HTPC with a monitor + plasma TV duplicate outputs


Active Member
Hey guys, I hope this is the right place to ask with knowledgable folk among us...

As I use my PC for both movies on my plasma and general computer use with my monitor, I run DVI + HDMI from my Radeon video card and to a point it's fine.

However, on my monitor I run 1080 resolution (duplicated on to my plasma) but for some reason it forces my refresh rate at 29hz interlaced. When WMC is running I have it FORCED on 1080i at 60hz and it runs on my TV fine (however, if I run it on my monitor it goes all messed up I assume because my monitor is forced on 29hz...).

It's kind of weird. My TV will run that resolution and refresh rate (because WMC forces it to) but at the same time my TV is forcing my display settings in Windows to stay on 29hz interlaced.

Any clues as to why? Unfortunately Samsung don't do drivers for their TV's so it's just 'Generic PnP'.

I want to run 60z on my monitor.

Obviously if I choose 'Show desktop only on 2' (which is my monitor) I can change the refresh rate to 60hz.

It just seems odd that Windows itself is forcing me to run 29hz interlaced (because of my Plasma) but WMC will force it to run faster refresh rates.

Thanks a lot in advance.


Active Member
I have the same setup on my gaming PC. I don't know what GFX card you are using, but if its ATI, then install Catalyst Control Centre. It's pretty temperamental - each time I've reinstalled it in the past, it seems to disable/enable features.

At the moment I've got it set as "extended desktop" which allows individual setting for each screen, though the PC treats them both as all the same desktop. To watch films, I just drag VLC over to the plasma and maximise it. When I tested mediaportal a while ago, it was more of a problem as I couldn't drag it over from my monitor, so I had to set the control centre to "clone displays" and set the plasma as primary. This meant that when I plugged the HDMI into the plasma, it reduced my monitor to the plasma resolution, and they both showed the mediaportal.

In the past I have managed to get Control Centre to treat each screen as totally independent outputs, but I don't know how to get it back, and it hasn't bothered me enough to spend more than a couple of hours trying to fix it!


Active Member
Yeah I’m using an ATI card and YES Catalyst Control Centre is a complete PITA – it seems to miss/skimp on important features and go heavy on a load of crappy features on there that I can’t see anyone using.

At the moment I guess I have it as good as can be – it’s just annoying me that it’s locked the refresh rate of both the plasma and monitor at 29hz interlaced even though my monitor is forced to 60hz when running Windows MC.

As I don’t use both at the same time, I don’t really need extended desktop.

Do you know if there is a way (hotkey) for CCC that will make the graphics card completely disable HDMI out and DVI out? Because at least that way I could run both independently and on different refresh rates/resolutions.

So holding win+ctrl+d would disable DVI out and enable HDMI out so Windows would only recognise my plasma and holding win+ctrl+h would disable HDMI out but enable DVI out so Windows would only recognise my monitor.

Another very annoying issue when my DVI and HDMI cables are plugged in is that my BIOS is unreadable – it goes all messed up – I can only see the top left of the BIOS and the rest of it is off the screen. If I unplug the HDMI cable it is fine. Not really a problem but my HDMI cable isn’t easily accessible so when I need to change my BIOS settings I have to unplug it – not so much a big issue as more of an annoyance.

I think it’s more to do with ASUS and their BIOS.
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