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Thread: Switching between displays

  1. #1
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Switching between displays

    My wife's laptop has given up the ghost. She used it a lot at her desk in our living room, and I have to replace it. I don't want another laptop, we never took it anywhere anyway.

    We've been talking about building an HTPC and now is obviously the time. It will be running on our 42" plasma TV, I've already tried it with the hardware I'll be using and it works great. Problem is, this machine will now need to serve two functions: her PC (web browsing, record-keeping, etc) and the HTPC (DVD playing, streaming video via Netflix, etc.) She does not want to use our TV as her monitor for her use.

    What would be best way to set this up so that we can switch the output of the machine between the LCD on her desk and the TV (via HDMI) when we want to use it there? I'm presently planning to use the onboard video, HD4200 with HDMI but that can change if it has to.

    Thanks in advance!!
    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

  2. #2
    ATX Mental Case Yeticorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    If I am interpreting this correctly (and I may not be) but it sounds like you want some sort of hardware solution, rather then switching between monitors using Windows. If that's the case, you'll need some sort of reverse KVM switch. This would allow you to use the HTPC from a laptop as well as use it from a different keyboard/mouse combo from the TV. Again, I may have completely misinterpreted what you want here :/

  3. #3
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    How many video outputs does the onboard video have? If it has 2, I would just go the easy route and do it with software, either enabling/disabling the output to the TV when needed, or just being careful to not move stuff onto the TV when it's not turned on. A big problem you'll run into with an HDMI multiplier like Yeticorn linked is that if the resolution of the two displays are not identical, the higher resolution one (presumably the TV) will get forced down to the resolution of the smaller display.
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  4. #4
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    I don't have to have a hardware solution. As you can tell, multiple monitors are new to me. Software would be fine.

    To clarify, there will be no laptop involved, just a single desktop PC. All I need to do is to be able to switch output between the LCD on the desk and the TV at will and as easily as possible.

    The onboard has three outputs: HDMI, VGA/D-sub and DVI-D. This is the board I'll be using if it matters.

    Thanks for the help guys.
    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

  5. #5
    Measure once, curse twice nevermind1534's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    I know that in the nvidia control panel, there's an option to switch between displays, or even clone them (same output to both monitors), so I'd imagine that ATI would have something similar.
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  6. #6
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    Ah, ok. I'm guessing that board can probably output on 2 of the 3 outputs at any time, so if that's the case I would just go the route I said before and have them both hooked up all the time.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  7. #7
    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    yea CCC has it so you can duplicate or extend the display between monitors. you could just have it duplicate the displays, and you can set resolution independently, and just use whichever monitor you want at the time



    Windows even has it built-in as well


  8. #8
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching between displays

    Ok, I am going to close this thread with a great big wet .


    I can run the output from the computer to both displays all the time. If I want to watch TV I'll just tell the *television* what to dsplay. If I don't want to use the monitor I'll *turn it off*.

    Yeah, those gifted classes as a child are really bearing fruit now. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

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