HDMI out -> USB in
I have this Surface-class tablet I rarely use, because it is underpowered. But it is a full Windows 8.1 (well, Windows 10 Tech Preview) computer that is wonderfully light.
Side rant: I think Microsoft could have had a runaway hit on their hands if (a) the keyboard were sufficiently attached to use the computer on one's lap [like Asus does with their's] and (2) it were 3/4 the price, so that the most expensive was $1,200. People like me'll spend $1,000 on a good very-portable computer, but not $1,900.
Thing is, Microsoft has always dreamed of expensive hardware, thinking it woul lure hardware makers into building brand-new equipment to boost more OS sales -- no illusions of democracy for them. High prices (and poor design) felled their other attempts to define hardware for the Windows market, such as the butt-ugly UMPC and those early tablet-ized laptops, like the HP TX-series. After the failures of Surface and UMPC, you'd think Microsoft've learned.
So one day I thought: could this wonderfully-light but underutilized tablet (with its built-in stand) become a second screen for my traveling laptop? I know there are software solutions that work over WiFi, but I have found them painfully slow -- that latency bugaboo.
No, what I wanted was a hardware solution using USB3's fast speed, probably. Both the tablet and the laptop have HDMI out only. No HDMI in; that would have made it too easy. Both have USB 3.0 ports. Does a connector exist for HDMI out to USB in?
Entering that as a search phrase into Google and eBay resulted in plenty of other connections: HDMI to HDMI, USB out to HDMI in. Getting confused, I ended up buying two adapters that weren't what I wanted:
- A generic adapter using DisplayLink for USB out -> HDMI in -- no good, because it goes in the wrong direction.
- An ASUS adapter using Miracast for WiFi out to HDMI in -- no good, because it needs HDMI in.
I needed USB in. It appears that only version of what I want are USB screen capture devices that read from HDMI out, and then store the video on a file for editing. That's not what I want.
The reason I suspect HDMI out->USB in is not available: copy protection. By sending the video signal into USB, it would be possible for us watch videos live on unapproved devices. That would bypass Hollywood's mandated requirement that HDMI lock the moving images to approved devices, even if the images have nothing to do with Hollywood, like my word processor.