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# 19345 13-Feb-2008 13:46
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I am not sure if this is possible but the scenario is this.

I have been looking on building a Vista Media Center as an appliance, with grunty CPU (Quad core with Q6600) and 4GB DDR2 ram. I will probably dedicate a CPU core and 1.5GB ram to run SBS2003 as VM. Now the GPU may not need to be grunty but Aero Glass enough. (Currently eyeing at Asus P5E-VM HDMI mobo), it has HDMI and VGA output.

My understanding of multimonitor support is that, you can either mirror, or extend desktop. With my XP experience, to display both on LCD TV (at 1366x768) and LCD monitor (at 1680x1050)... there's no agreeable resolution.

Ideally, I want the HDMI to connect to LCD TV, and VGA to LCD monitor, as far as I know, you cannot Vista Media Centre to display only on the ACTIVE screen. By ACTIVE I mean, the one that is on at the moment. Why this? Well say, I may be only want to operate on LCD TV, and firing up Media Center, I would hope it only show up on LCD TV. Should the LCD TV is off (on purpose) and I want to operate on the system as a PC, and would like to see Media Center can sense the LCD TV is off and redirect all output to just LCD monitor. (make sense? probably not.)

Is the Vista (and its hardware companion) smart enough to know what signal is on and active and what's not and switches dynamically to the right active connection? In very rare chance that both LCD TV and LCD monitor will concurrently on and active/operate. So it is mainly knowing/wanting the display driver to switch the primary screen automatically between higher and lower resolution output (of two different screen outputs on two different connections)






Or... am I just hoping too much into the future to see this happening?




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  # 110408 13-Feb-2008 15:43
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Bu default Vista MCE will go to the active monitor.  I believe you can send it to a secondary display, but it doesn't sound like thats what you want.

Resolution shouldn't make any difference assuming the onboard card can display at those resolutions.  Both monitors can run at independent resolutions, this is once again a Vista/driver function.  Vista does this very well.

Assuming you don't want both monitors on at the same time, when you power up the machine it will default to the screen that is turned on.  If they're both on it will enable multi-monitor support.  So if you want to use the TV turn off the LCD Monitor and vice versa.  Depending on the monitor/card you use you may need to unplug the VGA port to ensure if sees it as off.  This means whatever screen is on will be the Primary.  The plug and play drivers should take care of displaying the screen at whatever resolution that screen was at when it was last plugged in/turned on.

If you want to use multi monitor support it gets a bit trickier - you will probaby need to reverse the Primary monitor in the drivers to get MCE to display on the monitor you want.  However it should still work ok.





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  # 110458 13-Feb-2008 18:31
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Yeah that's what I think it will function as... but am really unsure how smart the GPU is in terms of detecting which connection is active. I know on laptop, it is pretty smart...




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  # 110483 13-Feb-2008 20:22
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Looked at the specs of the GPU, my guess is you'll be just fine.

I played with virtually the same config over the last couple of weeks (LCD Monitor + LCD TV), albiet using an NVidia card, as long as one display is turned off it should always pick up the active/powered on display - however i was using DVI/HDMI on both displays.

Haven't used the Catalyst drivers for a while, but you should also be able to select/change monitors at will.


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