Outputting two different things to two different displays. An idiot asks ......

Dunkle

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Jun 5, 2013
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This is my Kit

Intel Core i5 2500K Processor overclocked to 4.6GHz
Asus P8Z68-V LE Motherboard
8GB PC3-10666 DDR3 Memory
Gigabyte 4890 oc edition Graphics Card
1000GB SATA 7200rpm Hard Disk
650watt OCZ PSU was 500watt Basic EZCool PSU
Onboard High Definition Audio
Windows 8
128GB Samsung SSD Boot Drive
Attached to this I have

Dell Monitor DVI
Panasonic G10 50" Plasma HDMI
What I want to do is the following

Have my desktop, main windows use etc be output full screen to my Dell monitor via DVI and have the sound output via my soundboard to my desktop speakers

and at the same time

Have XBMC output to my Plasma via HDMI and sound sent same way

I have tried loads and just when I think I have it, correcting one thing messes up another :(

I can get a picture but its not full screen
I then get a full screen picture but when I do any video files that play in XBMC are surrounded / framed by black bars (left and right as well as top and bottom)
When I turn off the Tv and then go back to it (say we nip out etc) then XBMC has gone

Can anyone, please, in simple steps, tell me how I go about doing what I am trying to do

Cheers

Dunk
 

sickboy

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Mar 13, 2013
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I am struggling with a similar problem atm...

I think the problem you are having is that the native resolutions for your two displays are different, hence the black bars. If they were the same resolution you could simply Clone the desktop to your second display

I've downloaded an older program called Powerstrip but have yet found time to mess with it. It's supposed to give greater flexibility over driver settings. It has the ability to set configurations program by program which may yet prove useful.

The perfect solution is to have matching resolutions as I don't think it's possible to drive two displays at two differwnt resolutions simultaneously from one display adapter.

Please report back any progress you make.
 
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Dunkle

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Will do

I'm sure it must be possible as lots of people must do similar.

I do to clone my desktop as I want to have the bog standard windows desktop on my monitor whilst the second screen would always be xbmc
 
May 6, 2012
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Do you mean something like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH0qBUZT63Q

I need to do a proper tutorial on how to use the software (Aster V7) but it does appear to vary from system to system and it's not straight-forward but the results are excellent as you can see in the video. If you just want to see how the system is running and not how it was built just forward to just under 8mins in.
 

tuxen

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Mar 23, 2012
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Yeah it's possible I used to do it with my projector but since the RPi its got its own mini PC.

You shouldn't clone the monitor though it means same stuff ie. XBMC on both screens.
Also I never seen a monitor with the same resolution as a TV because the pixel aspect are different therefore you can not accomplish a pixel perfect resolution if you are cloning it with a monitor.

Extend the desktop instead and choose the correct resolution for your TV you probably also have to adjust the TV mine has a tiny bit overscan on standard "wide" so I need to choose "screen fit" to get a pixel by pixel resolution. Then do the same on the monitor so that has the correct resolution.

Well there's the beginning..
 
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sickboy

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I've done this but then how do you tell Windows to start the application (xbmc) in the extended desktop ? All I could do was go to Settings/System/Video in xbmc and choose the projector then back out to Audio and choose the audio stream provided by the Video Card (hdmi). Very clunky. And if you don't reverse the process before shutting down then xbmc remembers those settings and when you restart xbmc from your desktop you can't even see it without firing up your other display.

As I always say - there has got to be a better way...
 
May 6, 2012
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As shown in the video you can use Aster but if you really don't want to do that then a standard extended desktop could be the answer and just have the xbmc shortcut copied to your startup folder. Go to the xbmc settings and set it so that it uses the main TV. If you want to occasionally run xbmc on the other monitor then you could create another shortcut on your monitor desktop that runs xbmc in portable mode. It's very simple to do, you just add "-p" to the shortcut and you'll find the details in the official wiki, basically this will run an independent xbmc with it's own user settings (it's mostly used for testing purposes).
 

Dunkle

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Going to give Aster a go I think
Is there a user guide for it ? Or step by step set up that I can view before trying ?
 

sickboy

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Hey whufclee how did you fit a Cray into that small space ? Lol, mind telling what pc components you used in that setup ?
 
May 6, 2012
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Motherboard - Asrock M3A UCC
Gfx Card - Nvidia GTX 560Ti
CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 840 (3.2GHz)
Arctic Cooling
4x 2Gb RAM (8GB total)
1 x SSD
3 x SATA HDD
1 x Bluray Drive
2.1 speakers (cheap things from Tesco I think, the amp with volume control is on the windowsill)
3 x 100mm fans that I ripped out of an old case (2 through external wall and 1 blowing air up behind screen like a chimney effect).
4 port USB hub in top and a card reader with USB port at front.

It's a tight fit but it works, I'm actually doing some work on it at the moment turning it into an arcade unit. I really miss my proper arcade buttons so it's having a little upgrade done on it. I've also gone back to the touchscreen 24" monitor as the 32" was great but you had to sit back from it so was no good for sitting at the console playing games or using as a PC as the screen was too close.
 

sickboy

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Ok thanks. Much beefier than my setup though I might give the Aster software a go still as I only really need the ability to sling xbmc to the projector and use the desktop for troubleshooting and a few other things occasionally.

If I've got the concept right it basically allows several different users to simultaneously use a pc by configuring inputs and outputs to each user. That sound about right ?
 
May 6, 2012
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Yeah that's about the size of it. If you don't need individual inputs and whatnot a much simpler solution would be to use ultramon. This will allow you to sling stuff from monitor to tv at the touch of a button. Very simple to use and very effective, just didn't do what I needed or else I'd have been using that.
 

sickboy

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I like easy :) I will check that out, too. However I think I may have missed the easiest already - xbmc Profiles - that may be enough for me right there. Will check that out tomorrow as well.
 
May 6, 2012
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If you need two instances of xbmc then just run one in portable mode (you add -p in the shortcut properties) and run the other one as standard. XBMC settings will allow you to choose which screen you want set as default and also the audio output. If you are never going to need two instances running at the same time then yes the xbmc profiles is probably going to be the easiest solution.
 

sickboy

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Mar 13, 2013
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Ok I have set up two different profiles, one using desktop settings the other for projector. When I start xbmc I am presented with the login screen. If I choose projector the settings for Video Output are not applied. If I change the setting manually the image jumps to my projector and I am asked if I want to keep the new settings.

Any reason why the Profile doesn't make the change the way I would expect it to ?
 

tuxen

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Mar 23, 2012
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As shown in the video you can use Aster but if you really don't want to do that then a standard extended desktop could be the answer and just have the xbmc shortcut copied to your startup folder. Go to the xbmc settings and set it so that it uses the main TV. If you want to occasionally run xbmc on the other monitor then you could create another shortcut on your monitor desktop that runs xbmc in portable mode. It's very simple to do, you just add "-p" to the shortcut and you'll find the details in the official wiki, basically this will run an independent xbmc with it's own user settings (it's mostly used for testing purposes).
I just used to press alt+ enter to get a window then drag it to the other screen press alt+ enter again, close XBMC and next time I started XBMC it was showing on the projector. A bit annoying though when the projector was off and I wanted to start XBMC on my monitor.
Astor is probably a better solution, I don't know it but I imagine it can control what is running on which screen?
 
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sickboy

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Question about xbmc Profiles...

Profile settings get saved when a logged in user logs out or exits the program, no ? Although i see the proper setting when logged in (ie Fullscreen #2) xbmc refuses to start on the proper display. If I simply cycle through the available video outputs (under Settings/Video Output) it will change to where ever I stop and ask me if I'd like to keep the changes.

Is this a Windows bug ?
 
May 6, 2012
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England
That's an odd one, is the projector on when turning that profile on?

I'd try using a shortcut for xbmc which loads up your normal xbmc on your monitor and use another shortcut that loads in portable mode for projector. Essentially this is 2 different installs of xbmc.Setup your settings in each (no need for profiles) and see if that keeps the settings correctly.