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Generic Spatial Light Modulator controller


Arthur Edelstein, Mark Tsuchida





Since Version:


The GenericSLM device adapter controls any spatial light modulator that can be driven by a computer digital video output port (typically DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort). Some graphics cards have a secondary video output port; other computers will require an additional graphics card to be installed.

In the Hardware Configuration Wizard, you will be presented with available “Display Ports” in the GraphicsPort property of the GenericSLM. You may need to experiment to identify the correct display port connected to your SLM device (all monitors except for the primary one appear as options). The numbering in names like “\\.\DISPLAY1”, “\\.\DISPLAY2”, etc., does not necessarily match the monitor numbers shown in the Screen Resolution control panel.

The TestMode option of the GraphicsPort property allows testing and demonstration. This mode differs from using a real display (SLM) in the following ways: (1) the display configuration is not changed, (2) a window is displayed on the primary monitor instead of an SLM, and (3) the window has a title bar so that you can move it.

When the device is loaded, the chosen monitor (SLM) will be detached from the desktop, then reattached to the right of all other monitors. When the device is unloaded, the monitor will be left detached. You can observe these effects in the Screen Resolution control panel, should you need to troubleshoot.

Because the SLM is attached to the desktop while in use, some care needs to be taken so as not to drag ordinary windows into the region projected onto the SLM. There is some protection (a floating window is used to draw patterns, the mouse cursor is prevented from entering it, and the mouse cursor is set invisible should it enter it), but it is not perfect (you can drag other floating windows over the SLM window, the mouse cursor may be able to enter the SLM window momentarily, and there may be a short delay before the cursor turns invisible).

Use the Projector plugin to control the SLM.

Supported Devices

SLMs that can be driven by video output ports (and in principle by this device adapter) include (no endorsements are implied):