender
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    Thanks for that Werner........it would seem what I'm after is not possible despite dual RAMDACs existing. :mad:

    I'm caught in the scenario whereby despite my best efforts I could have the DVD playing on one screen but the other would always go black, so if I understand you right this is always going to be the case....
    It's not that the GFX card can't do seperate resolutions and display at the same time, it can via the dual RAMDACs that you're talking about, it just can't do it with a dvd as the computer can't do two overlays......have I got that right :confused:

    Is there any way around this........
     
  8. Werner

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    Sounds stupid, I know, but I havent tried! haha

    I got a friend on msn with dual 22" monitors, if he comes online tonight I will ask him. He is a techie too, so if anybody will know I am hoping it is him.
     
  9. Lostinapc

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    you can only mirror two displays if you use the same resolution. if you want to use two different resolutions then you have to use the extended desktop.
    you can, i'm fairly sure, watch a dvd on one screen (say secondary) and then still have access to your desktop on your primary screen. I do this often with other forms of movies (divx). Try a program called vlc (videolan client) google it. It is free and can support almost every media format you throw at it.
    you can of course mirror the same display onto another one and lower one of your displays from their optimum resolution. just because a display says its resolution is (YYY x YYY) doesn't mean you can't run the display at a lower resolution, it will just not look as nice (especially a tft) for movies this shouldn't be a too bad though.
    hope this helps!
    if you said precisely what you wanted to do, it would probably help.
    what graphics card are you using? Probably any £70+ card would support the DUAL RAMDACs
     
  10. gpender

    gpender
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    I thought I did in the title and first sentence of my post "Can you have 2 monitors going at once showing the same thing......If the resolutions are completely different" ;)

    But to be clearer, the "same thing" is a dvd playing. Basically I want the same DVD playing via TT on 2 monitors....one will be a small tft....probably only 17"ish in one room and then I've got a 9" CRT Projector in the living room (now you can see the neccesity for different resolutions). I want both of these going at the same time.

    I don't have the new HTPC built yet but I can see from Werner's post that the RAMDACS is'nt so much the issue here (it would seem that they are on pretty much all cards that I'd be considering to buy for a HTPC and my old card, in my old HTPC, had dual RAMDACS anyway.), it's more an issue of getting two overlays going at once :confused: , if I understand it correctly.

    And to think I thought this would be so easy it might be possible to run different films on the different monitors!......o.k thinking about this might this be able to be achieved by bringing in a second comp hooked up via a network?
     
  11. cwick

    cwick
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    Matrox cards support this - I used to run a P650 connected to a LCD panel and a projector, and could have the drivers configured so that it would, most of the time, run as an extended desktop. But when any video was played, it would appear on both screens. Can't remember what this display mode was called ... it's part of their dual-head drivers.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  12. dealmaker

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    sorry to jump-in but I'm looking for a similar solution.

    I want a video card that will output the same image/screen but on two separate TFT monitors:

    1650 X 1080 (Widescreen) - on DVI

    and;

    1280 X 1024 (4:3) - on VGA

    but also will allow upgrade to a widescreen at a later date (so both running at 1650 X 1080 - but one DVI and one VGA).


    Anyone aware of a decent card that will allow me to do this? (Don't need DVD playback on both screens simoultaneously - but would be good to be able to select which screen sees the DVD playback)

    Many thanks
     
  13. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I don't think this is possible with regular dual head cards. At least with my radeon, you specify which monitor is the primary display, and this is the display on which the overlay appears (ie. DVD playback). The only way I think you might be able to do this is with two gaphics cards (maybe an AGP card and an a PCI). I think windows will allow this, although I have never tried it myself (and I am not even sure if the two cards can be used at once).

    I guess most people would use a signal splitter for multiple displays - but obviously this would then be the same signal for both displays, which doesn't help you.

    In any case, I don't think you can do what you want to do. For one thing, the DVD playback software would need to scale the picture differently for each display, and I'd be surprised if it was designed for this. I could be wrong, but I think you are out of luck. Using the same resolution on both displays should be fine, I'd have thought, but only via mirror mode.
     
  14. Bubbauk

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    Im in the exact same problem and have found solution

    Tft 17" = 1280x1024 and tv out only goes to 1024x768 so when i run tv and tft monitor with monitor at 1280x1024 it has to pan across the tv, but when i lower the resolution on the tft then it looks terrible. So what i have done for watching divx movies and such i use media player classic (also playes dvds) that when you run it full screen mode you can switch the resolution on it to a different one, then when you come out of the full screen its back to normal, it can be confiured in the prefences. Hope this helps a bit :)
     
  15. drummerjohn

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    I have a Radeon 9200 (<£50). I have always used dual monitors. I use extended desktop. DVD overlay must be on primary. So in my case the DVD goes to my projector as 1184x666 @ 50Hz and the desktops apps sit on my other monitor as 1024x768 @ 75Hz.
     
  16. Lostinapc

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    i think that you will have to set your projector as primary, and then go into mirror mode so that your tft's resolution is lowered to that of the CRT. I'm fairly sure that you wouldn't have to worry about overlays if you are just mirroring. This is as bubbauk says, he just uses his software to do it automatically, I think.
     
  17. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    He cant mirror due to the fact he is trying to use 2 different resolutions.
     
  18. gpender

    gpender
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    cheers for the replys but still no real solution :( ......with the exception of the Matrox maybe or a second card (though that sounds like I'd be asking for trouble) ;) .............

    I still think the idea of networking a second computer into the equation might be the key and thus needs exploring further......

    I'll let you know how I get on.........
     
  19. hoyin

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    Why is using a second card asking for trouble?

    I am using a a dual head Geforce 6600GT and I also have a PCI Geforce 2 MX400.

    But everyone is correct you cannot have different resolutions in a mirrored display. Your best bet would be to use in dual view mode.

    But then the screen where you want to show the overlay needs to be the primary monitor.

    However if you use the PCI graphics card and there is only one monitor attached but this is set as a secondary monitor can an overlay been shown on that?
     
  20. Steve Bate

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    Using VMR9 in TT will allow the DVD to be seen on both screens, not sure about diff resolutions tho' why do you need it to be on both? Maybe there's a better way?

    Steve
     
  21. gpender

    gpender
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    Hoyin, I love the way you question why I'd be sceptical about running a second card.....suggest it can be done, then, at the foot of your post, ask your self if it can be done...and then start a thread asking exactly that...hmmm helpful :confused:

    To make it clear...we all know you can run two monitors on a dual header graphics card, but thanks for pointing that out just in case ;)
    I'm also aware of the different modes resulting in extended desktops..mirrored desktops etc....however I think we are getting away from the point..

    I want, from one computer (preferably) to run TT ( or similar ) on to two different monitors with different resolutions, at the SAME time.

    To answer Steve's question "why do I want to do this", there are two reasons really....firstly I want the TFT in a different room. Secondly, I'd like to explore the idea of the TFT being a touchscreen and thus working as an elaborate remote control, if I decide to have it in the same room as the CRT Projector.

    I'm happy to explore the idea of solving the problem through utilising a second networked computer....if anyone thinks this is possible.

    P.S Thanks for all the posts, I'm really appreciative :) just feel we're missing the point here slightly....
     
  22. hoyin

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    Sorry .. didn't mean to confuse.

    What I was trying to say is that you cannot do it with a dual head video card if you want two different resolutions and want the same video played on both screens.

    How would using a second PC would help you? Are you going to stream the video to it?

    My only suggestion would be to run both monitors at the same resolution to enable video mirroring.

    What I was trying to say was that having two graphics card should not cause you any general problems. But I am not sure as to whether you can mirror the two screens and use a different resolution.

    I have found out you can overlay onto the second graphics card though, but I now realise that this does not help you as you want to display the video simultaneously on both screens.

    HOWEVER, I can offer some help. I'll give it a try tonight on my PC as I have all the necessary equipment to do it. I'll post my results tonight.

    Sorry for not making my comments clear.
     
  23. Gillykid

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    Did you really need it on both monitors at the same time? If its a case of simply not wanting to change resoultion everytime you change monitor then I can help you out.

    I had a similar problem when I set up my LCD and Projector, both from one card but different resolutions. I wrote a program that hooks up to ATI's Cpanel and to Powerstrip which sorts the resolution as required and can be hooked up to a remote control etc.

    However if you simply need it no both at all times I don't think it can be done - overlay is a real pain....
     
  24. hoyin

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    Actually I just tried it at work.

    However I did use a tool called Ultramon

    http://www.ultramon.com/

    I can get it to mirror, and at different resolutions with a monitor attached to a different graphics card.

    AGP - to a 22 inch La Cie Electron Blue @ 1600x1200

    and a PCI Matrox 17" Dell monitor at 1280x1024

    However becuase it is mirroring the the image shown on the 17" is scaled down so that it fits on the 17" display, hence the image has a scaled down look and it is not crystal clear.

    I have a screen grab but I cannot attach it as it is about 1.6mb in size! If I compress it I lose too much image quality and it makes it difficult to tell the difference.

    So PM me and I will email it to you.

    I hope this makes up for the confusing post earlier
     
  25. Steve Bate

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    Which is why if you can use VMR9 you avoid the pain of overlay on primary screen only. I currently run TT from a PC in a different room to my PJ and have the image on both the HTPC screen and the PJ, I control it via either my Pronto, my Gyration RF mouse or if I want to get really slick a laptop in the room running the MainLobby suite and redirecting controls either via the DVDLobby Theatertek plugin or other components via the USBUIRT plugin across my WLAN.

    There are lots of ways around it but 1st off try and setting up 2 diff resolutions and switching to VMR9 in TT and see if it works. With TT2.1 VMR renderless should give a better picture also.

    HTH
    Steve
     
  26. MikeTV

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    Marvelous! Is this using a dual head card, or multiple graphics cards? Does it matter?

    And would this work for any number of monitors? I'm thinking of a creating a video wall for the bedroom. ;)
     
  27. Steve Bate

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    A Radeon 9500 with a MP-1 modification (messed around with some of the filters and converted to 5 x BNC 75ohm output rather than VGA) the DVI port feeds an LCD screen.

    Dont know about multiple cards, a 17" LCD as a monitor, an 84" Screen and control via a 16.1" laptop gives me enough to look at :D

    Steve
     
  28. Steve Bate

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    Whilst I'm thinking about it, why do you need to see the DVD on both screens when you can still view the on screen controls in overlay on the secondary monitor. You just dont see the Video output, menus are still ok.

    Steve
     
  29. gpender

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    More than makes up for it ;) Hoyin, I was'nt having a dig mate,I just felt we were wandering off topic, but like I say I really appreciate all coments.

    Steve...what can I say..you just made your way onto my christmas card list ;) It sounds like you've got the exact setup which I'm trying to replicate....the laptop is a cool idea...I was presuming the "Remote control screen" would come at the expence of the LCD in the back room, but this is a better work around....Looks like I'll be bugging you for more specifics via PM as I need them ;) you might want to put a block me now!
     
  30. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    It's simply never enough! ;)

    Good idea to remote control via laptop.
     

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