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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of building a custom pc(or buying one if possible) that will be able to send a signal to 3 different displays. I dont care about having them on at the same time, I just need the ability to be able to choose what display. One display will be the main computer monitor(probably a 20" LCD), the other is my 37" Samsung in my bedroom, and the last is a 42" Panasonic Plasma in my living room. I will be watching the movies in either the bedroom or the living room. I have been looking into video cards or motherboards that have 3 outputs.

If I order a video card that has three outputs(1 VGA, 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, would I be able to pick what display gets the signal?I can have the 20" LCD as the main display, but then I need to be able to switch between the 42" and the 37", depending on what display I want to be able to see. I have seen that monoprice sells splisters/switches, but I have read that they can be hard to use. And then I am realy consfused about how be controlling what speakers get the audio signal sent to them. I dont realy watch anything in HD(other than whatever is on DirecTV), so I dont need any type of serious video card like that. I just need to have the ability to have 3 different monitors connected to my PC. What would you guys suggest as the best way to accomplish what I am trying to do? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Choose a mb with IGP and add a discrete graphics card. Use hotkeys to select the primary display. For example,


a 780G/790GX chipset mb + Radeon HD 4670.


How many sets of speakers do you use, built-in speakers in the display? If you connect 37" and 42" to HD 4670 via HDMI, then you should get audio from each. To get audio in your office (?), you will have to switch sound playback device (you can use hotkey again).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't know that you can use the hotkeys to swtich between 3 different displays. I thought it could only do two, but I guess I was wrong.

The 42" Panny is being powered by a Denon AVR reciever. The 37" Samsung is using its own speakers. I haven't decided what computer monitor to go with right now, but I think I would get one with built in speakers.

So let me see if I understood this right. One tv will be connected to the HDMI port on the MB, the other will be connected on the HDMI port on the discreet graphics card, and the monitor from another port, right? I haven't used hotkeys to change the sound playback device, but I guess I can figure it out. I currently only have the 42" Panny connected to my laptop with a VGA cable, and I just hold down Fn, and tap F8 to switch to Panny, then tap it again to switch back to the laptops monitor. Suprisingly, the picture with the VGA cable looks prety good to my eyes, so I can't wait to see how it will look via a digital signal such as DVI or HDMI.

Can you recommend different MB? I am trying to do a budget Intel setup. Not that I am opposed to AMD, I just have done alot more reading on the Intel stuff. Thanks!
 

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No, you can't use an Intel chipset mb with IGP (G45) because Vista does not support two GPUs with two different drivers (google with keywords "heterogeneous" and "display").


Basic connection:


- HD 4670 -> AVR -> 42" via HDMI

- HD 4670 -> 37" via HDMI


Select Realtek ATI HDMI Audio as the sound playback device and you will get audio via HDMI from the speakers connected to AVR or the built-in speakers in 37".


- HD 3200 -> LCD monitor via HDMI


You will see a second Realtek ATI HDMI Audio (2) and select it as the sound playback device; you will get audio via HDMI from the built-in speakers in the monitor. Of course you may use a PC speaker instead (analog; use onboard audio codec).


ATI Catalyst Control Center supports hotkeys to switch the primary displays. To switch the sound playback device by hotkeys, you have to use a third-party utility like AutoHotkey. Please read this post .


An alternative is a GeForce 9300/9400 mb (for Intel) + GeForce card. GeForce 9300/9400 supports multichannel HDMI audio, but a GeForce card does not have a built-in HD audio controller so that you have to feed audio from the mb's audio codec (so restricted to S/PDIF audio). NVIDIA control panel does not support hotkeys, so you have to use a third-party utility.


- GF9400 -> AVR -> 42" via HDMI

- GF9400 -> 37" via DVI-HDMI dongle+HDMI cable

- GFxxx + onboard audio -> PC monitor via HDMI (S/PDIF pass-through)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks renethx. Bare with me as I try to figure this out.
Quote:
- HD 4670 -> AVR -> 42" via HDMI

- HD 4670 -> 37" via HDMI

If the HD 4670 only has one HDMI input, how would I run both of the monitors via HDMI? With a DVI adapter?


So how would a setup like this suffice for my needs?


-ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

-ASUS EAH4670/DI/512M/A Radeon HD 4670

-Rosewill TU-155 Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W

-CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

-AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core
 

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Out of curiosity, couldn't something similar be accomplished with the use of an HDMI switch or are HDMI switches uni-directional?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Panos /forum/post/15482306


Thanks renethx. Bare with me as I try to figure this out.


If the HD 4670 only has one HDMI input, how would I run both of the monitors via HDMI? With a DVI adapter?


So how would a setup like this suffice for my needs?


-ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

-ASUS EAH4670/DI/512M/A Radeon HD 4670

-Rosewill TU-155 Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W

-CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

-AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core

Use this adapter . The ASUS HD 4670 is the loudest 4670 card. If you care about noise, I recommend HIS or PowerColor. Athlon X2 7750 (Socket AM2+) is better for video playback with HD 3200 if you play video in the PC monitor too. Otherwise good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/15482359


Out of curiosity, couldn't something similar be accomplished with the use of an HDMI switch or are HDMI switches uni-directional?

Yup, a passive HDMI switch (3x1) should work. Each time you switch display, you may have to change resolution, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Athlon X2 7750 (Socket AM2+) is better for video playback with HD 3200 if you play video in the PC monitor too

Ok sounds good, I just added it to my cart on newegg.

I was a little confused at first about the DVI adapter, because for years I thought that you couldn't pass audio through DVI, but I just read that with the newer cards and the HDMI adapter they can pass audio.


I probably wouldn't bother with a HDMI switch if I might have to change the resolution each time I switch to a different monitor.
 

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I use an ASUS 3870x2 with 4xDVI to drive all 3 of my monitors, and my tv (through HDMI) without ever having to disconnect anything.


All i do is use ultramon to create different display profiles, and i can change monitors with a click of my mouse.


I think the model is discontinued, but i got mine for $170 with free shipping, because it was a return. There are returns every few weeks (the thing is 14" long, and wont fit in a lot of people's cases.)


But it's an AMAZING card, and i got it specifically to run all 3 of my monitors off a single card, but a great bi-product is that it's actually an incredibly capable gaming card for being 2 years old. 1GB of memory, and still holds it's own next to the new cards.



(Pic is a couple years old, but it's still the same setup)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, So I went ahead and ordered the a 780G chipset mb + Radeon HD 4670

that were recommended to me. I built the PC, and ended up buying a Acer 21.5" LCD for the monitor. I hooked it up via HDMI to the 4670, and then I hooked up the 42" Panasonic to the 4670 via DVI-HDMI.

I downloaded the ATI Catalyst software, prety cool stuff. After playing with the resolutions I set them both at 1920x1080.

The sound is the part that confuses me.



If I go to the sound settings, This is what I see. I am using hte first one.


-Realtek HDMI ouput

ATI HDMI Audio


-Speakers

Realtek High Definiton Audio


-Realtek Digital Output

Realtek High Definiton Audio


-Realtek Digital Ouput(optical)

Realtek High Definiton Audio





I am having issues with the sound. I can't figure out how to get it to come out of the monitor that I choose. Lets say I have my main 21.5 monitor on. I will open up the catalist controll software, activate the 42" monitor. The picture will show fine, but I will still have the sound coming only from the 21.5 monitor. Now if I unplug the HDMI cord from the 21.5 monitor, then the sound will go to the 42" monitor.. But then, lets say that I turn off or disable the 42" monitor, i wont have any sound at all coming from teh 21.5" monitor. Any ideas on what I can look at? I just need another kick in the right direction and I should be able to have it figured out. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I spent a few hours googling and searching the forum. Couldn't find anyone any info on it. I am this close to giving up on the audio through HDMI idea, and just using a 3.5 stereo plug. I can possibly get a spliter like this

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 .


so that way I can have it connected to the 21.5", and then the other depending on if I plan to use the 37" or the 42". I figure it will take me 5 seconds each time to unplug it from the 37" to the 42"..I have already spent countless hours trying to figure out whats up the HDMI audio..


Another thing I need to look into is how to set up the mother board so it can ouput video. I think that right now it has some type of default setting to disable its onboard video if a external video card is being used.I dont get any type of picture if I try one of three video ouputs on the mobo..Any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I guess I was sent on a wild goose chase..After spending multyple hours searching forums and google about the audio issue..I called ATI, then called Asus. Both informed me that who ever told me that you can have HDMI sound coming out of two monitors is incorrect. It wasn't designed to be used like that. You are ment to only have HDMI audio from ONE monitor, period. You can't switch the HDMI audio to the other monitor when you feel like it. Guess I just bought a bunch of computer parts based one person recommendations..Too bad I can't use it for what I was trying to do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Panos /forum/post/16035608


So I guess I was sent on a wild goose chase..After spending multyple hours searching forums and google about the audio issue..I called ATI, then called Asus. Both informed me that who ever told me that you can have HDMI sound coming out of two monitors is incorrect. It wasn't designed to be used like that. You are ment to only have HDMI audio from ONE monitor, period. You can't switch the HDMI audio to the other monitor when you feel like it. Guess I just bought a bunch of computer parts based one person recommendations..Too bad I can't use it for what I was trying to do.

Just buy a HDMI switch, that will pass-through the HDMI audio from your video card to your two TVs and computer monitor (it'll only pass sound to the computer monitor if it supports HDMI audio, which yours does), and use the computer hotkeys to select different resolution profiles if all 3 of your screens can't use the same one.
 
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