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Desktop PC pulling double duty as HTPC... is this possible?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thought I'd check in with everyone before I start reconfiguring my current setup... basically, I have a PC that I use at my desk for gaming, internet browsing etc, the usual stuff. I have a Radeon HD 6500 graphics card and I currently connect it to my PC with a DVI cable, which means the HDMI port is free. Yesterday I got the idea of running an HDMI cable from the PC over to my AV receiver (DENON with HDMI inputs, natch) but I don't have a long enough HDMI cable on hand. Ideally I'd love to be able to set up a permanent connection to my AV receiver / 50" plasma display so I can play PC games on the home theater as well as stream video files. Before I seek one out and/or physically move my PC closer to the Home Theater setup, will what I've described even work? Can I run two displays from the singe graphics card? Are there advanced settings for this?

Hoping for good news, but any info / advice would be helpful... thanx!

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post #2 of 12
I have a Radeon hd6450 in my desktop machine. It also doubles as my htpc. I have the two outputs cloned. For htpc use i have a user account setup with larger fonts and icons. The other user account has a normal desktop view.
post #3 of 12
You can also set the second display to 'Extend the Desktop' allowing it to be different resolution than the primary display.
post #4 of 12
When I had a similar setup, I found that the AVR sometimes would screw things up when switching inputs etc. My solution was to setup a keyboard shortcut that switched between the two displays which you can configure in CCC. I never used both at the same time so this worked for me.
post #5 of 12
been doing that for couple years, got a radeon 5670, extended desktop
works good
only annoyance is if you need to use a remote, since the movie player/media center needs to be focused so if youre web browsing on the computer screen you need to select the movie player so it can receive remote commands... or if using windows mediacenter that thing steals the mouse
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Finally got it sorted out and everything is running smooth! Thanks everyone, really appreciate the help!

smile.gif
Edited by gridbug - 12/31/12 at 2:07pm
post #7 of 12
Do you have a problem with the PC disabling the second display after a time of non-use? I have the HDMI output of my PC going to my home theater receiver and it works great until the second display gets disabled. I haven't been able to find a way to "lock" the display settings in on the PC.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
So far I haven't had that happen... I basically cloned my desktop display so that what I see on the HDTV is the same thing I see on the PC monitor, seemed the easiest way to get the results I needed. Haven't had any timeouts or lockouts with that particular setting. Have you tried cloning the display?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

So far I haven't had that happen... I basically cloned my desktop display so that what I see on the HDTV is the same thing I see on the PC monitor, seemed the easiest way to get the results I needed. Haven't had any timeouts or lockouts with that particular setting. Have you tried cloning the display?

I can't do that as then I'll see all the windows stuff on the TV (like the start menu, pop-up dialogs, etc.). I guess one option is to look for a way to make my application take over the entire display, such that none of the Windows stuff will show? Then I'll need a command (either by the remote or via keyboard) to hide the media application so access to the Windows components can be made accessible.

Thanks,
post #10 of 12
So you're extending the desktop and running your vids on the 2nd? That is problematic for media center apps like WMC/Media Browser or XBMC. If you are not using the TV and monitor at the same time, just do what I do and set up a shortcut to switch between monitors. To the AVR, this would be like turning the PC on so it will re-establish the connection and you won't have to worry about compatibility issues with various front ends. CCC allows this to be done with a keyboard shortcut but you could also look at creating an executable or batch file that you could launch via IR remote.
post #11 of 12
In a similar issue as OP, I want to build a brand new gaming rig that will also run 3-4 Echos. I can throw in 32 gigs of RAM, but I want to make sure it's even possible to run 4 Echos + a high impact game, max settings (Far Cry 3, Batman, Starcraft 2, Skyrim, etc) without any lag for the Echos.
Does anyone have a similar setup?
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkEHansen View Post

I can't do that as then I'll see all the windows stuff on the TV (like the start menu, pop-up dialogs, etc.). I guess one option is to look for a way to make my application take over the entire display, such that none of the Windows stuff will show? Then I'll need a command (either by the remote or via keyboard) to hide the media application so access to the Windows components can be made accessible.
Thanks,

Understood. My setup is pretty simple in that I just wanted to be able to watch HD movies on the home theater setup (and also play PC games on the "big screen") without having to stream it or use workaround boxes that will run video files, so for my needs and wants cloning the desktop fit the bill perfectly. Tested the setup by played a bit of Guild Wars 2 and watched a Blu-ray backup rip of The Avengers in 720p fullscreen via VLC Media Player and had 5.1 surround and perfect picture on my 50" Panny plasma... mission accomplished! If that's all you need to do, then the clone option is the most painless way to accomplish it (that I've found so far). Anything beyond that and I'm probably out of my depth. *lol*
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