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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Dual Monitor + TV Out in Technical; Hi all This is actually a question about my home computer but thought it would be useful for someone else ...
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    titch's Avatar
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    Dual Monitor + TV Out

    Hi all

    This is actually a question about my home computer but thought it would be useful for someone else so I hope I posted in correct forum.

    Basically I have an pcie ATI 4650 (sorry cant remember exact model) which has two monitors attached via dvi. I also have an old telly attached which I want to get hooked up to it but my output is svideo and my tv only has rca/scart connections. Now I have tried varous adapters but none have given decent results and some just dont work alltogether. So I was thinking of adding an old pci card with dedicated rca/composite output and using that to clone one of the displays.

    Now my first question is if this is possible?

    My second question is will the pci card do all the work to put the picture on my telly or will it share it with my better card so its power isnt waisted?

    Third question, is this actually worth doing or will I cause myself a big headache, are there any better ways to do this?

    Thanks in advance

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    You mentioned you've used various s-video to composite (rca/phono connections) already with sucess, but without good results. That could be down to the adapters, but to be honest composite video on a TV compared to DVI out on some monitors is always going to look bad. The s-video output will limit any quality to some extent, whist s-video plits out the colour and luma parts of the signal (that's why you'll see it called Y/C sometimes) it's still not stunning. If I can find a spare 'good quality' adapter (Kramer) at work you're welcome to borrow it for a week or so to see if the picture is any better.

    Regarding a separate card, I'm not aware of anything that would make any use of existing card. There are plenty of video capture/playout cards on the market and various USB and Firewire solutions. I'm not sure about mirroring the output of one of the existing displays however. Some of our Blackmagic Decklink cards have a 'desktop' output mode where they can display the desktop on the video out, but I don't know how common that is on more consumer cards.

    If you really want to mirror one of the DVI outputs on a TV and at a decent quality you'll end up spending a fair amount of money to get good results. The most recent scan high resolution converter I bought for our user testing lab was about £700 (although lower resolution models are cheaper). The problem simply comes down to squashing the computer resolution down to that of the TV (PAL is 720x576 pixels).

    Regarding SCART connections, you may already be aware, but essentially the SCART connector is just a collection of video standards gathered onto one plug, mileage with adapters depends on which ones the TV supports. The wikipedia article is quite good regarding SCART.

    What were you trying to achieve? Just using up spare kit or was there a particular plan in mind?

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    titch's Avatar
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    Thanks Chillibear. Sounds all a bit to much for my home setup. All I really wanted to achieve was to be able to watch films, play a few games on my telly plugged into my dual screen setup. Something that usually shouldnt be to complicated but it seems as soon as you have dual screens and svideo output to an older style telly things start to get a bit dodgy.

    Thanks for your time anyway but may have to look for another solution.

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