How to make use of additional monitors while watching movies or playing games.


Dec 29, 2016
I've always been a DIY kind of person but I only just recently finished gathering the parts to build my first custom PC. I was on a tight budget so I got most of my components second hand off eBay, none of which is the latest and greatest. The graphics card that I went with is a EVGA GTX 770 2GB that I specifically chose because of the option to run multiple monitors. I'm using a 22in widescreen as my primary display and two older 17in displays on either side for a total of three monitors. I've always used my computer to watch movies but with the extra power that I now have I've started to get into playing a few games as well. So far, when watching movies or playing games I'm using my primary monitor only (no surround),which leaves the remaining either displaying my desktop or turned off manually. After stumbling across some tutorials on YouTube on using an Arduino board to make your own ambient LED background lighting using Ambibox software, I thought that it would be a great addition to my setup and a fun new project so I ordered the parts and they are are scheduled to arrive today. My 3 monitors are setup close enough together that the light won't be visible in between them, so I plan on mounting the LEDs around the outside perimeter of the group, but after visualizing how the completed project is going to look and work, I realized that having a blank monitor in between the picture and the lighting is going to take away from the added effects of the lighting. What wanted to ask is if anyone knows of a program that I could use to have my extra monitors work with or even as LEDs. Like when I enter full-screen video on my primary monitor, the other monitors would automatically go black and then display the ambient lighting effects on the side of the screen adjacent to the monitor in use. Even if the entire screen on each monitor displayed a single color in response to the primary monitor that would be acceptable. If no such program exists, the next best thing that I could think of would be some kind of audio synthesizer screen-saver on the adjacent monitors that reacted to the audio of the game or movie. Does anyone have any ideas? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!


I work off a dual monitor setup that is powered by my APU, I can watch movies/YouTube on the primary monitor without having the secondary monitor go black/blank. The secondary monitor is to my left and has Tom'sHardware on it at all times so any pop ups come by on the primary monitor.


Aug 11, 2006
Actually, your ideas are already good. Using the secondary monitor(s) for equalizers, RGB lighting is a novel idea. One that I shall make use of this weekend.

I use my secondary screen to monitor my graphics card temps using MSI Afterburner and when I am working, I like to run videos on it or music. But, you dont need to be that nerdy (like I am) to enjoy your setup. :)


Dec 29, 2016
Hellraiser06, I'm glad to hear that we're on the same page and that you were able to make some sense out of what I was trying to describe. Do you know of a program that allows you to do this?

An equalizer was exactly what I was thinking of for displaying on the monitors to visually react to sound but I couldn't think of the word for the life of me yesterday. I know that programs like Windows Media Player come with built-in equalizers for your listening to music but I'm pretty sure that those only work if the audio is being played from the program. I highly doubt that I'm the first one to think of something like this and I assume that there is some program already out there to display an equalizer and have it work in the way described, but I've done some searching and still haven't found anything. Like I said in my original post, I would really like to find a way to get the monitors to work with the LED back lighting that I'm in the process of installing but I've yet to figure out a way to accomplish that either. What would be really cool, now that I'm thinking about it, is to get the monitors to react to both light and sound simultaneously, like maybe if the inner edge of each monitor adjacent to the primary, reacted (changed colors) with the LEDs, while the center and/or outer edge of each monitor displayed some kind of visual equalizer that reacted to the sound. Hopefully by the end of this thread we will have come up with something to do that, but for now I'm okay with taking things one step at a time.

When I'm working at my computer I will normally make full use of every bit of desktop space that I have, and take full advantage of all three monitors. There are some times that I'll have a video playing on my primary monitor and a webpage that I'm monitoring open in another but for the most part my attention is focused on the video anyways. When playing games, I'm typically locked into a single monitor as it is. I will often keep CoreTemp and MSI Afterburner open on the side to keep track of temps but I have no problem, and sometimes even prefer enabling the OSD for that. With the ability to display everything that I need neatly on a single display, I feel that there are better ways to use my additional displays.
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