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Questions! TV as a second monitor

TaminTamin Registered User regular
For some time now, I've been using a TV as a second monitor. It's doubling as my console screen, however, which raises a couple of questions regarding convenience.

Right now, I have the TV and the monitor on my desk; my consoles on a book-shelf to my right. I can easily reach over and toggle them on or off, but actually displaying them raises some dummy-level questions:

1) Can a signal be sent from the computer to toggle the input selection of the tv?
As of right now, it's not exactly hard to switch inputs: reach to my right, hit 'input', 'down' 3 times, 'ok' and I'm done. Under 10 seconds, if I'm moving slowly; and everything is in the proper place.

I'd like to know if changing the inputs from the computer is practically impossible. I assume it to be.

2) Is there a program that will switch between dual and single monitor modes?
This sort of stems from the first - while the tv is in use for console gaming, it isn't displaying my computer screen. I am wondering if there's a tool that will quickly disable the second monitor, causing everything to condense back to the primary.

Tamin on

Posts

  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    For the first question, having the PC control the TV is theoretically possible using HDMI's CEC ("Consumer Electronics Control") feature. However, CEC is an optional portion of the HDMI standard, so to get it working you'd need two devices that support it, and they'd need to be connected via HDMI. Your TV may support CEC, but you'd need to look up the specs for your exact model to find out. Your video card almost certainly does not support CEC, even if it has HDMI out. I'm not aware of any video cards currently available that natively support CEC. There is a USB to HDMI-CEC device available, the software's in beta and I have no idea how well it works, or if it'd work with your TV.

    If you have an older TV, look on the back and see if it has an RS-232 serial port. If it does, you may be able to control the TV using a serial cable. If your PC doesn't have a serial port (some newer ones don't), there are USB to serial adapters available. Once the PC and TV are connected via serial, you'd theoretically be able to control the TV from the PC by sending command hex codes down the serial link. Exactly how you'd do that, I don't know, but I imagine you'd just use terminal software to send the hex codes in some automated fashion. Obviously you'd need to find the hex codes for your specific TV somewhere as well.

    So #1 isn't "practically impossible", it's possible but maybe impractical.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Are the serial ports only on older TVs? I have one on my 42" 1080p. But it IS a couple years old, which is 'older' as far as electronics go ;).

    Ego on
    Erik
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Old was probably a bad word choice there. It's unlikely to show up on recent TVs (say this year's models, or last year's) since the functionality is generally being replaced by HDMI-CEC support.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    For the first question, having the PC control the TV is theoretically possible using HDMI's CEC ("Consumer Electronics Control") feature. However, CEC is an optional portion of the HDMI standard, so to get it working you'd need two devices that support it, and they'd need to be connected via HDMI. Your TV may support CEC, but you'd need to look up the specs for your exact model to find out. Your video card almost certainly does not support CEC, even if it has HDMI out. I'm not aware of any video cards currently available that natively support CEC. There is a USB to HDMI-CEC device available, the software's in beta and I have no idea how well it works, or if it'd work with your TV.

    If you have an older TV, look on the back and see if it has an RS-232 serial port. If it does, you may be able to control the TV using a serial cable. If your PC doesn't have a serial port (some newer ones don't), there are USB to serial adapters available. Once the PC and TV are connected via serial, you'd theoretically be able to control the TV from the PC by sending command hex codes down the serial link. Exactly how you'd do that, I don't know, but I imagine you'd just use terminal software to send the hex codes in some automated fashion. Obviously you'd need to find the hex codes for your specific TV somewhere as well.

    So #1 isn't "practically impossible", it's possible but maybe impractical.

    Awesome! I'm looking into these solutions now. Will update once I know more.

    I now have a place to start.

    Tamin on
  • Bryse EayoBryse Eayo Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I basically have your set up with my monitors and I have an easier solution to both your issues: Seperate HDMI switch. I have the rocketfish version from Best Buy and it includes automatic input detection. And, by default, my monitors in Windows 7 will turn from dual to single mode when that happens. What OS are you running?

    Bryse Eayo on
  • MvrckMvrck Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Edit: If at first you don't succeed, reboot, reboot, reboot.

    Mvrck on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Bryse Eayo wrote: »
    I basically have your set up with my monitors and I have an easier solution to both your issues: Seperate HDMI switch. I have the rocketfish version from Best Buy and it includes automatic input detection. And, by default, my monitors in Windows 7 will turn from dual to single mode when that happens. What OS are you running?

    Windows 7, 64-bit. Care to elaborate on exactly what you've done? I can see how the switch helps in your case, as the tv suddenly can't see the input anymore. What's the model of the switch you're using?

    I don't know if that'd work with my current component setup; additionally, I neglected to mention (sorry!) my consoles just Nintendo products - Famicom through the Wii.

    Otherwise, it's certainly an option, and one I hope to explore in more detail in the next month, once I get a new video card.

    --

    I looked for serial ports and HDMI-CEC information, but don't see either (which probably just means I'm blind) on my tv: 19hlv87, if anyone can correct me.

    Tamin on
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