New PC with dual monitors + HDTV. Help me plan this.... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I am going to be building a new Vista-based PC soon and I want to make sure that I have this plan worked out in my head right for what I want the PC to do.

Right now I have a 24" widescreen LCD and a 17" LCD. I use my PC for work and need this dual monitor config most of the time. My office is on the opposite wall from my home theater and I have a small hole in the wall to run cables back and forth.

This summer, I'm going to be upgrading to a new LCD/Plasma TV so I want to be able to use that via the PC as well.

So here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to get a 8800GTX and connect it to my 24" and the new TV when it arrives. Then also get a cheaper card with VIVO (maybe a 7800GT) to use to run my 17" and capture s-video as well.

I want to be able to do things like view pictures, watch home movies & DVDs and play games on the TV via the PC. So I'm guessing I need something that switches my primary monitor from the 24" to the TV. I also want to be able to switch these modes as easy as possbile (1-click). Can I do this simply via a nView profile? Or is there something else I need? Also, when I change this to "TV" mode, will I get any sort of output on my 24" or will it be blank? I'm assuming that since the 17" will be run be a separate card, it will be on all the time, right?

Help a HTPC noob.....
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenpenguin View Post

I am going to be building a new Vista-based PC soon and I want to make sure that I have this plan worked out in my head right for what I want the PC to do.

Right now I have a 24" widescreen LCD and a 17" LCD. I use my PC for work and need this dual monitor config most of the time. My office is on the opposite wall from my home theater and I have a small hole in the wall to run cables back and forth.

This summer, I'm going to be upgrading to a new LCD/Plasma TV so I want to be able to use that via the PC as well.

So here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to get a 8800GTX and connect it to my 24" and the new TV when it arrives. Then also get a cheaper card with VIVO (maybe a 7800GT) to use to run my 17" and capture s-video as well.

I want to be able to do things like view pictures, watch home movies & DVDs and play games on the TV via the PC. So I'm guessing I need something that switches my primary monitor from the 24" to the TV. I also want to be able to switch these modes as easy as possbile (1-click). Can I do this simply via a nView profile? Or is there something else I need? Also, when I change this to "TV" mode, will I get any sort of output on my 24" or will it be blank? I'm assuming that since the 17" will be run be a separate card, it will be on all the time, right?

Help a HTPC noob.....

Skip the VIVO video card. Are you going to be building this PC yourself? if so consider getting an SLI mobo, one with two PCI express 16x video card slots. You won't be running this setup in SLI mode though. Just use it to get two good video cards into the system for all the displays.

Since your going Nvidia, this will be easy to switch the primary displays, there is a setting in the nvidia control panel, called profiles, you can setup one profile to make the 24" monitor the main display, desktop #1, ect.....

then you can setup a Second Profile, with the resolution, timings, ect... for the plasma.

Then you just assign a short cut key to switch between the two profiles.

Makes it simple as pie.

- Josh



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post #3 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 11:58 AM
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How do you plan to control the PC when watching the TV? Bluetooth keyboard/mouse? IR and remote controller?
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Skip the VIVO video card. Are you going to be building this PC yourself? if so consider getting an SLI mobo, one with two PCI express 16x video card slots. You won't be running this setup in SLI mode though. Just use it to get two good video cards into the system for all the displays.

Since your going Nvidia, this will be easy to switch the primary displays, there is a setting in the nvidia control panel, called profiles, you can setup one profile to make the 24" monitor the main display, desktop #1, ect.....

then you can setup a Second Profile, with the resolution, timings, ect... for the plasma.

Then you just assign a short cut key to switch between the two profiles.

Makes it simple as pie.

- Josh

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I'm going to build it myself. I was planning on getting the eVGA 680i board. With the setup you are talking about, I would still be running both the 24" and TV off of my 8800gtx, right? And the the 17" off of a lesser card?

Also, I do want some sort of video in. I don't need a TV tuner though because I have DirecTV. Would I be better off to just go with a USB or seperate PCI capture card? I probably won't use it that often, but every once in a while the wife or kid will want to save a recorded show onto DVD. I was thinking VIVO would be cheaper since it's all in one...
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Micromain View Post

How do you plan to control the PC when watching the TV? Bluetooth keyboard/mouse? IR and remote controller?

I've got the Logitech Cordless desktop MX3000. I've tried the range out and it works fine from our couch. Or I was also thinking about picking up the Microsoft Remote Control for MCE. That might make it easier for the wife to navigate if she wants to view pictures/videos etc...
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 12:33 PM
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Have you looked at the 650i SLI? Still has two PCIe slots for video but doesn't have some of the problems inherent with the 680i, and it's quite a bit cheaper.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenpenguin View Post

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I'm going to build it myself. I was planning on getting the eVGA 680i board. With the setup you are talking about, I would still be running both the 24" and TV off of my 8800gtx, right? And the the 17" off of a lesser card?

Correct. However you won't be able to have the 24" and the Plasma on at the same time, just one or the other.

its been tried before having two displays, different sizes, that run different resolutions displaying the same thing, the problem is that windows won't let it happen.

But with the profiles you can switch between the two very easily.

Quote:


Also, I do want some sort of video in. I don't need a TV tuner though because I have DirecTV. Would I be better off to just go with a USB or seperate PCI capture card? I probably won't use it that often, but every once in a while the wife or kid will want to save a recorded show onto DVD. I was thinking VIVO would be cheaper since it's all in one...

Well a Tuner card is still video in, so if you want Direct TV in, still get a dedicated tuner card and then send Svideo into it for the tuning part.

the VIVO video cards SUCK!!! stay far far away from them.

- Josh



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