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[PC Desktop Question] Any way to make 1 PC feel like 2?


ThePhleo
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So I just bought a new PC and I have a home theater setup, and an office separated by only about 20 feet.

I want to run an HDMI, and USB extender about 20 feet from my home theater to my office and use it both as an office pc and an HTPC.

The only thing is, I want to use a "frontend" in the Home theater, and a normal desktop in the office.

 

Does anyone know of any software that can recognize when I'm doing the follwing?

  1. Splits the PC into two "modes" one, DESKTOP and one HOMETHEATER
  2. Recognizes that I'm using OFFICE KEYBOARD/MOUSE, and HTPC REMOTE/KEYBOARD/MOUSE
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I have so many questions.

  1. A Raspberry Pi to run your media will cost you $50, why are you trying to hijack a computer from another room?
  2. The maximum USB length is 10-15 feet so you're really on the limit here Why are you using wires when you can be wireless?
  3. A HDMI 2.1 compatible cable that long will be a few hundred dollars, it's cheaper to buy another machine.
  4. Why not use a Nvidia Shield?
  5. Why not use an Amazon Fire Stick / Cube?
  6. You could technically do this, just download Kodi, plug in the HDMI, set up your projector as another video output and have Kodi running just on that screen. The person working at your desktop has no idea there's a movie playing on the projector and it doesn't interfere with your movie. Two separate wireless keyboards and you're done. But why?
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12 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

I have so many questions.

  1. A Raspberry Pi to run your media will cost you $50, why are you trying to hijack a computer from another room?
  2. The maximum USB length is 10-15 feet so you're really on the limit here Why are you using wires when you can be wireless?
  3. A HDMI 2.1 compatible cable that long will be a few hundred dollars, it's cheaper to buy another machine.
  4. Why not use a Nvidia Shield?
  5. Why not use an Amazon Fire Stick / Cube?
  6. You could technically do this, just download Kodi, plug in the HDMI, set up your projector as another video output and have Kodi running just on that screen. The person working at your desktop has no idea there's a movie playing on the projector and it doesn't interfere with your movie. Two separate wireless keyboards and you're done. But why?

1. I want to play high performance games on both my 160” 4K projector for casual gaming, and my 27 1440p office monitor for competitive gaming...this rules out Rasperry Pi since games like Overwatch won’t run.

2. Wires typically mean less latency. Something I take seriously.

3. I already have a long enough HDMI cable. I just want to make 1 pc appear as two.

4. I don’t want an nvidia shield.

5. See reason 1

6. Thanks! That’s actually what I was looking for. Now I hope Kodi also supports emulators...or at least if emulator front ends have similar features!

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20 minutes ago, ThePhleo said:

1. I want to play high performance games on both my 160” 4K projector for casual gaming, and my 27 1440p office monitor for competitive gaming...this rules out Rasperry Pi since games like Overwatch won’t run.

2. Wires typically mean less latency. Something I take seriously.

3. I already have a long enough HDMI cable. I just want to make 1 pc appear as two.

4. I don’t want an nvidia shield.

5. See reason 1

6. Thanks! That’s actually what I was looking for. Now I hope Kodi also supports emulators...or at least if emulator front ends have similar features!

You didn't specify gaming on the projector as a requirement, that completely changes my answer. However, the Nvidia Shield will play Overwatch just fine, it uses the Tegra X1 chip, has a 256 core GPU and 3 gibibytes of RAM.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/shield/shield-tv-pro/

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Homebrew Team · Posted

@ThePhleoif you ever need to get around the maximum for USB travel length, you can use a USB extender (USB to Cat 5e/6) on both ends.  That will push for maximum to 150 feet.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=6042 (usb 1 speed up to 150')

This one does USB 2.0 up to 100': https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1078518-REG/intelix_full_speed_usb_transmitter_host_client_kit.html

Edited by Deadeye
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Member · Posted

Can’t you setup different users with different front end preferences?

Can you use mirror mode to send a signal to both your monitor and projector?

I swear I was able to use both a wired and wireless keyboard/mouse on the same computer.  I don’t think it should be an issue provided you have enough USB ports for everything.

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I'm assuming you don't want to use the separate mouse / keyboard sets at the same time. You can only use a single input device set unless you set it up as a virtual machine. You'll have to interrupt the person using the computer, set up your movie and then let them back on once your movie is playing.

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On 4/13/2021 at 3:20 PM, Code Monkey said:

I have so many questions.

  1. A Raspberry Pi to run your media will cost you $50, why are you trying to hijack a computer from another room?

Have you ever actually done this?  I tried, and even the most advanced Pi's are kind of garbage for any sort of content that's higher than 720p if the receiving display can't do its own decoding; transcoding absolutely murders the Pi's ability to do any sort of serious HTPC work on its own.  It might work somehow as an intermediary, to tell a better equipped PC to send output, but any sort of 1080p/4K video you're trying to display via some sort of HTPC interface is going to be extraordinarily choppy, if it works at all.  If you've got some sort of USB h.264 or h.265 decoder hardware attached, you might have a better time, but a Pi alone absolutely won't do that trick, even though I truly wish it would.

 

On 4/13/2021 at 6:31 PM, fox said:

Can’t you setup different users with different front end preferences?

Can you use mirror mode to send a signal to both your monitor and projector?

I swear I was able to use both a wired and wireless keyboard/mouse on the same computer.  I don’t think it should be an issue provided you have enough USB ports for everything.

Unless I'm missing something, a typical PC of any of the predominate types (Windows, Mac, Linux) normally can't run two different sets of cursors or keyboard inputs simultaneously.  You can sometimes get away with having more than one mouse and/or keyboard attached, but you'll just end up with two people fighting over what's going on, as whoever is the last to touch their mouse will move the cursor wherever they're wanting it to go, and whoever bangs on the keyboard will be entering input into whatever application the computer currently considers predominate, whether it's meant for the regular desktop monitor or the HTPC one.  Sadly, I don't think there's any way to do a simultaneous split, although hooking up a secondary keyboard, mouse, and alternate video out should be easily accomplished with the right hardware to allow for HTPC performance in one room and standard PC use in the other, just not full, simultaneous, incident-free input access while two users are present.

Edited by darkchylde28
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6 minutes ago, darkchylde28 said:

Have you ever actually done this?  I tried, and even the most advanced Pi's are kind of garbage for any sort of content that's higher than 720p if the receiving display can't do its own decoding; transcoding absolutely murders the Pi's ability to do any sort of serious HTPC work on its own.  It might work somehow as an intermediary, to tell a better equipped PC to send output, but any sort of 1080p/4K video you're trying to display via some sort of HTPC interface is going to be extraordinarily choppy, if it works at all.  If you've got some sort of USB h.264 or h.265 decoder hardware attached, you might have a better time, but a Pi alone absolutely won't do that trick, even though I truly wish it would.

Raspberry Pi 4 my man

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1 minute ago, a3quit4s said:

Raspberry Pi 4 my man

Doesn't help or work, my man.  A friend passed on copies of the Harmy Star Wars edits and when having to transcode, both my Pi 3 and Pi 4 choked bigger than last place at the New Year's Day hot dog eating contest.  If it was just passing the data straight to my TV, it did fine with 1080p and even 4K content, as my "smart" TV was doing the heavy lifting of decoding the video on the fly.  Whenever the Pi had to do it, though, 480p was the highest I could get it to consistently transcode without any visible pauses or audio desyncs and some 720p stuff was able to make it through, but not all.

They're great little devices, but they absolutely, positively, aren't all that people crack them up to be.  Usually, when you dig long and deep enough in a forum, you'll usually find even the experts (finally) admitting that they don't do *everything* perfectly and that people using them for heavier lifting applications will just have to expect and live with the occasional, unexpected slow down, lag out, etc.  Not acceptable for a HD HTPC for me, sad as I am to say.

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10 hours ago, darkchylde28 said:

Doesn't help or work, my man.  A friend passed on copies of the Harmy Star Wars edits and when having to transcode, both my Pi 3 and Pi 4 choked bigger than last place at the New Year's Day hot dog eating contest.  If it was just passing the data straight to my TV, it did fine with 1080p and even 4K content, as my "smart" TV was doing the heavy lifting of decoding the video on the fly.  Whenever the Pi had to do it, though, 480p was the highest I could get it to consistently transcode without any visible pauses or audio desyncs and some 720p stuff was able to make it through, but not all.

They're great little devices, but they absolutely, positively, aren't all that people crack them up to be.  Usually, when you dig long and deep enough in a forum, you'll usually find even the experts (finally) admitting that they don't do *everything* perfectly and that people using them for heavier lifting applications will just have to expect and live with the occasional, unexpected slow down, lag out, etc.  Not acceptable for a HD HTPC for me, sad as I am to say.

Missed the part about transcoding on the device itself, sorry! If you need better compute for that just still a small form factor PC behind the TV. This is what some companies do to power the PCs they have in conference rooms. 

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