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-   -   PC to run 2 flat screen Tvs and a via output. (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/new-builds/51695-pc-run-2-flat-screen-tvs-via-output.html)

bridger February 17, 2012 01:49 PM

PC to run 2 flat screen Tvs and a via output.
I would like to build an inexpensive system to run two HDMI long wire feeds to 2 flatscreen TVs, and one VGA output to monitor what is on the TVs.
Basically, I have an office with two display TVs in the front area, and I have ran HDMI cables from my back office to them. In my back office I would like to have the PC and a vga monitor to see what is running on my TVs, and to change the programming on them.

I have tried this with a dual head video card , and a USB output to VGA but the results were disappointing, since to set high resolution for the TVs, I could not see the entire screen on my VGA monitor.

I was thinking of setting up a mobo with two PCIe slots and putting two cards in and feeding my VGA monitor from one of them.
The reason I need a VGA output, is that I have several other PCs in the back office and am using a KVM switch to monitor them all on one monitor ( space on my desk is limited).
I have no preference for mobo's or video cards, as to make etc, something inexpensive , that would work would be best.
I am in Toronto Canada, usually get my parts from Canada Computers

Thanks for any advice


bigFOIG February 25, 2012 12:52 AM

I don't know what "inexpensive" is to you, but AMD cards support up to 4 monitors on one card I believe. You can pick up a 6950 for about 240 bucks these days and even cheaper if you buy it on our BST forums or if you catch it on sale. If this is too expensive, I think any Radeon HD 5000,6000,7000 cards would work.

Now to get the set up you want, (2X HDMI, and VGA) you'll need quite a few adapters, but I think it will work.
On the reference 6950 I had, I think it had 2 DVI ports, 2 mini-displayports, and 1 HDMI.

You can use the existing HDMI port, and in one of the DVI ports, put a DVI-HDMI adapter there, for your second HDMI.

As for the VGA you want, you'll need to occupy one of the mini-displayports. I'm sure there are mini-displayport to DVI adapters, but not too certain about mini-displayport to VGA (there probably is though). What you can do is use an active mini-displayport to DVI adapter, and then a DVI-VGA adapter on top of that. Keep in mind that the adapter must be "active" and the drawback is that it will run you about 30-40 dollars for this adapter.

From your post, it sounds like you only have 1 PCI-e slot?
But to get around all this adapter business, all you need is 2 video cards. Either from AMD or nVidia would do.

I hope I read your post correctly. If not, then I just wasted some time writing all this. Heh. :haha:

JD February 25, 2012 06:54 AM

The only way you'll see the same picture across all TVs and monitors is to use "clone". That means they all will share the same resolution.

Assuming the TV's are LCD, I'm guessing its 1920x1080 (1080p) or 1280x720 (720p). You'll have to pickup a monitor of similar resolution. 22-24" monitors are typically 1920x1080. Like this for example: Canada Computers | LCD/LED Monitors | Asus VE228H, 21.5" LED Widescreen Monitor, 1920x1080, 5ms(GtG), 10,000,000:1(ASCR) w/Speakers, VGA, DVI-D, HDMI

Then you just need one of these: For only $26.49 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 1x2 Pigtail HDMI® Splitter | HDMI Powered & Passive 1 X 2 Splitters to plug into the HDMI output of the video card of your choosing, then plug the TV's into that.

Probably the cheapest way:
Canada Computers | CPU | AMD A4-3400 Dual Core 2.70GHz APU , Socket FM1, 1Mb L2 Cache, 65W 32nm (AD3400OJGXBOX)
Canada Computers | Motherboards | Asus F1A55-M/CSM Socket FM1 AMD A55 FCH Chipset Dual Channel DDR3 1866/1800/1600/1333/1066 MHz 2x PCI Express 2.0 Slots 8-Channel HD Audio GigaLAN 6x SATA 6Gb/s 6x USB 3.0 Micro ATX
Canada Computers | Memory | ADATA Premier Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMM (AD3U1333C2G9-2)
+hard drive, case, power supply

Arinoth February 25, 2012 07:39 AM

Not quite true, if you aren't looking to run games on any of them, you could actually get a Matrox card, which depending on the card can run between 4 to 8 displays. I'm not sure if it's more expensive then a graphics card that can run eyefinity, but we use a few at these at work to drive 2560 x 1600 displays without a hitch (again not for gaming).

It looks like a Matrox card will start to run you from 100$ and higher (according to shopbot).

Chris February 25, 2012 08:57 AM

I have a thought, may the experts here can tell if it will work. There are some mobo's with onboard video. So, you will need to buy just one 6950, hence cut down on the cost.

JJThomp February 25, 2012 10:29 AM

you are always going to have trouble with that VGA monitor because VGA can't run high res.

JD February 25, 2012 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by JJThomp (Post 605652)
you are always going to have trouble with that VGA monitor because VGA can't run high res.

VGA can run 1080p as far as I'm aware.

bigFOIG February 25, 2012 04:27 PM

VGA can do 1080p but I think there's a slight blurriness.

bigFOIG February 25, 2012 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by JJThomp (Post 605652)
you are always going to have trouble with that VGA monitor because VGA can't run high res.

I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think you can use onboard video and a discrete video card at the same time.

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