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Is there a way to pass video from another device through a pc?

Mothergoose729

Senior member
Mar 21, 2009
409
2
81
I recently built a home theater pc, and right now my biggest complaint is that I have to switch to different inputs for my game console and my tv. What I would really like to be able to do is to hook up both my cable box and my game console to my pc, and then have my pc relay the video to the television. If possible I would like to control what output and from which device gets sent to the display, and be able to seamlessly switch between the three of them.

I have seen tv tuner cards and video capture cards, and perhaps these are what I need. I don't particularly need to record or encode anything, I just want the PC be the middle man and the controller. Does such a device exist? Thank you.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
There is no such thing as a pass through only device. You could use a capture card, but that comes with its own hurdles and cost. Look up a HD PVR if you want to go that route. The word seamless won't be used to describe that solution though.

The honest answer of why a device doesn't exist is most of us use our AV Reciever as the hub. Many of those can do passthrough and even auto switch inputs with compatible devices.
 

myocardia

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2003
9,291
28
91
OP, why not just buy yourself a $30, wirelessly-remote-controlled HDMI switch, like this one? That would allow you to use only one of your television's HDMI inputs, which it sounds as if you don't like going through the steps of changing.
 

Mothergoose729

Senior member
Mar 21, 2009
409
2
81
There is no such thing as a pass through only device. You could use a capture card, but that comes with its own hurdles and cost. Look up a HD PVR if you want to go that route. The word seamless won't be used to describe that solution though.

The honest answer of why a device doesn't exist is most of us use our AV Reciever as the hub. Many of those can do passthrough and even auto switch inputs with compatible devices.

Assuming I use a capture card or an HD PVR or similar device, how would that work exactly? It seems as if my cable box and my game console would go in the capture device, and then my PC would get a copy of the same signals being sent to the television. If I am using my television as the monitor for my pc, how does switching inputs work?
 

Mothergoose729

Senior member
Mar 21, 2009
409
2
81
OP, why not just buy yourself a $30, wirelessly-remote-controlled HDMI switch, like this one? That would allow you to use only one of your television's HDMI inputs, which it sounds as if you don't like going through the steps of changing.
My television has multiple display inputs, and switching between them isn't a big deal. It just really inter ups flow because of the latency, and it just feels like all my media devices are segmented. It would be nice if operating my devices felt like switching to different window in my pc, if that makes sense.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
Assuming I use a capture card or an HD PVR or similar device, how would that work exactly? It seems as if my cable box and my game console would go in the capture device, and then my PC would get a copy of the same signals being sent to the television. If I am using my television as the monitor for my pc, how does switching inputs work?
You would change inputs on the app, or switch from the app to whatever you are doing on your pc.

Diagram:



More info:

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr2plus-gaming.html
 

Mothergoose729

Senior member
Mar 21, 2009
409
2
81
You would change inputs on the app, or switch from the app to whatever you are doing on your pc.

Diagram:



More info:

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr2plus-gaming.html
So I could literally alt-tab out? Cool, sounds like exactly what I am looking for.

Just to clarify, would this work with my cable television as well, provided I kept my providers cable box? One of the things that is keeping me from getting a tv tuner is all the nonsense with encrypted channels and no features like on demand.

Thanks for your help :)
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
So I could literally alt-tab out? Cool, sounds like exactly what I am looking for.

Just to clarify, would this work with my cable television as well, provided I kept my providers cable box? One of the things that is keeping me from getting a tv tuner is all the nonsense with encrypted channels and no features like on demand.
Sure as long as you use the HDMI input for the console and the component for the cable box (or vise versa).
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
It sounds like you're trying to put the PC in the wrong place in the chain. In most cases, the PC is a content provider, not a content processor and/or input switcher. The "middle" piece is generally the AVR, which processes audio and switches inputs. It could also be another device that switches inputs, like an HDMI switch mentioned above.

Consider adding something to switch inputs, and a Harmony remote to take care of the switching of multiple devices via "activities," since sometimes you just cant avoid changing more than one input on more than one device.
 

chrisram

Member
Jun 11, 2004
26
0
0
Have been doing this for a long time with a receiver that does not have hdmi in or out. I use the Harmony remote to do all the switching for me, never leave the chair to switch from pc to tv to game systems, etc. Works great
 

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