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Dual Monitor Screen Savers that Run Independently

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 14, 2010 6:08:50 AM

Hi all,

I running a dual monitor setup with an LCD monitor and a plasma tv. I want to be able to have screensavers run independently on each monitor, so if I'm doing something on the LCD, but not on the plasma, then the screensaver will start on the plasma but not the lcd. If the screensaver doesn't start then the plasma tv it will get an image burn in.

Thanks :) 
a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 7:31:50 AM

Not sure if this is possible, to be honest. Have you tried playing with the screen saver settings?
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December 14, 2010 7:54:09 AM

Unless there is third-party software for doing this, I don't think it can be done.. or have at least never seen it done before.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 10:13:08 AM

Screensavers only kick in when the system is idle, so no you can't do what you want to do out-of-the-box.

However, there's nothing to stop you running some kind of application on the plasma's side of the desktop to prevent image burn-in. Even something as simple as Windows Media Player running a visualisation full-screen will do the trick.

Alternatively, a lot of plasma TVs have a feature that slightly shifts the image every few seconds - it's not really noticable to the naked eye, but it's enough to ensure that different phosphors are used for different parts of the screen so you won't get burn-in even for long periods of static images - use it all the time on my 50" plasma after I had some heavy ghosting of game UI and Sky+ pause logos.

Worst-case scenario just have a plain black desktop!
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December 14, 2010 1:58:31 PM

Herr_Koos said:
Not sure if this is possible, to be honest. Have you tried playing with the screen saver settings?


I've played with the screensaver settings within windows. And I've tried UltraMon but that just seems to allow you to run different screensavers on each monitor, but it doesn't allow for different timers on each screen...
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a b x TV
a c 352 $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 3:29:17 PM

The screensaver is on for the system, not for the monitor. It's basically a power feature. You can't set one monitor to shut off and have the other one stay one either.
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December 14, 2010 3:51:19 PM

hang-the-9 said:
The screensaver is on for the system, not for the monitor. It's basically a power feature. You can't set one monitor to shut off and have the other one stay one either.


I see that this is unfortunately the case.

At this point I'm hoping there's some sort of third-party program that can differentiate between activity on each monitor instead of overall system activity in order to initiate a screensaver. I would think that this is possible (and useful). But it doesn't seem to exist :( 
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 3:58:07 PM

not possible!!!!!!
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a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 5:47:41 PM

it doesn't.....;)

because that's not possible.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2010 8:10:04 PM

So black desktop it is then...
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December 14, 2010 10:17:20 PM

Well bummer. Thanks everyone for your replies. Searching for something that doesn't exist is frustrating. At least I can stop searching ;) 

LePhuronn, thanks for the black desktop idea. That is very clever. I think a white desktop would probably work best at keeping the screen clean, though it would be very unpleasant to look at.
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December 15, 2010 9:45:28 AM

verbalizer said:
it doesn't.....;)

because that's not possible.

Hahhaa I actually lol'd.

He's right though :D 
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December 15, 2010 10:10:05 AM

*sigh*. Tom's Hardware.. one of the top IT support and discussion forums.. still can't install a simple registration captcha. ;) 
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a b $ Windows 7
December 15, 2010 4:01:38 PM

Use a program like irfanview. Select pictures of your choice set the timer for changing shots and drag/run it on your plasma.
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December 15, 2010 4:06:47 PM

Having to load a program up and do that is kinda' annoying and doesn't solve the issue. If he wanted to do that he could just open a picture folder and start a slide show, or better yet just pop a film or something on the plasma.

I still think having some power management setup on the plasma to just turn it off would be best options.

OR just get out of your chair and turn the screen off when not in use ;) 
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December 16, 2010 4:11:23 PM

I ended up setting the desktop background to change every 10 minutes, which is super simple in windows 7.
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December 16, 2010 4:14:12 PM

Is it to prevent burn-in on your plasma? If so.. why not just turn it off and save some power?
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April 18, 2012 10:48:48 PM

am searching for the same thing. the said program is probably ok, but the feature is only available in the pro version, not free one.

And ones may ask, how is it still possible to work on one monitor, while the other is idle and cannot be turned off?
Simple: in my case, I load the laptop (12.1 inch screen), to which I connect my main monitor, on laptop I start VNC and move it to my main monitor (secondary) with VNC connecting to my main development virtual machine running on esxi to which I haven';t been able (yet) to passthrough a vga card)
so, basically, I am working on my esxi, which makes the laptop IDLE, but I use the monitor, so when the screensaver kicks in, my monitor with vnc goes black.
so yeah, you can have a situation when you cannot turn off the monitor, the system is idle although you are working on the second monitor.
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February 1, 2013 5:12:10 PM

bloodge1 said:
I ended up setting the desktop background to change every 10 minutes, which is super simple in windows 7.

What a simple, yet brilliant idea. Thank you.
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February 22, 2013 10:36:18 AM

bloodge1 said:
Hi all,

I running a dual monitor setup with an LCD monitor and a plasma tv. I want to be able to have screensavers run independently on each monitor, so if I'm doing something on the LCD, but not on the plasma, then the screensaver will start on the plasma but not the lcd. If the screensaver doesn't start then the plasma tv it will get an image burn in.

Thanks :) 


Hi,
I use dual monitor setup as well with my desktop computer though both are LCDs (24inches). While leaving them asleep while not used at all, my children and wife mainly use only a left monitor for some daily errands such as checking FB, Gmail, YouTube, homework from school and tasks in Word etc. So, I am the only one who actually use dual monitor for my own audio/video productions for my customers, extensive left-over Excel, PPT, Programming from work. Conveniently, if..let's say my wife does not use a right monitor, the monitor is smart enough to be a complete blank...I mean it, stays cold if I touch it while being blank (in a complete dark room, you cannot even tell if the right monitor is on or off. And, if she moves something toward the right monitor.. let's say even a mouse pointer, then it will lit a little that telling the right monitor just ran into some activity. But, if she moves that cursor back to the left monitor, the right monitor goes complete blank again in a few sec. However, if I set a dedicate wallpaper, for instance, on the right monitor, then it would stay lit while only using the left monitor. If you had a wallpapear set up on your plasma, you may want to remove those, set that as a blank, then see what happens while not using. Again, please remember, if you put any gadgets for example on your right monitor, then it would stay on instead of being complete dark and stay cool. This does not mean the right monitor is in a stand-by mode but I can at least tell the right monitor is definitely cooler than the left monitor being used. So, to me, there's no point of running a screensaver on the right monitor. You may want to try to ditch a wallpapaer then any setting on your right monitor, and see if your plasma monitor at lest goes complete blank while not being used while still using the left monitor....
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