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.
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.
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.