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Control multiple plasma displays to show a specific web site

Hello,

I have been asked to program a web site with company statistics such as daily sales, current stock price, hot news etc.  The site will have perhaps 5 navigation links, the first one being sales and the sales link will show a few pictures of the current sales, etc.  We'll be using dundas.com software to create the graphs.

My boss wants to purchase perhaps 4 plasma displays to be located throughout the building and then have the web site "cycle" through all of the different pages so that all 4 displays will show the information.

What hardware is required to do this?  It would be fairly easy to hook up a single plasma display to a computer located nearby but we're going to have multiple displays 100's of feet away.

We'll be purchasing all new equipement for this (displays, computer etc) so that we dont have to hobble together a solution using existing equipement.  Any recommendations for specific hardware would be greatly appreciated.

Please don't just point me to a pc-to-tv converter since all of the ones I've seen seem to only work for a single tv... how do we get multiple plasma displays working?

I'll give additional points if someone goes into some detail about possible pitfalls and such.

Thanks!
Rico
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tfsaccount
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tfsaccount
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3 Solutions
 
snerkelCommented:
If you can get screens with VGA inputs, then dedicate a PC to each plasma. Use Ethernet to network all the PCs. Enable remote desktop, or use VNC to remotely manage the PCs.

Run a web browser on each PC pointing to your web server. Job sorted... and you have flexibility to customise each plasma in the future if you wish.
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tfsaccountAuthor Commented:
I thought of that but there are a few places where a computer wouldn't be practical.

Rico
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CallandorCommented:
WinXP and Win2K support multiple displays, so get two dual port video cards for the machine to show 4 outputs.  Connect the displays to your PC using VGA over cat5 converters: http://www.hallresearch.com/products/vga_over_cat5/vga-over-cat5.htm.  Matrox cards produce very sharp images if you don't need 3D rendering.  The use of shielded cat5e will decrease the chance of signal degradation over those distances.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
How about VGA-TV converter with multiple outputs?
http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=200195
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nltechCommented:
shopping list:

four pc's with network connection and a plasma or other suitable large display
   doesn't need to be much horsepower in any of them
   at least 16bit color supported at the resolution you want

the host has to be xp/2k/2003
   the rest can run 98 or newer, wine under linux, or mac os w/ vpc.

and this inexpensive software:
   http://www.maxivista.com/mirror_screen.htm
   (can handle 4 displays it says)

as far as the web pages themselves: ie or ff in kiosk mode and a timed meta refresh pointing to the next page should be all you need.
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nltechCommented:
alternative:

one pc with a video card that supports four displays, four large displays, and three vga over ethernet extenders:
http://www.networktechinc.com/cat5-vga.html

a little cheaper than the three additional pc's depending on what kind of deal you happen across at dell for the pc's. :)
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tfsaccountAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses!  I split the points up because 2 offered similar solutions and I appreciate the tip on meta refreshing!

Thanks again guys!!
Rico
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
cool thank you!
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arthurjbCommented:
Having multiple displays hundreds of feet away is the key here.

Some of the solutions here come close, but the least expensive solution is to install your own local Cable TV network, with just a single channel.

Here is the equipment list,
Cable, enough to run to each monitor from the central point where the display computer will be located.
Video splitter with one port for each monitor
Computer to tv video adapter.
 
This site seems to have everything you should need http://www.summitsource.com  (this is not an endorsement, since I have not dealt with them, just a pointer to a place to look.)

The nice thing about this solution is that ony one computer is needed, and all the monitors show the same information at the same time, and with the addition of a video camera, the boss can use the system to address all the folks in the building.  It could also be used to give the folks views of important current events...



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