Can I view one PCs VGA output in a window in another PC


Is there a hardware device which will let me view the contents from one computers vga output, in a window on another ones output?  I want to use my personal laptop alongside my work laptop and see the screenw ithout having to switch between the two displays.  I cant use software solutions like remote desktop/citrix as I cant connect my work PC to the corporate network.


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Yes - you take the output of one in video format (s-video or composite) and feed it to a video capture device on your laptop.  Most desktop VGA cards have a tv-out connector, and then you can get a USB video capture device:

Note that the picture won't be as sharp as a second monitor from the desktop.  I don't know of any device that will record straight VGA video from a display card.
p_loveAuthor Commented:

They are both laptops...!?
Then you need to convert the VGA output to s-video:
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In that case u need to make sure that at least one of the laptops can accept S-Video or Composite feeds. If not then u wud have to get an external USB device to allow for video capture and a VGA splitter to be installed on the other. The VGA splitter splits the Video signal 2 ways and one of the outputs goes into the video grabber on the second. I did this a long time back. It runs fine.

p_loveAuthor Commented:
would that let me scale the window?
The capture window is like any other window on your desktop, so you can resize it.
Since you don't have full set of ports another solution would be to use RealVNC which allows one PC to remote control (and View the screen) the other, connect the two using a crossover network cable (Crossover, not standard network cable).

Remote from the PC you want to view on into the other.

It may be useful for other reasons for you to have a limited network of the two PCs together. The other alternative is Laplink accross a USB connection, easier to set up but needs some outlay.

Final possible option, get a monitor and use a KVM switch, would allow you to use both computers (although you could only view one screen at a time, not window in window).
p_loveAuthor Commented:

I will research laplink tonight.  My personal laptop has SVideo out, what do I need on my work laptopn then?  Does it need to be a video capture card, or how about a USB adapter (I have one for converting video to DVD), which takes a video signal in, and captures it on the PC.

Hope this makes sense....

p.s.  The cross over cable?  Can I have one of these and still be on the corporate lan...?
Crossover no - not if one is already connected to a network (I presume you mean you can't connect your home PC to the network but your work one is). That may rule out any software like LapLink and RealVNC as the administrators probably won't like it.

You may be able to do it with a video capture card if it has S-Video in. If you are on a corporate network do you have the necessary permission level on your work PC to install the video capture cards software, best to check.

You may find your only option is a KVM which would require a seperate monitor.
p_loveAuthor Commented:

Thanks to a guy I know pretty well in the helpd desk I have local admin rights to Windows 2000.

I will try tomorrow...points may well be yours!
Since you have admin rights to windows 2000, I would do the following: set a second IP address on your work laptop, then set a comparable address on your personal laptop. For example, if your work uses 10.x.x.x use 192.168.x.x that way no one else can see your laptop. Then plug your laptop into the work hub / switch, and you can use VNC over the new IP address.

If you think this is feasable, I can go through the steps.
My reccomendation wud be to leave the Network part out of it unless there is no other option. A better option wud be to use the S-Video out and pipe it through a USB capture device and that shud be the easiest and safest way out. This wud also ensure that in case of a network fallout or any corruption in the TCP stack the display arrangement does not suffer. This arrangement wud be on a purely physical level and hence shud be the most stable and reliable.

RealVNC is great if ur over a distant LAN where distance may be a problem but in ur case i think its ideal for a normal PC to PC connection to be established. In case u want more flexibilityu than just a display u might wanna consider using PC-Anywhere or GotomyPC which enable you desktop view as well as control over the PC also.

p_loveAuthor Commented:

I have a USB video capture device with an SVIDEO in cable. I will get an SVIDEO out cable for my laptop tomorrow and give that a go.  I dont fancy plugging an unknown PC into my corporate LAN....!
PAQed with no points refunded (of 500)

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