VOGONS


First post, by AntiRevisionism

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Hi guys - I want to be able to take the video output of several older PCs I have (mix of VGA and DVI at the moment) and somehow display them in controllable windows on the monitor of a "host" machine running Windows 7 or 10. Bonus if I could be able to use the host's keyboard and mouse; but not necessary.

The main purpose of this exercise is to be able to play some older games on actual hardware, but without the need for me to move to another display, and being able to multitask on my main workstation.

I know some newer monitors have picture-in-picture mode for multiple display inputs, but this is not what I am looking for. I want the video output from the "guest" machines in a window that can dragged around on screen, resized, minimized, etc. Basically like if I was using a virtual machine.

Remote desktop is not really an option as it's generally too slow for video from what I recall of using it back in the day.

Perhaps there are some suitable video capture cards with software that can fit this niche? Or maybe some solution I have not considered. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm sure I can't be the only person wanting to do something like this.

Reply 1 of 3, by Horun

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a KVM come to mind except for the ability to have "a window that can dragged around on screen, resized, minimized, etc.". there are some video input cards that could work but would be limited to one or two specific input types. so would still need like a KVM to switch/adapt between multi machines..sounds like a lot of money to invest in some specific parts.....anytime you have to use adapters and special input conversion you loose video quality but if that part is not an issue. As an example of some capture cards specific to PC input are the INOGENI at $300, the Black Magic at $120, Hauppage Pro at $150 but they all support just one or two inputs from quick look over. Am sure someone more knowledgable will better info. Just hope you have deep pockets 🤣

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣
Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 2 of 3, by Doornkaat

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The Datapath VisionRGB-E1 cards I have make this possible, depending on capture software.
The VisionRGB-E2 cards have two inputs each so this would make for even more connected machines.
There is a thread about screen capture in this forum.

Of course you can't control a PC with those. I guess a KVM switch is the best solution here.

Reply 3 of 3, by AntiRevisionism

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Thanks, I'll have a look at some of those cards. VisionRGB-E2S sounds promising - it even mentions using VLC as a capture window for streaming.

I have a desk with a second keyboard and mouse that pulls out until my main set so I'll likely just use that with some sort of KM unit.