Getting VGA output of one computer to appear in window on another computer's desktop

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Surfside Mike, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Hello,

    This is my first post. I'm hoping my question is appropriate for this
    forum.

    I want to get the screen image of my second computer to appear in a
    window on the desktop of my primary computer so I can capture the
    window in Techsmith's Camtasia screen capture software.

    Presently, I'm getting this done by outputting the second computer's
    screen image through a $75 scan converter device and into the S-video
    input of my ATI All-in-Wonder TV tuner card in my primary computer.
    This produces a fuzzy image in the ATI TV window on the primary
    computer's desktop (due to the resolution differences between a PC and
    a TV).

    What if I just ditch the whole scan converter/TV tuner card setup? Does
    anyone know of an input card or device that I can install in my primary
    computer to enable me to input the second computer's VGA output to a
    window on my desktop? Sort of like a picture-in-a-picture scenario?

    Thanks in advance,
    Michael
     
    Surfside Mike, Dec 30, 2005
    #1
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  2. "Surfside Mike" wrote ...
    No, but you can install software on the "second computer"
    which will capture the screen content to a video file directly.
    The one I would investigate first is *free* Microsoft Media
    Encoder.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 30, 2005
    #2
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  3. Surfside Mike

    Nappy Guest

    try VNC.

    google it
     
    Nappy, Dec 30, 2005
    #3
  4. I need to run the second computer in Safe Mode (and reboot it as well)
    and see all of this activity in a window on the first computer while I
    capture the window in Camtasia.

    I'm looking to make how-to videos on reformatting a hard drive,
    removing spyware, etc. I can't depend on any application like VNC since
    the operating system on the second computer may not always be present.

    The only other way I see to do this is to connect the second computer
    to a flat-screen monitor and record the monitor image with a video
    camera. The flat screen (I believe) would eliminate the flicker.

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
    Surfside Mike, Dec 30, 2005
    #4
  5. Yes, the only ways of doing this are...

    1) Run the test computer video into a scan-converter and
    record as video (NTSC/PAL).

    2) Aim a camera at an LCD screen connected to the test
    computer.

    Any other solution requires software running the the
    background which won't work during re-boots or when
    running in "safe mode".

    It would be nice if there were some way of "recording"
    the VGA-style video output of a computer, but so far,
    there are no commercially available solutions that I have
    heard of.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 30, 2005
    #5
  6. Surfside Mike

    Nappy Guest

    ahh.. so that nixes VNC.
    Great Idea.

    An excellent solution. And Crowley's suggestion #2. I have done it many
    many times to capture web pages for TV commercials, etc
     
    Nappy, Dec 30, 2005
    #6
  7. Surfside Mike

    J. Clarke Guest

    Instead of using two machines, you might want to try using a virtual
    machine. To see how it works, try downloading the evaluation version of
    Vmware <http://www.vmware.com> (it's fully functional for 30 days from
    installation), go through a DOS installation on the virtual machine just
    for practice, and then try recording that with camtasia and you may find
    that it does what you need. I just recorded a complete reboot of Mac OS/X
    on my Windows laptop using vmware and Windows Media Encoder to make sure
    that the process actually worked. There's a competing product from
    Microsoft, "Virtual PC", however I haven't tried recording with it.

    Note that if you're doing this on a production basis you're going to want a
    fast machine with lots of RAM.
     
    J. Clarke, Jan 1, 2006
    #7
  8. That's a very good idea, John. I've used VMWare in the past and was
    thinking of that as a possibility.

    In that scenario, I would have to intentionally infect the virtual
    machine with spyware, viruses, etc. so I have something to clean as I
    create the video.

    My original hope was to capture the screen image of a separate,
    physical computer that I obtained from one of the people who come to me
    for help. Typically, their kids do a much better job of infecting a
    computer (in record time) than I could ever do!

    I'm sure somebody would let me "borrow" their kid for a morning for
    such a purpose. I've been removing that nasty stuff for a while now and
    I'm still not 100% sure where kids go on the Internet to accomplish the
    levels of infection I've seen...

    I also came across this the other day:
    http://www.ems-imaging.com/catalog/...log&file=product_info&cPath=39&products_id=52

    The company told me the RGB application for capture/display will only
    record stills though. It's a lot of $$ too.

    Probably better to go with VMWare or just record the screen with a
    camera.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
    Surfside Mike, Jan 2, 2006
    #8
  9. Surfside Mike

    J. Clarke Guest

    Never played with it, but Canopus has a scan converter with a VGA input and
    Firewire output for about 600 bucks that may do what you need--worth
    talking to them anyway--google "Twinpact 100". It seems to be aimed
    specifically at making training videos for computer applications.

    They maintain a discussion forum on their web site
    <http://forum.canopus.com/> where you might be able to get more information
    about the suitability of that product for your use.

    The kids are probably getting it from the machines at school--where I've
    been able to trace an infection it has generally come via physical media,
    not the internet.
     
    J. Clarke, Jan 2, 2006
    #9
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