Running monitor and TV on one video card

By gguerra · 12 replies
Feb 16, 2010
  1. This may seem relatively simple to a lot of you but I will still ask since I have never done it.

    I want to use both my 25" LCD Monitor and my 50" LCD HDTV simultaneously from my PC using one video card.

    I dont have the card yet but would probably get a Geforce type card with both HDMI and DVI output..

    DVI for Monitor and HDMI for TV

    I want to watch DVD's on the TV while at the same time doing computer work on my monitor.

    Is this just a matter of extending the desktop

    OS will be XP Pro for now and eventually Win 7
  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 887   +19

    yes it is easy to setup in the nvidia control panel
  3. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 319

    Just thought of something though. The monitor and the TV would be running at different resolutions. The monitor is 1920x1080 and the TV is a 720p/1080i model. How would the video card/software handle this?? Anyone?
  4. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 887   +19

    1080i is 1920x1080 and 720p is 1280x720. yes the video card will handle it just fine as long as its a 8600gt and up
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 319

    Thx for the info. I will give it a try..
  6. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 319

    I bumped this a bit because I am ready to buy the card.. You mention 8600gt and up.. Is there a specific reason for that.. What capabilities/features am I looking for regarding the running of two monitors simultaneously. Do some cards have better capabilities for this function than others..

    I plan to watch TV (using tuner card) or DVD's played on the 50" TV (using HDMI connector)

    and at the same time use my 25" LCD monitor (using DVI or VGA) for regular activities such as browsing, email etc. Is anyone doing this already??

    I am looking at this card..

    It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600.. Would that be split across two monitors??

    If so that would not be able to do 1280x720 (TV) and 1920x1080 (Monitor)?

    Also does it matter if I get 512MB or 1024MB??

    BTW, I am not a gamer at all..
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I've done that from laptop before. Had the card output movies to the second monitor (HD tv). ATI Catalyst drivers for it had a "Theatre mode" which let you specify which monitor should be used for media output, displaying zoomed, original size, separate colour profiles etc etc.

    Both Nvidia and ATI cards should be sufficient for this task. Or you can ignore these extra settings and just extend the desktop onto the second device and maximise the playback window on the TV. Not had to deal with managing sound output via HDMI to the TV though but I'd imagine there will be straight forward settings for it.

    As to the recommendation of 8600gt and up, I'm not sure they would have an HDMI output since my old 8800 GTX card didn't (had 2xDVI and 1 Svideo). Might have to look for a specific version with HDMI, but I'm sure there are low-mid range current models that should be sufficient for your requirements.

    Not sure where you are in the world but something like
    Asus GeForce 210 512MB DDR2 PCI-Express Graphics Card for "PCI-E" at £35 would do the job.

    USA newegg -
    Edit: In the USA I see, what you've linked would do the job too.

    Might have to hunt around a bit more to find an older "PCI" card but would imagine that would be even cheaper.

    Attached Files:

  8. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 319

    Thanks for the reply. I plan on running sound via SPDIF from my sound card directly to a surround sound receiver (5.1) so the HDMI sound will only be played on the TV's speakers (not a concern, I think?).. I've never used a video card with HDMI out and don't know how that will affect sound capabilities. I would like to handle all sound through my sound card (Mobo) if possible.
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I'm sure it will, not sure if the graphics card would have allowed for sound to be passed through its HDMI connection at all. Haven't looked into it before. Might check it out as my current card has an HDMI out on it.

    Best of luck with your project, let us know how you get on ;)
  10. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 929   +31

    It should not be a problem. HDMI usually carries audio, but you can specify the default audio output, either your ati / nvidia HDMI or onboard sound (analog / digital). You can go into control panel for this settings.
  11. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I use HDMI to connect to a TV using my GTX260. My card requires me to connect an SPDIF cable into it from the sound card/motherboard for it to carry sound to the TV.

    If you don't plan to carry sound to the TV via HDMI, you don't need to plug that in. Besides, even with that plugged in I can decide which sound output I'd like to use from the computer itself, so its not a problem.

    Although my graphics card might be a little high-end for a non-gamer, I doubt lower end cards, which are marketed more towards people running media centres, would be any different.
  12. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 319

    Happy to say everything worked out great.
    I am now running a dual monitor setup (one is a TV) with success..

    I have my 25" LCD set at 1920x1080 and my TV at 1280x720 (which is the native resolution).. My TV will do higher (1080i) but in order to be able to see it clearly and use it like a monitor it's best set at it's native resolution. Playing DVD's and Blu-Rays on the TV using TMT (Total Media Theatre) and it works like a champ.. I am also using a utility called UltraMon which I highly recommend for multiple monitor setups.

    My only complaint is that my video card outputs static via HDMI to the TV, so I have to turn the volume all the way down on the TV. Have not found a way using the Nvidia control panel to disable sound on the HDMI connection. There is a (SPDIF) cable to connect the mobo to the video card. Haven't tried that yet as I am not using surround sound yet and even when I do it will be going to my AV receiver (not my TV).

    BTW, I ended up getting this ASUS card and am very happy with. For the price it does exactly what I need without spending a lot of $.. I am not a gamer
  13. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 929   +31

    to disable hdmi audio, do try visit :
    start > control panel > sound, and try to disable the nvidia hdmi output.
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