Thank-you Nukemaster. I have been able to discover some new info:
1: the splitter is definitely a problem. I brought the PC over by the TV, hooked it via a short run of converter -> splitter -> 3'/4' cable and no dice. So I tried without the splitter, and got a signal through on the TV.
2: the length of the run is not an issue. After finding out the splitter was bad, I decided to put the PC back and connect it to the monitor via the VGA cable. We'll only be using the monitor for basic stuff going forward now anyways, anything fancy (games, movies, etc) will be on the TV, so why fight for a digital signal to the monitor? It's not worth it. But that brings me to 3...
3: Now that I have the PC connected via VGA to the monitor _and_ DVI to the TV, it seems that Windows only wants one output to be active at a time. I say Windows because both the Intel boot screen & Windows Splash screen come up on both monitor and TV when rebooting. Even the Windows loading screen will display on both monitor and TV. But, as soon as Windows is fully loaded, I lose the monitor (VGA), and only the TV (DVI) displays the desktop.
3b: furthermore, the TV screen occasionally flickers off and then on again. ???
Once in windows the video driver loads and by default runs on only one screen.
This is also for performance reasons.
You can use your video card control panel to enable clone(both screens the same) or spanned(screens are used one next to the other so moving a window from left to right will push it from the monitor to tv.)
Please note that with any setup like this, hardware accelerated video(DVD/MEDIA PLAYER, ect) may only pay on the primary screen(you can set that as your primary)
I have not seen this cutting out, but sometimes windows generates thumbnails for video files and on my old laptop, this caused the screen to flash as the video card clocked up and down.
I am not sure if the X550 does this.
If you have CCC installed, you can setup a short key(lets say ctrl+shift+plus) to swap your display from PC to TV.
Yup using XP, but have always gotten rid of CCC, as it appeared to cause performance issues.
In the past, I only got CCC in order to upgrade the card drivers, but then would immediately remove CCC form the "load on startup" list. But, it sounds like I should be able to set up a cloned screen directly through Windows, yes? I'll just have to bring the mouse to the other room then, which I'm just waiting on some wires to do.