Running 6 LCD monitors

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by juzmo, May 2, 2005.

  1. juzmo

    juzmo Member

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    Hello all.

    I'm doing a bit of research for a friend that owns a cafe. He is interested in having 6 LCD monitors displayed out the front of his shop and wants each monitor to be able to simultaneously display something different (ie- 2 monitors displaying menus, 2 displaying food & 2 displaying various photos, etc etc) and be able to continually change what's being displayed on each monitor.

    I'm a bit famboozled as to how this can this be done. Can it be done by way of a digital splitter and a decent program (ie- UltraMon)?

    Any info would be appreciated guys & girls. :thumbup:
     
  2. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    The cheapest way would probably be to get a cheap dual-monitor AGP card and a pair of dual-monitor PCI cards. You can get Radeon 7000 PCI cards with DVI and VGA outputs for $63 (check Staticice), and AGP ones for $45.

    You could go for a normal AGP card and a Matrox quad-monitor card, but those cards start at over $1000.
     
  3. HumbleBum

    HumbleBum Member

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    powerpoint maybe?

    as for the monitors.. your going to need some pci video cards..
     
  4. ShaneBrooks

    ShaneBrooks Member

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    If time is on your side - grab a dual Matrox G450 and a Matrox Quad G200 MMS on ebay - make sure one is AGP and the other is PCI. If you are only doing 2D these would be more than sufficient and wont cost you much (around AUD$200 total). If you go this way be sure that the quad card comes with the two VGA splitter cables.

    If time is *not* on your side then get three dual-head cards (one agp and two PCI) of whatever you can find in the shop.

    For the display you could use ultramon's screensaver management and simply run 6 instances of a slideshow saver with each pulling their pictures from a unique folder for each screen.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  5. Deckham

    Deckham Member

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    Run 3 DVD players with splitters.
     
  6. Jon187

    Jon187 Member

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    Thinking outside the box.

    Great idea, simple, cheap, easy.
     
  7. hamshi

    hamshi Member

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    golden idea. i love it how people always think about using a computer when there is a cheaper and more logical idea,

    also welcome Jon187
     
  8. Deckham

    Deckham Member

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    You're both welcome :)

    I guess if you post a query like that in a computer forum, it's only natural to get computer-based solutions.

    I'm an Event Producer, and work with multiple signals all the time - so no, I'm not a laterally-thinking genius - well, actually I am ;)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  9. OP
    OP
    juzmo

    juzmo Member

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    Thanks for the replies :) Sorry for not replying sooner.

    Some great ideas- especially the DVD players/splitters combo. Fantastic :thumbup: Thanks Jon187

    I'll put the DVD players/splitter combo to my friend, but failing he decides to use that option, i'll (obviously) suggest the 3x video card option.

    NOW, seeing that i've never used an LCD monitor before- do they connect through VGA or DVI outputs, or can LCD's be connected through either?
     
  10. Deckham

    Deckham Member

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    PC LCD's usually have analogue inputs, and often DVI inputs/as well.

    Other commercial LCD panels usually have DVI inputs and often analogue inputs/as well as composite etc.

    Yes, thanks Jon187 - bloody fantastic, mate!

    ;)
     
  11. Tony

    Tony New Member

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    There is a downside to the DVD players obviously.

    One must be able to prep the DVD or VCD or whatever beforehand.

    T.
     
  12. Deckham

    Deckham Member

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    As opposed to......
     
  13. Jon187

    Jon187 Member

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    Getting credit for the idea, sweet. ;)
     
  14. uberbanzai

    uberbanzai Member

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    You press the play button and repeat ? What's so hard about that ? I can see this being a much cheaper alternative than to setting up a computer just to screen text.

    Ryan
     
  15. SomeGuy1234

    SomeGuy1234 Member

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    I dunno, wouldnt take the most powerful computer in the world to do what he wants, some simple I/O and 2d grahpics doesnt require Athlon 64+850XTPE's
     
  16. shredder

    shredder Member

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    He's saying that you need a PC in the first place, and software/time to produce the DVDs with menus and whatever else. Then everytime you want to make the slightest change to a price on the menu or something, you need to go back to the PC, make the changes, re-burn the DVD's etc etc. As opposed to having it all run from software on the PC itself, where everything displayed can be changed instantly on the fly, as well as giving yourself the option to take advantage of the extra power/customization of the PC display system (limited only by what you can do with various software) in the future. If you need the PC anyway then you're not really saving anything by buying 3 x DVD players (unless you use somebody's offsite home PC to prep the discs which while being the most budget solution is also the least convenient).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2005
  17. fox1

    fox1 Member

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    So 6 dvd players, if you get cheap ones, thats about what, $100 each?
    $600

    Then after everytime they finish playing your going to have to press the play button on them, if they run for 1 hour at a time and its a 8 hour working day thats 8 times you have to go out of your way, yeah not much but annoying anyway.

    I'd like to see a cheap dvd player working for 8 hours a day... or do you want it to play also at night to help advertise when the store is shut? 24 hours?

    then for months at a time.


    Computer.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2005
  18. Deckham

    Deckham Member

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    If you need to mod the menus regularly, then use 1 VCD for that. All you need is a still image.

    The other two scenic sets can be DVD disks, running in a loop. No need for a PC - you can get DVD players for $50.

    3x DVD players - $150
    3 BNC splitters - $15
    1 Weekly CD - $1
    Complexity Reduction - Priceless
     
  19. Grubs

    Grubs Member

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    3 DVDs is only 3 screens of information duplicated onto another set. With a computer (or 6 DVDs) you have the ability for 6 independent screens.

    the other advantage is that you could stack the screens in 3x2 to make one big composite display. There are a number of multi-monitor cards that are designed to do just that.
     
  20. PCF_Ronin

    PCF_Ronin Member

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    Get some DVD-RW's and make the Menus a DVD Menu.. no need to hit keep hitting play everytime everything stops...

    Even better if you change stuff from week to week but theres a patten make that into the DVDmenu aswell.. EG. have a hidden button in the DVDmenu that changes to the next FoodMenu.

    Main DVD menu> links to 4 different weeks sub DVDMenus

    Sub Menu 1> rotates FoodmenuWeek1 to Photo to Booking info

    Sub Menu 2> rotates FoodmenuWeek2 to Photo to Photo to Photos of staff

    Sub Menu 3> rotates FoodmenuWeek3

    etc.

    So with a little bit of smart setup and the correct DVD edit program all you'd need to do is change the foodmenu from time to time and add the odd photo and re-render the menus then re-burn the 6x 50-100Mb DVD-RW (or one for each DVD player anyway)

    My 2c
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2005

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