Can I output my screen display via firewire?
March 5, 2008 10:43 PM   Subscribe

Can I display my screen output via firewire? It'd be nice if I could play, say, netflix on-demand movies just by hooking up a firewire cable between my pc and my "converter box".

I just bought a tablet pc that I'll be using as a direct-to-disk recorder for my video camera. So, I'll be able to play DV video over firewire to my tv, using an old camcorder as a converter (which I'll later rewire into a firewire-to-video converter box).

It seems like Macs can at least convert other videos to a firewire stream using some Quicktime magic:
Exporting QuickTime Movies with Simple Video Out X

But is there anything like that for XP? Or something more advanced, like a video driver that automatically converts your screen display to a firewire stream?
posted by jsmith77 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know of anything like that for Firewire. The closest I've seen is MaxiVista, which is a video driver that sends output over a network to a viewer program running on another machine, enabling spare PCs (like that old 486 laptop with 98 on it) to be used as additional monitors. It's not free, though the demo is pretty darn functional.

Incidentally, VirtualBox has native support for exporting a VM's console via RDP, and if you define a guest with multiple "video cards", you can connect to it with multiple RDP sessions to get the various screens out. And it is free. But none of this helps with Firewire. (I'm just braindumping since it's slightly related.)
posted by Myself at 1:22 AM on March 6, 2008

Given the invasive DRM that I believe is being used on those netflix streams, I doubt you'd be able to.
posted by Good Brain at 8:45 AM on March 6, 2008

Most laptops and tablet PCs have some kind of video output that you can plug directly into a TV. This will be way less circuitous than encoding your screen contents to DV, sending that to a camcorder, and then to the TV.
posted by zsazsa at 8:45 AM on March 6, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies so far. Just to be clear, my main reason for wanting this is just to have a single-wire hookup from my tablet pc to the tv. I'm not trying to copy things to dv (although I could see how others would suppose that). I'm just trying to take advantage that firewire can send video and audio (albeit encoded into a data stream) at NTSC resolutions pretty easily over one connection.

Also, my tablet doesn't have s-video or composite out, unfortunately. I do use another laptop that already has S-Video out, but I'm just trying to turn this tablet into a nice portable media box with a slick wiring setup.
posted by jsmith77 at 2:33 PM on March 6, 2008

Supposedly you can use the Live Output feature of Camtasia to do this.
posted by plinth at 6:12 PM on March 6, 2008

I'm not sure I understand your setup fully, but here's a link to the section of the VLC documentation that discusses streaming. Glancing through, I don't see the precise functionality you're after but they do support streaming from Firewire devices so maybe all the pieces are there to do what you want.
posted by harmfulray at 9:51 PM on March 6, 2008

Response by poster: FYI, I've found an equivalent to the mac solution:

But it isn't exactly what I'm looking for. I'll try out camtasia, but at that price, I might as well buy a new machine!

Thanks everyone for your help.
posted by jsmith77 at 9:39 PM on March 7, 2008

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