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Thread: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

  1. #1
    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    A little while back, I was tasked with upgrading a PC in our office which output to 4 HDMI only TV's so it could output to 6. After a bit of investigation I came across one of the very few cards with 6 outputs, the AMD FirePro W600. Little did I know that despite the AMD website and Amazons listing for the item both mentioning it could output to 6 monitors, there's a little section in the manual that says it will only output through converters to 2 HDMI screens! Ensue confusion and frustration.

    Sadly the TV's are a cheap alternative to a proper NOC screens, so they don't have any PC connections, just HDMI, so I can't use any other connector for them. This means a new approach.

    I am thinking two graphics cards each with triple outputs (if this works), however they HAVE to be either HDMI or passively converted using adaptors to HDMI with little to no fuss, I can't have this go wrong again costing the company more money.

    Two graphics cards requires a new PC though as the current one only has one PCIe slot. Other requirements are minimal, i5, 8GB RAM, HDD... etc.

    So I need some assistance choosing graphics cards, something I have looked into very little these past few years (I still have a GTX 560 Ti!), and a mobo to host them which can fit the rest of the above.

    There is no set budget, but I will require good components from trusted manufacturers as this machine is on 24x7. I would prefer to build rather than buy complete.

    The output is all 2D, so no top of the range performance or gaming cards are required, but if it has to be one to get the three outputs then so be it.

    Any advise please?

  2. #2
    DDY
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    You can get past the adapter limitation using active mDP to HDMI adapters.

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    How about looking at the Matrox triplehead2go in conjunction with your firepro?

    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/pr...?productTabs=1

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    Supermarket Generic Brand AETAaAS's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    The quick and dirty method of adding monitors would be to simply get a USB display adapter. Bear in mind it is software acceleration through and through, so supplementation with a proper GPU in the one slot your system has may be preferable, but if your 2D content is simple or static enough, it might just do.
    Example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/eSynic-Suppo...dp/B00BLKER4I/

  5. #5
    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    You can get past the adapter limitation using active mDP to HDMI adapters.
    Sadly not, according to the manual. Even with active converters you can still only output to two HDMI devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    How about looking at the Matrox triplehead2go in conjunction with your firepro?

    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/pr...?productTabs=1
    Looks good, but it doesn't output to HDMI and I would rather keep things as simple as possible and not have to worry about buying adaptors as well as the additional hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by AETAaAS View Post
    The quick and dirty method of adding monitors would be to simply get a USB display adapter. Bear in mind it is software acceleration through and through, so supplementation with a proper GPU in the one slot your system has may be preferable, but if your 2D content is simple or static enough, it might just do.
    Example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/eSynic-Suppo...dp/B00BLKER4I/
    The current machine won't have enough USB ports to supply 6 screens, plus as I said in my OP, I need components from trusted manufacturers as this machine is on 24x7.

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    jim
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    OK, made a post and then did a bit of research to follow up.

    I'd recalled that you could only run two HDMI signals simultaneously from typical cards, so even if you get a card with 2 * DVI and 1 * HDMI, you can only use two of the three simultaneously. But, if you went with Displayport, you could run far more.

    Looking through AMD's manual for the 290X, that seems to be the case. And the GTX 980 standard is 1 * HDMI, 1 * DVI and the rest DP.

    So my guess would be that the options are 3 graphics cards, ideally with 2 * HDMI or 1 * HDMI, and 1 * DVI with a DVI to HDMI cable, or 1-2 graphics cards making use of DP and adapters.

    EDIT: I've just looked at that manual, and I'm not convinced. It says you can output 6 * DVI via active mDPs, but only 2 * HDMI via passive mDPs. That sounds a bit unlikely to me. See this thread here: http://devgurus.amd.com/message/1287515 and this here, where someone is using this card with 6 HDMI screens: http://forum.dataton.com/topic/539-a...0-video-cards/
    Last edited by jim; 22-12-2014 at 01:04 PM.

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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    Are all of the displays showing the same content? different content? or displayed as a grid?

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    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    The four screens are currently displaying 5 Chrome windows and an SNMPc Enterprise client. So they are separate outputs showing different content.

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    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    Coming back to this now, still looking for a way to output to 6 HDMI only screens.

    I have seen suggestions of keeping my W600, using active mDP to DVI, and active DVI to HDMI adaptors, but AMD will not confirm that this will work. This is their last response:

    "Yes, you are correct that maximum of 2 active adapters supported on W600. Having said that, you can have only 2 HDMI display. If you wish to have more than 2 displays or multiple displayes, additional hardware such as DP ready monitors or DP 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required.
    Alternatively you will require 6 DP-Single link DVI active adapter to use DVI monitors."

    I have also been looking around for GPU's with 3 x HDMI outputs so I can get two of them, heck even three double HDMI cards would suit... But I'm struggling to find some.

    Any ideas anyone?

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    3 of these at £230 (assuming you claim back the VAT as it's a business purchase)?

    Assuming the game bundles are simply codes, you could probably make a few quid on selling those too.

    Edit: Crap, no SLI support

    Cheaper still are these at £147 but no Crossfire support
    Last edited by mycarsavw; 14-01-2015 at 12:05 PM.
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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  12. #11
    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Building a PC to output to 6 HDMI only TV's

    Those second cards look better, cheaper and lower profile so easier to fit three in a PC. I don't need Crossfire/SLI support so that's fine.

    Now I need to spec up the rest of the machine to accommodate three cards!

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