I would like to display from my work PC laptop (HP EliteBook, Windows 10) at 1080p 60fps, to a window on my MacBook (MacBook Pro 2020, connected to a 4K display). Laptop is on a docking station with DisplayPort 1.2 output. MacBook has Thunderbolt 3, and I have a Thunderbolt dock with USB A 3.1, USB C 3.1 Gen2, and Thunderbolt 3 ports available. Currently I have my work laptop and my personal MacBook set up side by side, each with it's own monitor, keyboard and mouse.
My knowledge about video is limited to having had to hook up various combinations of devices, figure out adapters, cables, etc.
I'd like to replicate being able to remote into my work PC laptop from my Mac. I can remote into my work laptop if I leave the laptop in my office connected to my work's network, but I can't do this if my laptop is at home. I don't have administrator privileges to enable Windows 10 remote desktop, install software, etc. Since I can't do that I was hoping to at least be able to display from the PC laptop to my MacBook, even though I would need to swap keyboards/mouse to control the PC.
I have tried two inexpensive external capture cards, using a DisplayPort to HDMI converter, HDMI cable into the capture card, and then USB out to the Mac. One card was USB 2.0 and the other 3.0. I can view my PC on the Mac via QuickTime and OBS at 1080p, but with degraded picture quality. The picture quality via the looped HDMI into another monitor is unchanged from the normal PC display quality (i.e. it's not worse when looped through the capture card).
I'm actually surprised that this has worked as well as it has. I bought the cheap capture cards out of a combination of curiosity, hope that it might work, and the ability to return them. I'm assuming the image quality issues are related to the capture cards and not something I can do much about with software.
I could tolerate the current setup, but would be willing to invest in a better capture card (still on the cheap end, say up to $200) if I could more or less replicate the quality of my 1080p 60fps monitor directly connected to the PC. Also open to other ideas besides a capture card.
Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
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Welcome to the forum.
Way above my head. But Iím sure someone will be able to help you.
If you purchased your MBP at an Apple store or Best Buy, maybe one of the techies there can help you, or Apple Support if you purchased it online from Apple.
Do you want a realtime, low-latency,high-framerate, live display? Then your best bet is to output a clone of your Windows desktop to an HDMI output, and then to do a realtime live capture of that using an HDMI capture card/device which would show up in capture app window on the Mac. Could likely do a preview instead of full record, unless that is a requirement.
Latency or artifacts not as big an issue? Should be possible (with some effort) to create an emulated virtual webcam to output via usb port acting as a standard uvc stream and send that to a Mac's usb port, where is would think it was seeing a webcam. OBS and/or ffmpeg could be instrumental in helping to get this going.
Or if true realtime framrate is not an issue, an easy method would just be remote desktop interface (either RDP, VNC, TeamViewer, Splashtop, etc).
.......ahh, sorry, I didn't read far enough down. My impatience showing.
Looks like you've already tried a few of those things. Part of your difficulty is quality of card, and another big part is bandwidth. You want something that is capping uncompressed (or near) @ higher framerates (30fps or better) at high rez, WITHOUT dropping frames or having artifacts? Then you MUST use usb 3.x/usb-c/thunderbolt 3/4 as your pipeline, and use something high performance like a Aja, BMJ, Magewell card. But that's going to be a good deal higher than $200.
E.g. The Magewell 2ndGen devices that I've outfitted at my University (they're now usually selling 3rdGen) are USB 3.0 and take in pristine 1080p60 uncompressed with no frame drops. And those cost $199-299 depending on vendor distributor a couple of years ago. Using over 100 of them and very happy.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 9th Sep 2020 at 22:34.
Cornucopia, thanks for the information. This answers my question exactly, and is what I was guessing...need a better capture card but will probably cost more than I want.
I mainly use my work laptop for MS Office and the electronic medical record system at work. I would likely go with some sort of KVM switch setup, but the electronic medical record software doesn't display well on a 4K monitor, even when I set the laptop's resolution to 1080p. MS Office looks fine. The record software looks better on my Mac with a remote desktop connection and with the capture card I'm using now than it does when the 4K monitor is connected directly to the laptop.
I did try a work around of using Zoom (HIPAA compliant account) to share the laptop's screen and it wasn't so bad. Latency isn't great, but image quality is ok. Benefit is that you can remote control the laptop from the Mac. Zoom did freeze up at times also, so reliability is likely an issue. Video card doesn't have the latency but need to switch mouse/keyboard and has some picture artifacts.
I'll try to see if I can find a Magewell device that I can borrow or buy at an ok price.