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Two monitors, one computer

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by ironwood, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    I have one computer and two screens for it. One is regular computer screen that I use for everyday tasks. Another is big screen TV that I use to watch movies or listen to music from that computer. Right now I have two regular computer cables and I have to plug and unplug them each time I need to change a screen. Also I have to do the same with green audio cable. And I have to switch resolutions on PC every time I do that because my resolution gets screwed up. What I need to do it be able to have them hooked up at the same time.

    I wanna be able to see same picture on both screens.

    But also if possible I wanna be able to put them in parallel mode when I could use one program on one screen and another program on another screen. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    You need to provide some specifics about your computer. What type of Graphics adapter does it have -- on board, AGP, PCI Express, PCI Express X16? If onboard, what type expansion slot (of the above) is availaable? Also, what wattage power supply does your computer have, since that will make a difference as to what graphics card you can use. The rationale for these questions is that you can get graphics cards with dual outputs. Also, it may be possible to use a combination of onboard graphics and a graphics card.
     
  3. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    oh boy I wish I knew all this stuff. I will look it up and hopefully give you answers when I get home. All I know is thats a relatively new computer from HP from Staples and I paid a little over 400 for it. I looked on the back and I didnt see extra outputs for monitors.
     
  4. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Most of the recent "performance" graphics cards have dual monitor output capabilities. For example, nearly all of the Nvidia 8xxx and 9xxx-based cards have dual outputs, and the same for most ATI cards.

    [​IMG]

    The PC I'm using has an EVGA-brand Nvidia 8600 GTS-series PCI-express card. It has 2 DVI-A connectors on the back and ships with adapters to convert one or both into VGA connectors, as needed. It also has a DIN plug and adapters for it to convert from DIN to component or composite/S-Video, so you can use an analog TV as a 2nd or 3rd display.
     
  5. xIsamuTM

    xIsamuTM Icon

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    Hey that looks like my card! I used the dual monitor abilities on it until one of my screens went out. I havent had fundage to replace it. I tried using a CRT display, but it was just too much of a diference in size and quality i couldn't deal with it. with HDTV's dropping in price I might just wait a month or 2 and get that second display then.
     
  6. LarryFlowers

    LarryFlowers New Member

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    I have a nVidia chipset video card, 8900GT, with 640MB of memory. I have my computer monitor, a Dell SP2309W connected to it via a DVI cable and run it at a resolution of 2048x1152. The second DVI port on the video card is connect to my Samsung LNT4665 via a DVI to HDMI Cable. An audio pair is necessary to deliver sound from the computer to the Samsung. I am able to switch back and forth at will between the monitors or run both simultaneously. The difference in resolutions is slight but is unnoticeable.

    Some TV's cannot take a DVI signal from the computer. The Samsung has a designated HDMI port for the DVI connection and it must be used.

    I will frequently play Half Life 2 on the Samsung from the PC and it is quite impressive.

    Larry
     
  7. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    Ironwood - do you have a seperate video card in your PC, or are you using integrated graphics?

    If you have a stock PC that you bought at a Best Buy type store, you almost certainly have integrated graphics. If so, you'll need to buy a video card.

    You can check your PC's manual to see what type of card you need. PCI Express slot is common.
     
  8. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    yeah thats what it is its integrated graphics. how much would it cost me to get a new card? is there any kind of splitter to split the signal two ways?
     
  9. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    If you post the exact model number of your PC, we can look it up and tell you what your options are. We'll need to figure out what kind of slots you have available.

    You'll need to buy a new card; you can't "split" the existing one and get the functionality you want. You can get a decent/good card for $50-100. The one I posted above is $69 from Newegg.com.
     
  10. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    ironwood - make sure you let us know if you're using WindowsXP, Vista, or Mac
     
  11. brant

    brant Icon

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    yes. (edit--- i'm talking about a splitter for a graphics card; not integrated graphics)

    at my office, i have two dell computers that have a DVI port in a graphics card (not integrated); it goes to a splitter then to a KVM switch, which accepts 4 cables coming off the two splitters (two computers sharing two monitors). the keyboard, mouse, and speakers all connect to the KVM switch; i have a keystroke that swaps computers.

    i don't remember what each of these components are called specifically, like the model number; it came as a packaged deal. i just know they each use some type of DVI splitter.
     
  12. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Very sorry it took me so long I finally got a picture of my computer. Where do I go from here?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    I forgot to add: this is HP computer and it has Vista on it.
     
  14. LarryFlowers

    LarryFlowers New Member

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    Your computer does not have a Video Card, what it has is referred to as "integrated video" that is built in to the motherboard.

    You need to do the following:
    1. determine what type of "slots" you have available inside the PC. If you are not comfortable with opening your PC, then take it to someplace like Best Buy where they can open it for you and tell you what kind of video card you can install.
    2. Install a video card with dual outputs... see the picture posted in the thread.
    3. You need to check the connections on the two monitors you are going to use... the connections on the new video card are going to be DVI connections and you need to be certain that your monitor can connect this way. Your TV will most likely not have a DVI connection, but may have an HDMI connection that works with DVI. Cables that are DVI to HDMI are readily available.

    Curing your issue will take some work and if you are not comfortable opening the PC and installing new hardware you need to find or hire someone who can help. Your PC is NOT going to be capable of dealing with it any other way.

     
  15. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    There should be a sticker on it with the make and model number.

    ex: "HP Pavilion xx-1234"

    Post that and we can give you more info.
     
  16. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks guys. I have Staples nearby so I can ask them for advice they are very friendly. But I'd rather learn and fix this myself.
    Finally I was able to find the sticker, went through a big mess of wires for that. Model: HP Pavilion PC a6010n.
    Monitors I have are NEC Opticlear 19" with DVI (is that whats its called) for video and requires green cord for audio. Other monitor is Samsung ln46a750 with the same set of connections - dvi for video and green plug for sound. It also has HDMIs and one USB port.
     
  17. ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    ok I took off side panel and found that there are three slots available. one is being used by a phone jack (for dial-up internet) and it can be removed, other two are empty. so my guess is if I buy one of those video dual cards I should be able to plug it in without any help. am I right?
     

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  18. ironwood

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    Sep 20, 2007
    I see two DVI connectors for video. What about audio connection? I have a green port on the back of my computer, how do I hook two screens? There is also green plug on front of the computer that is supposed to be for headphones.
     
  19. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    You need an audio card for audio. Video cards only process video.
    Your PC has integrated audio too.

    I looked up your model at support.hp.com. You need a PCI Express x16 graphic card. I wouldn't go to Staples for this - go to Best Buy or even buy it online.

    Go to support.hp.com - they'll tell you what you need. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...46&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3377270&lang=en

    Have you ever added a card before? If not, here are some important things to remember:
    0. Optional - make sure you have a current backup. You can never be too safe.
    1. Turn off your PC
    2. Unplug your PC
    3. Press the power button for 2 seconds after it's off and unplugged.
    4. Open the case (if it isn't open)
    5. Make sure you have a lot of light to help you see what you're doing
    6. Ground yourself by touching the power supply! This is very important. Don't wear clothing that is "staticy" like a sweater or acrylic.
    7. Follow the instructions.

    It's actually very easy! Go for it!
     
  20. lwilli201

    lwilli201 Hall Of Fame

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    Your problem may be solved by upgrading your drivers. I have an HP desktop that I wanted to connect a TV to. There were conflicts. After I upgraded the driver it had single output (with a splitter cable), duel monitor capabilities. This is on an HP computer with intigrated nvidia video. I do not know this for a fact, but it appears that the computer ignores any feedback from the TV and just sends out the video in the resolution set for the monitor. My TV is a 32" 720P HD . It seems to auto adjust to the input resolution.
     

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