PC Remote Control

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PC Remote Control

Postby Antipilor » February 2nd, 2011, 7:57 pm

To start off I will state I am brand spanking new at this so forgive me if I am a bit slow. I work as a computer technician remotely controlling computers which carries with it certain limitations as we use software to do this. The inability to control a computer that cannot connect to the network or is unable to boot to an os is annoying so I wonder if it would be possible to achieve remote control through hardware means.

I can foresee several obstacles in doing this. First the hardware needs to be wifi connectible and will need to be controllable via internet or wifi. I will need to emulate a keyboard and mouse on the pc that would ideally be recognized by the bios. The hardest part I believe will be outputting video from the remote computer to the controller pc.

I appreciate any ideas or input on this but more specifically, is this possible? I am fairly sure I can get the inputs working but it's the video output gives me pause. It seems I would need a large amount of memory and processing power to achieve this.
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Re: PC Remote Control

Postby vtl » February 2nd, 2011, 8:46 pm

So you want a hardware solution that plugs into the computer and adds another set of wifi, video and input hardware to an existing computer? Sounds stupidly expensive and redunant to me if you're doing it for many computers.

How about some kind massive kvm that could control many computer and the it's input/output is sent over network by hardware you design? That way you only have to build one to control many.
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Re: PC Remote Control

Postby MS3FGX » February 2nd, 2011, 9:19 pm

So something like a Slingbox with input (well, input beyond the basic remote functionality that the Slingbox provides)? I suppose it is doable, but it would be a bit of a project.

The easiest way I could think would be to use a Mini-ITX machine coupled with a capture device and a microcontroller emulating a HID device. The capture device could be used to stream the target computer's video, and commands could be passed to the microcontroller to be converted into HID. You would need to write up a bit of software to mesh it all together too.
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Re: PC Remote Control

Postby error404 » February 2nd, 2011, 9:43 pm

IP KVM is available off-the-shelf if you're willing to spend the money. A couple hundred bucks for a single port device (I've used LANtronix Spider, it does the job).

I've also thought about implementing this myself, since the commercial solutions are so expensive (and really I just want it so when I'm installing Windows or something I don't need to keep walking to the bench and can sit at my desk PC). Haven't really come up with a simple design though, the video part needs quite a bit of I/O bandwidth and there aren't really any read-made VGA decoder ICs I was able to find that would be easy to interface - so you've got to decode and ADC the VGA yourself. Decided it was just too much work. DVI might be a bit easier to handle, but it's still a lot of data.

Feasible, but a pretty big project.
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Re: PC Remote Control

Postby Stephanie » February 2nd, 2011, 10:58 pm

I also vote for an IP KVM. We use Avocent at work, and it's pretty good. It's expensive, but you get all of the features.
Building one from scratch can be quite tricky, especially video input.
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Re: PC Remote Control

Postby Antipilor » February 3rd, 2011, 5:48 am

Thanks a bunch for the info guys. I'll update y'all if I end up pursuing this further.
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