dual monitor audio

Posted on 2012-08-16
Last Modified: 2012-08-19
Windows 7 professional
Dual screen setup where one of the screens is a TV and the other is a monitor.

When I want to play a video off of hard drive I open media player and drag the window to the TV - for ex.
When I do this the sound moves from the PC speakers over to the TV.
This is what I want to happen.

My question is this:
After doing the above, I sometimes want to open another app and have it's audio stay on the PC.
But I'm unable to do so - it's sound will also go to the TV.
Is there a way to do this?

Actually a good way to look at it is put the sound on whichever screen the application is on.
If you drag it over to the TV then I want the sound on the TV.
If you drag it back to the PC (or was always on the PC) I want the sound to be on the PC.
BUT to do BOTH at the same time.

If you need more info just ask ...
Question by:dgrafx
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    It may be possible, however it all depends on your sound hardware.  What sort of soundcard do you have in your system?  You should be able to right click the speaker down next to the clock on your taskbar and click playback devices.  Here you can see your different sound output options.  You may also be able to go into the specific application and choose which sound device you want it to output the sound to.  You should have a separate one for your tv sound (im guessing HDMI) and one for your output from your headphone jack.  Post if you need more help.
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    I don't believe Windows 7 supports simultaneous multiple audio outputs natively.

    If the specific application (VLC, Media Player) etc.. allows you to specify the audio output, you may be able to accomplish this, but I don't believe it is possible.
    LVL 24

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply guys

    yes - there are different outputs available.
    such as hdmi from video card sends audio to TV and then there is a sound card which PC speakers are plugged in to - and usb headset.
    Changing the settings (in the audio settings) does not get a person very far.
    You can set default device - then that is where sound will come out of - but that is not my question.

    It would be great if applications allowed you to specify the audio output device!
    I haven't seen this.


    I guess I'd like some input on what custom something or other (hardware - software)  would be able to do what I desire.

    Thanks a lot
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    While the OS does not handle this, some apps do.

    Windows Media player does this.

    Tools --> Options --> Devices --> speakers.. allows you to choose which audio device is used for playback.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    What application are you using to play your videos?  I believe checking the settings in your actual application is going to be the best route.  I, for example, have a wireless headset I use while playing Diablo 3.  I have my game sound coming from my speakers and have my ventrilo set to output the voice chat to my headset.  I hope this makes sense.  Reply with some more detail on your setup and we can go from there.
    LVL 24

    Author Comment

    here's the thing
    sometimes i use different software to play videos - but just for this example:

    1. i open windows media player and start playing a video playlist.
    the sound will be through the PC speakers - this is what I desire.

    2. I drag the player to the other monitor (the TV) and the sound switches to the TV speakers - this is desired as well.

    3. I open a browser (these days I use Chrome) and want to play a YouTube video.
    I want the sound to stay on the PC speakers but it has moved over to the TV along with media player.
    This is Undesirable ...

    4. I drag media player back to PC monitor and the sound switches back to PC speakers.
    This is what I desire.

    Now I imagine that a browser plays sound through the default device.
    So I could set the default device to be PC speakers and set media player to be the hdmi output and some of this would work.
    When i drag the media player back to the PC monitor I need the sound to come back without needing to make a settings change.
    I don't want to go into an application and change the audio output setting each time I do this cause I do it a lot.

    So to sum up - I'm looking for something that attaches a sound device to a monitor - would be a good way to look at it.
    Whatever plays on this monitor goes to this sound device - whatever plays on that monitor play on that sound device.

    Keep in mind that I'm open to additional hardware / software widgets ...

    Thanks guys ...
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Simple answer:   You can't do it.    

    More details:   As has already been noted, some applications let you set a specified output for that application -- one of the choices is generally the "default device", which will play to the currently selected default output choice.     You can have multiple outputs if you have multiple audio cards -- but you still have to manually change the default output for each device and/or for any application that allows you to specify the output.      It's also possible to set up a simple macro to change the default device -- and you could assign a shortcut to this on the desktop ... but it still requires manual action by you to do this (i.e. double-click the shortcut).

    I know of NO utility that will automate the sound output choice based on screen position -- which is essentially what you want.     And even if you wrote a screen monitoring application that tracked the location of every active window, it couldn't do what you want unless it also "knew" the audio setting protocol for every application you use.   Possible?   Yes.   But certainly not realistically possible with anything I'm aware of.
    LVL 24

    Author Comment

    Sorry guys - I was away ...

    I did toy around a bit ...
    Nothing new to report.

    I feel I should mention that I'm certainly not asking to monitor Every active window - you may have misunderstood my needs - I simply would like to monitor 1 or 2 applications.

    but anyway I thank you guys for the comments.
    there is a bunch of googling on this subject as well.
    it seems someone would write something ...
    LVL 24

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