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Thread: [RESOLVED] How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

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    Resolved [RESOLVED] How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    I would like to use a SBC like the Odyssey X86J4105864 with OS WIN10. I would like to write image data through the HDMI port onto the monitor, thereby using the monitor as an embedded display. I don't expect a full answer here because I am sure it is involved. All I am looking for is a hint on how to research how to do it...thanks Y'All.

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Perhaps you were thinking USB port?

    Since the HDMI port is a video connection, there shouldn't be any magic to it. The monitor should just be displaying the desktop, and you would use it as you would use any monitor connected to a Windows 10 system.
    "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment" Robert Benchley, 1930

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Quote Originally Posted by passel View Post
    Perhaps you were thinking USB port?

    Since the HDMI port is a video connection, there shouldn't be any magic to it. The monitor should just be displaying the desktop, and you would use it as you would use any monitor connected to a Windows 10 system.
    The HDMI is a video port, you are correct. I want to create Gauges, Graphs and other HMI wigets. I want to have complete control of the data presented to the monitor as though it was an embedded Display. As I have an HDMI port I want to use Windows in such a way so I can access the monitor. There must be a way to do thos, I just dont know where to start. Is there a Windows Library for this function, API call...what?

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    I'm with passel, if the monitor is connected using an HDMI cable then everything is displayed through the cable. The term "embedded display" confuses me. The screen displays whatever you tell it to.

    I want to have complete control of the data presented to the monitor
    You always do. Just a guess but is the real question, how do I do graphics in .Net?

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Hello,

    As you are speaking of embedded display, I guess your are working on a laptop. If you connect an other display, it will work the same (well, there may be a difference of resolution or quality of color) for programming. So you don't need anything specific, only the resolution and the size so you can adapt your application to it.

    Regards
    Last edited by Delaney; Jun 9th, 2020 at 04:10 PM.
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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    You access your multiple monitors via Screen.AllScreens, but basically adding another monitor increases the size of the desktop.
    For example, if you have 2 monitors side by side, each having a resolution of 1920*1080, and set up correctly, the first monitor will occupy x coordinates of 0-1919, and the other screen will occupy x coordinates of 1920-3839.
    If you have 4 monitors in 2 rows of 2, the y coordinates will use the same rule...

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    You probably only have the one hdmi output on the SBC.
    I think you want to look up how kiosk software is done.

    In the simple case (and I've had to draw instruments and gages on displays before), you would just open a borderless form the full size of the screen, so the desktop is completely hidden and do all your drawing of your instrument panel and user interface on that form.

    I haven't had to build a true kiosk type system on a PC, but way back in the day we did on an SGI IRIX machine, and had to change some system level configuration to prevent the user from being able to do things like switch screens, or windows, and various other "Hot" key selections, so the user couldn't gain access to the operating system behind the application.

    p.s. looking at the specific model of SBC you mentioned, I see it does have a Display Port as well (probably a mini-DP connection), so you could drive two monitors. Of course you could drive others over USB with a converter, so could support more monitors if desired, and what Paul described would come into play if you had more than one monitor connected. That doesn't sound like what your plan is though. Essentially you want to simulate, or implement a smart display, i.e. an instrument display with embedded processor.

    About 14 years ago, Toshiba had some small convertible laptops with remarkably high resolution displays for the time, where the display could be spun around and laid flat to act as a tablet PC. We mounted some of those in a simulator cockpit to simulate smart displays, but the project got canceled before we went too far with it. I still have some of those machines lying around somewhere, and did a few demo instrument pages using VB6 back then. Essentially the same approach I mentioned. Creating a borderless Form, fill the display with it, and then do all the drawing on that form.
    Last edited by passel; Jun 9th, 2020 at 10:03 PM.
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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Quote Originally Posted by passel View Post
    You probably only have the one hdmi output on the SBC.
    I think you want to look up how kiosk software is done.

    In the simple case (and I've had to draw instruments and gages on displays before), you would just open a borderless form the full size of the screen, so the desktop is completely hidden and do all your drawing of your instrument panel and user interface on that form.

    I haven't had to build a true kiosk type system on a PC, but way back in the day we did on an SGI IRIX machine, and had to change some system level configuration to prevent the user from being able to do things like switch screens, or windows, and various other "Hot" key selections, so the user couldn't gain access to the operating system behind the application.

    p.s. looking at the specific model of SBC you mentioned, I see it does have a Display Port as well (probably a mini-DP connection), so you could drive two monitors. Of course you could drive others over USB with a converter, so could support more monitors if desired, and what Paul described would come into play if you had more than one monitor connected. That doesn't sound like what your plan is though. Essentially you want to simulate, or implement a smart display, i.e. an instrument display with embedded processor.

    About 14 years ago, Toshiba had some small convertible laptops with remarkably high resolution displays for the time, where the display could be spun around and laid flat to act as a tablet PC. We mounted some of those in a simulator cockpit to simulate smart displays, but the project got canceled before we went too far with it. I still have some of those machines lying around somewhere, and did a few demo instrument pages using VB6 back then. Essentially the same approach I mentioned. Creating a borderless Form, fill the display with it, and then do all the drawing on that form.
    EMBEDDED:
    If I were programming in C in an embedded platform, I would use a display with a controller and access the controller with a SPI serial port, or another port that the display uses. I could load a Bitmap image or access a single pixel if I wanted to. WIN10 has a display controller through the HDMI connector. I want to access the WIN10 display controller and use this platform in the exactly the same was as I would if I had an embedded platform.

    I like the White form background as a white board. If I had access to every pixel I would get exactly what I want. However, I dont want to reinvent the wheel here. If there was a good Library Toolbox that supplied professional HMI imagery, I would use it. Anybody know of any? There are that look very nice, but they are Web Based. I dont like Java script.

    I think the best way to ask this question is: I want to produce a HMI GUI that shows Industrial Gauges, StripCharts, Graphs, Sliders, Buttons. There are many programming languages (I like C) but I think that the language is less important than the Graphical Libraries available. I like VB but probably not a good choice for this application. C# and Python are good choices for me.

    Some leadership from our members here is what I need. Any assistance would be so sincerely appreciated, thanks Y'All.

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    In that case this is not a VB.Net question and probably should be asked elsewhere.

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Quote Originally Posted by paulg4ije View Post
    In that case this is not a VB.Net question and probably should be asked elsewhere.
    You are correct, it is a programming question and there are highly skilled programmers on this Forum. Instead of telling me to get lost and go someplace more appropriate, some gentle advice would have been more polite and infinitely more valuable. And then, you could have told me to get lost. Thank you so much.

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    Re: [RESOLVED] How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    There have been many times when I would have liked to tap into the pool of knowledge on this board to ask a non-VB question, but most members are quite strict about posting questions in the correct forum. You may have piqued some interest, so perhaps if you now post in one of the other boards here (General Developer Forum maybe?) you may get some answers.

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    Re: How to use a monitor and HDMI port as an embedded display

    Quote Originally Posted by BasicBasic View Post
    ...
    I like the White form background as a white board. If I had access to every pixel I would get exactly what I want. However, I dont want to reinvent the wheel here. If there was a good Library Toolbox that supplied professional HMI imagery, I would use it. Anybody know of any? There are that look very nice, but they are Web Based. I dont like Java script.

    I think the best way to ask this question is: I want to produce a HMI GUI that shows Industrial Gauges, StripCharts, Graphs, Sliders, Buttons. There are many programming languages (I like C) but I think that the language is less important than the Graphical Libraries available. I like VB but probably not a good choice for this application. C# and Python are good choices for me.

    Some leadership from our members here is what I need. Any assistance would be so sincerely appreciated, thanks Y'All.
    You can have access to every pixel, if you want, so that isn't an issue.
    There is no need to try to do things at a controller level. Especially if you say you would like to use an HMI library. No library is going to bypass windows to work at a controller level for a given specific hardware interface.

    If VB would not be a good choice, then C# seems like it would also not be a good choice, as they are two sides of the same coin.
    If your programming preference is C# over VB, then that is reasonable, but it has nothing to do with the ability of the language to do the job.

    I'm sure there are plenty of choices for libraries out there. Just doing a search for "gui gauge library" and this was one of the first links hit. Looking at the example images, perhaps some of those example are similar to the type of controls you would like to have.
    Also, since it is at least Free to get started, it wouldn't cost you anything but time to try it out.
    "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment" Robert Benchley, 1930

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