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Matrox DualHead2Go and TripleHeadToGo solutions with SongShow Plus*
Applicable SongShow Plus Versions:
This article applies to all versions of SongShow Plus.
The Matrox DualHead2Go and TripleHeadToGo solutions are external multi-monitor devices that can be used with notebooks and desktop computers. The DualHead2Go and TripleHeadToGo solutions are available in analog and digital versions. This small box lets you expand your desktop to run different applications on each monitor or view one application across two or three monitors. The latter case may be of the most interest to SongShow Plus users. In this scenario the two or three displays connected with the DualHead2Go or TripleHeadToGo will be used as one large display.
To find out more about these products, refer to the Matrox website link below:
Some testing was done with a Digital version of the DualHead2Go product and the results were rather interesting. The TripleHeadToGo was not actually tested but should work in a similar way.
There are at least two ways that this could be used with SongShow Plus - Expanding the presentation screen or expanding the control panel screen.
Expanding The Presentation Screen
One interesting use of this is when expanding the presentation screen. In this particular case it was tested with two 15" LCD displays, each with a native resolution of 1024 x 768. The resulting wider display using the Matrox DuelHead2Go was 2048 x 768. SongShow Plus behaved as expected with this larger display and no additional adjustments were needed. Some design consideration when creating content might need to be made for the bezel space between the two monitors, however if the output was going to two projectors this may not be necessary.
The performance was affected as expected. More complex presentations may show additional performance hits due to the greater frame buffer and rendering memory requirements of a larger display area. If this setup is considered, a high-end video card should be used as the larger output display will require additional rendering horsepower.
SlideShow Builder also seemed to work well with the setup, even taking into consideration the wider output when editing slide shows with the proper setting changes.
Expanding The Control Panel Screen
I also tried this on the Control Panel side and while it does function, some additional adjustments are required. I had to re-size the Control Panel to fit correctly and make several adjustments to the panels inside the Control Panel. This wider display did not seem very useful for SSP and the DualHead2Go will not "stack" the displays to make it vertically larger. This arrangement might prove more useful if "stacking" is possible in the future.
You can check the compatibility of the DualHead2Go with your video card using the link below:
Compatibility Tools - There is a tool available for download that will check your system or you can use the wizard to search for any graphics card.
Keep in mind that this does not guarantee compatibility or function with SongShow Plus and performance may be affected depending on the video card and size of displays (and corresponding output resolution) you are using.
What version of the Matrox software do I need to install?
None actually. For use with SSP, the Matrox software does not need to be installed at all because we control the device internally. If you do need to install the Matrox software for some other purpose, make sure the settings are all unchecked and at default configurations to ensure it does not override the SSP control.
Are any special settings required in SongShow Plus?
No. SongShow Plus and the system simply see the attached displays as a single wider display and treat it accordingly.
How will images/videos be scaled with the larger display?
SongShow Plus Display Property settings will behave the same as always with this device although the visual result may be more profound because the display is twice as wide as before. Wide format images and videos will look better when using this device.
The Change Monitor options only has 4:3 and 16:9 - will this still work?
The settings in Display > Change Monitor Options... are for the Embedded Display only and are not affected by the size of any attached display.