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Using Surface Tablet as a Desktop Touch Monitor/Remote ?

tdizzle342

New Member
Hi i am new here, i do not currently have a surface but was strongly consider getting one.

I have my desktop connected to my TV, i use it to play music, watch movies, tv shows, netflix, youtube etc... but 2 big issues with that. 1. tv far away and its hard to read, 2. input devices are really annoying to use. I have logitech keyboard with touch mouse that a pain to use, ive tried remote apps for my iphone. Tried team viewer on my ipad. All options are very annoying and not convenient and hard on eyes.

So it occurred to me with windows 8 and the surface tablet this may be possible.

Can i use the surface tablet as a monitor for my desktop - kinda like what remote desktop/team viewer but instead of controlling a mouse cursor, everything is now touch. Does anyone know if this is possible.

Thanks
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Yes that is possible in the same way through RDP. The desktop connected to the TV must be running a version of Windows that supports RDP. If you have Windows 8 installed on the desktop PC the touch and gesture features will be fully functional on a Surface Pro or Surface RT and will work just as if the desktop were running on the Surface directly.
 
Just an FYI, while RDP is superior, you can use VNC on both Apple and Android to achieve the same goal.

VNC, or virtual network connector, is a remote control of your desktop or server. What you see on the tablet will be happening on the desktop machine.
Remote Desktop, or RDP, is a virtual session to your desktop or server, it's faster and smoother than VNC because it is a private session.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
For you use case I think the Surface RT would work better, as it has an all day battery and it is much lighter....
 

CrazyT

New Member
I have a PC hooked up to my TV as well so here's my setup if you're interested in how I got it to work.

I bought the following control to help me navigate the screen. I have since upgraded my PC to Windows 8 and it works just fine.

To watch TV, I use Windows Media Center.
To watch media stored within the my network, I use XBMC.
To surf the web (i.e. YouTube, Hulu), I use this handy keyboard + mouse combo.
 
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tdizzle342

New Member
Hold on wait guys, i don't think were on the same page. I know with windows RDP and programs like team viewer used on a tablet you see whats on the desktop but when you control it your moving mouse cursor which i don't like. I basically want the surface to act like a touch screen monitor no mouse cursor.

I currently have ipad2 and a toshiba thrive that i can try right now but i don't think its possible for what i am trying to do
 
Last edited:
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tdizzle342

New Member
I have a PC hooked up to my TV as well so here's my setup if you're interested in how I got it to work.

I bought the following control to help me navigate the screen. I have since upgraded my PC to Windows 8 and it works just fine.

To watch TV, I use Windows Media Center.
To watch media stored within the my network, I use XBMC.
To surf the web (i.e. YouTube, Hulu), I use this handy keyboard + mouse combo.

Ya i don't use windows media center - i use MPC, nothing on my network keyboard mouse combo i have n its terribly annoying
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Hold on wait guys, i don't think were on the same page. I know with windows RDP and programs like team viewer used on a tablet you see whats on the desktop but when you control it your moving mouse cursor which i don't like. I basically want the surface to act like a touch screen monitor no mouse cursor.

I currently have ipad2 and a toshiba thrive that i can try right now but i don't think its possible for what i am trying to do
Yep, Windows 8 is "touch optimized" but not mouse free. When using the "desktop" there are times when a mouse comes in handy (like in Office and in legacy apps that don't support touch) but it is not necessary. You don't need to have a tablet and a PC both running Windows 8 but from what you have described that is probably the optimal setup rather than using your tablet as a track pad for the PC you are connected to.
 
OP
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tdizzle342

New Member
Yep, Windows 8 is "touch optimized" but not mouse free. When using the "desktop" there are times when a mouse comes in handy (like in Office and in legacy apps that don't support touch) but it is not necessary. You don't need to have a tablet and a PC both running Windows 8 but from what you have described that is probably the optimal setup rather than using your tablet as a track pad for the PC you are connected to.
thanks for clearing that up - I got a spare computer that I'm formatting to windows 8 n I'm gonna go buy a surface to try it out.

worse comes to worse il just return the surface.

I haven't been able to find YouTube demonstration or anything related to this so I don't know how we'll this will perform.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Let's clarify - are you wanting to use the Surface as a big Touch Screen Remote and still see the Host PC on your Television or are you wanting to use the Tablet as the viewing device for content on the Host PC? As RDP is a closed Session, i.e. when you log onto the Host the monitored attached to the Host PC goes to the Lock Screen and all of the UI and Sounds is redirected to the RDP Client (the Surface in this case). I think Team Viewer allows for the shared session...
 
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tdizzle342

New Member
Let's clarify - are you wanting to use the Surface as a big Touch Screen Remote and still see the Host PC on your Television or are you wanting to use the Tablet as the viewing device for content on the Host PC? As RDP is a closed Session, i.e. when you log onto the Host the monitored attached to the Host PC goes to the Lock Screen and all of the UI and Sounds is redirected to the RDP Client (the Surface in this case). I think Team Viewer allows for the shared session...
ya that's what I though about rdp too that it would be a closed connection for some reason I though it would diff with win 8

I ended up to finding another solution an app called splashtop that's pretty much what I wanted to do, but after testing its really awkward and doesn't work as well as I though it would.

so back to the keyboard/mouse combo.
 
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