win10 and HDMI output to TV


Sep 29, 2002
this is me being a win10 dummy probably...

my tv setup is very simple. i have all my media stored on my desktop. previously, i used a raspberry pi with kodi on it. networked with powerline ethernet and the pi plays my stuff.

now i have moved the tv so that it's not that far away from my desktop....about 15'. it's behind me against a wall, so viewing it from my monitor is absolutely horrid. i like to simplify things so i got a big HDMI cable off amazon and hooked it up expecting to easily play my media. so far it's more of an annoyance than anything

so before i switch back to using the pi, maybe someone can give me a hand?

the TV is hooked into my gtx970. audio over the HDMI of course. my desktop is a 24" on DVI (hey its old) and a set of logitech speakers (equally as old, i'm cheap) connected to the onboard audio. i don't always want to watch stuff on my tv. there are times when i'd rather use my monitor.

so i noticed that win10 doesn't want to use more than one output for audio. i have to tell it to use either the onboard sound or the HDMI on the video card. sure, i can set it per program but that's not very helpful for the above reason. i'm using VLC for both. i tried enabling stereo mix as described here: but that didn't seem to do anything at all.

second, win10 treats my tv as a second monitor. since i want to use it just for media, this is kind of annoying. i can't use it as a second monitor nor would i want to given the size difference. as of now, i have to start up the file on my 24" and then mouse move it over to the TV and tell it to fullscreen. i remember years ago with win98, i had a TV on the TV out for just this purpose. when i would start a video file, it automatically played it full screen and nothing else on the TV. in short, it was awesome. i think it was called 'theater mode'. can't remember if it was part of the video card driver or not.

any thoughts? thanks.
I don't know how to get multiple simultaneous audio outputs under Windows 10, but I believe I have a fix for your multi-monitor issues.

Press Windows key+P to bring up the multi-monitor hotswitch menu. This should allow you to select only one screen active, and which one to make it.

I expect you will still have to switch every time you move from desktop to TV, but this should make it simple. It was designed to make it easier to connect your laptop to a projector, and give you the power to change your presentation configuration on the fly.

Still, you can try it and see if any of the settings on the menu will do what you want to make this desired theater mode automatic? I only have a little experience using this to configure outputs on a docked laptop at work.
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Some media players will allow you to manually select the audio output used.

So for example, you could use MPC-HC and set it to use the HDMI audio output during playback. Other players have that option as well.

I have a TV as a second "monitor" as well. The monitor is the primary screen, the TV is used for media playback only. WMC and MPC-HC are both moved to the TV and set Full Screen. So when they are closed and reopened, they open on the TV Full screen.
personally, id just go back to the pi and cast whatever you're wanting to watch to it.
you could go through all the hassle to get the outcome you're after done in software (kodi would be able to do it with some poking and prodding i think) but every time ive tried to do something unusual with kodi in win10, an update has broken it somehow and i flat just gave up on that kind of stuff in win10.