Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition New Widescreen Modes Review - Conclusions

Submitted by skipclarke on 10 March, 2009 - 20:38

Article Type: 

Opportunities for Improvement


As with the original TripleHead2Go releases, ATI drivers do not support the top end resolutions. You can run at 4320x900, but you cannot run at 5040x1050. Forum members have worked with the authors of Powerstrip to try and set up 5040x1050 as a custom resolution, but have not been successful. Additionaly, 4320x900 may not be available to Crossfire users. At this point we are hoping that ATI will provide driver updates soon.

NVIDIA, Vista & DX10

While NVIDIA drivers support the top end resolution, some users initially reported problems in getting the custom resolutions installed under Windows XP. The major problem is that the custom resolutions would be removed upon the installation of updated drivers from NVIDIA. This issue was resolved through the new PowerDesk GXM Suite.

Additionally, an issue arose with NVIDIA cards in Windows Vista. In this scenario, 5040x1050 was not available as a custom resolution. The resolution was originally available, but an NVIDIA driver update broke the functionality. Forum user Mach1.9pants received a beta version of the PowerDesk that fixes the issue. You can download this version from the WSGF. Please remember this is beta software. Use at your own risk. The WSGF makes no guarantees on its working, nor it not screwing anything up.

Finally, DX10 does not work for NVIDIA at 5040x1050 (this is a moot point for ATI, which does not work in 5040x1050 at all). To play games at the top end, you need play in DX9 modes. Hopefully NVIDIA will release a driver update that addresses this problem.

HDCP Support

In my original review of the DTH2Go, I lamented the lack of HDCP support. At the time, even my 19" 5:4 monitors were HDCP compliant, as was my video card. But the DTH2Go broke the HDCP chain, and I was unable to watch protected content. At the time the only feasible option was to use the Xbox HD-DVD drive, so the "real world" impact was not significant for most users.

Fast forward a few years, and my predictions of cheaper drives were spot on. When building my new system, I was able to purchase the LG combo HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drive for right at $100. The lack of HDCP support is now a "real world" issue, with a sizable impact on the value proposition of the DTH2Go. So, now I have a cheap HD combo drive, an HDCP graphics card and HDCP compliant widescreen monitors. Seems like a perfect recipe, except for the DTH2Go. To overcome this deficient, I picked up AnyDVD HD by SlySoft.

The software works great, and plays back my HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs perfectly. I bought into HD-DVD last Christmas, when the Toshiba HD-A3 hit $150. With the combo drive I picked up, I can now watch my existing HD-DVD collection and rent Blu-Ray from Netflix (while I wait for BD players to come down in price). AnyDVD HD is a great solution for overcoming the lack of HDCP support, but it could have been avoided.


Though not a perfect experience, the additional widescreen updates are extremely welcome to any existing DTH2Go user, and should help alleviate some of the major concerns and fears of potential users. The first few months were bumpy with driver and installation issues. The updated GXM Suite wiped away these initial issues in XP, and the beta GXM Suite fixes the NVIDIA-Vista issues that cropped up recently.

I equate Widescreen Surround to overclocking your displays. Much like overclocking a CPU to its limits, things don't always go right the first time. There were some initial difficulties with pumping out 5.3M pixels and a increasing your FOV by 50%. There is some trial and error; but once you get it set up, oh man... There is nothing like Widescreen Surround. With an NVIDIA card, the beta drivers, and a known compatible monitor, things are now pretty smooth sailing.

Widescreen Surround offers even more immersion, and a "Plan B" of normal widescreen when a game doesn't offer proper Surround support. The usage of widescreen monitors offers much greater flexibility, far more options, and greater usage of your hardware. Prices on 20" and 22" monitors are now very mainstream, and the new modes address the greatest concerns of the initial release.

If you've been waiting to jump into Surround Gaming, there is no reason to wait any longer. If you are an existing DTH2Go user, do yourself a favor and grab three new widescreen monitors, and throw your old ones on eBay.