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Dual display: PC monitor + TV - will this work?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 9, 2011 9:03:18 AM

Hi all,

I am putting together a gaming \ HTPC system with a TV screen for gaming\media and a computer monitor for office work, and am not quite sure about how components work together, here are some of the components:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (specification)
GPU: Gigabyte GTX570 (specification)
TV: Philips 40PFL8605 40" FullHD (specification)
PC monitor: yet to have it, let's assume a contemporary LCD display with standard connections.

Now, concerning video - I want to be able to view movies\games on the TV screen, and view the desktop and applications on the computer monitor at the same time.
Concerning audio - currently I want the audio to be played be TV, but in the future I may want to get a computer speaker system, and let the audio be played by it.

1. Can I simply connect both the TV and the computer monitor to the GPU's outputs? (the GPU has a mini HDMI output and a DVI-I ouput, the TV has an HDMI input and we can assume the monitor will have a DVI input) - can the GPU route the audio to the TV?

2. If that is the way to connect things - can I later make it so that the audio will not be played by the TV, rather by a computer speaker system?

3. If that is not the way to connect things (i.e. the GPU doesn't route audio) - I'm guessing the TV and computer monitor should not be connected to the GPU, rather to the motherboard (the motherboard has DVI-D and HDMI outputs). Is that how this should work? In that case - again - can I later make it so that the audio will be played back by a speaker system?

4. And something else - There will be a 15 feet distance between computer and TV, is there a quality-loss issue with HDMI cables over these distances? Also, mini-HDMI to HDMI conversion may be required, is there a quality-loss issue with this?

Please help me make some sense with all of this, thanks!

Best solution

a c 125 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2011 9:24:02 AM

You can have a TV and a Monitor connected to your GPU (I did this the other day with a GTX570 a 32" HDTV and a ACER GD245HD Monitor).

Just connect the monitor via the DVI output and the TV via Mini HDMI. You will be able to see your desktop on the second display whilst working on the other, the only drawback I have noticed is that if your playing a game in full screen mode then you cannot move your move cursor over to your second display without Alt + Tabbing out of the game.

If your working on one display, say for example using photoshop on your monitor then you will be able to use your second display at the same time for what ever else.

If your using Windows 7 then its very easy to change between using TV audio to using any other audio... Providing your speakers are setup all you have to do is:

Right click on the Speaker Icon in the bottom right corner > Choose Playback Devices > You'll have a new window with your TV listed and your speakers listed > Right click your TV Icon and choose Disable > Then right click on your speakers and choose Enable. Simple.

There won't be any noticable quality loss from using a 15ft HDMI cable or a Mini HDMI to HDMI adapter.
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July 9, 2011 9:38:43 AM

That is great, thanks for answering!
Only one thing I'm not sure I get -

Your'e saying both displays should connect to GPU - does the GPU pass through the audio? (otherwise how would the audio be played back by the TV?)

And also - concerning control over audio playback device in Windows 7 - If both displays are connected to GPU and besides that there are speakers connected to the motherboard, how is windows aware of the "TV audio" option? (since TV is connected to GPU, not to motherboard...)
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2011 9:43:16 AM

The sound that your TV would output is carried through thr HDMI cable, this is picked up by the nVidia driver.

When you install the nvidia driver, choose "Custom" and then you'll have an option for HD Audio Driver, make sure this is ticked to include it in the install.
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July 9, 2011 10:04:32 AM

I see, so internally the GPU is "aware" of the audio stream and passes it along with the video on the HDMI cable.
Thanks :) 
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July 9, 2011 10:04:54 AM

Best answer selected by bloodycell.
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July 9, 2011 10:10:24 AM

One more thing - I see reviews of video cards where they inspect games run at 2560x1600, 1920x1200 or 1680x1050 ...
Since my TV is FullHD with 1080 lines, I can't use a resolution like 2560x1600, right?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2011 10:11:11 AM

bloodycell said:
I see, so internally the GPU is "aware" of the audio stream and passes it along with the video on the HDMI cable.
Thanks :) 

Yup. It is once the HD audio driver has been installed :) 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2011 10:12:22 AM

bloodycell said:
One more thing - I see reviews of video cards where they inspect games run at 2560x1600, 1920x1200 or 1680x1050 ...
Since my TV is FullHD with 1080 lines, I can't use a resolution like 2560x1600, right?


Thats correct, the maximum a HDTV will be able to display is 1920 x 1080.
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July 9, 2011 10:13:54 AM

You rock dude, thanks again.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2011 12:17:57 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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