[Usability] One computer to stream different content to multiple monitors


New Member
July 19, 2010
Hi all,

This is my first post here on the forums. I would like to say that I have been very eager to get my HTPC to run for instance multiple sessions of Media portal, so I can watch on one monitor tv/video file etc. which can be different to what is being watched on the other monitor. Either way how you can accomplish this feature, I think it would be great for a lot of us. If you have the ability to assign one tv-tuner to one session, the other tv-tuner to the other monitor. Both can run independently have a remote assigned, and you can with one computer watch several streams of content in for instance your house. You will not need another computer doing this. It would be a real nice outcome for a media center downstairs to stream independent sessions all over the house. Then you can assign hardware to one session, other hardware to another session. People can use one computer upstairs to watch different content from what is downstairs. As far as I know you can only have one stream going to all monitors.

Pherhaps if someone knows another way to achieve multiple independent streaming, for instance running Media Portal normally and a virtual machine to assigning certain hardware (tuners) to a VM and letting it stream to the other monitor. Thanks in advance for reading this, I hope I have given a good idea that would be useful to a lot of us.


MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • September 18, 2006
    The idea is very appealing, I doubt though that this is possible but correct me if I'm wrong.
    I've seen an article once about a linux system with multiple - 6 or 8 - videocards and input devices so it could be used by multiple people at the same time. I think this is possible because of the ability to run different graphical sessions (x11) alongside each other and assign the input devices to that session.
    On windows, first you need to be able to run a program multiple times + assign all the peripherals that you need to a screen.

    VMware: again that problem of input devices.


    Portal Member
    May 28, 2008
    Wellington, NZ
    I thought I'd chime in an lend my enthusiastic support to the idea :)

    Funnily enough, I posted similar requests just a few days ago, over at the GBPVR forums.

    Duplicate the video window on multiple monitors
    Will multiple independent instances of NPVR be possible?

    Here's a copy of what I wrote:

    I have a scenario where my mediaServer has 4 monitors connected to 2 graphics cards.
    1 goes to the kitchen, 1 to the kitchen "bar" (between dining and kitchen), 1 to the lounge (open plan to kitchen) and 1 to a bedrooom.

    What I'd like is the ability to be able to duplicate the currently playing video in additional windows located in any of these monitors. So that, for instance, whomever is cooking and listening to the show that is playing in the lounge (audio is also fed to the kitchen area) can also watch it playing from the kitchen monitors. Or even have it playing on only 1 kitchen monitor while leaving the other free for a recipe in a browser, say.

    Technically, I believe this can be done by inserting the standard "Infinite Tee Filter" into the DirectShow graph, just after the video decoder, and connecting it to additional renderers. I've done some experiments using GraphStudio and managed to achieve it easily, connecting up an additional 3 duplicate windows.

    So even if the UI isn't implemented anytime soon, it would be great if the API functions to do this were added to the PVR, so it could be developed further by a plugin developer. (I may be tempted to jump into plugin development myself if the API functions were available for this and no-one else was keen ).

    Taking it one step further... ideally, I like to be able to run multiple, independent instances of the PVR GUI on each screen. Then, on any one, be able to pull up a "Now Playing" window that shows the videos that other instances are playing. Of those playing, you could choose any one to be duplicated on the current screen.

    Also would probably need a "Duplicate Video On..." screen that "pushes" video onto a selected monitor, in case an instance of the PVR wasn't running on the target monitor, or you weren't in the room you are duplicating it to.

    Here's some quick ideas for possible API functions :

    pvrInstance.videoPlayingOnMonitors() ;returns a list of monitors that the PVR is playing its video on
    pvrInstance.getMainMonitorNumber() ; returns the monitor the instance of the PVR is showing on
    pvrInstance.mainVideoWindow( monitorNumber, position, size) ;tells the PVR to play videos on a certain monitor.
    pvrInstance.duplicateVideoWindow( monitorNumber, position, size) ;tells the PVR to duplicate videos on a certain monitor.

    BTW, I haven't looked at the existing API or plugin development, so I don't even know how it all actually works - this API functionality may already be there, FAIK!

    As for control of each PVR instance, I'm thinking of using an Adobe Flash interface or Promixis NetRemote on a wi-fi enabled PocketPC (I've just bought some Dell x51v WinMob6 devices w VGA touchscreens for $100 each, second hand). This would need some "glue" on the server to send the HTTP requests from each device to its respective instance of the PVR (Promixis Girder might handle this?)

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