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Dual monitor support: Almost there

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  • Dual monitor support: Almost there

    I am using roadrunner in my home theater and so more than ever I need dual monitor support. I want to have one monitor (a touchscreen) have all the file browsing and media controls and the other screen (a tv) display the fullscreen video as well as music visualizations. I originally got it working using some overlay trickery, my graphics card would recognize any video playing on the primary screen and display it full on the secondary. However, I switched my tv from svideo to rgb and for whatever reason this method doesn't work any more. I also have one more requirement that i have an embedded external app that i want to be able to view on the primary screen at the same time that video is playing on the secondary. This makes my situation nearly identical to many out there who want to have control and gps on their front touch screen and fullscreen video playing in the back.

    Heres what i've done so far:
    I told windows to extend my desktop onto the secondary display. This created one 2048x768 screen. I then made all my skins that size, with the left half containing all the controls and the right half black.

    For the video skin I added an A and a C command at 1024,0 and made them 1024x768. I then turned off autohide and since you cant click outside of the skin the video doesn't try and hide the skin and go into "fullscreen" mode. However this does screw up sometimes, particularly when one video ends and another automatically starts, and i have to alt tab to get back to normal. Therefore the first need is some way to turn off the fullscreen feature of the internal video player.

    I then added usedualmon=true to my rr.ini and embedded my external app into my menu skin thinking that when i went back to menu the video would keep playing on the secondary and the app on the primary. Nope, you can hear the audio from the video but the secondary just displayed the black right half of the menu skin (which makes sense). So then i tried clipping the right half and the secondary screen just showed desktop. I know guino has said there is no way to embed too apps into one screen, but im hoping there is some way to display two skins at once each with its own app. I mean the video is still playing somewhere (the audio is playing), we just need a way to display it. Ive tried both the menu and load commands going from video to menu and menu to video and nothing works. The second need is some way to embed two apps in one skin or, probably more useful, display multiple skins at once each with their own embedded app

    I'm sure i'll hit more issues as i progress but for right now these are the big ones. If we can find a workaround for these we can not only make alot of car pc owners happy, but fill a niche in the home theater world as most media centers have even worse dual screen support


  • #2
    Originally posted by Cobelli View Post
    If we can find a workaround for these we can not only make alot of car pc owners happy
    I know I'd be one of them.
    Good luck with it Mike!
    Renault Megane...the OEM look

    The Lost in Europe Ford Escort


    • #3
      Okay, I use nVidia card with nForce Driver and the setup is in my car.
      For nVidia display property, I set it to use DualView. Not clone nor expanding.
      Set up screen resolution for each monitor independently. 800x480 for primary monitor (VGA TS up front) and 800x600 for 2ndary monitor in the back (Composite Video/Svideo).
      Select primary/secondary screen and choose Full screen Video on 2ndary monitor.
      RoadRunner on primary monitor with skin size is 800x480. Normally on the 2nd monitor, I have Stree & Trip running stand alone. When I play video/dvd, 2ndary monitor will play movie in fullscreen mode (cover S&T)
      This method also with in my home PC with dual monitor in DVI and VGA connections

      If you stretch the skin to the full expanding size of 2 monitors, it may not work.
      2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
      89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
      Y2K Accord Dell GX150
      RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
      EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER


      • #4
        I have an ati card but that sounds exactly like what i used to do. It relies on the graphics card to recognize the playing video and fullscreen it on the second monitor. I always had some trouble with that as whichever video source played first (vis, video, or ext app) would be the one to blow up on the second display. Secondly, now that i switched from an s-vid to vga for my second display, that feature no longer works right. I think the solution im searching for is a more versitile one. Extended desktop is a windows feature, rather than graphics card specific. And if i can get things working the way id like it allows so much flexibility. You could have your second display show half screen movie, half gps while youre primary shows the temperature controls etc.


        • #5
          First i go to the video screen to get that playing. Then i have a button there that uses the MENU command to bring up a new skin on top of the video one. That skin is the full 2048x768 but the whole right half is clipped to allow the video to show through. That skin also has an A area where i want my external app to appear. I then have a button that runs my external app and it works! The external app embeds in the A area while the video plays in the clipped area on the second monitor. I need a way for the app to automatically run when i use MENU to load the skin


          • #6
            I think ive almost got this thing figured out, but i need to things added to the code.

            1. A way to run any command after a skin loads. This would be something you placed in the skin definition file and any time the skin is loaded it runs that command. The command could be any command a button can trigger.

            2. A way to disable the fullscreen functionality of the internal video player.

            I'm going to start poking around in the code but maybe somebody who allready knows it could give me a hand, i don't think either of these things would be that hard to implement.

            With those changes in place, heres the way i envision things working:

            You hit the video button from the main menu and it loads the video skin i described in my first post

            When that loads it uses the new onLoad feature to run the MENU command which loads the external app skin on top of the video skin. This skin has clipped areas that expose the video as well as the video controls. It also has an A area where the external app will be embedded.

            When the ext app skin loads it uses the onLoad feature to run the external app

            In theory, using this same approach you could build any complex skin you wanted. You could have gps, video, and your rear view cam all displaying at the same time, placed wherever you'd like across the two screens, allthogh im not sure how all this layering will affect performance.

            Anyway, hopefully someone will help me out with the changes to the code that i need



            • #7
              You don't have to use onload or whatever it is.
              Just use the pipe "|" to load multiple command on the same button.
              That will execute Video command first then MUTE after.
              Or "VIDEO|LOAD;External_Video_Player_exe_program"
              you get the idea.

              to disable auto full screen, use RRConfig and chose it not to. Or change
              in rr.ini
              2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
              89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
              Y2K Accord Dell GX150
              RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
              EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER


              • #8
                Not to be an educated Butt, but I think you need to use "||" two piepes.
                Correct me if I am wrong.


                • #9
                  2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                  89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
                  Y2K Accord Dell GX150
                  RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
                  EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER


                  • #10
                    Are you using two outputs off the one video card...or an output off two video cards?

                    I ask, because my Mini-itx has video out, and I use a nvidia graphics card for the main output...

                    I would also like to have the movie output through the mobo...and the rest/controls through the nvidia card.
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