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Connect laptop to external screen - divi/USB digital

I have a Sony Vaio laptop and a Dell Dimennsion 8400 PC.

The sony runs Vista and Office 2007 the Dell XP and 2003 and I want to switch between them easily from one screen (the large one currently connected to the Dell).  I am using the Sony as the main PC at the moment with all the files on the Dell.

However in order to use teh large screen, I have to use remote desktop on the Dell to connect to the laptop.
This works fine however I would rather do it the other way around - vaio to Dell via remote desktop. However I can't get the vaio to connect the screen (Dell LCD 17") except via a VGA connection which looks terrible.

I tried connecting the screen via the USB connection (there is no Divi conection on the laptop) but I can't get this to work and it look from the options on the Viao that the only choice of external screen is VGA.

Any ideas? I don't mind buying a widget if there is one.

Thanks in anticipation .

Lou
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Louverril
Asked:
Louverril
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2 Solutions
 
ridCommented:
"VGA" is like 800X600, but I take it you mean a VGA connector (as opposed to a DV-I connector)? This in itself is no limitation. Any suitable resolution should be transferrable through a VGA connector. The problem may be in your graphics drivers, perhaps they default to giving the external screen the same resolution as the laptop's internal screen? Or do I miss out completely on something here?

One easy way out is also a KVM switch.
/RID
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LouverrilAuthor Commented:
I have tried a KVM switch but the resolution is bad - worse than via remotedesktop.

No I have altered the resolution onthe second monitor (external screen) on the laptop and it's still bad.

Regards

Lou
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teedjrCommented:
Lou,

What are the connections on the external screen. Better yet, what is the make and model number? Also, what are the video out ports on both computers?

TG
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LouverrilAuthor Commented:
teedir

Sorry I missed your response.

The exernal screen is connected via the serial VGA connection to both PC's (the KVM switch doesn't do digital). It's a Dell LCD 17" I can't find the model number. But it's fine when connnected to the main screen.

I'm almost used to the display on the external screen now. But one thing that really looks bad is the vista icons on the desktop esp the text. But on checking they don't look very good on the laptop either.

I think I might as well accept what I've got until I can get a new external screen?

Lou

Lou
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teedjrCommented:
One thing that comes to mind about improving the text is checking out ClearType. Apparently, ClearType is the default in Vista, and many have expressed their dislike for it. For a help in "tuning" the ClearType, check out:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/tune-your-cleartype-font-settings-in-windows-vista/

For XP:

1) Right-click on the desktop and choose "Properties" to access display properties
2) Click the "Display" tab and click the "Effects" button
3) The second affect listed says "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:" the options are "Standard" and "ClearType". In XP this is "Standard" by default. Pick ClearType and press OK.
4) Open a text document or web page to see the difference when it happens and then click OK to the display properties window.

Let me know how this works for you.

TG
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LouverrilAuthor Commented:
teedlr;

Thanks for this have tried out the various settings for vista - laptop is vista.

The screen was set to true type and had all teh effects boxes ticked - changing any of them only made it worse!
But this was handy information to know.

I think I'm just going to live with the screen and close this question - but thanks for yor help. Have awarded points for this.

Lou

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teedjrCommented:
Thanks for the points. and sorry I was not able to be more of a help...
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