We are currently setting up a conference/meeting/voting system. There is a PC (Call it CompA) whose secondary display is the public display which shows information,voting results, etc.

There is another PC (call it CompB) which a clerk sits at. I would like to be able to display CompA's secondary display as a window on CompB. A point of note is that CompB does have an S-Video input.

The main concerns are data transfer speed and hands free use.

I'd like to avoid a VNC/RDP solution - this would cause CompA to have to send quite a bit of data and this display is updating constantly.

I'd also like the window to display immediately at log-in- no need for the clerk to do anything (although a double-click or two wouldn't be the end of the world).

I realize I'm asking for a pretty ridiculous thing, but I figured someone here may have experience or some imaginative ideas.

Thanks for reading!

  • I ended up just using a VGA over Cat-5 Extender to send the video feed to a 2nd monitor. Not my ideal solution, but the fastest to implement (for me). Thanks to everyone who viewed/replied. – Neil Jun 8 '09 at 15:03

How do you plan on having the display update on "CompB" if you don't want to use some network protocol to get the video updates over there? That's a bit perplexing.

VNC isn't the most efficient thing in the world, but with compression it isn't too bad. If these PCs are going to be on a LAN together the bandwidth consumed probably isn't an issue anyway.

If these updates are going to occur over a lower bandwidth network perhaps you want to think about reproducing the display locally by transferring the state information that drives the "CompA" display with an application running locally on "CompB", rather than moving the video framebuffer or windowing environment drawing primitives over the network.

So, as I see it, you've got two (2) choices: Replicate the video framebuffer / drawing primitive information, or replicate the underlying state that drives the remote display. You could do the first w/ something like VNC in a scaled window. You're going to have to have code written to do the second.

Edit: If the computers are going to be physically close you could split and convert the VGA output on "CompA" and either pipe it into an application (like a "TV Viewer" program or such) on "CompB", or like Garrett says, just use a monitor that can do PIP on "CompB".

  • yeah, that is mostly my thinking too- but I figured there may be someone with an idea that I'm missing. I did edit the post above to include that CompB (the receiver) does have an S-Video input. Not sure if that changes anything or not. – Neil Jun 4 '09 at 17:20
  • I'm also a little concerned about how CPU intensive VNC can be. I'm still looking into it though. Thanks for taking the time to respond! – Neil Jun 4 '09 at 18:58

The best solution for you would probably be to set up a media-friendly monitor with an S-video input which supports PIP natively.

Alternately, the only software I'm aware of that supports PIP in Windows is Media Center. If you run a media center instance in windowed mode, shrunk down, you could pipe the video feed in (via s-video with proper hardware) or split the output of the other PC and use an adapter. You might need Vista's flavor of Media Center to do the run as a little window trick.

  • I think that is something I'm going to try. Thanks for taking the time to view and respond! – Neil Jun 4 '09 at 18:57

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