Multi-System Setup Help Needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-28-2007, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the process of designing a setup with three (3) 50"-57" 1080P TVs (either LCD or Plasma-preferred), an XBOX 360 Elite, PS3 80GB, Wii and a gaming PC from Gateway. I have looked at TVs from Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and others with at least 2 HDMI inputs for the Xbox and PS3. However i want it to be a very good picture no matter which system is playing. Also the four systems will play individually on either TV and be able to span accross the three TVs as one screen.The only set and known componets are the four gaming systems. I need advice and direction for the remainder of the setup. Thank you in advance for your expert help.

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-28-2007, 11:17 AM
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I can't offer any help...but feel free to invite me over when you get this set up!

Sounds awesome.

Can I bum a sig?
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-28-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll post some pics as soon as I can figure out how to make it all work nicely together. I can't afford too much trial and error with components, which is why I'm seeking advice from those who have already seen and resolved their issues. I know someone has some input and use at least two of the four sources.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enthuzist View Post

Also the four systems will play individually on either TV and be able to span accross the three TVs as one screen.

I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but I just want to warn you that I'm pretty sure the only system that will be able to span across all 3 sets will be your PC. AFAIK neither the 360 or PS3 have support for multiple screens, and they definitely don't give you options for adjusting the resolution to suit the extra horizontal spans.

For instance if you wanted to get triple widescreen with your gateway then you'd need something like the matrox triple head, and would also need to push a resolution of 5760X1080 in order to to get a native size image for your displays.

Actually, Forza 2 on 360 supports multiple screens, but you'll also need a separate xbox and game for each display...
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm actually looking for a device to go between the TVs and the systems to do the video processing.

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 02:00 PM
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It's a noble pursuit and I wish you luck.

But, the problem I see with the consoles isn't the inability to feed the video output to 3 screens, which I'm sure you can find a scaler to do.

The issue I see is that with console games you'll only be able to output a 16:9 image, so the only way to spread the picture over 3 screens would be to severely stretch the image width, or to cut the aspect ratio you need from the center of the image and then blow up the crop. I don't think either of these final display presentations will be particularly pleasing, so I just want to encourage you to do some SERIOUS research before jumping into this project.

That is of course if triple screen console gaming was the main reason for putting this together. If you're planning to get a console for each display then it'll definitely make a great multiplayer den!

The PC games however should look great; imagine the immersion you'd feel playing a good FPS with a 3 screen setup of 57" displays!

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think triple screen console gaming is doable, other than the aforementioned Forza2 which is designed to send a unique 16:9 image to each display (from 3 separate 360s).

Or did you already have something figured out for this enthuzist?
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 02:07 PM
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I'm not 100% sure of what you want. I have 3 tvs. I have 2 360's, a ps3, 2 ps2, and a an xbox going to them. I can tell you my set up and see if that helps.

46" lcd :
360 via hdmi, sound to amp via optical
ps3 via hdmi , sound via optical
hd dvr via hdmi, sound optical
amp visual out via svhs
pc connected via dvi, sound 1/8" to1/4" rca

20" lcd:
360 via hdmi with sound to tv via hdmi.
ps2 via svhs, sound to amp via 1/8" to 1/4" rca
hd dvr via componenent/ sound rca
pc via vga.
co axl in for cable tv
composite for amp visual out. (I use my amp for svhs deck and a few other inputs)

27" crt sd tv (no component in) (eventually to be replaced with lcd):
ps2 via shs, sound rca
xbox via svhs, sound rca (modded xbox acts as media server)
co axl cable tv input

I also use my amp to switch other components like svhs deck, dvr, etc.

I love multi screen co op story mode gaming. Few pc games and few console games will have multi span for one game. Forza is one. But you need multiple 360's and multiple copies of the game. I like to play my friends in a non split screen environment. The hardest part is getting everyone sound. Headphones clear up the cluttered sound. The ps3 uses ps2 av connections, so it might be easier to have multiple cords and change them out. Or use your amp as a video switcher. I don't think having one image across 3 screens is possible without fancy video hardware. Or like street preacher said, the matrox is a triple out head. I don't think any games use it tho.

ps I would think about the 60 gb ps3 if backwards compatibility is important.
LL
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 02:11 PM
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I think forza can have 5 360s. front, back, r side , l side and review mirror. I would love to try a system like that linked with a wheel and a bad ass surround system with a sub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetPreacher View Post

It's a noble pursuit and I wish you luck.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think triple screen console gaming is doable, other than the aforementioned Forza2 which is designed to send a unique 16:9 image to each display (from 3 separate 360s).

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindwarper View Post

Or like street preacher said, the matrox is a triple out head. I don't think any games use it tho.

The beauty of the triplehead is that you can use it with any PC game that uses an engine allowing for custom resolutions and FOV settings. The matrox adapter essentially takes the video output from your PC and cuts it into 3 pieces, and then sends each piece to a different display.

The trick is that for everything to look right you'll also need to triple the horizontal output resolution, so if your displays are 1280x1024 then you'll need to set the PC to output 3840X1024 and also adjust the Field of View to suit the wider aspect ratio.

Custom resolutions and FOVs are common in most recent PC games, but with consoles you're always locked into 1920x1080 / 16:9, so I just don't see how a 3 screen setup would work... Cool idea though

And Mindwarper gets to post his image again!
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I have found some video scalers by Extron that can stretch and fill the screens, but you all make a good point on how stretched of a picture it will be. I may have to reserve the consoles to two of the three screens and leave the three screen idea for the PC.

Also I'm looking at 1080P LCD sets for this, so which ones are tried and true for this type of setup (i.e. best response times, picture and fewest issues with the prementioned systems)?

Mindwarper, I like your style. I have tvs in every room including the garage (minus bathrooms) with a PC, console or something connected. I'm an IT junkie with stacks of projectors, monitors, LCDs, cabling and etc. laying around. I work for an IT/Multimedia company so I have access to a lot toys. I have a 46" Samsung with Windows XP embedded still in the box in my garage waiting for me to play with it.

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an example of what I'm looking for... http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/someone-h...tup-263810.php

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post #12 of 15 Old 08-29-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Note that this is similar but I will be using a scaler to fit the image not multiple consoles for a panoramic view. I've seen it done on video walls with Samsung LCDs so I know it can be done.

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post #13 of 15 Old 08-30-2007, 12:21 PM
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Wow that looks like quite a set up. I didn't know pg3 had multi screen capabilities or maybe that is a scaler? That would be fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enthuzist View Post

Here is an example of what I'm looking for... http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/someone-h...tup-263810.php

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post #14 of 15 Old 08-30-2007, 12:35 PM
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Actually, that image is of Forza 1 in 3 screen panorama mode. I don't think it was widely known, but the original Forza also supported triple screens, and I believe that picture was taken while the owner was awaiting the release of Forza 2.

I look forward to hearing how your setup turns out entuzist, I'd be interested to see how the games will look when stretched out to twice their original width.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 05:05 AM
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If you just got a fourth set you could mount two on top of the other two...in which case you might as well start looking at projectors.
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