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Send VGA video over LAN to PDA

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Equipment:  Laptop, Overhead projector

Setup:  Wireless G Laptop connects to overhead projector through a cable nearly 200 feet away.

Problem:  Person presenting wants to see what is displayed on the overhead.  The presenter's location frequently changes, so it's important to minimize wires.  The presenter's location also does NOT have the ability to power any devices without running extension cords which is unacceptable.

Solution?:  Wirelessly transfer VGA signal to a PDA using wireless LAN.

Is the above solution possible?  I have reviewed PDA's and PDA software sites and can't find the ability for it to receive a VGA signal over it's built in wireless LAN.

IMPORTANT:  The presenter can't use a laptop/notebook/tablet pc as the presenter needs only a very small screen so the solution can be discreet and inobtrusive.

I appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, or new ideas.

Thank you,
Roger
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Question by:RogerW37
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6 Comments
 
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MaxQ earned 500 total points
ID: 12412394
I would do this with some kind of remote desktop software set to read-only mode so the PDA couldn't be used to control the PC, just see what is on the screen.  The laptop and the PDA would probably communicate in WiFi "ad hoc" mode since you didn't mention a wireless access point.  Windows XP has a remote desktop server built in (and I believe 2000 can add one downloaded from Microsoft) and the PocketPC platform includes a Terminal Services Client.  For a cross-platform, non-Microsoft solution you could use VNC, which is free has servers and clients for basically every platform in existence.  For example, I run the OSXVNC server on my iMac at home, and then use the PalmVNC client from my Palm Tungsten C to view/control the Mac.  Here's a few links to get you started:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/expert/bridgman_02june10.mspx
http://www.realvnc.com/
http://palmvnc2.free.fr/

If you want to provide some more specifics about your setup we might be able to further narrow down what you would need to do.
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Author Comment

by:RogerW37
ID: 12412582
Laptop:  Windows XP Pro, SP2
PDA:  Not yet purchased, not sure which one to purchase that will perform needed function.

If using "remote desktop software" is that setup from the PDA or from XP?  I would assume from XP, and the PDA has the ability to view the "remote desktop" which in this case would be the presentation.

I am using Presentation Software found at http://www.presentationmanager.info/ which has the presentation manager software running on screen one that only the controller sees, and screen 2 is sent to the overhead.  Screen 2 is what also should be seen by the PDA.  Since there are two screens, I'm not sure how that would work in the case of XP Remote Desktop.

Also many times a "non-techie" will be running this, so it also needs to be as simplified as possible.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:fixnix
fixnix earned 500 total points
ID: 12414782
My first thought was the RD solutions mentioned above but when you start a RD session, you'd be looking at screen 1, which you said is not what you wanted.  Another idea would be to run a VGA splitter on the laptop output going to the projector to create 2 DB15 output cables, one of which would still go to the projector.

The other, could then connect to a wireless RF modulator and broadcast the signal on NTSC channel 3 or 4 (assuming you're in the US.  I would think similar devices exist to broadcast in PAL).  Then you just need a small handheld tv, tune it to channel 3 or 4, and enjoy.

Forewarning:  VGA RF modulators that include transmitters (necessary if you don't want cables) are in the $400-$500 range last time I checked (~6 months ago)....about the same price as a mid to high quality option-endowed, wireless networking enabled Pocket PC PDA.  If a 2" screen is enough, you can probably find personal portable LCD TV's for about $150 and you may even find them used for $50-ish.  The screen size will be key.  I once hooked a nintendo to a 2.2" LCD travel TV, and the picture was clear and sharp, but objects were just plain too small to see (enemy bullets, and even some small enemies!).  
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