Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can a Monitor be connected to 2 computers at the same time

  1. #1

    Can a Monitor be connected to 2 computers at the same time


    Hi, I have an extra monitor which I mostly use with my desktop thru its DVI connector. However I would like to use it also as an extra monitor for my laptop which sits on my piano. In this case I would use the extra monitor's only open port, which is VGA (which I would connect to my laptop using a VGA to Mini Display Port adapter).

    Before I go out and buy the proper cable, I'd like to know, is it possible to keep that extra monitor connected at all times to 2 different machines? What happens if both computers are running at the same time? Which will it display? Does it favor DVI over VGA?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 123
    Win8.1


    Does your monitor have a menu/button allow you to switch inputs?
    Such as "Input 1 = DVI/HDMI" and "Input = 2 VGA", or such.
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  3. #3


    I have a Menu item called "Auto Source". When I go in, I can select "Auto" or "Manual".
    It was set to Auto so I tried Manual and nothing happened. I wonder if its because it knows that nothing else is plugged in.
    In the meantime, I read about something called a KVM switch. I dont know if that would be necessary in my case (?)
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  4. #4


    S.E. Texas
    Posts : 61
    windows 8.1 64bit


    Put it on manual. You should be able to select which input to use from a menu.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 123
    Win8.1


    A "KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch" is used so two computers share the same keyboard/mouse and monitor. There is a button on the KVM you press to switch between computers. The monitor only needs to use one input.

    However if your computers (desktop and laptop) have different video outputs, it might get complicated - because you would then be switching between a VGA and HDMI/DVI output from the computer to a (either VGA or HDMI/DVI) input a the monitor. There may be KVM switches that provide multiple video inputs/outputs. I'm not sure.

    I should have thought of this - as I use one myself (however both my computers have the same video output (HDMI)).
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  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post
    However if your computers (desktop and laptop) have different video outputs, it might get complicated - because you would then be switching between a VGA and HDMI/DVI output from the computer to a (either VGA or HDMI/DVI) input a the monitor. There may be KVM switches that provide multiple video inputs/outputs. I'm not sure.

    I should have thought of this - as I use one myself (however both my computers have the same video output (HDMI)).
    I cant believe I had not heard of KVM until today! Well to tell you the truth Im a bit weary of using the VGA output on that monitor..isnt that Analog? Wont be as crisp as the DVI will it? I guess in an ideal world there would exist a DVI splitter (like a Y adapter where I could have 2 incoming DVI signals into the monitor. One would go DVI to the desktop and the other would convert to HDMI or MiniDisplay at the laptop.
    That seems like it would be simpler.... but not sure what would happen if both machines were on at the same time!

    So practically and realistically speaking, I guess I have 2 options:

    1. Get a VGA (aka RGB) cable that will convert to the MiniDisplay (or HDMI) format at my laptop.
    2. Get a KVM switch that would connect to the monitor via DVI and would have 2 different connectors for my computers (1 DVI and 1 VGA). Set to AUTO, the monitor may be able to figure out which is switched on...i dont know cause Ive never used one.
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  7. #7


    Hmm, found this interesting thread that provides more info:
    Samsung monitor video input problem - Hardware Canucks


    ,,,,and DVI/VGA KVM switches do exist but WOW, the price is crazy for this combined analog and digital technology!
    Canada Computers | Computers, Computer Parts, Computer Componets, Hardware & Accessories
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  8. #8


    Posts : 123
    Win8.1


    With the KVM switch you don't need to do anything with your monitor - as far as the monitor is concerned it will not know how many computers are connected - it will just display whatever is passed-through the switch.
    The easiest KVM setup would be if you can convert the laptop output to DVI/HDMI to match your computer's video output. There are a bunch of converters here vga to hdmi - Newegg.com for under $10.
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  9. #9


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    I use a 4-port KVM switch with 4 computers, one Keyboard, one Video and one Mouse. It uses USB Keyboard and Mouse, upgraded a couple of years ago from PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse. The Video is still VGA but there are adapters for VGA to DVI one can use if having only the DVI port on the monitor. One can use the green USB to PS/2 for the mouse but the keyboard has to come with the purple adapter for the same, doesn't seem to work with the after-market adapter.
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  10. #10


    Sydney Australia
    Posts : 2,941
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    You could use a Monitor only switch like THIS ONE
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Can a Monitor be connected to 2 computers at the same time
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