Watching video using VNC

Bill Reedy bmr "at"
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 17:15:07 +0000

I have used VNC to peek on someone playing an FPS shooter, like Unreal
Tournament or Elite Force, and other graphic-intense games.  The result is
usually the same with most DirectX-related software -- the image is wrapped
and overlaid in a weird fashion in that you really can't make out too many
details, but enough that you can recognize what game they are playing.  Even
if there wasn't an issue with resolution and the like, VNC can't really keep
up with the game's framerate.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Mike Miller
  To: vnc-list "at"
  Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 8:55 AM
  Subject: RE: Watching video using VNC

  On Thu, 21 Mar 2002, Christopher Tesla wrote:

  > I find it very interesting that some applications bypass the system in
  > this way.  I assumed (incorrectly, I guess) that VNC simply shows
  > everything that the monitor shows.  Is this simply because that the
  > video in application is a hardware solution, or do other graphical
  > systems bypass VNC?  What about somebody playing a high-framerate FPS
  > shooter on the machine downstairs...would I be able to watch someone
  > play using VNC from another computer?  Or what about somebody playing a
  > .MOV or .MPG file using a media player...would VNC pick that up?
  > I am just trying to better understand how VNC recreates the monitor
  > input, and see how many unusual applications I can apply it to!!

  Think in terms of where the image is produced.  Your TV card adds the TV
  image to the video stream after it has left the CPU and before it gets to
  the monitor.  It's a hardware video player.  If you play DVDs on your
  computer, you have the same problem.  If the card adds the DVD image, you
  won't see it on VNC, but if the DVD stream is created by *software*, then
  you will see it.  I don't know what an FPS shooter is, but the same logic
  applies -- where does the video for the shooter get added to the video
  output stream?  If it is added after the CPU, then it won't be in vnc.

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