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Setting Up Two Displays on One Computer (Windows 98, ME, and XP)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with TV compatible video connectors using Windows 98, Me, and XP.
This document explains how to connect and set up a television (TV) or a second monitor as a second display. Using the secondary video connection on the graphics adapter, you can connect a TV (S-Video, RCA) or another monitor (DVI, HDMI) to your computer.
If you added a video card and are using the video connectors on the card, see the documentation that came with the video card before using this document.
NOTE: Not all HP and Compaq computers ship with a secondary video connector. If your computer does not have a second video connector, install a graphics adapter with a video connector or buy special video signal processing equipment before using a TV as a monitor.

Connecting a TV or second monitor to the computer

To connect a second display to the computer and configure the computer for your viewing environment, complete the following steps:
NOTE:If the picture displayed on the TV or monitor does not fit on the screen, or has blank areas to the sides of the screen, then use the TV or monitor zoom or aspect ratio feature. On TVs, aspect or zoom is usually found as a button on the remote control.

Position the monitor and television

Place the monitor and television in their respective locations, depending on how you want to use the displays:
ClassroomPosition the computer monitor on a desk so you can view both displays and the audience. Place the television where any member of the audience can easily view it.
Work desktopPlace the computer monitor and television side by side. Allow a little more viewing distance between the two displays and the viewer's eyes.
Home computing desktop

Identify the type of cables you need

The type of video cable you need depends on your TV and monitor.
  1. Select one TV cable and one monitor cable:
    Video Out connector/cable Use withConnector colorDescription
    Video (composite)

    TVYellowThe composite video signal combines white (luminance) and color (chrominance) video information onto a single line (wire).

    This cable is the most common video format of the National Television Systems Committee (NTSC).

    TVBlackThe S-Video signal separates the white (luminance) and color (chrominance) signal components and transmits the components separately using multiple lines (wires). Separate luminance and color signals provide a higher vertical resolution than composite video devices.

    S-Video equipment was originally designed for high-end television production, but is now available to the consumer market. S-Video is also known as Y/C video.

    MonitorBlue(Video Graphics Array) Analog computer graphics standard that supports a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.
    NOTE:A TVs resolution is roughly half the quality of a monitor that is set at 640 x 480. Image quality can appear worse when using higher display resolutions because higher resolutions bring out the lower resolution of standard TV. This is a limitation of the TV standard.
  2. Verify that the second display and the graphics adapter have the same type of video connectors. A matching video connector type must be on the both the TV and the computer before you can use these steps.
    Figure 1: Video connectors
    1 - Composite video/TV-Out
    2 - S-Video Out
    3 - Standard VGA monitor
    • For a TV, use either an S-Video or standard composite (also known as RCA cables) cable that matches the TV in connector. You can use an S-Video-to-composite adapter when the video card only has an S-Video connector.
    • If the television does not have a composite or S-Video connection and has only a coaxial or antenna connector, use an adapter that connects S-Video/composite to the coaxial connector. These are readily available from most local electronics supply stores at minimal cost.
      Coaxial video is another type of cable or connection that typically carries a composite video signal. This connection is mainly used by local cable and satellite television companies to deliver their signals. Most graphics adapters do not have a coaxial-style out connector because they send out their own TV signal.
    • For a monitor, use the VGA connector.

Connect the cables

Use the following steps to connect both displays to the computer:
  1. Connect the TV or second monitor to the computer. Select the first available connection from the following list, depending on the television and computer in connections:
    S-Video Connect an S-Video cable to the S-Video out connector on back of the computer and the S-Video in connector on the back of the television.
    Composite video Connect a composite video cable to the composite video out connector on back of the computer and the composite video in connector on the back of the television.
    Second monitor If you are using a second monitor instead of a TV, connect the additional monitor cable to the extra VGA or DVI out connector on back of the computer and the VGA or DVI in connector on the back of the monitor.
  2. If you want to use the speakers on a TV for audio, use one of the following methods:
    • A Y-adapter cable that connects a mini-jack connector (the connector that plugs into the computer) to two RCA-style stereo connectors (the connectors on a stereo TV).
    • Use the audio from the computer, if your current audio cables do not connect to the TV.
  3. Turn on the TV or second monitor. Do not turn on the computer.
  4. Change the input source setting to match the incoming signal connection (usually Line-1, Video-1 or S-Video). Press the TV remote control input button, if using a TV.
    NOTE:This step is important. If a TV is not on and changed to the proper video source, the video card cannot detect the TV.

Configure the display settings

To configure Windows for the extra display, use one of the following sections depending on how you want to use the TV:

Classroom and presentation environments

Use the following steps to show what is happening on the computer to an audience:
  1. Turn on the computer. Wait until the Windows desktop opens before continuing.
    The second display might show the computer screen as the computer starts, depending on the video card.
  2. If the same image of the Windows desktop displays on both the second display and the monitor, move the mouse pointer to see if the cursor moves both inside the monitor and the second display.
    • If the mouse pointer cursor moves in both displays at the same time, you do not have to continue. The video card automatically uses a presentation environment when it detects the second display. However, you might still want to continue to adjust the video image and see if your video card can reduce flickering, and increase sharpness, and other quality settings for a TV signal.
    • If the mouse pointer moves only in one display, continue using these steps to setup up the presentation environment.
    NOTE:If the Windows desktop never displays on the monitor, disconnect the second display from the computer and reconnect it again after restarting the computer and opening Windows. If you have a TV, this must be done on the monitor because a TV does not show enough detail, making it difficult to finish the rest of these steps.
  3. Right-click anywhere on an open area of the Windows desktop and click Properties.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
    NOTE:If you are using a TV, you can change the display resolution for the computer as low as possible to help the image quality on the TV. Icons and other items display larger and can be seen more easily on the TV if using a lower resolution, such as 640 by 480 pixels or 800 by 600 pixels. Click Apply if you change the resolution setting.
  5. Click the Advanced button.
  6. This step depends on the options that the video card provides. Click through the advanced video card display properties screens and look for a display feature that copies the image from the computer onto both displays.
    The following table shows video cards that are common to HP and Compaq computers, how to find dual display windows from Advanced Display properties, and how to use their display copying features:
    Video CardProcedure
    ATI Radeon - TV
    1. Click the Displays tab.
      The monitors and TVs are shown. The upper-left corner of each display icon is a button and a status indicator. A red corner indicates an inactive display; a green corner indicates an active display. (YPbPr displays if component video is selected.)
    2. To view the display on your monitor and TV simultaneously, click the upper-left corner of the TV icon. It becomes green. Both the monitor and the TV icons have green corners.
    nVidia GeForce 6XXX - Clone
    1. Ensure to select nView Display Settings in the list on the left side.
    2. Select Clone from the nView Display Mode drop down menu.
    3. Select the Primary and secondary displays from the drop down menu.
    nVidia GeForce 4/FX - Clone
    1. Click the tab that contains the name of the video card.
    2. Click nView Display mode from the list in the left pane .
    3. Click Clone in the tab window.
    NOTE:You can make more adjustments now to try to increase the quality of the picture on the TV.
  7. After making the selection, click Apply.
  8. When the image displays on the TV screen, click Yes to keep the setting. You have 15 seconds to accept this new setting before it returns to the previous setting.
  9. Click OK to save changes. Click OK again to close the window.
    Both the monitor and the second display show the same image.
Figure 2: Example of ATI video card display window
Example of ATI video card display window
Figure 3: Example of nVidia video card display window
Example of nVidia video card display window

Desktop environment (extended Windows XP desktop space)

Use the following steps to configure Windows so that it uses the TV as extra desktop space:
  1. Turn on the computer.
    The TV might show the computer screens as the computer starts depending on the video card. Wait until Windows opens before continuing.
  2. If Windows never displays on the monitor, disconnect the TV from the computer and reconnect it again after turning the computer on and opening Windows. You have to do this because a TV cannot display the details of the monitor, making it difficult to continue using these steps.
  3. Right-click anywhere on an open area of the Windows desktop, select Properties, and then click the Settings tab.
  4. The number one blue rectangle represents primary display and the number two blue rectangle represents the secondary display (usually the TV).
  5. Click the number one rectangle and adjust the Screen Resolution setting to 1024 x 768 pixels, Then set the color quality to Highest (32 bit).
  6. Click OK.
    If a Monitor Settings window displays after the screen properties change, click Yes.
  7. Right-click anywhere on an open area of the desktop, select Properties, and then click the Settings tab.
    Figure 4: Multiple displays as shown in Display Properties
    Multiple displays as shown in Display Properties
  8. Click the number two rectangle. If a Monitor 2 message displays, click Yes to enable the television signal.
  9. Select Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.
  10. Adjust the Screen Resolution setting to 1024 x 768 pixels, set the color quality to Highest (32 bit), and then click OK.
  11. Click and drag the blue rectangles that represent the displays and position them next to each other. Position them so that they visually represent how the display devices are sitting on the desk. For example, if the TV is sitting on a shelf directly over the monitor, you would click and drag the blue rectangle that represents the TV so that it is directly over the blue rectangle that represents the monitor.
  12. Click OK. If a Monitor Settings window displays after the screen properties change, click Yes.
    The extended desktop is configured and ready for use

Troubleshooting TV setup

Try the following items if you encounter problems when trying to connect a TV to the computer:
  • Certain graphics adapters must have the TV set as the graphics display adapter before recognizing it. If the computer is not "detecting" the TV as a display device when the computer is on, set TV as the primary display device in Windows and restart the computer.
  • Turn on the TV before turning on the computer.
  • TVs require their source setting changed to the video source that the video card is using. Select either Input 1, Input 2, or S-Video by pressing the Source or Input Source button on the TVs remote control. This can vary depending on the type of TV you are using. If your TV does not have this capability, you cannot use it as a second monitor without using special video signal processing (not covered in this document). For more detailed instructions consult the manual for your TV.
  • Try setting the screen resolution to 800 x 600 or less from Display Properties on the computer.
  • After changing the display resolution in Windows to the best possible resolution across devices, you might need to adjust the aspect ratio on some of the televisions/monitors to scale the image to the screen.
  • Try using only one video source. Do not connect two cables to the TV or monitor at the same time.
  • A TV accepts either a PAL (Europe) or NTSC (North America) signal, depending on the country/region of manufacture. Make sure that the signal format of the TV matches the signal output that the card produces (for on-board TV-output, change this setting in the BIOS).

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