Anyone running two TV off their WMC HTPC?

Talk about speakers, TVs, receivers, STBs, etc.

Anyone running two TV off their WMC HTPC?

Post#1 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:21 pm

I have always ran dual monitors on my computer... so it was natural for me to want two displays on my HTPC.

I have my old cheapo 720p 37" and a new 55" LG

I like being able to watch one baseball game on one TV on mlb at bat... then another game on WMC... (and sometimes another on my tablet)

More often I will just want to surf the web while watching tv at the same time... I will usually drag WMC over to the smaller 37" and surf on the 55"

And sometimes if I am moving around a bunch of files I might have 3-4 file windows open at once and it's nice to space them out rather than stack them up...

HOWEVER... I am starting to wonder how useful the second monitor really is - and how much I'd miss it. Often days go by w/o me even turning on the smaller monitor. The real impetus is that I just upgraded my sound system... I replaced my 20yr old BOSE 401's I bought in 1994 with a pair of klipsch vf-36's which I got for $100/ea... I also get a new center channel (BIC PL-26) and a sub (BIC F12)

And it's starting to bug me that the front speakers are not equally spaced around the main TV (tv2)
[sp1][ tv1 ][ tv2 ][sp2]
yeah I could move the second speaker way over like this
[sp1][ tv1 ][ tv2 ]_______[sp2]
but I sit way too close to the TV (maybe 6ft) for the angle to be right... plus the room just doesn't let me easily do that. And I can't sit further back.

Also right now my center channel is pretty much on the floor... so I am looking to upgrade my TV stand... I am just trying to figure out if my 37" TV has a home in the new setup. I am leaning towards no... I am just trying to see if anyone else is using two TVs and couldn't live with just one.

I've also thought about this setup
[ tv1 ][sp1][ tv2 ][sp2]
But it would look odd, well more so. And once again the room wouldn't like it...

Also if I get rid of the 2nd TV I'd have room for an audio tower style rack which I've always wanted
[sp1][ tv2 ][sp2][rack]

thoughts?
WindowsHTPC
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 7 November 2012

Post#2 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:02 am

Our main HTPC is connected to a 55" LED screen, and also serves 5 other TV's in the house extenders on the network.

My Desktop has 2 monitors, not quite as large as yours, just 24" and I run another instance of WMC on the machine as well. The recorded TV is set up to pull it from the main HTPC, but I can also view live TV on it as well, while working on something. The trick is not to maximize the WMC window, or you lose control of the mouse, and keyboard. But, I can run a WMC in one quadrant, and something else in another.

I only have 1 set of speakers, and they are just cheap computer speakers.

We also have a 42" LCD in the bedroom, where my desktop is located, but that one is fed form the HTPC via the extender.
blueiedgod
 
Posts: 726
Joined: 15 July 2011
Location: Amherst, NY
HTPC Specs: Show details
2+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#3 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:08 am

I just can't function without at least 2 monitors. I have an old dual head Matrox Mystic running XP out in the garage. The hobby room has a T7500 with a dual head Quattro. The boiler room (monitoring station) T3400 Quattro again. The theater room has two 32" TV's and a 3D projector as monitors on the HTPC. There is a couple extenders floating around here and there as well. Like you say, it's nice to have a little TV on in the background while you are working. The extra monitor real estate helps make us more productive also. I don't know about you, but I like to have my directions and research on one screen and make adjustments and tests on the other. Rather than a mish mash of directions, research, adjustments and tests all on one screen.

I would think that you would really miss that second monitor, I know I would.
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#4 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:02 pm

One of my rooms is a little tight for space, so I ended up stacking the monitors. The upper is bolted to the wall. The lower is just sitting on a desk.
Attachments
PICT1458.JPG
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#5 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:55 pm

I'd love to stack my TVs like that... but my wall is an OLD (1925) basement foundation wall... I guess it's poured concrete. The house is also a rental... so there will be no bolting of anything to the wall. ceiling is a drop ceiling so no chance there... plus spacing would be tight vertically.

I am leaning towards ditching the second TV... I did use it quite a bit just last night during the superbowl... so I think I would miss it... but if I start keeping my tablet down in this area I think I could survive. But I'm still solidly on the fence. Thanks for the input. I should take some before/after pics.
WindowsHTPC
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 7 November 2012

Post#6 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:54 am

Attachments
Capture2.JPG
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#7 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:55 pm

Crash2009 wrote:I just can't function without at least 2 monitors. I have an old dual head Matrox Mystic running XP out in the garage. The hobby room has a T7500 with a dual head Quattro. The boiler room (monitoring station) T3400 Quattro again. The theater room has two 32" TV's and a 3D projector as monitors on the HTPC. There is a couple extenders floating around here and there as well. Like you say, it's nice to have a little TV on in the background while you are working. The extra monitor real estate helps make us more productive also. I don't know about you, but I like to have my directions and research on one screen and make adjustments and tests on the other. Rather than a mish mash of directions, research, adjustments and tests all on one screen.

I would think that you would really miss that second monitor, I know I would.



My desktop has 2 monitors. I usually run an instance of WMC in a small window when I am doing something on the desktop. But, if I am working on my desktop at night, and my wife is watching TV on the TV (connected via extender to the HTPC), then she usually complains that she can't concentrate on her show, because my TV is too loud...

If I am working in the basement, there is a TV there (connected to HTPC via extender) that I have something on in the background.

I NEVER do anything other than TV on the HTPC. It is just for that, HTPC only duties.
blueiedgod
 
Posts: 726
Joined: 15 July 2011
Location: Amherst, NY
HTPC Specs: Show details
2+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#8 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:14 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Have a look at some of the Tv stands over at Amazon, I think I saw one for 2 tv's http://www.amazon.com/Ergonomic-Monitor-Screen-Table-Adjustable/dp/B00E401GDW/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1391478563&sr=8-16&keywords=double+tv+swivel+stands

Clamps on to desk


I think that is more for monitors... 27" max. I have a 55" and a 37"

The solution has been decided. I'm not sure how I am going to like it... the GF talked me into it.

First off... I am keeping the second TV in the mix. I moved some stuff around and I think I am going to be able to get the front speakers centered around the main tv/center channel. I am also going with the center above the tv... the tv will stay on it's stand and sit on a shelf about 20" off the ground, which will make the center of the TV about 38" off the ground which is approx eye level when sitting on the couch.

My GF works at the Container Store... so her solution to everything in life is elfa shelving.
http://www.containerstore.com/shop/elfa ... d=10021256

My setup is going to be much simpler than the one in the link... It's going to be 6' wide... two 3' sections. and to save $ we are using ventilated shelves (like in closets) as opposed to solid shelves. Solid elfa shelves are $$$. Some/most of the shelves will have plastic shelf liners. But heck I bet AV equipment like a receiver or amp would love to run on ventilated shelves for the extra air flow. Not a big deal to me right now as my AVR is a class d which doesn't get very hot.

The beauty of elfa is we can add shelves or reconfigure things later. I also have an elfa desk... so things could be combined/swapped there too at some point.

My main reason for wanting to get a new TV stand was to get the center channel speaker off the ground. I am fairly particular when it comes to sound... so I wanted things set up just so. The elfa gives me the ability to have everything positioned exactly where I want it. Plus now I will have room for all my obsolete tech I love... HD-DVD player, VCR, cassette tape deck... plus oppo dvd player for SACD/DVD-A, and video game systems that I never play.

I did take some before pics... I will post them with the after pics when it's all setup. Probably thursday or friday night.
WindowsHTPC
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 7 November 2012

Post#9 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:20 pm

Image

here is the BEFORE pic.

I am moving the shelf thing behind the left speaker... then moving everything left about 2 feet. The speaker will be slightly in front of the DVD shelves on the far left of the pic. This is because I can't place the right speaker much further to the right. I moved it maybe a foot. This will allow the small TV to stay on the left and the big one to be centered between the front speakers.

This still isn't ideal because you want the angle from you to the front speakers to be between 22-30 degrees. The speakers in the photo are probably 8-10ft apart. To get them centered around the big TV they are going to end up being more like 10-12ft apart. The couch is about 8-9ft from the tv... to stick the <30 degrees the speakers can be no more than 9.25ft apart

but I moved the speakers apart last night (probably 10-12ft) as a test... and I thought it sounded better. (maybe because I toed in the front speakers to point directly at my main listening position on the couch) I think it's more important to be centered than to stick to the 22-30 degree rule... but I will play around with all that when I get the elfa up.
WindowsHTPC
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 7 November 2012

Post#10 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:55 am

I hate to admit it but I think the GF was right.
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#11 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:53 pm

The AFTER photo...

Image

I'm still not in love with it... solid shelves would have been nice... but would have at least doubled the cost.

But it's better than what I had before... I don't plan in living in this house long... maybe 1-2yrs. So I could always use the unit for something else. Or use parts of it with my elfa desk.

I do like all the shelf space. I can't wait to fill it all up.

The sound from the center channel is MUCH better too... That was the main reason for the change honestly.

But things are easier to get to. I have more space for components. It looks better than my before setup. So it's all good.
WindowsHTPC
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 7 November 2012

Post#12 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:45 pm

WindowsHTPC wrote:Plus now I will have room for all my obsolete tech I love... HD-DVD player, VCR, cassette tape deck... plus oppo dvd player for SACD/DVD-A, and video game systems that I never play.

I missed this part when I first read this thread. That's funny. It took me a long time to finally part with my old dual cassette deck, and a bunch of other stuff. I finally got rid of everything except the PC, AVR, and turntable (gotta keep the vinyl, you know).
barnabas1969
 
Posts: 5738
Joined: 21 June 2011
Location: Titusville, Florida, USA
HTPC Specs: Show details
2+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#13 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:23 pm

I got rid of all AV equipment. It is just HTPC, AVR and TV. I saved one VCR deck (in the basement) for when/if I need to convert an old VHS tape that escaped the "big conversion" project a few years ago, when I digitized all of the home movies, and burned them on DVD's for family members who submitted their tapes.
blueiedgod
 
Posts: 726
Joined: 15 July 2011
Location: Amherst, NY
HTPC Specs: Show details
2+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#14 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:11 pm

blueiedgod wrote:Our main HTPC is connected to a 55" LED screen, and also serves 5 other TV's in the house extenders on the network.

My Desktop has 2 monitors, not quite as large as yours, just 24" and I run another instance of WMC on the machine as well. The recorded TV is set up to pull it from the main HTPC, but I can also view live TV on it as well, while working on something. The trick is not to maximize the WMC window, or you lose control of the mouse, and keyboard. But, I can run a WMC in one quadrant, and something else in another.

I only have 1 set of speakers, and they are just cheap computer speakers.

We also have a 42" LCD in the bedroom, where my desktop is located, but that one is fed form the HTPC via the extender.


Since you have this set up, can you pull the WMC screen across multiple monitors? In other words, I was planning on buying 4 OLED's for football season, and I wanted to make sure before I went out and dropped 8-10 k on TV's if this is possible. So I wanted one instance of WMC running across all four screens. Effectively they will be placed side by side and top to bottom for an effective 100inch screen. (since they only make a 50 inch OLED at this point) Would this be possible? I may buy 3 extenders for local extension(4 different games at once) directly on those other three screens. That I haven't decided on yet. Would this be possible (the former, not the latter)?
1454
 
Posts: 71
Joined: 22 September 2012

Post#15 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:35 pm

I know the former is possible. IMO, Echo would be best since they can all be controlled independently. I think 5 simultaneous extender sessions is the limit. I have 5 extenders myself.

You'll need a plan for controlling 4 identical TVs independently since all will respond at once to the same remote.
mdavej
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: 20 August 2012

Post#16 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:52 am

Here is another idea. This diagram labels the sources as HDMI Players-Your players could be 4 extenders, 4 PC's, 4 Streamers, 4 of whatever you like. They also build these switchers in 8X8 models. This type of setup has worked flawlessly for me for a year or so. My switcher was fairly inexpensive >200.
Attachments
Switcher002.JPG
Switcher001.jpg
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran

Post#17 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:26 am

mdavej wrote:I know the former is possible. IMO, Echo would be best since they can all be controlled independently. I think 5 simultaneous extender sessions is the limit. I have 5 extenders myself.

You'll need a plan for controlling 4 identical TVs independently since all will respond at once to the same remote.

Thank you both.
Crash2009 wrote:Here is another idea. This diagram labels the sources as HDMI Players-Your players could be 4 extenders, 4 PC's, 4 Streamers, 4 of whatever you like. They also build these switchers in 8X8 models. This type of setup has worked flawlessly for me for a year or so. My switcher was fairly inexpensive >200.
1454
 
Posts: 71
Joined: 22 September 2012

Post#18 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:21 am

There is also someone working on a software version of the SportsBar.

http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/viewtopic.php?p=83911#p83911
User avatar
Crash2009
 
Posts: 4345
Joined: 17 May 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
HTPC Specs: Show details
5+ YrsTGB Veteran


Return to AV Equipment / Home Automation



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron