Dual Monitor Support — What the doctor ordered

One of the biggest requests for the All-in-Wonder product line has been dual monitor support (from dual engines). This is something long in waiting, which was first materialized in Personal Cinema 2, though still a bit “off.”

The reason behind this frequent request is that the act of watching TV or a movie is often done in conjunction with doing something productive (like writing an article, in our case). With TV or File Player running, it does take up a significant amount of desktop space, and the only way to work on a spreadsheet and watch media (TV or File) is to enable ThruView (which manipulates the video in a certain transparency range). Though ThruView isn't the same as watching TV and working on a spreadsheet separately, it is a clever idea as a space saver. That having been said, the need/want to multitask and the increase of desktop space are obvious reasons for dual monitor support for an All-in-Wonder card.

The problem, however, comes in the implementation of dual monitor support. Previous All-in-Wonder cards could do simply one monitor plus another device (TV monitor, projector, etc.). However, the single video source could only be shown on the primary display.

Now, ATI has brought the All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro with dual monitor support, which brings the option of running up to three displays (dual monitor and TV/projector/etc. in clone mode). Yet, there are certain limitations to the way dual monitor support works. TV, for one, can't be extended over the second monitor so that it is viewed on both monitors at the same time. When you drag the TV window towards the other desktop, there is a docking effect, where you just hit the edge of the primary monitor and are automatically stopped. While running video on the second monitor, you can't get the extending effect either, which the Personal Cinema 2 allows. When you drag the window to the other desktop, the video simply appears there. Meanwhile, whichever desktop has less video occupying it, the video won't appear on that monitor's desktop space.


Click to enlarge.


ATI's All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro Multimedia Center anew – FM Tuner
POST A COMMENT

38 Comments

View All Comments

  • ddschmidt - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - link

    I just bought an ATI AIW 9600 Pro and am wondering if you want tell me how to get the tv tuner to display on the secondary monitor. The article talks about the tv display "docking" when you try to move it to the secondary monitor, but the article goes on to discuss what happens when the tv display spans two monitors and that it shows only on the monitor that has the largest part of the tv display window.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    Does anybody where I can buy this card in Europe (Germany) Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    Is it really worth it to upgrade to an AIW AGP card for PVR type features, versus a PCI card? I have a AverTV Studio Card and use WinDVR software to record my shows. But, the quality seems to suck on some low & high channels! I was wondering if the xtra bandwidth from the AGP slot versus the PCI slot would clear up the recordings? I already have a 9000 Pro for what litte gaming I do. The gaming I'm not concerned with! I mostly use it as a TIVO (with no subscription fees!!!) Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    Does this card offer hardware decoding or/and hardware encoding like the hauppauge PVR 350.
    Seems quite important if your going to actually use this card as PVR type device.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - link

    Or perhaps it's slower... Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - link

    Hercules has released a AIW 9800SE in europe at a very cheap price! That should be faster than the 9600 Pro and perhaps it can be modded to a 9800 Pro?

    www.Hercules.com
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 20, 2003 - link

    I concur. Not having DVI is a real step back for ATI on this product line. This is the first Radeon AIW card that has not offered DVI. A huge disappointment, as my LCD monitor takes only DVI (which I bought because the first Radeon AIW I bought had the DVI connector). And because it's an MDR-20 to DVI-D connector, I can't use it at all (well, there is that $400 converter, but that kind of defeats the purpose). Talk about pulling the rug from under you. Thanks a bunch, ATI. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 20, 2003 - link

    I am so disappointed that AIW 9600 Pro doesn't have DVI. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 20, 2003 - link

    I want this card... bbbbaaaadddd! Thank you ATI for finally including RADIO!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 20, 2003 - link

    I want this card... bbbbaaaadddd! Thank you ATI for finally including RADIO!
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now