Question Two monitors - three pc's

domtrump

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Jul 11, 2014
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I'm setting up a new home office. I have not built machines or set up systems in many years so I'm a little out of date. I have three computers (two PC's and a laptop) that I need to connect to share two HDMI monitors. In my old days, I'd use KVM switches. I have lots of them, but they are all VGA/serial KB&Mouse, etc. What is the modern piece of equipment that I need? I'm only concerned about the monitors as I have a wireless KB/Mouse combo that supports three PC's via BT (Logitech MK850). What will allow me to hook up the three PCs via HDMI to the two monitors? Thanks.
 
HDMI is a hot swappable port so any time you want to access it you just Plug & Play with no restarts and usually no driver install. you can just switch one plug from one monitor to the laptop when needed.

to have an HDMI cable always just lying in wait for the laptop; connect one of the monitors via DisplayPort to one of the PCs and have that monitor's HDMI cable always waiting for the laptop.
 

domtrump

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Jul 11, 2014
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HDMI is a hot swappable port so any time you want to access it you just Plug & Play with no restarts and usually no driver install. you can just switch one plug from one monitor to the laptop when needed.

to have an HDMI cable always just lying in wait for the laptop; connect one of the monitors via DisplayPort to one of the PCs and have that monitor's HDMI cable always waiting for the laptop.
So my goal is to switch between three computers and no matter which pc I'm on, have BOTH monitors available to that machine. Would this configuration allow that?
 
if both monitors have at least three outputs(HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI), yes.

if no, you would have to use docking hubs with compatible outputs.
VisionTek and many others offer modern display hubs for this type of purpose. try to find one that has a switch that will determine which system to output to at any given time.

whether your laptop can output to two exterior displays at once is another question. that you would have to determine through the user manual or manufacturer support.
 

domtrump

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Jul 11, 2014
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if both monitors have at least three outputs(HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI), yes.

if no, you would have to use docking hubs with compatible outputs.
VisionTek and many others offer modern display hubs for this type of purpose. try to find one that has a switch that will determine which system to output to at any given time.

whether your laptop can output to two exterior displays at once is another question. that you would have to determine through the user manual or manufacturer support.
My laptop dock and both PCs have dual HDMI outputs (no DVI or display ports). I'll check the VisionTek website to see what kind of dock might help me. From my research, it does not appear that I will be able to accomplish my goal with a single appliance. Each of the computers needs to extend (not duplicate) across the two monitors. Looks like I'll be rigging something up that will likely involve plugging and unplugging cables when I switch. Thanks for your assistance.
 
once you have two displays plugged in to a single system, no matter the cable(s) used; right-clicking on the desktop and choosing "Display settings" should give you the option to either extend or duplicate across multiple displays.

maybe just using two separate hubs would be the easiest way to accomplish it. each display connected to a single hub with three outgoing HDMIs. each system connected to both hubs.

possibly buying two cheaper graphics cards for the desktops so you can also use DP & DVI could be the best alternative.
both monitor's HDMI outs going to the laptop, each desktop getting DP from one monitor & DVI from the other. considering that your displays do each have HDMI, DP & DVI outputs of course.
 
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