Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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I just bought a new desk to start redesigning my home office, but in
order to make everything look good, it would really help to have a
wireless monitor. Well, they exist for about a grand, so I started
looking up VGA adapters.

Surprisingly enough, I found them! They're usually marketed for
projectors, but some have VGA connectors and looks like it would work
fine with my monitor. The cheapest that I found, though, was an
Addlogix Echoview piece, going for around $250:

That's really not in my budget right now, especially since I just blew
a ton of money on a desk and chair, but it's nice to know that they

So here's my question. Is this piece worth saving up for, or is there
something better on the market for about the same price (or preferably,
cheaper)? Or, is there no such thing as a GOOD wireless monitor



Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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No specific experience with wireless monitors but IMHO there is no
need for a such a beast connected to a desktop PC in a stationary
location on a desk for a single user.  You have to plug the monitor in
to power right?  What's one more cable hidden behind the monitor and
desk?  Hell, with a cable-tie or zip-tie it's practically like have
one cable anyway.  IMHO a wireless monitor achieves nothing and is a
waste of money for the average SOHO workstation even if the price
premium were, say $50 (which it might never be).

Furthermore signal quality is very important especially with certain
kinds of monitors, resolutions, refresh rates, and/or if you have
sensitive eyes or demand a precise/accurate display.  A new niche
market wireless monitor just sounds like a bad idea from that
perspective.  If I were you I'd be looking into good quality BNC or
DVI cables & professional quality monitors if you really want to go
all out.  I wouldn't hold my breath for wireless monitors to be
competitive with wired ones (either in price or quality) any time
soon.  Even if/when they are I see little benefit for SOHO.

I'd think of wireless monitors like wireless projectors.  The point is
to bring the display away from the PC, not really to eliminate a
single wire on your desk.  So for example if you have a business that
uses PC monitors in a window display or up on a wall to show a demo or
movie run by a PC that you don't necessarily want nearby - a wireless
monitor may be for you.


Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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Did you notice the maximum resolution was 1024x768 ? That is
hardly going to be a good fit for monitors that run at 1600x1200.
While it is nice to notice that the technology exists, it is not
developed to the extent of being useful for a typical desktop.
1024x768 might be something you use to remote a movie viewing display.

Add to that, if the device uses radio frequencies, those frequencies
are shared by other devices like networking technologies. If the
signal to noise ratio is degraded, or you run out of "channels", then
something in your computer room is going to suffer. So maybe every
time you turn on your monitor, your wireless LAN drops out.

Not to spoil your fun or anything :-)

Here is another one, that runs in the 5GHz band. Still the
same 1024x768 limit, but also includes PS/2 keyboard and
mouse remote.


Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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Yeah, I did notice that, and it was a shortcoming for me. I usually run
at 1280x1024, and it would be a bit inconvenient to step down.

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Definitely nice, but OUCH on that list price! $800 is way out of my
price range.

I know it might sound like a stupid path to follow, but it's just this
one cable that's keeping me from decorating my office the way I want. I
have a nice desk and a matching computer stand, and because I have a
wireless keyboard, mouse, network, and printer, I could realistically
have everything set up in the computer stand on one side of the office,
and the desk on the other side. But because of this one cable, I'm

The only alternative, I guess, is to use several VGA extensions (the
distance is easily 25'), and run the monitor cable under the floor. But
with such a big plug, I hate to drill a 2-3" hole in my floor, and I
know that there has to be a quality loss on using that many extensions.

Any other suggestions before I start drilling?


Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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Yes.  Make room for the computer near the monitor.  If there is a
problem like computer noise, or computer chassis size, address that
rather than the two options you're considering.

Clearly I'm not telling you what you want to hear.  If you tell us why
you need the computer so far away we can provide other or more
specific suggestions.  With a $1,000+ budget (as appears necessary for
wireless monitor) you have a bunch of other options that will yield a
better user experience for far less.

Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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You're definitely NOT telling me what I want to hear! LOL  I'm sure
you're right, I just don't want you to be. In my little dream world,
there would be a good option in the $100 price range to do exactly what
I want!

My reason is entirely cosmetic, really. My home office is decorated
with a 19th century charm, and the new desk and computer stand is the
final touch to making the appearance complete.

Here is the desk:

As you can see, there's nowhere in the desk to actually store the PC,
unless you sit it beside of the desk. Physically, that's an easy
option, but cosmetically, it's pretty crappy.

But now, for the printer and such, I also bought this piece (without
the hutch):

My office would really look a lot better with the short side of the
main desk against one wall (jutting outwards to separate the front of
the room from the back), and the stand in an corner. Literally
everything with my PC is wireless except for the monitor, so if it
weren't for the VGA cord, I could arrange everything the way I want.

So you see, there's not really a technical reason for doing it, just

I definitely don't have $1000 to spend on it. I'll have a hard time
convincing my girlfriend that $250 is reasonable, so I was really
hoping to find something much cheaper than that. It's funny, you can
get a decent wireless keyboard and mouse for $30, but a wireless
monitor is practically unheard of!

FWIW, the computer is used almost exclusively for web design. I have an
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro video card (128MB) and a 17" KDS LCD monitor.


Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?


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It's not funny at all, you simply don't understand the
technical requirements, the huge increase in bandwidth

Nobody is in love with wires.  If it were so simple as to
write "I want xxxxxxxx", and it worked well at low cost,
everyone would have it already.

Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

You say you do "web design" but in my mind it's not that clear how
tied down you are to that particular machine or mid-sized or bigger
towers.  One obvious option, depending on you needs, is to sell your
current machine and upgrade to a slimmer one that won't be obtrusive
on or under the desk.  I'm thinking SFF or slim desktops but some ppl
in your shoes decide to just have a laptop as their main computer.
Sometimes you can mount a PC under the desk.  Of course the most
obvious solution is to simply deal with a computer on or under the
desk.  A lot of ppl do it and don't mind it terribly much despite the
aesthetics and space.

There's one more idea that isn't so obvious.  Using a remote control
or terminal software to access you computer in the computer stand over
Ethernet using ether a cheap terminal/thin client or older SFF PC.
This would be a compelling idea for most SOHO work.  There may be some
benefits for you and your girlfriend i.e. both of you sharing &
maintaining only 1 good machine instead of 2.  Unfortunately it's
probably not the best solution for web designing.  Often video clips,
shockwave, and the like can be choppy.

Nevertheless the idea is you still have the full power, speed,
storage, expandability, and upgradeability of you main machine without
video signal loss.   All that is on your desk is a small, quiet, and
hopefully inexpensive machine that accesses those attributes by
leveraging the ease of Ethernet to span distances.  This idea is
something to imagine & moll over.  It would take some planning & time
on your part.  If it's actually for you it'll be worth the effort. But
the whole web design thing stops me from endorsing it too strongly.  

The main problem is you bought furniture with a particular office look
in mind without considering your computer needs too seriously.  The
other problem is that most office furniture designers don't take
computer related needs or aesthetics too seriously.

Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

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Well, I'm not the "cable guy" :-)

I've heard of a couple of wireless VGA devices. Those have
a resolution limit, and a price.

There are boxes that will send a VGA signal over CAT5 (ethernet cable).
The hole in your floor would be smaller, with a pair of boxes like that.
I have no idea how well such boxes work.

There are boxes that use fiber optics. The hole in the floor would
be about the same size as the one for CAT5, unless you can find somebody
who knows how to splice fiber or install connectors on the ends of raw
fiber. Fiber optics are, generally speaking, a PITA, but can allow your
monitor to be located 10KM from the computer. The fiber itself, is tiny
in terms of diameter, and the raw fiber could be run through a needle
sized hole. But for safety, fiber optic cable is jacketed, and fiber has
a bend radius limit, so it cannot be abused. Raw fiber is dangerous, as
if you get a sliver jammed into a fingertip, it can float through
your bloodstream, and end up lodged in places it should not be. Thus,
pre-connectorized jacketed fiber is the safest form of finished material.
I have some experience with the stuff, and it requires care and attention
to cleanliness. If buying equipment using fiber, I would recommend gear
with replaceable TX/RX modules, in case you ruin the connectors :-(
(Yes, I've ruined my share of fiber connectors.)

I'd hoped to find a "free space optical" solution for you, but I
suppose that is technically beyond reach. The chances of finding
a light source capable of flooding a room with signal, and being
modulated at 2.8Gbps, is pretty unlikely. I was trying to find
a reference to the bandwidth of gas lasers, but didn't find any info.

The next great thing will be UWB (ultra wide band). That is planned
for launch soon, and will allow USB to be operated wireless. That
will operate at 480Mbps, which is a start. Once UWB devices degrade
the performance of other RF devices, and of each other, then we'll
pretty well have reached a practical limit for wireless. The preface
section of this document, describes UWB a bit. I'm waiting for the
first review sites to test the stuff, in the presence of wireless
LANs, BLuetooth, portable phones and the like, to see which devices
"win" and which devices "Lose".

In terms of the VGA cable itself, there are "important bits" and "not
so important bits". There are five signals in the VGA cable, that carry
info used by the display. They are RGBHV, being Red, Green, Blue,
Horizontal_Sync, and Vertical_Sync. I get the impression that in your
typical VGA cable, RGB are carried with coaxial cable, while HV may
be carried with twisted pairs or something similar. I've never taken
a VGA cable apart, to see how it is designed, so that is just a guess.
The coax cables are 75 ohm as far as I know.

The "not so important bits" are sense signals and the serial clock/data
used for EDID display information. EDID is the way that the display
tells the video card, what resolutions it supports. If EDID is disconnected,
or is not available, Windows would see a "generic" monitor. By default,
this may limit the resolution choices you are offered in Windows. One
solution I've heard of, is a device that fakes EDID information, and
basically tells a lie to the computer.

My old CRT based monitor, in fact did not have a VGA interface. All it
had on the back, was five BNC coaxial connectors, labelled RGBHV. An
adapter cable was provided with the monitor, with a VGA connector on the
end. The monitor did not have any EDID or sense functions, and still worked
with my computers just fine.

The reason I've described the guts of the thing a bit, is to suggest that
buying a long length of VGA cable is not the only solution for extending the
reach of VGA (without active buffer boxes etc). You can break the VGA
interface down into the individual signals, and run coax cables for each
one. Pulling a coax through the hole in the floor, might be a bit easier
than pulling a VGA connector. Unless, of course, you were to pull VGA cable
and fit a VGA connector onto the end of it afterwards.

(Example of VGA to RGBHV adapter. Two of these, plus five coax cables,
equals a cabling solution.)

The benefit of using separate coax cables, is you can find a better
quality coax cable, instead of buying VGA cables of unknown characteristics.
Personally, I expect I'd have a hard time finding the good coax,
even if someone paid me to find it :-)

Here is another concept. This is a VGA cable, with a break in the middle
of it. The connector used to join the two halves of the cable, is round
and that would make it easier to pass through a hole in the floor. This
might be a compromise solution, if you don't want to mess around with
a large hole in the floor. Just a smaller hole in the floor...


Re: Any experience with a wireless VGA adapter?

On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 03:29:30 GMT, (Paul) wrote:

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normally they're out of his pricerange.  But this doesn't look so bad: =!ORDERID!

Can't tell you if it's a waste of time & $$ though.

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