Can I Use Analog AND Digital Inputs from 2 PCs on One Digital Monitor?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. I currently have a Sony 520GS 21" CRT monitor that I bought back in
    1998. It's starting to give me trouble and I'm in the market for a new
    digital monitor. The Sony I have now has two inputs -- one HD15 and one
    BNC. I use it with 2 PCs and when I want to switch PCs, I simply press
    a button on the monitor to switch. I'd like to get a new monitor with
    the same capability.

    From what I've seen, many new monitors have both analog and digital
    inputs. I'm having trouble ascertaining, however, if my current setup
    can apply as far as using 2 PCs at the same time goes. The
    documentation simply says that the monitors have both analog and digital
    inputs, but don't say anything about connecting 2 PCs and switching back
    and forth between the two. The salesguy at Best Buy said it can't be
    done. The salesguy at Circuit City thinks it might be possible
    according to some backroom guru, but it has to be done with some
    mysterious software, not hardware. Neither of them would hook up a
    monitor to that kind of setup. A software solution doesn't really make
    any sense to me -- it seems to me that the graphics card on each PC is
    what is controlled by it's individual s/w, not the monitor -- the
    monitor should just follow the directions of whichever input it's using
    for the moment. If a monitor has a physical button to press to switch
    between analog and dvi inputs (which the display models I tried DID
    have), shouldn't it simply look to that source for input and ignore the
    other one for the moment, the same way my current monitor does with HD15
    and BNC? I haven't checked any other places yet, but I thought I'd ask
    REAL people who actually muck around with this kind of thing about it
    before I waste time looking any further. Someone here must have a
    similar setup or at least know the answer.

    BTW, the guy at Circuit City said they don't even HAVE any digital
    cables to hook up to any of their digital monitors and that all the
    display models were hooked up to analog sources. I suggested using one
    of the display models of the many PCs, but he said that since monitors
    are all sold separately now, all of THOSE were only hooked up to analog
    inputs, too. I asked how the store expected to sell equipment if people
    couldn't see what the capabilities were (just vis a vis digital hookups,
    never mind actually trying the dual input scenario). He got a slightly
    huffy, saying no one had EVER asked him that question until now and
    proceeded to quote his 60K movement of inventory last year. I thought
    it was a perfectly reasonable and logical request and observation, but I
    let it go and decided to ask for information here instead :)

    So ... any advice on how to accomplish my dual input scenario? Thank
    Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Jun 17, 2005
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  2. Ob La Di, Ob La Da

    J. Clarke Guest

    In general, yes, in particular check the docs and go through the menus.
    Nearly all monitors with dual inputs provide some way to switch between
    them. Sometimes this is a front panel control, sometimes it is buried deep
    in a stack of menus.
    Do you have a cat? If so, you would do better to ask the cat for advice
    than a salesman at Best Buy.
    The "backroom guru" probably knows less not only than that hypothetical cat
    but than one of that cat's fleas.
    Their loss--find a local system integrator (aka "Joe's Bar, Grill, and
    Computer Store" or the like> and ask them about it. They'll probably be
    able to show you such a thing right quick.
    Some monitors have an "auto" setting, others only connect to the input to
    which they were specifically set using the front panel controls.
    Your proper response to that would have been to roll on the floor laughing.
    60K is not much inventory to move--if one tried to live on the profit on
    that then one would be sleeping on a park bench.
    While most dual-input monitors will do exactly what you want, even if they
    wouldn't you can get a KVM switch that switches not only the video but also
    the keyboard and mouse and does it from the keyboard.
    J. Clarke, Jun 17, 2005
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  3. After a little snooping on the Sony website I found the following exerpt:

    The PremierProT 23" Wide Screen Flat Panel LCD delivers unmatched
    picture quality to the professional. Its innovative and stylish design
    combine with high resolution brightness and color to provide superior
    display performance. The widescreen display allows you to easily view
    multi-page layouts or additional toolbars, while the digital and analog
    inputs support multiple computers.

    . 23" Wide Screen Flat Panel LCD - The high contrast and brightness
    LCD panel is perfect for applications that require maximum screen real
    estate and superior performance.
    . Slim Bezel, Stylish Design - The innovative slim bezel and stylish
    design of the P234/B houses an integrated power supply and cable management
    system that maximizes space and keeps work areas free from clutter.
    . Digital & Analog Input - The digital connection maximizes video
    performance, while the dual inputs support simultaneous connections to
    multiple computers.
    . Color Performance Control - Enjoy an expert level of gain and bias
    control to maximize color clarity and achieve accurate color reproduction.
    . Audio Switching - Audio inputs/outputs switch with video to allow
    convenient control of multimedia systems.
    . Energy Saving Eco Mode - Lower power consumption provides increased
    savings throughout the life of the product

    Check the specs for the other LCD monitors having dual inputs. Also,
    ViewSonic has several models with the features you want.

    Larry Johnson
    Digital Video Solutions
    877-227-6281 Toll Free Sales Assistance
    386-672-1941 Customer Service
    386-672-1907 Technical Support
    386-676-1515 Fax
    Digital Video Solutions, Jun 17, 2005
  4. Ob La Di, Ob La Da

    L.P.LePage Guest

    I currently use Two Dell 2001FP lcd monitors (20") with two computers. each
    computer is connected to one 15Pin and one DVI output.
    The Dell has 4 inputs: analog(15pin), Digital(DVI), S-VHS, and composite.
    Plus a 4 port USB hub They are Purrrfect.
    they do just what you want, and are on sale for $464 each (I think)

    have fun.
    L.P.LePage, Jun 18, 2005
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