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Windows 7: How to control PC over home network?

04 Jan 2015   #11

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Diddlededum View Post
DSPerber, some really helpful suggestions there.

I downloaded Teamviewer, installed it on my power desktop PC and laptop. Then I remoted in (verb???) to the power PC from the laptop.
I can understand "remoted in". Perfectly acceptable jargon.

Note that there are some "quality" settings in TeamViewer (which is designed to be capable of supporting all sorts of low-bandwidth connections, and thus require some compromises to "quality" e.g. color depth) which are not necessarily set correctly by default. I always set "optimize quality" for "quality", which dramatically improves quality of the desktop window on the client machine to that of the host/server machine. This is really not a problem with high bandwidth connections, and you should try it.

As the laptop was sitting next to the desktop I popped a VGA from the monitor into the laptop and was able to watch on the desktop monitor and swap to DVI which was the video signal from desktop to monitor.
Reasonable setup for the test.

Local area connection is via powerlines.
I don't understand what you're saying.

I assume there is a router in this same room with the power PC (and also the laptop sitting next to it). Why wouldn't you just connect both PC's via ethernet cable directly to the router?

But by "powerlines" do you mean a pair of "ethernet over powerline" adapters? And which of your PC's is plugged into these, and which to the router? Are these adapters plugged into two wall power sockets in the same room? Can you please give some clarifying detail to this connection arrangement, as it's very important.

Also remember that these "ethernet over powerline" arrangements are generally 10/100, and even then can be impacted by physical factors as I mentioned previously. These are not gigabit connections, even if your PC has a gigabit network adapter and if your router supports gigabit connections. The only way to truly get [near-]gigabit inter-PC speeds is to use Cat6 cables from PC-to-router, where both PC and router have gigabit capability. Anything else will see slower speeds from PC to PC.

So far so good, a really clever solution.
Well, you really should also experiment with Windows Remote Desktop (which is another free solution), as well as RealVNC (which is not free but which provides a "mirror driver" to significantly improve video performance across the remote connection as compared to TeamViewer).

Remember that all of these remote desktop implementations require sending significant bitstreams from host/server to client corresponding to what is happening on the true local Windows machine desktop, to keep the virtual desktop window on the client up-to-date for all changes on the host desktop. My experience is that while the overall performance is essentially perfectly acceptable for "normal tasks", it is definitely NOT appropriate to play videos or other multimedia across the remote desktop.

There's simply too much going to the local desktop at too high a bitrate when playing videos (especially HD videos in large windows) for any remote "serial bitrate" connection to possibly support in real time while providing anything like decent quality. Feeding a local monitor via DVI/HDMI/DP digital cabling can support gigabits of bandwidth which is what you need for HD video display. This just can't be handled adequately on a 10/100 ethernet connection. It's unreasonable to expect that it will.

Quote: video was way way too laggy, like a difference of several seconds between sound and video.
Not a surprise.

Unfortunately that's going to be a dealbreaker for me, especially as the video I watch the most of is musical performance and it just isn't on to see piano notes being played several seconds before or after hearing them.
If the video being played is a file stored locally on the power PC, and if the second machine (laptop or desktop) has reasonable graphics capability, you will be able to get the quality you want by simply running a media player/viewer program on the second machine reading its input video data file (i.e. MPG/AVI/MP4/MKV etc.) from the power PC. All you need is to set up the two machines networked together through "printer and file sharing" supported by Windows, now that you have a working wired home network facilitated through your powerline adapters and can get to the drives/folders of either machine from the other machine.

The media files (which are only 10's or 100's of megabytes, or even gigabytes in size) can be read from PC to PC with perfectly adequate speed across the wired ethernet network you now have, directly feeding the media player running on the second (client) machine. So there's no need to transmit gigabits across the LAN for remote desktop presentation of a video. You only need to read megabits for the media file itself from the host PC, for presentation on the client PC via a media player program running on the client PC.

So it sounds like the Teamviewer option is just not feasible sadly. Nice idea though.
For ordinary tasks (like getting to data on your home machine when you're out in the field on the road and have your laptop with you) any of these remote desktop techniques is perfectly adequate. It just is not reasonable to include playing videos remotely as one of the things it's designed to perform acceptably, but that's truly because of bitrate limitations running through the Internet or from 10/100 network connections.

I guess it's therefore either back to spending $$$ on superlong cables which will be routed through the house in the hope they will still give a signal at the other end; or buying a second desktop machine.
No... I would try ordinary simple local area networking, running your media player on the client laptop reading media data files hosted by the power PC. Just enable "printer and file sharing" on the two machines, so that you can access all drives/folders on each PC from the other PC. Then you can read the media files hosted by power PC using a media player running on the client laptop.

Assuming the client laptop has decent graphics capability, this LAN shared-file approach WILL give you what you want, without any of the "lipsync" problem you observed with the remote desktop approach.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2015   #12

Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Thanks again for such a detailed response.

By powerline, yes I meant I have a cable from my router to a power socket thingy which sends an ethernet signal around the house to another power socket thingy to which the remote PC was connected to.

For viewing video files hosted on the machine itself that might work, I haven't tried. But if the whole point of the setup was to enable me to use a cheap old laptop or whatever, connected to my hide monitor, to remotely control my more powerful PC, one part of that would be that from time to time I'd want to see maybe a Youtube clip or other flash content. And flicking from virtual desktop to "real" laptop every time I wanted to browse the net for instance would be just cumbersome.

Maybe I just need to start saving up for a new PC after all! Though having been introduced to Teamviewer I can see some very useful potential ways I could use it for other things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to control PC over home network?

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