1. How would one physically attach ten monitors to a single PC?
At one point, Windows supported a maximum of nine monitors. I don't know if
that has changed; I've never exceeded 4 on mine. I just looked it up, and
evidently Windows display properties applet has a current limit of 10
monitors, but you can exceed that if you use other software (such as
Ultramon) to configure the adapters.
You'll want to do it in the least amount of slots possible, which probably
means using two quad output cards and a dual output. In my experience,
motherboard based video doesn't always co-exist well with video cards.
However, this by itself may set you back more than you want. For example,
the Matrox G450x4 is over $600 street price.
2. What distance limitations are there on a signal for a typical monitor?
Can they be overcome by additional hardware?
I think the recommended maximum for DVI is about 15 feet (5 meters) without
using additional hardware. That hardly gets you very far in a plant
distribution environment. And while you can overcome that with more
hardware, you quickly end up with a more complicated solution then just
dropping in cheap PCs. I think a DVI extender which goes up to 175 feet
will run you at least $150. Do that to even two outputs, and you may as
well drop in a cheap PC in another location where you place two monitors.
3. What software or other methods are available to control that a
particular window opens on a particular monitor?
I love Ultramon ( http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon
) but always use
multi monitor where I can see all the displays. A good percentage of PC
software will remember its position when closed and position itself back
there when next run. I also know how to detect multiple monitors in VB and
position a window on a given display, but I'm guessing you are wanting to
auto position software you did not author.
By the time you do quad core video cards, DVI extenders, and long video
cable runs, I don't see how you can end up cheaper than using at most 4
monitors on each PC. Then you could get by with using two cheap dual
monitor cards. I also think you will want to avoid the expense of the DVI
My recommendation would be to go with as many PCs as you need to avoid