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Old 06-01-2013, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Got a project going and think the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train!

I recently got the following HTPC/gaming rig:

i5 2500k processor on a Z68 mobo
16GB RAM
two storage units, OS on a small SSD one large HDD,
Radeon HD 7750 card
Ceton InfiniTv 4 (no clue how to use that yet)
ATX case with good cooling, a 600W PSU and lots of USB ports
along with wireless keyboard, remote and mouse

I'm looking at replacing the Radeon card with a GTX 660 (partially because I'd like to poach the 7750 for the computer I'm using now). Like its peers, the GTX has 1 HDMI, 2 DVI and 1 Display ports. The object is to be able so use a 40" HDTV as a TV and also as a monitor with sound plus hookup a 120hz monitor closer to the couch. Both units have to have independent sound, though. The TV has 4 HDMI ports, component ports and a host of 1/4" RCA jacks, S-ports, VGA, 1/8" stereo, etc. but no DVI port.

Possible scenarios are:

I'm watching a ballgame and my wife is playing a game on the monitor with the headphones,
She is playing a game using both the TV and the monitor -- possibly one but maybe two clients (MMO),

My first (well, third) sketch has the HDMI going to the TV, a longer DVI cable going to the monitor and a USB IR feed going to a pair of wireless headphones for whatever is on the monitor. All the gizmos will have line-of-sight from close range. When the TV is just a TV, it will be getting the feed from a cable box using RG-6 so the computer audio and video won't figure into the cabling. When the TV is one of two monitors, it should have the HTPC sound.

What I'm wrestling with is if I take a USB feed off the motherboard to match the DVI from the card to the auxiliary monitor, will it accurately reproduce the sounds? I know the HDMI port on the mobo disables the one on the card. I believe (but could easily be convinced otherwise) that the card and in-game setup can take care of identical or dual monitors just like any other game. Resolution settings may vary between the TV and monitor depending on what is readable. Between us, space exploring suffers when you have to read fine print from across the room smile.gif

There are probably lots of ways to do this and I don't imagine most are prohibitively expensive. If you have some thoughts on a rig that works, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thanks in advance for your interest, sh
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:02 AM
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As I'm understanding this, you want this one PC to run TV, and something else at the same time. Which is not a problem, but isolating one set of sounds for one monitor is not something I've ever come across.

It's entirely possible that I'm wrong, but I don't think it's possible for you to have independent sound.

Computers are not really designed to have multiple users at once. Outside of a multiplayer game scenario.

The hardware is definitely capable of providing this function. I think if the end result is possible, you need to look for a software solution.

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Old 06-01-2013, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks,

The HTPC wouldn't have multiple users. When the TV is just a TV, it gets the signal from the cable box via an RG-6 coax cable and the TV remote is set to the "TV" input button. The HTPC would go to the monitor/headphones so the systems would be completely disconnected from each other.

When not watching cable TV, the HTPC might run one or both monitors (TV and smaller monitor). I'd use the TV remote to switch the TV input to one of the HDMI ports and either use the TV sound or mute it and use the headphones. I say I, but I'm not the gamer -- just what passes for the technician in our household.

What I don't know is; if I pull the video for one or both monitors from the graphics card, will sound from the motherboard sync correctly? I think so but someone with more experience might have a better idea. sh
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:52 AM
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I think what I'm wrestling with (to use your terms smile.gif ) is too much info.

If you're just worried about dual monitors and sound syncing with any of these monitors, it's not going to be an issue.

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Old 06-01-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Great! Time to warm-up PayPal
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Just need to clear up one thing ...

... in the configuration I described, it now looks like I'll set up the smaller monitor through a DVI to HDMI cord. Without audio at the other end, it seems the best way to go is with a pair of wireless headphones using one of the USB ports on the front of the HTPC. If the video is going out the GPU, are there considerations in getting the audio to go out of a USB port? I might get a GTX 660 for that box but might stay with the HD 7750. Getting the audio and video on the HDMI-to-HDMI right required some experimentation in the Catalyst utility. I'd like to be sure there isn't one more gizmo needed before I pay the freight.

Thanks to all, sh
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:34 PM
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If you use HDMI to HDMI you can get sound from your video card. If you use DVI to HDMI you won't. You will need to use the onboard sound card.

If you use a USB headset, the headset is essentially a sound card. Meaning, you will have 3 different options from which to produce sound.

HDMI for HDMI to HDMI only
Onboard sound will work in any situation as long as you connect right cables. You could have a normal wireless headphone plugged into this. Unplug it and speakers still work. No need to change playback devices.
USB headset only works for that headset.


I think you should nail down how exactly you want to use this before you jump into anything

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Old 06-07-2013, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The lone HDMI port on the the GPU will to to the TV. That leaves a DVI to feed the auxiliary monitor. Since it doesn't have sound, the wireless headphone coming off a USB port seems logical. I just want to be sure that I can configure the USB port to do what the GPU is doing so the sound is good and doesn't lag. sh
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