Run a Windows PC-based experience on a multi-screen display

    Introduction

    This article will explain how to run a Windows PC-based IntuiFace experience on an interactive wall or table comprised of multiple touchscreens.

    Important notices

    • Only Player for Windows can run an experience across multiple displays. Composer and all other Player options are limited to a single display.
    • Limit PCs to a single but powerful video card. Multiple GPU set-ups are counterproductive and will lead to poor IntuiFace performance.
      • For example, IntuiFace works better with one very powerful GPU card driving several QuadFullHD displays than with two very powerful GPU cards driving several fullHD displays.
      • Also, it may be more effective to use one QuadFullHD output from a GPU and use a video splitter to target 4 FullHD displays. Planar seems to offer good solution for "splitting" video output toward multiple displays).
      • If you really need several GPUs then, as of November 2017, Nvida GTX1080 GPUs with SLI seem to be a better solution than similar AMD hardware
      • We highly encourage you to experiment as soon as possible with the targeted hardware and, if necessary, modify IntuiFace projects based on performances results. You may ask for advice from IntuiFace Tech Support but IntuiLab cannot test all possible video wall setups, so our recommendations will in part be based on feedback from other users.
    • An alternative to a single experience display wall is a multi-experience display wall in which each display is run by an independent PC. Through the use of remote actions, these experiences can communicate with one another. The article below is specific to a single experience stretched across multiple displays.
    • 2-in-1 devices must be set to Laptop Mode if used with multi-screen displays. Tablet Mode does not support a multi-screen environment.

    3M-DSE2014.jpg

    Preparing Windows OS for Multi-Display Use

    Configure Windows to use multiple displays

    • After connecting your displays, right click on Desktop and select Display settings

    Display_Settings.png

    • From "Multiple displays" drop-down list select "Extend these displays

    MultiScreensetup.PNG

    • You are now able to drag and position the displays in the order that suits your setup. Press Apply when finished.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: A user logout (or machine restart) is necessary after configuring your displays position.

    Configure Windows to recognize each touch displays in your layout.

    NOTE: Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 will handle more easily simultaneous multi-touch displays.

    • Open Tablet PC Settings then click on Setup...

    multipleDisplay-4.jpg

    • Select Touch Input and follow the steps for each screen.
      Do this once for every screen in your layout.

    multipleDisplay-5.jpg

    Creating an IntuiFace project targeting an extended display

    If starting a new project, select a Custom resolution. Enter the width and height corresponding to the total resolution of your extended desktop. If modifying an existing project, use the Composer menu option Project -> Project Settings to enter the appropriate extended desktop resolution.

    EXAMPLE ONE: Consider two Full HD (1920 x 1080) displays in a side-by-side horizontal layout. In Composer, create a project with a 3840 x 1080 resolution. Your work scene will now look like this:

    multipleDisplay-2.jpg

    EXAMPLE TWO: If you have a 3 x 3 Full HD wall like the one at the top of this article, set the project resolution to 5760 x 3240. That is (3 * 1920) x (3 * 1080).

    Note:

    • Composer has no knowledge of independent displays; it is only aware of the overall configuration. As a result, you can not use Composer to automatically assign content to particular displays in a multi-display layout. HOWEVER, your design can account for different displays. For example, with two Full HD displays side-by-side in a horizontal layout, create a design dividing the IntuiFace experience in half, each half being 1920 pixels wide. The resulting experience will perfectly match the two display layout. You can even simulate two independent experiences using this method.
    • Composer will accept a max experience size of 20k x 20k

    Configuring IntuiFace Player to use a multi-screen display

    After an experience is already running

    When you run your experience in Player for Windows, your experience will start by running only in the primary display.

    After running your experience, press the F11 key on your keyboard. This will cause your experience to fill the entire extended desktop.

    NOTE: This is the only method that will run, in a multi-screen display, an experience provided by the share by URL feature.

    When launching an experience

    To ensure IntuiFace Player for Windows automatically launches your experience across an extended desktop, run Player from the command line with the argument /extendeddisplay. To keep things simple, create a DOS batch file or a desktop shortcut.

    • From a DOS Console (or from within a batch file):
      • Launch Player with the /extendeddisplay argument only
        c:\>"Program Files\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player\IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe" /extendeddisplay
      • Launch Player with the /extendeddisplay argument and the experience to open
        c:\>"Program Files\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player\IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe" /ext endeddisplay "c:\Users\MyAccount\Documents\IntuiFace\BigDisplay\BigDisplay.ifx"
    • From a desktop shortcut for IntuiFace Player, completing the target field:
      • with the /extendeddisplay argument only
        "C:\Program Files\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player\IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe" /extendeddisplay
      • with the /extendeddisplay argument and the experience to open
        "C:\Program Files\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player\IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe" /extendeddisplay "c:\Users\MyAccount\Documents\IntuiFace\BigDisplay\BigDisplay.ifx"

    When working with unattended Players

    Whether you use Management Console for remote deployment or rely on an unattended Player to restart itself after a crash or PC reboot, use the following method to force Player to run on an extended display.

    1. Browse to the install folder for Player, typically
      C:\Program Files\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player (may be C:\Program Files (x86)\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player)
    2. Open the file IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe.config in a text editor.
    3. Search for ExtendedDisplay="false".
    4. Change 'false' to 'true' then, using "Save as", create a new version of this .config file named local.config.
    5. Put the file local.config in the folder in C:\ProgramData\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Player.

    The original IntuiFacePlayerApp.exe.config file will be overwritten every time Player is updated. Use of the local.config file ensures you can update Player without losing your specification that an extended display should be used.