A monitor and tv on the same computer?


Aug 21, 2008
hey guys, i recently just moved to an apartment where there is a tv mounted to my ceiling (old tv but still bad assed like you wouldnt belive). I know how to hook up the TV so as it would basically be a second display, but the thing is i wouldnt want it on all the time, i do alot of gaming and i would want to worry about expending video power to the tv while i am shooting at zombies, robots, mutant nazis what have you. do you guys have any suggestions? here is my set up

amd phenom x4 955 (not oc'ed...yet...)
4 gigs ram
ATI 4890 1 gig video card (i think its a sapphire, cant remmber)
too many harddrives too little time
a bitchin sound system
one older tv on a ceiling mount, facing a comfy ass bed\couch, it has an RCA in and a COAX in, lottsa ins

thanks yall


The TV probably has a way to switch between input sources. I'm kinda betting it has a remote control box. Look for a button that says "Input" and try that. The on-screen display will probably show you either the channel now playing, or a word like "Video".

The TV's standard F-type cable TV input connector is clear. Its RCA connector, no doubt, is for an NTSC Composite Video input from outside, and this is where the screen gets it "Video" signal from. To feed it you would need a computer video output with a Composite Video signal available. For example, we just built a home "TV" system computer with a DVI output connector and a S-Video connector output, and bought a small adapter cable that makes a Composite Video output signal from the S-Video output. We feed our TV from that. Composite Video is done on a coaxail cable with an RCA male connector on each end. It is not intended for very long cable runs, but you can probably get away with it within one room. However, it is ONLY video - no sound. So look also for two more RCA connectors on the back of the TV for Stereo Audio In. The usual color coding is: Yellow for Composite Video, White for Left Stereo Audio, Red for Right Audio. If you have that, then you need stereo audio output from the computer. Usually there are such signals available from a sound output - often as a 3.5mm diameter (green) socket that accepts a 3-terminal (tip, ring & sleeve) plug. You need an adapter that converts that output into two RCA female sockets so you can plug in a pair of audio cables to run from the computer to the TV.

Hook up Composite Video and Stereo Audio from computer to TV this way. Use the TV remote's "Input" button to select whether you watch the computer feed or normal TV on channels. Use its On / Off button to turn of when not using it. Easy.

Check your video card's capabilities. Many I've seen recently can do two display devices - like, one DVI output to a digital monitor and one S-Video or Composite Video to a TV - simultaneously, but not more than that. If you have that, you're OK.