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Windows 7: Dual Monitor woes in W7 Media Centre...

31 Oct 2009   #1
Qdos

 
Dual Monitor woes in W7 Media Centre...

I've got two nice little 1680 x 1050 20.1" Dell S-IPS monitors, which are de-facto 16:10 units, mounted on an Ergotron stand, with the intention of using one for television and the other for computing purp's.

My Graphics card is a capable Palit HD4850 Sonic with dual DVI outputs. It's also got an S-Video output which isn't in use.

What I would like to do is run WMC maximised on one monitor, with TV there as and when I wish to view anything, and naturally I wish to use this screen maximised (the only issue in WMC is that there is a limitation of either choosing 4:3 or 16:9 ratio output, and not 16:10).

However when I connect both monitors vai DVI output Windows7 locks my cursor in the maximised TV screen and I then cannot control the primary PC monitor whatsoever - which is somewhat of a complete farce, and is an extremely dissappointing result!

Accordingly I have to drag the WMC display to get the 16:9 output to 'almost' fill the 16:10 monitor, and then face the annoyance of the cursor drifting to that screen from my PC monitor from time to time (I can happily live with a band to allow for the 16:9 ~ 16:10 hardware differential... but not this ridiculous loss of cursor control!)

Question is this... why does my cursor focus get restricted to one screen if the Windows Media Centre is maximised? The whole point of having dual-monitors is being able to use both of them at once of course...

I've tried with the ATi driver alone, and with the Catalyst suite loaded, with no differences to the issue.

My monitors also have an S-Video input, but I've not got an S-Video cable to hand right now - however... if I were to use S-Video for one monitor would I avoid the 'locked in cursor' problem?

Any suggestions would be appreciated...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2009   #2
dawesi

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I'm writing from my second screen right now... I'm still looking for a solution also... at the moment I just hit the windows key and drag the mouse from one screen to the other and keep working.

This way I can have the best of both worlds - full screen media center and a functional monitor to surf the web while I watch tv... or to show the weather forcast, etc...

Just found this post:
Dual monitors & Media Center - Vista Forums

seems like what we need :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2009   #3
dawesi

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

you beauty... download the windows 7 version at above link!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2009   #4
Qdos

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dawesi View Post
Just found this post:
Dual monitors & Media Center - Vista Forums

seems like what we need :-)
Ideal, that was useful. Thanks. I'm still going to try an S-Video link though, as I never use the second monitor for anything but TV.

Bought an Emprex 3009URF III remote, which should allow me to control Media Centre fully through the S-Video link and ensure my cursor remains on the PC monitor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2009   #5
VTMedicated

Windows 7 Ultimate RC, Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 
Vista had the same issue...

I don't have dual monitors running on my windows 7 configuration, but I have this same issue with Vista Media Center running whenever I go fullscreen on the secondary. Try hitting the combo Alt-Tab, and see if that breaks you out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2009   #6
VTMedicated

Windows 7 Ultimate RC, Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

That's "Alt" and "Tab" keys (no minus sign)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #7
Qdos

 

Hitting the Windows Key helps me move the trapped cursor, however Alt Tab doesn't. It is extremely annoying and represents a major flaw in Windows 7 for anyone using dual-monitors and exploiting Media Centre.

My screens are Dell FPW2005's and there have been no driver updates for them handed down through W7 update (not that I trust W7 hardware updates as it's already getting a reputation for doling out the wrong drivers for many devices as Microsoft have done a very poor job on driver recognition accuracy...)

I've also tried 'the Maxifier' and found the beta version for W7 isn't a lot of help; so the answer for me is going to lie in the S-Video approach to the multi-media monitor, linked with Media Centre control through the Emprex remote control.

At least that will leave my cursor, permanently, in the screen which I work in... and since that's all I need, it doesn't bother me - however... if I'd bought W7 with the expectation to multi-task on two screens using keyboard and the mouse and swap in Media Centre as desired I'd be gutted with Microsoft
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #8
slowrey

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

I am not sure why you just don't fit the screen without maximizing it. You would get the biggest image without worrying about the cursor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #9
Qdos

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slowrey View Post
I am not sure why you just don't fit the screen without maximizing it. You would get the biggest image without worrying about the cursor.
It's already been carefully mentioned earlier, in particularly regards the fact that my screens are built in 16:10 format, and Media Centre can get no closer than a 16:9 output - and that it's therefore frustrating and annoying to have a band of desktop around, or over, or below, the media viewing window.

The alternative is to maximise the MC window; but as I've said, this causes the cursor to become invisible within the MC monitor - and locked within the same physical area.

I simply don't expect this type of dysfunctionality from a modern OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #10
slowrey

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Qdos View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slowrey View Post
I am not sure why you just don't fit the screen without maximizing it. You would get the biggest image without worrying about the cursor.
It's already been carefully mentioned earlier, in particularly regards the fact that my screens are built in 16:10 format, and Media Centre can get no closer than a 16:9 output - and that it's therefore frustrating and annoying to have a band of desktop around, or over, or below, the media viewing window.

The alternative is to maximise the MC window; but as I've said, this causes the cursor to become invisible within the MC monitor - and locked within the same physical area.

I simply don't expect this type of dysfunctionality from a modern OS
Because Windows 7 doesn't fit your particular and specific need doesn't mean that it's a "dysfunctionality from a modern OS". Just because it doesn't "function" like you want it to doesn't mean it's dysfunctional. Well maybe just dysfunctional to you only
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual Monitor woes in W7 Media Centre...




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