Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Using the spare laptop as a secondary monitor.


Yeah.. I’m all about multiple monitors. Which means more work space, more windows visible and… increased productivity. This comes very handy when doing something like Video editing or in my context MRDS programming. smile_nerd

And today most of us generally have a Desktop as well as a laptop. Now using the monitor of the desktop as a secondary display for the laptop is not a big deal. But suppose you need to do the other way round i.e. need to use the laptop screen as a secondary display device for the desktop PC.

Well there are few tools for this purpose. MaxiVista which is a commercial tool works as a separate monitor driver on your PC and extends the desktop to another PC/Spare laptop over the LAN. ZoneScreen which is a freeware developed by Vasily Tarasov can be also used to mirror or extend the desktop to another PC/Spare laptop over the LAN.

Extending the Desktop to a second monitor

First we need to add a second monitor (Virtually) to the PC. In Windows 7 (Should be similar to Vista) Right click on desktop –> Screen resolution –> Detect


Multiple displays -> Connect anyway-> Apply

Again Multiple displays –> Extend these displays –> Apply

Select the appropriate resolution for the secondary display.

Run the ZoneScreen Configuration wizard and select the display you want to stream over the LAN.


You can run the same wizard in the client mode on the spare desktop/laptop and connect to the server to view it’s display.


And now I can work with more windows at once. Freaking brilliant! smile_party


Simultaneously viewing code window and VSE on MRDS

Since the desktop is captured, streamed over the LAN and recreated at the destination end this is generally ideal for the static text windows. But it is quite acceptable for small sized videos as well. Following shows the screen recording of a video on physical monitor. Video Source :

Following is the same video as displayed on the laptop monitor.

Although there is not much appreciable difference in the videos it should be noted that these are recorded using a mobile video camera under 15fps QCIF resolution. In practice there is a noticeable performance difference but yet acceptable for normal use.


[Posted using Windows Live Writer on Windows 7 Beta]


Anonymous said...

I tried Zonescreen but will rather buy MaxiVista as it has MUCH better performance. The screen refresh rate is better in MaxiVista. It also includes a synergy like feature.

Anonymous said...

It's to be working, but I have the same screen on both laptop! And the setting is extend screen on the server, and not clone. So, it seem's to be OK, but works not.

Any idea for the solution?

Anonymous said...

Very slow on the second computer, movements are not enough fine (privat LAN), even when frames are set to max. number :S

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