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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my current setup:


ATI Radeon 9600XT video card

Computer monitor is a 14" LCD attached to VGA connection

Plasma Display is Fujitsu P50 attached to DVI with dongle (using RGB2 on plasma)


I am trying to figure out how to configure the settings on the video card to enable full screen video on my plasma display. I also am unsure as to what the resolution settings should be.


My plasma's native resolution is 1366 x 768. The highest I can get the computer monitor set for, so that I can view my 4:3 desktop is 1024 x 768. I obviously need my computer monitor to view what's running on the computer, but the only need for the plasma is to display WME videos.


The only way I am able to set it up so that I can monitor my computer's activities, yet view my video, is to set my displays 1 & 2 for multiple monitors, and then, in the overlay setting, set it for Clone Mode, with Theater, Full Screen and 16:9 checked. This way, when I start playing a video with WMV or Zoom Player, it immediately goes to Full Screen on the plasma display. However, the resolution is still at the computer monitor's resolution, which is 1024 x 768.


So, my question, for anyone that has this video card and a plasma display is -- Have I set it up correctly to achieve optimum results, or is there some better settings I can be using.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Is there anyone who can give me some help, please?
 

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Disclaimer first: I know nothing about your particular video card or your particular plasma, but I'd suspect that you need to use PowerStrip to setup a screen profile for your plasmas resolution and then turn off clone mode.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike:


Thanks. The thought of using Powerstrip did not even occur to me. So I have posted the same question on Entech's forum. I appreciate your comments.


Ron
 

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I have a similar setup, but my plasma is 848x480 resolution. i also have an ATI9600XT. I use Powerstrip to set monitor 2 to the resolution I want, and I run the displays as 'extended desktop' not in cloning mode. So, when I am not running a movie, I can drag a window from one display to the other with my mouse and even see the window spanning both displays as it moves. (it's a very impressive demo when i have company over). I can use Windows Media Player (yuk), PowerDVD, ZoomPlayer, etc to display on the display 2 (the plasma). I just drag the window to display 2, then hit the option to make the window full screen. When I do that, I can still run applications on display 1 while watching a movie on display 2.


For more advanced use, I use Ultramon which gives me options to force applications to display 2 (it adds property options on the icon for the applications) and to switch among displays easily. But, it's not necessary to watch movies on a second display.


By the way- if you add a gyration mouse, you can do almost everything sitting on the couch which really makes things nice.
 

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I'm using UltraMon with Powerstrip and the 9600XT. Monitor 1 is 800*480*60Hz and monitor 2 is 1280*720*60Hz. You could also use Rage3D though it's not near as flexible as Powerstrip.


I'm planning on picking up a gyration mouse also, though the lion's share of day to day control will be with a Pronto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by HTPC Junky
I used a default 848-480 PDP setting in powerstrip. Then I used the TV controls to position and scale the image so it's centered perfectly and covers the full screen.
Why do you use 848x480 instead of a higher resolution? That's one of the parts I really don't understand. I know nothing (yet) about Powerstrip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BizarroTerl:


Are both your monitors 16:9? Are you using Monitor 1 essentially for viewing your desktop?


Ron
 

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I'm running the 9700 AIW at 1920 x 1080i for my Pioneer plasma. Upgrade to the latest Catalyst release (4.4?), ATI has expanded the available display modes. Also Powerstrip works great in this setup, but may be a pain to setup correctly. Check Karnis' postings about custom resolutions in Powerstrip (all hail the great Karnis) - the 1920 x 1080i timings work fairly well on my plasma, although I did have to tweak refresh rates. Also, Powerstrip let's you build custom monitor drivers - a great feature. Another great feature of Powerstrip is the ability to tweak position and scale in realtime interactive. I'd probably set the plasma to default and adjust using Powerstrip.
 

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My first monitor is a Xenarc touch display. It will be mounted into the HTPC chassis (Atech Fabrication). It's a 7" 16*9. Monitor #2 is a NEC XG135LC projector.


Parts of the desktop will be on each display. The primary purpose of the HTPC is to control other AV gear (changer, scaler, amp, tivo, etc). Secondary is as a music server.
 

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Here's a brief overview of what I learned. I'm not an expert so if someone sees some errors feel free to post corrections.


I found out that drivers for the ATI cards aren't 16*9 friendly. I gave up on my 1st HTPC attempt a couple years ago as all I seemed to be able to get is a 16*9 virtual screen with their sliding desktop on top. Kind of like a smaller 4*3 window I could move around to see parts of the larger 16*9 screen.

This time it appears it's a lot easier. I firrst loaded UltraMon. It gives some nice capabilities. From their website ( www.ultramon.com )

- efficiently move windows and maximize windows across the desktop

- manage more applications with the Smart Taskbar

- control application positioning with UltraMon Shortcuts

- multi-monitor support for desktop wallpapers and screen savers

- mirror your main monitor to secondary monitors for a presentation


I also bought it as I heard that running 2 different resolutions wasn't possible without something like UltraMon. I don't know if this is totally true but I can run different resolutions without a problem now. I do also have a great deal of flexibility on what I put on which monitor. One issue I had was with my wallpaper. A wallpaper for a 7" control screen wasn't what I felt was appropriate for the projected screen. UltraMon made it extremely simple to have different wallpapers.


I needed to control the different resolutions. After my last experience with ATI drivers I just went ahead and got Powerstrip. Fortunately the Xenarc people had the setup in Powerstrip (they had an up to date screenshot). I followed that and had bit perfect mapping.


Other problems? Initially I wanted the Xenarc to dark and the projector output (monitor 2) stay on all the time. I first tried a screen saver (Blank). Unfortunately with UltraMon you can define different screen savers but they both have the same timeout. In other words, if you're running a screensaver on one you're running a screen saver on both. It would work for my purposes if the screensaver wasn't multi monitor capable. The XP saver "Blank" unfortunately is.

After thinking about it I realized a screen saver wasn't what I needed. When the Xenarc went into screensaver mode with the Blank screensaver the backlight stayed on. This moved me to see if there was a way I could put the Xenarc into powersave mode yet keep the projector on all the time. I tried a couple different softwares but nothing could do what I desired. The current plan is to manually turn off the Xenarc when not in use.


This is still a work in progress. My chassis isn't here yet and my Sony DVD changer arrived defective. :(


Both Powerstrip and UltraMon have trial versions that can be downloaded for free. That makes it a lot less risky. You can get everything working the way you want before you make a purchase. Another software you can use id Rage3D. It is similar to Powerstrip in that it allows you to set up resolutions ATI doesn't provide. It isn't near as flexible as Powerstrip but may be the ticket if you're looking a a more commonly used resolution. It is free.


One thing I did which has saved me many hours of work. I bought Drive Image. I made an image of my system before I installed any video drivers. I then installed the drivers, powerstrip, ultramon, etc. and did my video configuration. When things didn't go right (which happened more than once) I just restored my saved image and I was back to where I was. I've used this method several times and it eliminates the "oh s***, it's all messed up and I have to reinstall everything from scratch".


If anyone knows of a software that gives the powersave control I need I'd love to hear about it.
 

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Monitor 1 for me is a normal CRT and I run it at 1280x1024. Monitor 2 is a 16:9 plasma that has a native resolution of 848x480. Some plasmas have higher resolutions (usually 1366x768, but sometimes 1024x1024). Setting your resolution to match the native resolution of the plasma gives you the best picture. Otherwise, the plasma will scale the image which makes text very blurry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks,all, for your comments. Lots to digest. I'm sure I will be back with more questions.


Ron
 
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