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Video Display for PC & TV

Posted on 2006-06-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I am looking for a slick way to have a selectable display of either TV or PC output to multipe 24" wall mounted displays in a dental office.  I have read a little about HDMI however it looks like this technology is not yet widely available.  We would like to have a 24" monitor in each of several operatories with the slickest possible installation.  Is there a way to have a single PC which drives multiple monitors (multiple video cards, etc) without the monitors having to display the same content?  Ideally we would like to be able to select the displayed content from each operatory without having to have a PC in each operatory.  I know this idea may be a little far fetched, but we want to push the envelope.

Bill

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Question by:billrush2
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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 16968414
A single WinXP or Win2K PC san theoretically drive 10 displays with different content on each; you just have to have the additional PCI video cards fit in the PC.  I have seen at least 6 used in trader workstations.  You don't need HDMI, plain old VGA will work, but you may need amplifiers if the cable length exceeds 15 feet.
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by:Jonybrv
ID: 16968902
Yes, a single Windows XP computer can support multiple displays but there are others factors to be considered:

* Distance of the wall mounted displays from the computer. The longer the cable the weaker the signal/quality of image. You might need to look for repeaters/amplifiers.
* The processing power as it requires muliti-monitor support.
* the number of video cards you might install and number of free slots on the computer for them.
* a software which can help you with switching display between monitor.

So this installation will not be easy. Simple go for solutions which are available like:

http://www.digitaltigers.com/stratosphere.shtml

If you change your mind to single display on all monitors a multi-kvm switch would do:

http://www.aten.com/products/productList.php?pcid=20050107104612001&psid=2005011710277002&layerid=subClass3




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by:abarneslouortho
ID: 16970327
Although both of the answers above are correct for running different screens on a single machine, I feel that you actually have a deeper question.  You want to have a separate monitor displaying different information in each operatory.  Will you not also want control of that display from each operatory?  If so, your idea, though a good one, wil not work.  Your best bet would be to setup thin clients.  In this setup, you have one main robust machine that stores all of your data, and controls your logins etc., and then using a network, each operatory would have a keyboard, mouse, monitor and a small machine with a very small footprint.  I'm not the most knowledgeable on the subject of thin clients, but I can point you in the direction of some great resources and companies that make thin client machines.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client
http://www.thinplanet.com/

Companies:
http://www.wyse.com/index.asp
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/12454-321959-89307-338927-89307.html
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