I am using RealVNC at work to connect to a remote PC. When not working on that PC directly, I prefer to keep the monitor off. However when the monitor is off, RealVNC Server reduces to reduce the desktop resolution from 1920x1080 of the monitor to the maximum of 1600x1200. It happens in real time: When connected, I can see the resolution numbers changing in Display > Screen Resolution while switching the remote PC monitor on and off. I wonder if it is possible to control it. I want to keep the high resolution even with the remote monitor switched off.

I've tried reading through the options of both VNC Server and Viewer, but cannot find anything related. The -geometry option mentioned in another thread does not exist in my configuration. I am running Windows 7 on both local and remote systems, with RealVNC version 5.0.3.

  • What type of interface is the monitor using? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 11 '14 at 14:00
  • @techie007: It's DisplayPort, for what it matters. – texnic Jul 11 '14 at 14:01
  • It matters because not all display interfaces work the same way. If the PC thinks the monitor is being "disconnected" when you turn it off then that could change the possible solution(s) dramatically. When the monitor is off, can you adjust the resolution (back) to what you want? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 11 '14 at 14:06
  • @techie007, I go it. No, I can't. That's what I mentioned in the question: when the monitor is switched off (and I watch the system remotely), the maximum accessible resolution drops from 1920x1080 to 1600x1200. – texnic Jul 11 '14 at 14:21
  • 1
    @techie007: Following your hint, I've tried using the DVI cable instead. And da-da—it helped! Now the computer does not "forget" the resolution when the monitor is switched off. If you could add an explanation and post it as an answer, I'd happily accept it. – texnic Jul 11 '14 at 15:39
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you monitor is hooked up via DisplayPort or HDMI then when you turn it off the computers sees it as "disconnected", as if you pulled the cord out between them.

For more info on that, check out this other SU question: Turning DisplayPort monitor off disables monitor completely

Since the display is disconnected Windows and/or your display driver will revert to it's favorite desktop resolution. Yours seems to be picking the highest non-wide/4:3 ratio it supports (UXGA).

Since VNC uses a capture of the actual desktop, it will/can only show you the resolution that the desktop is set to.

From my experience VGA and DVI connections don't register as "disconnected" when turned off, so if you monitor and video adapter have one of these alternate connection types, I'd suggest trying those to see if your chosen resolution "Sticks" when the monitor is off.

  • With DVI it works, thanks for helping out! I have also tried keeping the DisplayPort connection and saving the EDID file as described in the linked thread, but for some reason NVIDIA creates an empty file each time (0 kB size). But it's a topic for a different discussion. – texnic Jul 14 '14 at 9:37

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