ATI Monitor 2 on TV playing Movies?


Senior Member
My ati card allows for 2 VGA outputs, 1 Composite Out and 1 S-video out. Right now i have My monitor as the primary output for my pc and i have also setup the Composite output to display the primary monitor(my desktop).

I have the option to setup a virtual second destop basically giving me two desktops using one video card and one PC. But here is the problem... My virtual desktop wont let me play videos on it. In other words if i Play a video on my primary desktop and drag it over so the half is on one screen and half is on the other screen only the half thats on my primary screen will show up the other half on the secondary will not show up. I know this is do to the limitation of the PC not being able to run 2 of the same drivers at one time. I think its the DirectX driver or something. And i know that im pretty much out of luck but i am looking for a simple work around.

Basically what i want to do is use my PC as both a PC and a HTPC at the same time. On one monitor(my projector) i want to run HTPC software and be able to watch video on my projector. On the other monitor(actual monitor) i want to see my desktop and run other applications as normal but i would also like to be able to watch videos and listed to audio files and this as i normall would. So basically i want the impossible and thats i want two PC in one without having to add or change any hardware in my PC.

So...Is there any tricks to getting this to work that i dont know about or am i just going to be stuck with not being able to use my pc while im using it as a HTPC?
I don't know all the ins and outs of using 2 monitors but I found that using the "Extended Desktop" works fine with a 15" LCD as the primary and my HDTV as the secondary monitor.

The LCD is hooked up through VGA and the TV is hooked up via DVI.

With this configuration I'm able to watch movies on the TV while Meedio runs on the LCD.

I don't know if this info is helpful in your situation but here it is for what it's worth.
I have the same issue on my work system, I installed an older Cirrus Logic card so I can have an extended desktop, but videos do not play once I drag the player over to the second desktop. I did hear it was some sort of DirectX limitation, but Microsoft got this to work in MCE 2005 (MCE can now be launched on the second monitor/tv), so it has to be possible.
It may be that playing the video requires using an overlay (hardware) and the ATI card will not do overlays on the composite/svideo out. I'm not sure about that, but I've run into similar things before. You may be able to tell it to display video without using the hardware overlay (try setting this in the program you are using to display it). You may also be able to tell the ATI drivers to show video full-screen on the composite/svideo output (this is not the same as running an extended desktop). But then you wouldn't be able to show the desktop.

I have an ATI card on my main machine at home, but I normally don't use the TV out. If I have a chance tonight, I'll check it out and see what things look like.