Using Multiple Display Outputs

Depending on the graphics card, a self-build display computer running WATCHOUT can support up to six displays. Dataton media servers offer up to 12 simultaneous outputs from a single server. These displays operate independently of each other, and can be freely positioned and rotated.

To drive multiple displays from one computer, enter the output number of each display in its dialog box (see illustrations under “2D Display/Projector” and “3D Mapping Projector”). Use the same computer name or IP-number for these displays.

IMPORTANT: Connecting multiple displays to one computer increases the load on that computer. You will need a more powerful computer, with a multi-core CPU and a fast disk drive or SSD, to drive multiple displays. For best performance, you may need to limit the number of displays.

Editing Multiple Displays

You can edit properties of multiple displays, of the same type and targeting the same output device (Graphics Card or SDI), at once, by selecting them and then double-clicking one of them, or by right-clicking one of them and selecting “Specifications...”. This will open a display dialog in a modal manner, which means you can not work in any other window on the desktop while this dialog is open.

In this dialog you should only edit those properties that you want to be the same for all the displays you selected, for example color or address. If the address or name text fields are empty in this dialog, it means that those values are currently different for the displays you selected. Please note that the mask and geometry tabs are not visible in this dialog as these properties can not be edited in this way. The same goes for the view and calibration tabs of the 3D mapping projector.

Creating Multiple Displays

You can create multiple displays at once, formed in a grid, using the “Add Display Grid...” command, which can be found on the Stage menu, or on the right click menu of the stage.

Display grid general 2

Grid Size
Specifies the number of colums and rows in your display grid.

Display Resolution
All the displays will have the same resolution.

Start Position
Specifies the top left corner of top left most display in the grid. If you used the right click menu to open this dialog, this value will be prefilled with the position where you clicked.

Here you can specify how the displays should be separated/overlapped. Input a positive value to have the displays separated by that amount of pixels, or input a negative value to get an overlap with that amount of pixels.

Display tab advanced2

Display Type
Here you can select if you want to create normal 2D displays, or virtual displays.

Numbering and Addressing
Specifies if the displays should be numbered/addressed in rows or columns. You can also specify if the displays should be grouped in any way when numbering/addressing.

All displays should have unique names. This is why naming with variables is very useful. In the example dialog above, the variable %NUM% is used, which will be replaced with the number of each display. The numbering order can be specified as described above in “Numbering and Addressing”. Other variables you can use are %COL% and %ROW%, which represent the column and row number respectively.

Addressing of the multiple displays can be done in two ways: By IP or name address.

IP Address
By selecting “IP Address” in the selection box, as shown in the example dialog above, you can address the displays with IP addresses. In this case, just write the address of the first display computer in the text field, and the address will automatically be counted up for each new display computer. This numbering follows the rules specified above in “Numbering and Addressing”

Name Address
By selecting “Name Address”, you can specify named addresses for all the displays. This is done similarly as naming the displays (described in “Naming”), except you have only one variable available, %NUM%. This variable will be replaced with the computer number, to form the final address of each display. The numbering follows the rules specified above in “Numbering and Addressing”

Output Device
The output device configuration for Graphics Card or SDI. For more information about output configuration, please see “Output configuration”.

Outputs Per Computer
The number of outputs per display computer also affects the addresses of the displays and can be specified in the display grid dialog. The output number (if there is more than one) will be increased for each display created, making sure each display gets a unique address/output combination. The numbering follows the rules specified in “Numbering and Addressing”.

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