External video input to a window?

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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:47 pm

The Wanderer wrote:It's a thought, but it would still require me to switch manually from normal computer use to that setup - doable, but more annoying and less convenient than I'd hope for (which is to be able to just power on the console if it's off, launch the viewer program if necessary, and pick up a controller).

Something to keep in mind, but I'm still hopeful about the video-capture-card approach. (Especially since I don't presently have a tablet, though a Nexus is likely in my future somewhere.)


Not really, you would just set the tablet up in front of the monitor and you could see it while playing. Then you just move your hands from the controller to the KB/Mouse. Its basically a smaller dual monitor setup, but much more compact. The console and computer both remain hooked up to the monitor at all times. You would just have to boot up splashtop on the tablet is all.

And seriously, who doesn't have a tablet yet?!

Imo, getting a tablet for $200, with all the functionality it brings in general, is better than spending a bunch of money on a video capture card that is really only good for one thing.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:56 pm

Oh. I think I misunderstood what you were talking about; I thought you were proposing to hook the console up to the monitor and then stream the computer to the tablet, which would mean I'd have to switch the monitor from computer use to console use when starting up (and then switch back afterwards).

If I understand you correctly now, you're proposing leaving the computer alone, and leaving the console alone (in its current in-another-room status), and streaming the computer to a tablet so that I can access the computer from the other room?

That's not a bad idea, but part of what I want to do is move the console out of the other room, so I don't have to compete with other people who want to use that room. So it's not ideal.

(If I was right in the first place, then my previous comment about having to switch manually - when starting or ending a gaming session - stands.)


As far as not having a tablet, I actually don't even have a smartphone yet - though that's partly because I've been supporting someone else (charitable donations) over the last year and a half or so, with the money I'd intended to use to get both a Nexus 5 and a Nexus 7. I could explain the reasons I held off so long before that, but that would be kind of offtopic for the forum, much less the thread.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:01 pm

The Wanderer wrote:Oh. I think I misunderstood what you were talking about; I thought you were proposing to hook the console up to the monitor and then stream the computer to the tablet, which would mean I'd have to switch the monitor from computer use to console use when starting up (and then switch back afterwards).

If I understand you correctly now, you're proposing leaving the computer alone, and leaving the console alone (in its current in-another-room status), and streaming the computer to a tablet so that I can access the computer from the other room?

That's not a bad idea, but part of what I want to do is move the console out of the other room, so I don't have to compete with other people who want to use that room. So it's not ideal.

(If I was right in the first place, then my previous comment about having to switch manually - when starting or ending a gaming session - stands.)


As far as not having a tablet, I actually don't even have a smartphone yet - though that's partly because I've been supporting someone else (charitable donations) over the last year and a half or so, with the money I'd intended to use to get both a Nexus 5 and a Nexus 7. I could explain the reasons I held off so long before that, but that would be kind of offtopic for the forum, much less the thread.


I'm confused. It seems like you want everything in the same room - the work/pc room. You put everything in that room. You hook the PC and console up to the monitor. The monitor will be running the console (but you can switch it to the PC if you want to if work gets intense) and the tablet will be streaming your PC desktop. Your keyboard and mouse will easily control the action on the tablet. This seems to get everything in one room how you wanted it, it eliminates input lag for the game and has minimal lag for work related tasks.

I think the only thing you'd really need here (other than the tablet) is an audio solution for the console.

Also, just as a reference, I've played XCOM - Enemy Unknown on my tablet, using a wireless Xbox 360 controller in my backyard while sitting on my hamock using Splashtop. That was a great afternoon. Crushed an alien invasion, sipped margaritas and enjoyed the great Florida weather.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:12 pm

The difficulty is that when I'm not using the console, I want to use the monitor for the computer - in fact, I want that to be the default "most of the time" configuration. (This is a $1400 - or possibly $1700, I forget - 30" 2560x1600 IPS panel; not something I want to use only part of the time. There are specific things I do with it on a regular basis, specifically because of its size, which I couldn't practically do with a tablet.)

Switching from using the monitor for displaying the computer to using it for displaying the console, or back again, would still be manual - not as seamless as the scenario I (think I) described. As I said, it would be doable, but not quite as convenient as what I had in mind.

That might still prove to be the best option overall, but if the video-capture-card approach does work, I think it would probably be better. I'd like to pursue that approach before ruling it out.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:24 pm

Nice monitor - trumps my $300 40 inch Insignia for resolution, that's for sure.

Wouldn't the monitor just have an input switcher in the menu options? Or just a button to switch? Seems like you should just be able to have everything hooked up to the monitor all the time.

Also, I doubt the other option would be very seamless since you'd have to get the video capture stuff running every time you wanted to use the console.

And shoot, I'm sure a friend, family member or house mate has a tablet you can try this out on before you sink the cash. Down the road, if you have the cash, the Nexus 10 may be the best bet for a tablet in this setup since it is native 2560x1600. Plus, its a really nice tablet to boot and should be coming down in price soon when Google (hopefully) refreshes it tablet lineup.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:35 pm

Yes, the monitor does have input-switch capability, but I'd still have to manually switch it through that capability. (By "manual" I'm not meaning switching cables around.)

Depending on what the video-capture-card solution ends up involving on the software side, "get[ting] the video capture stuff running" might turn out to be more unwieldy and less seamless than I'd thought, in which case this would become a more reasonable candidate as a fallback. The impression I currently have, however, is that I'd be able to have the console connected to the video-capture card's inputs at all times, and have a program which simply displays the video stream from that source. If so, I'd be able to just fire up the "play the stream that's coming in from the video capture card" software whenever I want to start gaming; that's a single program launch, much like playing a non-console game.

It's possible I've got the wrong impression there, in which case I'll be considering other alternatives. I don't want to assume that without investigating more closely, though.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:44 pm

Shoot, well good luck either way. Great idea. I'm always a fan of multitasking, especially if said multitasking involves video games.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:56 pm

The Wanderer wrote:The impression I currently have, however, is that I'd be able to have the console connected to the video-capture card's inputs at all times, and have a program which simply displays the video stream from that source. If so, I'd be able to just fire up the "play the stream that's coming in from the video capture card" software whenever I want to start gaming; that's a single program launch, much like playing a non-console game.


Yes, ideally you'd just use VLC like Jihadjoe said and select the correct input stream.

The kicker is picking a capture card that has decent linux support.

I'm not sure why everyone seems to be trying to convince you to use some other concept. I knew exactly what you were looking for from the get-go and a capture card is the way to do it. As I've said, I've been doing exactly what you envision for over a decade-and-a-half that way.

It's just always been Windows because that was the path of least resistance.

My only question is what console and what connection type? If it's newer and you're stuck with HDMI, that's an additional complication. I've done everything from a ColecoVision (That's why I have the Hauppage 1600, the AverMedia doesn't do RF) to every one of the last generation's consoles. I generally use component, though, to make sure I don't even have to worry about HDCP.

Depending on what you need, you might be able to pick up an older capture card for a considerably reduced cost, and if it's been around for a long time (like the all-in-wonder radeon Jihadjoe mentioned) the linux support might be quite good.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:03 pm

The console I had first in mind was a Wii, and I might use some older ones as well (as far back as the SNES, though probably not the NES); I can't rule out newer than that in the long run, but it's likely to be at least a year before I bother with any of the current generation. (I have such a big game backlog from the old systems and on the PC, why do I need to go chasing the latest and greatest consoles and newer PC games yet?)
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:23 am

Not to revive a dormant thread but... here goes.

So, I saw this 21:9 monitor on sale today and did a bit of research to see how they hold up for gaming. That led me to this this review of an AOC 21:9 monitor. This monitor made me think of your situation since it has the option for dual inputs:

"The Q2963PM offers a screen-split feature that is accessed in the picture-in-picture section of the OSD. This means that you won’t need any special hardware or drivers to view two sources at once. Any device will work as long as it’s compatible with one of the monitor’s many inputs. In this mode, you’ll see two, approximately 17-inch (measured diagonally) images side-by-side."

So, on the same screen, you can have your game playing right next to work. Sounds pretty slick and keeps everything on the same screen. Of course, the AOC is $379 at Amazon and the LG is only on sale today for $339 and goes for $445 normally. The most expensive option, but it seems like the cleanest one based on what you wanted to do.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:55 pm

Are you looking to view HD, high quality video? Is the input digital or analog? If the latter, and image quality isn't paramount, you can get away with cheaper USB devices. Such as this. Using it to capture/view windowed video from SD camcorders and VCRs works well enough.


You can get good enough free drivers/software for windows. However, linux is another matter... Though somebody did report getting it working.
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Re: External video input to a window?

Postposted on Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:19 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:Not to revive a dormant thread but... here goes.

So, I saw this 21:9 monitor on sale today and did a bit of research to see how they hold up for gaming. That led me to this this review of an AOC 21:9 monitor. This monitor made me think of your situation since it has the option for dual inputs:

"The Q2963PM offers a screen-split feature that is accessed in the picture-in-picture section of the OSD. This means that you won’t need any special hardware or drivers to view two sources at once. Any device will work as long as it’s compatible with one of the monitor’s many inputs. In this mode, you’ll see two, approximately 17-inch (measured diagonally) images side-by-side."

So, on the same screen, you can have your game playing right next to work. Sounds pretty slick and keeps everything on the same screen. Of course, the AOC is $379 at Amazon and the LG is only on sale today for $339 and goes for $445 normally. The most expensive option, but it seems like the cleanest one based on what you wanted to do.

That is kinda slick, but I foresee resolution problems. First off, half of 2560x1080 is 1280x1080, which means that he'd have to drop his console down to 1280x720p and play with horizontal bars (kindof ironic on an ultra-widescreen). Also, if he does any PC gaming, the vast majority of games (especially anything older than a couple years) are not going to have any 21:9 resolutions available.
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