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HTPC TV out and Monitor out, different res, same time?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by siwatkins, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. siwatkins

    siwatkins
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    Just building a HTPC based on an Aopen EZ65-II Barebones shuttle-like case. My desire is to have a small (15") monitor and TV-Out at the same time, or at least, such that they are not mutually exclusive. Ie, if I want the TV on for displaying photos, DVDs etc, I can, and if I want the TFT on at 1024x768 I can do that too. I don't always want them on together, but if I do, I'd like that to be ok too.

    Is this possible? Can say a Radeon 9600 or similar output from the S-Video output a widescreen TV sized resolution (which would be?), and deliver from the DVI/VGA outputs a higher res for the monitor?

    Also, none of the reviews I have seen ever speak of TV-out quality - I assume the cards do vary in TV quality. Is there a generally regarded best amongst the manufacturers for this? The only way I can feed my CRT Widescreen Philips is via RGB Scart, S-Video or composite. Thus my plan was to use the S-Video switching of my AV receiver to route to the TV.

    Appreciate any help on this area. Am about to order the Gfx card, and a TFT monitor, but only if I can achieve my desired outcome!

    Simon
     
  2. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    certainly a 9600 can output 2 different resolutions at the same time using extended desktop (not clone mode), you'd be able to run 2 different apps with 1 in each window - maximising them will snap them to the specific output's max size only. I run a vga-rgb scart cable to the tv at 1024x576 and a component feed to my PJ at 1280x720 ... I could MCE on one and surf on the other if my heart desired :). One problem you will have from your description is view video media on both outputs (TV\DVD etc to both screens) - this can't be done, it'll only be fed to the current primary monitor. I use powerstrip or ultramon shortcuts to toggle the primary setting between my 2 outputs - its sadly not a very neat solution but the best I have managed so far.

    Duncan
     
  3. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    I can help a little but not fully with this.

    I actually use a Radeon 9600 Pro in my system. Its only really used for Eve Online, streaming data and newsgroup stuff so GFX are not a major consideration. I experimented a while ago, just to see if i could, and managed to get my TV and monitor working with a stretched desktop. They were both at diferent resoloutions :smashin: but the colours were a bad mix - blue was more grey on the tv :thumbsdow . The picture quality wasn't all that great either tbh :thumbsdow but this may of been the cheap-o scart/SVideo cable combi I was using.

    I suspect that these problems can be fixed as the Radeon Catalyst stuff does give you a vast array of options to play with, most of it colour although, I didn't actually play with this much as I had a projector on order anyway.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. siwatkins

    siwatkins
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    Tks Duncan/Monty,

    So from what you've said, if I understand, the feed to both TV and Monitor showing the same thing can be acheived (Clone), but only using the same res on both. Wherease if different resolutions are required, then it can only be used as an extended desktop, and thus you can't have the same thing on both screens?

    Hmm, not quite what I wanted, but I can see why it would be the case I think.

    The box I'm building is more for Audio, rather than HTPC, so it will be primarily a jukebox, for which I wanted to use Media Player at a decent resolution on the monitor. So maybe I don't really need TV Out if I'm buying a TFT monitor and can't do what I want - onboard gfx should then be sufficient....thinks.

    But if I wanted to use the TV, I could just forget having a monitor altogether, and just use Media Center, or MyHTPC. The only time I've tried that in the past though, I had horrible image quality, overscan issues, and decided the TV wasn't the best way of displaying PC images. Is that still the case, or can the TV be quite reasonable with say a 9600 pro and decent leads?

    Cheers for your input,

    Simon
     
  5. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    I get a lovely super smashin tv picture from my 9600 with a home made vga->rgb scart lead ... theres a thread in this forum about it somewhere. essentially you use powerstrip to set a good res (4:3 or 16:9 depending on your tv type) and you're away ... I get very good quality dvb-t in full widescreen, I've trimed back the res slightly from 1024x576 to something just below (forget the actual numbers) using powerstrip as an attempt to reduce overscan (practically gone now). As it happens MCE has an overscan compensation mode where all the controls are pulled away from the edge of the picture to help out if you want to stick to 1024x576 :)
     
  6. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Sorry, don't think ive painted the picture fully.

    Yes as long as the TV AND monitor were set to a fairly low res it would work. If the monitor was set to a medium high res, 1024 for example, then the TV would struggle and show it. My monitor is always, in reality, at least 1280 so when I dragged maximised windows over they dropped off the bottom of the tv screen. As far as size is concerned, I never had any issues setting a film up on the larger monitor and dragging it to the tv (well apart from WinDVD, but that still crashes with my projector) after sizing to fit it on the monitor.

    I have to be honest though, i never tried it "cloned" as the tv is always less capable than the monitor so in my situation, why would i bother :)
     
  7. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    OK ... maybe some more clarification needed here :)
    video playback - the video rendering software will only playback tv\dvd\etc to one output on the card. selecting the output can be done in a number of ways, dragging the app between your extended desktops works as does flicking the primary monitor option. this is true for clone mode and extended ... one output only. in clone mode the rest of the media centre will appear on both outputs at the same res, just the non-primary will go blank when video is played.
    extended clone ... :) possible using something like ultramon. spec your higher res display as the primary, switch on ultramon's s/w cloning and tell it to downscale to your lower res display and it'll do its stuff - needs a good processor for high res (1280x1024\720) scaling.

    some people want different things from their system and expect different approaches, my MCE is a TV\DVD server first hence I'd like dual video outputs all the time without the need to switch, others want to do more stuff with their pc (I never leave MCE on this machine) hence are happy to drag between displays ... the topic of dual output muddies up whenever the dual ... or dual at the same time ambiguity creeps in :)

    Duncan
     
  8. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Is this an MCE thing? My normal XP SP2 system does not behave like this if i understand you right :) I could watch 3 quarters of a screen with my 9600pro. 1 quarter on the TV (the rest of it dropped off the bottom) and 2 quarters on the monitor, meaning that its happy to display to 2 monitors the 3 quarters of the shared image ... at diferent resoloutions. The image would just take the resoloution of the starting display device. :confused:

    :)

    In fact, even now i use my projector in 1024x768 and my main in 1280. I launch the DVD on the crt monitor and drag it across to the projector but, if i leave it "half dragged" it will happily play and be seen on both - just missing a little on the projector. NOTE: Im not talking about full screen in any of this post, just a maximised window.

    For reference I use VLC to play all my video media on my PC.

    Maybe I don't understand what your saying or Media Centre and Radeon cards combined have a serious flaw?
     
  9. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Ya know what,

    I got home tonight and started watching "Anger Management" (Emininenenen) on the projector and very quickly had that ... hint of doubt. "Err .... shugar.... i'm sure i've done what Dunkwho says, im positive i have done that and more" .... how wrong am i!

    Dunkwho is totaly correct. I dragged "Anger managment" in a window from my monitor to half/half projector and it only showed on the one. As soon as the mouse crossed the border of the screens it went to the next mouse primary device, exactly as Dunkwho describes.

    Listen to Dunkwho, for he is wise in these matters :D
     
  10. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Is that true in all cases? I know it is for Overlay mode but I have feeling when using VMR I was able to view simultaneously on both outputs. :confused:
     
  11. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    well ... you know ... hopefully not - I'd love to have dual video displays at different resolutions, no need for a display toggle on my htpc then ! :) in practice despite much searching I've not been able to get this to work, maybe I've not tried enough bits? In truth ... once ... for about 30s I did have dual outputs due to the PC getting a bit confused in the middle of some res changing\re-primary setting stuff but I've never been able to achieve the same result no matter what I've tried !?
     
  12. scouse

    scouse
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    i am interested in this as i want to be able to watch tv and use the computer at the same time including video. (The tv will be downstairs in the living room and monitor in my room)

    I've been looking at ultramon's website and some suggest using two graphics cards, one being a pci variety. Does anyone have an experience with this?

    on a seperate note, would it be possible to use a mouse and tv card remote at the same time without the windows being minimized or other problems?
     

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