Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


HDMI Screen On + Tablet Screen Off – Possible?

  1. #1


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    HDMI Screen On + Tablet Screen Off – Possible?


    I'm using Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit on a Samsung tablet PC [1], connected to an HDTV [2] by an HDMI cable. I've set up 'Multiple displays: Extend these displays' in the Windows control panel.

    When I'm watching a movie on the HDTV screen, I'd like to be able to switch off the tablet PC screen (to reduce distraction, save energy, prevent screen burn in, and prolong its usable lifespan).

    I've incorporated a Windows command line utility called NirCmd into a batch file, pinned to the desktop taskbar, which allows me to switch both screens off with a single tap (nircmd.exe monitor off >nul), while leaving the PC running. A tap on the tablet PC screen then switches both screens back on.

    Does anybody know of a way to do something similar, but with only the tablet PC screen switching off, while the HDMI-connected HDTV screen stays on?

    Thanks in advance for your time, attention, and assistance.


    [1] A Samsung tablet PC – Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro, XE700T1C-A05UK

    [2] An HDTV – Panasonic 50-inch plasma screen, TH-50PZ700B


    PS: My current workaround is using IrfanView to display a 1920x1080px black rectangle full-screen-wise on the tablet PC screen, but I'd much prefer to be able to switch off the tablet PC screen completely when it isn't needed, such as when movie watching on the the HDMI-connected HDTV screen.
    Last edited by dalinian; 29 Sep 2014 at 10:56.

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  2. #2

    HDMI Screen On + Tablet Screen Off – Possible?


    Even I have the same kind of set up. I just swipe in from the right > Devices > Project > Second Screen only.
    Or do Win+P.
    Last edited by subi54; 29 Sep 2014 at 09:39.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by subi54 View Post
    Even I have the same kind of set up. I just swipe in from the right > Devices > Project > Second Screen only.
    Or do Win+P.
    Thanks for your suggestion, subi54, which I've tried out.

    Unfortunately, like many Microsoft "features", it seems to be cumbersome, unwieldy, and a real hassle to undo, in order to return to dual screen operation (for instance, to briefly consult the IMDb [1] in Firefox on the tablet PC screen, while the movie continues to play on the HDTV screen). To clarify, I'd still like to be able to occasionally and easily use the tablet PC screen as a 'second screen' while watching a movie.

    What would seem to me to be an ideal solution would be a Windows command line utility which simply allows me to switch screen 1 off, while leaving screen 2 on; eg:

    cleverness.exe monitor1 off

    When incorporated into a batch file and pinned to the desktop taskbar, this would provide a one-tap Tablet-PC-Screen-Off button. With VLC playing a movie on the HDTV screen, I could then tap the tablet PC screen to switch it back on, briefly consult the IMDb in Firefox on the tablet PC screen, then tap the taskbar-pinned Tablet-PC-Screen-Off button again to switch off just the 'second screen'.

    Does anybody have a pointer to such a piece of cleverness?


    [1] The IMDb - Internet Movie Database, at IMDb - Movies, TV and Celebrities

    PS: If this appeal fails, I'll be writing to the NirCmd folks, to ask if this functionality can be added to their utility.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    Seems like a dual-monitor dual-process issue.
    https://www.google.com/search?site=&....0.5LMrSSHAtSE
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Seems like a dual-monitor dual-process issue.
    https://www.google.com/search?site=&....0.5LMrSSHAtSE
    Hi Berton, and thanks for your suggestion. Looking through those links, I discovered a developer with experience in coding dual monitor utilities, so I’ve contacted him via SourceForge messaging, to see if he can help solve this issue. I’ve also contacted Nir Sofer, coder of NirCmd, but as yet without success.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    You're welcome.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Conversations with a pair of programmers who have written multi-display utilities [1] are indicating that there probably isn’t currently a function call to power down one monitor in a Windows extended desktop multi-display setup.

    So I guess that obliges me to bring this issue to the attention of Microsoft and Samsung, as a future feature recommendation... all in good time.


    [1] A pair of programmers who have written multi-display utilities:

    “I don't know about any way to programmingly turn off a single monitor in multi-monitor systems.”
    ~ Nir Sofer – NirCmd and MultiMonitorTool, at NirSoft
    » http://www.nirsoft.net

    “Wizmo, and I guess NirCmd as well, use the Windows Power Management API to power-down the screens. What I don't know is if this API allows you to specify a particular monitor or if always applies to all monitors. If I have time next weekend, I'll take a closer look at this API.”
    ~ Gerald Evans – Dual Monitor Tools, at SourceForge
    » http://dualmonitortool.sourceforge.net
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    This topic is attracting more conversation over at the Tablet PC Review forum (22 posts so far) so I direct readers attention to...

    » HDMI Screen On + Tablet Screen Off ? Possible? | TabletPCReview.com - Tablet PC Reviews, Discussion and News
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    London, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Well, I’m now 100% confidant that it’s currently impossible to achieve a ‘HDMI Screen On + Tablet Screen Off’ state on my Samsung Win8.1 tablet PC (and presumably it’s impossible on any other Win8.1 tablet PC, too).

    This arises from two recent interactions with staff at Microsoft and Samsung, the gist of which follows.


    1. Microsoft – Buck-Passing Evasiveness
    Since your operating system is pre-installed, your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version of Windows should be covered by the manufacturer. We usually ask our customer to contact the PC manufacturer, which should be your primary support contact.
    Samsung is your OEM.
    You can contact them directly for better assistance.”
    ~ Cj R, Microsoft Answer Tech, at Microsoft Technical Support (online chat, Thu 18 Oct 2014 09:57)


    2. Samsung – Straightforward Honesty
    Unfortunately the feature required is not possible to perform within the tablets specifications, I have already escalated the case to one of our engineers for a confirmation, I am afraid that the engineer’s reply confirmed that the required task cannot be achieved with the tablet.”
    ~ Amr Hassouna, Samsung Customer Service Representative (email reply, Fri 17 Oct 2014 17:44)


    I generally avoid buying into a new technology straight away, to avoid the early-adopter blues of becoming an unwitting and unpaid beta tester. Since Microsoft’s foray into tablet computers dates from 26 Oct 2012 (the release date of both Windows 8 and the first gen Microsoft Surface, including micro-HDMI out port, nearly two years ago), I had thought that this kind of rather obvious omission would have been noticed and dealt with in, say, Windows 8.1 (release date 27 Aug 2013). Seems I was wrong, so my next step is researching how to bring this lacuna to Microsoft’s attention.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    >>>1. Microsoft – Buck-Passing Evasiveness

    Having worked for nearly a decade with an OEM (Dell) I can tell you it's not a buck passing thing.
    Dell pays very little (compared to retail versions) for the license they use for Windows with the acknowledgement and agreement from Microsoft that any support for the operating system on that device comes from Dell.

    Microsoft is following their licensing agreement by referring the user back to the OEM. Which is 100% correct.

    If you insist Microsoft help with an OEM version, you would need to pay for the support. Plain and simple.

    I am not debating on whether this is cool or awesome or bad or what have you. Each of us has our opinion
    on this. But, I am letting you know the order of things. This is how it works, and should work, in an OEM
    environment.

    Microsoft's take is if someone is going to buy a full retail version, we will fully support them. If someone gets
    a discounted version from an OEM, it's supported by the OEM.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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