UPDATED: QUADscreens (4,200 X 1,680) -- Fka: Triplescreens 41-inch UberHDTV (3,150 X 1,680) - 3 X 20" Monitors in Portrait

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Introduction: UPDATED: QUADscreens (4,200 X 1,680) -- Fka: Triplescreens 41-inch UberHDTV (3,150 X 1,680) - 3 X 20" Monitors in Portrait

by Dr. Augustine Fou

for your Thanksgiving football watching -- make sure to check page 5 to add an HDTV card to your computer (NOTE THAT UNLKE THE DVD MOVIES, the TV broadcast will only show on one screen -- this is due to the way WindowsXP displays video).

finally found a way to get movies to play in Windows XP Pro across multiple monitors; tried spanning (does not work when monitors are rotated); tried UltraMon, does not work; tried dualhead2go and triplehead2go but does not work when monitors are rotated.

here's how to set up a 41 inch (3,150 x 1,680) LCD panel (higher than standard LCD HDTVs at 1920x1080 or 1366x768) for gaming, watching movies, or just being more productive ;-)

(pictured, Casino Royale trailer, playing in Quicktime Player)

Step 1: Buy Components

the components used in the setup pictured are

$169.00 --- FOUR BenQ 20.1 inch LCD panels (1,680x1,050 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014146&Tpk=fp202w

in case you don't have the video cards

$32.99 -- ASUS GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121240

in case you don't have the wireless desktop

$44.99 --- Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823109119

in case your motherboard does not have TWO 16x PCI-Express slots, I recommend the following

for the latest AMD processors (socket AM2)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=242682-OP

for the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors (socket LGA775)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=322341

I buy all my hardware from Newegg...

Step 2: Plug in Monitors, Rotate Them

right click on desktop, go to properties

see that all three screens are detected and on

select each one, click next image to see how to rotate them properly to portrait

Step 3: Rotate Each Screen in Display Properties (in This Example NVRotate)

rotate each screen -- for these BenQ monitors, their controls are on the right edge of the screen, so I turned them all on the LEFT edges, so that the buttons end up on the top of each screen and easily accessible

Step 4: Turn DOWN the Brightness and Contrast

these screens were so bright that I turned down both brightness and contrast

brightness = 40%
contrast = 50%

and the screens were still really saturated and bright

Step 5: Adding an HDTV Tuner Card (optional)

NOTE THAT THE SOFTWARE TV PLAYER DOES NOT SPAN ALL 3 SCREENS THIS IS FOR WATCHING FOOTBALL maximized on JUST ONE SCREEN, leaving the other 2 as a computer monitor.

to add HDTV capability to your computer

assuming you have used up your video card slot, this will add an HDTV tuner card to one of the several PCI card slots in your computer.

here is a whole page of 11 different TV/HDTV tuner cards for your reference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&type=&Description=HDTV+Wonder&Submit=ENE&N=0&Ntk=all&Go.x=0&Go.y=0

the one that I used was the ATI HDTV Wonder Video Card (approx $98);

once you have inserted the card into an available PCI slot and plugged in a cable/antenna cable to the appropriate HDTV slot, you can turn on your computer and it will auto detect the card. then you will need to install the drivers and software (which comes on the CD that came in the package). The CD will automatically install all of the following modules in sequence; and this is recommended as a way to get things started. but if you don't have the CD for some reason or want to check for the latest versions of the drivers the following links will take you though the installation for the ATI HDTV Wonder card that I sed (NOTE: IT WILL NOT WORK WITH OTHER CARDS). and finally I recommend you start with the CD install and then when everything is up and running and configured properly, then you use the links below to get the very very latest drivers.

HDTV Wonder (product page)
http://ati.amd.com/products/hdtvwonder/index.html

HDTV Wonder Drivers
http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/xp/hdtvwonder-xp.html

see the 2 software packages on the page, you MUST install them in this order with restarting in between the steps.

once everything is installed; start ATI's Multimedia Center and click HDTV; this launches their software player and there is a wizard which steps you through detecting available channels -- like free broadcast channels. Once the wizard is completed you will see the HDTV broadcasts on your screen. You can maximize the TV screen to ONE of the screens (this software displays only on the Windows primary display and does NOT show TV across all three screens).

Step 6: Play Movies

Quicktime can play full screen (James Bond trailer shown in first image)
www.quicktime.com

MatrixDvD player can play DVD movies full screen (beta version)
http://www.xj-spark.com/

trailer playing



Example of Machinima (footage from video game) displayng fluidly across all 3 screens



Step 7: UPDATE - QUAD-screens (why?)

added one more 20-inch screen of the same type to make 4,200 x 1,680

It is useful for viewing UI diferences between browsers. What is shown (from left to right) are 4 browsers, not displaying the same page; plus a screen shot of the 4 browsers showing the same webpage.

Internet Explorer 7
Firefox 2.0.0.4
Safari 3 for Windows
Opera 9.21

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    82 Discussions

    New egg says the monitors are "deactivaeted", do you know another place I can get them? Also, is $169 the price for one, or all four?

    1 reply

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l3201&_nkw=BenQ+FP202W&_sacat=0

    I would say this is only half complete. Take those monitors out of their casing and sit their screens side by side. No big black gaps, just multiple monitors that look like a single unit. Cool idea but it needs more hack, and less gaps.

    2 replies

    iwas thinking the same thing as i clicked on the link, they're discontinued...damn. with a mount and some curve this could really take off, just do six for $340...a steal for a completely imersed desktop

    *they were $160 each, too much for a product that will be disassembled

    it's like watching tv from behind jail bars. imo, you should either modify the monitors so they're all in one custom made cases side-by-side, or just buy an LCD TV of equivalent size, and junk the the tuner.

    correct me if im wrong, but i think these days you can just buy a 42-inch tv/pc monitor for just over a $1000? and without the 2 lines in the middle? so whats the point of doing this?

    12 replies

    Because it is nerdy. Girls think nerds are sexy. That's why it is so hard for nerds to get dates. Girls don't want to go out with someone sexier then they are

    You know, like a face, tilt your head to the right (or turn your monitor to the left)

    Yeah, I know what you mean, I thought it was an abreviayion when I first saw it

    Well, you'd spend $657 (as of 07-04-07) on 3 monitors, plus $200-300 on video cards, plus $100 on an hd tuner. totalling around $1000 anyway A $1000 hd display that has VGA input would have an HD tuner, so it'd work either way...

    What about multiple HD Projectors to make a vr style system... Like the Virtual planes... or star tours? That would be awesome...

    because you can do it with said 42-inch tvs instead, and you can have different stuff running on each moniter