What's new

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

orlando1974

New Member
Member
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?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

CountryBumkin

Gv me thumbs-up if I help
Power User
Does your monitor have a menu/button allow you to switch inputs?
Such as "Input 1 = DVI/HDMI" and "Input = 2 VGA", or such.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HTPC: Custom built
    CPU
    intel i5-2400
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-DS2H
    Memory
    16GB Corsair DDR3-1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    on-board HD3000
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32" LED
    Hard Drives
    eight HGTS Deskstar NAS, 3TB
    seven WD Red NAS, 3TB
    one Seagate ES.2, 1TB
    one 64GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair 750W
    Case
    Li-Lian case with SuperMicro hotswap backplane
    Cooling
    Case 4 6" fans, stock CPU cooler
    Other Info
    Two 3-Ware (LSI) model 9650SE-8LPML RAID cards.

orlando1974

New Member
Member
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 (?)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

cradom

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

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 64bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion 500-223
    Memory
    8 gig
    Monitor(s) Displays
    SAmsung SyncMaster 2033
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Mouse
    Logitech G500S
    Browser
    Firefox

CountryBumkin

Gv me thumbs-up if I help
Power User
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)). :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HTPC: Custom built
    CPU
    intel i5-2400
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-DS2H
    Memory
    16GB Corsair DDR3-1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    on-board HD3000
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32" LED
    Hard Drives
    eight HGTS Deskstar NAS, 3TB
    seven WD Red NAS, 3TB
    one Seagate ES.2, 1TB
    one 64GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair 750W
    Case
    Li-Lian case with SuperMicro hotswap backplane
    Cooling
    Case 4 6" fans, stock CPU cooler
    Other Info
    Two 3-Ware (LSI) model 9650SE-8LPML RAID cards.

orlando1974

New Member
Member
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.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

CountryBumkin

Gv me thumbs-up if I help
Power User
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.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HTPC: Custom built
    CPU
    intel i5-2400
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-DS2H
    Memory
    16GB Corsair DDR3-1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    on-board HD3000
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32" LED
    Hard Drives
    eight HGTS Deskstar NAS, 3TB
    seven WD Red NAS, 3TB
    one Seagate ES.2, 1TB
    one 64GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair 750W
    Case
    Li-Lian case with SuperMicro hotswap backplane
    Cooling
    Case 4 6" fans, stock CPU cooler
    Other Info
    Two 3-Ware (LSI) model 9650SE-8LPML RAID cards.

Berton

Member
Power User
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.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    WinXP, WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Linux Mint 20
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2 Customs and 12 OEM/Brands
    CPU
    AMD and Intel

Kodi

Geriatric Member
VIP Member
Power User
You could use a Monitor only switch like THIS ONE
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Custom Build
    CPU
    Intel i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Asus Z87 Sabertooth
    Memory
    16 Gig DDR3-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GT740
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27" - Benq 22" - Dell 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 pro 128g SSD
    1xWestern Digital Caviar Green 1TB
    2xWestern Digital Caviar Green 2TB
    PSU
    Seasonic 760 watt platinum
    Case
    HAF-X
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-C12P CPU Cooler
    Keyboard
    Logitech illuminated keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance MX
    Internet Speed
    Cable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Avast Internet Security

CountryBumkin

Gv me thumbs-up if I help
Power User
You could use a Monitor only switch like THIS ONE

I don't think that one you linked to will work for OP because OP says one computer has VGA out and the other is HDMI/DVI out. The switch you linked to only works if both computers have DVI. Unless I missed something in the description.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HTPC: Custom built
    CPU
    intel i5-2400
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-DS2H
    Memory
    16GB Corsair DDR3-1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    on-board HD3000
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32" LED
    Hard Drives
    eight HGTS Deskstar NAS, 3TB
    seven WD Red NAS, 3TB
    one Seagate ES.2, 1TB
    one 64GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair 750W
    Case
    Li-Lian case with SuperMicro hotswap backplane
    Cooling
    Case 4 6" fans, stock CPU cooler
    Other Info
    Two 3-Ware (LSI) model 9650SE-8LPML RAID cards.

Kodi

Geriatric Member
VIP Member
Power User
you can get a coverter to change DVI to AVG or HDMI.
Cheaper option than KVM switch
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Custom Build
    CPU
    Intel i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Asus Z87 Sabertooth
    Memory
    16 Gig DDR3-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GT740
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27" - Benq 22" - Dell 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 pro 128g SSD
    1xWestern Digital Caviar Green 1TB
    2xWestern Digital Caviar Green 2TB
    PSU
    Seasonic 760 watt platinum
    Case
    HAF-X
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-C12P CPU Cooler
    Keyboard
    Logitech illuminated keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance MX
    Internet Speed
    Cable
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Avast Internet Security

orlando1974

New Member
Member
You could use a Monitor only switch like THIS ONE

I don't think that one you linked to will work for OP because OP says one computer has VGA out and the other is HDMI/DVI out. The switch you linked to only works if both computers have DVI. Unless I missed something in the description.

Actually, maybe i did not explain myself properly. My monitor has 2 ports: 1 VGA. 1 DVI. I have 2 computers I would like to share it with. Ideally I would like to use the DVI as I believe it would give me a better signal. Or would it? Is there proof of that?

So I could plug this device to the monitor.
Plug desktop PC as DVI to DVI.
Plug laptop as HDMI or MiniDisplay to DVI adapter connected to this box.

Its a bit pricy but, would this work?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

orlando1974

New Member
Member
Maybe I should ask, will the VGA signal be less crisp than the DVI?
Im sending a laptop thats 1920x1080 to a monitor thats 1680 x 1050.
Just using its VGA port would be more simple but if the signal will be less crips, then maybe its worth the expense of getting a monitor switch where I can connect 2 DVI computers even if one includes an HDMI to DVI adapter in its routed signal...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

orlando1974

New Member
Member
Approaching This from Another Angle

Hey Guys,

I think I have found another way to approach this.
I noticed from my research that there are a ton of HDMI splitters out there and they are way less expensive than KVM switches or DVI splitters (which are hard to find and very expensive).

So rather than approach this in terms of VGA or DVI, I'm now considering getting a self-powered HDMI splitter box (cause I dont want to have to plug in another AC power cord). The laptop will connect to it directly in HDMI format. And the desktop PC will connect to it thru a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The splitter will then send these signals thru a short HDMI cable that I will combine to a HDMI-to-DVI adapter on the receiving monitor.

Does anyone see any reason why this would not work? Its a couple of things to buy but it's a bit cheaper, doesnt require a power source, and its more future-proof than investing in a DVI splitter.

HDE 3-Port 1080p HDMI Switch Switcher Splitter Hub for HDTV - Supports 3D: Amazon.ca: Electronics

*NOTE: My only concern is that some of these are self-powered (like this one) while others require an external power source. I dont know why....
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8 64-bit

aksha

New Member
I am joining the party six years late but I have similar question. I am not seeking a solution but I am curious to know what will happen. I have a monitor with two HDMI inputs. If I connect two PCs to this monitor directly and if both the PCs are switched on. Would that damage the monitor? Would it create a garbled output on the screen?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Gaming 790-0109
    CPU
    i7-9700 3.0 GHZ
    Motherboard
    844C 00
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    None

A Guy

Righteous Dude
Team Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
Welcome to Eight Forums ;) Think of your TV that you have multiple HDMI devices connected to (Set top box, DVD player, etc.). You use the menu to switch inputs to the source you want to watch. Same with a Monitor. If one PC only is on, the Monitor may auto detect that signal and display the active signal. If both are on, the monitor may default to a particular signal or port (IE: HDMI 1). Just use the Monitor menu to select whichever input you want to view. Switch between them whenever you like, etc.

A Guy
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Home x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    INTEL Core i5-750
    Motherboard
    ASUS P7P55D
    Memory
    KINGSTON HyperX Fury Black Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX750
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 27MP33HQ 32" IPS LED
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 Evo 120 GB, 2 x SEAGATE 500GB Barracuda® 7200.12, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 16MB cache
    PSU
    ANTEC TruePower New TP-550, 80 PLUS®, 550W
    Case
    ANTEC Three Hundred Illusion
    Cooling
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus, 3 x 120mm 1 x 140mm Case
    Internet Speed
    20 + Mbps
    Browser
    Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    Avast

Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
I do this on the monitor I am using to type this post Though I use one DisplayPort and 1 HDMI.

I simply use the onscreen controls to select the DP port for this desktop and The HDMI port for the Laptop.

I have also used a similar setup to run the Laptops screen, the monitor and my TV screen at the same time - to create a singe screen set

I also use the TV as a second screen for my desktop, again with the TV on HDMI and the monitor on DP. In this mode I can use the TV remote to switch between Desktop screen on HDMI1 or a HDMI switch connection to a satellite TV Box or a Blue ray player on HDMI2

None of the various connections has ever caused any issues
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Internal
    Crucial 256GB SSD,
    WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB,
    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
    2.5/3.5 Hot Swap Cradle, USB3 + eSata (client HDDs)

    NAS
    Seagate ST4000DM000
    PSU
    Aerocool Templarius Imperator 750W 80+ Silver
    Case
    AeroCool X-Warrior Devil Red Tower
    Cooling
    Stock CPU, Rear 120mm, Front 2x120mm, Side 2x120mm
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K710 & K270
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless M710 M185 & M570 Trackball
    Internet Speed
    37Mb/s Down - 9.5Mb/s Up
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2017
    Other Info
    Also run...

    Desktop - 6Core 8GB - Windows 10 Enterprise x64,
    Laptop - Quad 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64
    Netbook - Ubuntu
    2 x Nexus 7 Android tablets
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    HTC One Android Smartphone

aksha

New Member

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Gaming 790-0109
    CPU
    i7-9700 3.0 GHZ
    Motherboard
    844C 00
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    None

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 2)

Top