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Questions: But no answers... Duplicate 2 displays with diff. resolution...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've been searching high and low, trying to find a solution for driving two display devices in "duplicate" or "clone" mode. One is a RadianceXD that I would like to feed 1920x1080@60hz (1080p), the other is a front-panel LCD in my HTPC case, which likes 800x600. I would like to be able to operate the system either sitting in my home theater, or in front of the HTPC, itself.

What I've been able to determine is, this is not possible when running Windows 7. Selecting "duplicate displays" defaults to the maximum resolution of the smallest display (800x600, in my case). Apparently, the functionality was there in previous Windows OS, but because of the refinements to Aero features, MS disabled the ability to simultaneously run multiple displays at different resolutions. Extending the desktop does not work for me, because the PC is in a rack, hidden away in a closet, where I can't see it during the normal course of operating my home theater. Once the HTPC is booted, I don't want the inconvenience of having to go into the closet to make a selection, then drag it to my main display. That's...well... a drag.

Of the possible solutions I've been able to determine: purchasing a Gefen DVI-to-VGA scaler, and down-convert the signal for the front panel LCD, allowing me to set my video card to output 1920x1080@60hz, exclusively. Another possible solution (I think ) would be to take a step backward and install Vista .

It sure would be cool if MS would pull their heads out of their collective arses and allow us to turn off some of the "prettiness" in Windows 7, in exchange for letting us running different resolution displays simultaneously, in duplicate mode.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 15
Clone mode will only give you the lowest resolution device on the other. Try extended mode.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Please re-read my post, to understand why extended mode is NOT an option for me...

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianC69 View Post

I've been searching high and low, trying to find a solution for driving two display devices in "duplicate" or "clone" mode. One is a RadianceXD that I would like to feed 1920x1080@60hz (1080p), the other is a front-panel LCD in my HTPC case, which likes 800x600. I would like to be able to operate the system either sitting in my home theater, or in front of the HTPC, itself.

What I've been able to determine is, this is not possible when running Windows 7. Selecting "duplicate displays" defaults to the maximum resolution of the smallest display (800x600, in my case). Apparently, the functionality was there in previous Windows OS, but because of the refinements to Aero features, MS disabled the ability to simultaneously run multiple displays at different resolutions. Extending the desktop does not work for me, because the PC is in a rack, hidden away in a closet, where I can't see it during the normal course of operating my home theater. Once the HTPC is booted, I don't want the inconvenience of having to go into the closet to make a selection, then drag it to my main display. That's...well... a drag.

Of the possible solutions I've been able to determine: purchasing a Gefen DVI-to-VGA scaler, and down-convert the signal for the front panel LCD, allowing me to set my video card to output 1920x1080@60hz, exclusively. Another possible solution (I think ) would be to take a step backward and install Vista .

It sure would be cool if MS would pull their heads out of their collective arses and allow us to turn off some of the "prettiness" in Windows 7, in exchange for letting us running different resolution displays simultaneously, in duplicate mode.

Any thoughts?

Are you able to do what you want with Vista? I suspect you will have the same problem.

I agree being able to run different resolutions simultaneously, and having a complete desktop on both displays, would be nice. Dragging is a drag, I don't understand why this must be the case. Both the nvidia 9300 igp and the new Intel Clarkdale igp work the same way. Both displays may be different resolutions but you must choose which display is your primary and the secondary gets the extended desktop, but it is not really a desktop.
post #5 of 15
You can't clone two different resolutions. AFAIK it's never been possible in Windows (any version).
post #6 of 15
^^^ Yeah, tell me about it. It's frustrating. I have my "HTPC" in the kitchen, hooked up to a 19" Samsung LCD TV, and on the other side of the wall hooked into my Pioneer plasma monitor in the living room. Since the displays are not side-by-side, but separated by a wall, running in extended desktop mode won't work. I have to clone my desktop instead. That works ok, but my 19" LCD TV only does 1440x900, which is an odd-ball resolution that won't work on my Pio. So I have to go with 1280x720 which both displays can handle--but it is sub-optimal looking on both.

I can force 1920x1080 on both displays, just as long as I quickly shut-off the Samsung LCD before it chokes and shuts down for forcing an improper resolution--but that's a pain.

So to make cloning the desktop work optimally, I guess I need to invest in a 1080p puter monitor to match the resolution of the plasma.
post #7 of 15
Do htpc's that have a small screen on the front use vga to get cloned?
post #8 of 15
I think what the OP is looking for is a complete desktop, at the native resolution of the monitor/TV, on both displays. This would enable him to operate the system from both displays. I would like the same thing, a usable desktop, basically cloned but at the native resolution of the monitor/TV. I have never actually used clone mode because from my understanding only one resolution is available, the lower of the two displays.
post #9 of 15
What I'm getting at is does analog and digital make the difference. That's what the OP is trying to do. Vidabox and many other htpc outlets sell these and the video is cloned and can change with a remote input. It may take the use of AnyHDDvd as a note on their websites indicates use of third party hdcp removal software is required.
post #10 of 15
why not just use a utility like ultramon or second bar? This puts a taskbar with start button on each monitor. This allows you to control the pc from either monitor in extended desktop mode.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianC69 View Post

Please re-read my post, to understand why extended mode is NOT an option for me...


As you note," Apparently, the functionality was there in previous Windows OS".

You might have to choose.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

I guess I'm not alone in wanting to do this?

I've been doing my homework, and apparently this is not possible, either in any version of Windows OS, or on a single video card (I chatted with a tech from ATI, and he said that simultaneous output of multiple resolutions were not possible).

Now, our IT guy where I work states emphatically that he has run multiple resolutions using PowerStrip, but I've installed the software, and I don't see how that's possible. I think Windows overrides any attempts to force a "duplicate" monitor/desktop output, at different resolutions.

Seems the only real solution is to use a scaler capable of 1080p input, and down-convert the signal for the small LCD display. I hate to invest any more money in this, but it looks to be the only way. THIS appears to be about the most reasonably priced solution, though it has the most flexibility of most I've looked at.

To address the digital/analog question Davinleeds brought up... The LCD display, even though it has a VGA (15-pin D-sub) connector, does take a digital signal. I'm currently running it with a simple DVI-to-VGA adapter (with no conversion) right off my video card (I don't know if the card senses an analog device connected, and can switch based on display type attached, but I doubt it). At any rate, the scaler I linked to above, can do either digital or analog output, so it's not a worry.

Boy!! Does the investment in this hobby ever end??? (That's a rhetorical question, BTW... )

On edit: There's one other device I've been looking at: THIS. But, in looking at the specs, I don't see whether or not it has enough bandwidth to accept a 1080p input signal. If it did, this would be an ideal piece, as I'd strip it down and actually fit it into my PC case (so there's no extra peripheral device or cabling).
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by karos View Post

why not just use a utility like ultramon or second bar? This puts a taskbar with start button on each monitor. This allows you to control the pc from either monitor in extended desktop mode.

Speaking for myself, because I'm ignorant and didn't know there is any software out there like that! I'll be sure to investigate this.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

What I'm getting at is does analog and digital make the difference. That's what the OP is trying to do. Vidabox and many other htpc outlets sell these and the video is cloned and can change with a remote input. It may take the use of AnyHDDvd as a note on their websites indicates use of third party hdcp removal software is required.

No it doesn't, what might happen in those machines is they have a scaler built in to the internal display.

That's exactly the problem, you can't run a (for example) 1920x1080 desktop at 1920x1080 and 848x480 at the same time, it's impossible, 1920x1080 != 848x480. If you want to show 1920x1080 image on any other resolution it has to be scaled.

The only thing that might possibly work is to enable "Display Adapter Scaling" (looks like nVidia calls it "Use NVIDIA Scaling" in current drivers). I have seen this work on a single display letting the video card scale any "desktop" resolution to the native resolution of the display, but I have no idea if it works in clone mode.
post #15 of 15
Yes, scaler seems required and since the OP says "the other is a front-panel LCD in my HTPC case, which likes 800x600" the scaler should be included, I would think.

What I looked at: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Origen_ae/S21T
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