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4K monitor - display two computers at the same time

4K monitor - display two computers at the same time

Old Oct 18, 22, 1:18 pm
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4K monitor - display two computers at the same time

I can't believe how difficult it is to find an answer.

I would like to buy a 4K monitor with the following use case...
  1. On the same desk will be a home computer (where I do all of my mundane household tasks) and my laptop dock which will house my work laptop
  2. If you picture a 4K monitor split into four equal parts, I want the laptop to use the bottom half of the 4K monitor (and "split" into two 1080p "monitors"), and I want the home computer to occupy the two upper halves.
  3. I would like these four equal parts to be the equivalent to four 21" monitors, but ideally four 24" monitors due to my ageing eyes. I for the life of me cannot figure out what size 4K monitors would be the close equivalent.
  4. Countless Google searches talk about utilizing Remote Desktop to connect to my home computer to occupy the top half of monitor, but my laptop will be connected to my corporate VPN, so that is not feasible (and I don't want to expose an RDP port to the internet).
  5. I have no problems using two separate mice/keyboards for each computer, but I've been told that many 4K monitors now have built-in KVM switches. I also have an unopened Logitech multi-device mouse that can be used across different computers.
  6. There might come a time where I may want to switch the bottom half of the 4K monitor between my work laptop dock and a gaming computer, which then may involve a second KVM switch.
I guess the first question is: is this truly feasible? If so, have you found a webpage that details how to make it happen (or if you can share what you did, I would be grateful). Secondly, any 4K monitor recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

But maybe I'm looking too much into this: I suppose I could simply buy a 4-monitor (2x2) desk mount and four 24" monitors (maybe 1200p or 1440p resolution to that extra bit of real estate), which might be significantly easier (and most likely cheaper) to manage.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 18, 22, 1:53 pm
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Basically what you are looking for is a 4K TV/monitor that supports split screens with multiple inputs. I know some older TVs do that but only for 2 HDMI inputs with side by side split screens. I don't remember ever seeing one that does 4 inputs and with 4 different screens. I think you are better off just getting 4 monitors with desk arms mount. I would just the 3 monitors with arms (those are more common and fit most desks. 2 for work, and 1 for home. And you can get a switch box, so for the weekends, you can do 3 monitors gaming LOL!
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Old Oct 18, 22, 2:22 pm
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I actually found one I think...

Amazon Amazon
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Old Oct 18, 22, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
Dell also makes one... https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell...or-accessories

It's also 50% more expensive that the LG, but I'm really surprised there aren't more companies making this kind of monitor.

My current office setup is two desks. One is an electric standing desk with a triple monitor mount, three 24" 1080p monitors, and used specifically with my work laptop. It's wonderful and productive. The other desk is a bleepshow mess with papers and computer parts all over the place, three desktop computers in various disrepair, and currently a single monitor that Baby Swede uses for her part-time online school. I'd like to clean up that desk, maybe move my triple monitor setup to that desk for two desktop computers (one of which will be dedicated to Baby Swede since I think online high school may become full-time), buy either a 4K monitor or quad monitor stand for the electric desk, and move one desktop computer over (while keeping my gaming computer on the other desk to avoid temptation). Still spit-balling ideas.
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Old Oct 18, 22, 10:40 pm
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It's a little bit of a niche area.

You'll likely want at least a 38" 4k monitor with this feature (PBP). More for traders/businesses who can afford this price.

As you said, you want each to be at least 24", so if you put them in a 2x2 grid, the resulting diagonal is 48" (assuming same 16:9 aspect ratio)

Display fusion on windows helps to manage large resolution (virtually split them)
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Old Oct 19, 22, 7:08 am
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LG monitors can do this with their dual controller/picture in picture mode. I have an ultrawide -- 38" (sorry, can't remember the model) which I do use this periodically. It can display from any of its input side by side. TBH, I don't know really how useful it is due to the aspect ratio and readability as the laptop inputs are generally wide screen/etc.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 10:28 am
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The various hardware approaches here are one way to go, but if I'm understanding the OP correctly, RDP is a problem from the work laptop on vpn because

(the) laptop will be connected to my corporate VPN, so that is not feasible (and I don't want to expose an RDP port to the internet
I get this if 100 percent of the network traffic on the work laptop goes through the VPN, but (almost?) every VPN client I've ever used lets you bypass local IP addresses, for example to connect to a local printer. Is there really no way to connect over the local LAN to the home desktop?
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Old Oct 20, 22, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
If you picture a 4K monitor split into four equal parts, I want the laptop to use the bottom half of the 4K monitor (and "split" into two 1080p "monitors"), and I want the home computer to occupy the two upper halves.
Plenty of monitors can do split screen in some format. Getting 4-way split screen the way you're talking about seems odd - you'd do much better with just treating it as two 32:9 (3840x1080) widescreens on two cables, but the large TV-size ones that can do 4-way split (the one I've used is the Dell U43xxQ series, which sadly doesn't do top/bottom PBP so you'd have to do it that way)

I would like these four equal parts to be the equivalent to four 21" monitors, but ideally four 24" monitors due to my ageing eyes. I for the life of me cannot figure out what size 4K monitors would be the close equivalent.
Since you're doing a 2x2 layout with the same form factor, it's just division. A 43" would be the same as 4x 21" monitors, a 48-49" (pretty common 4K TV size, uncommon for 16:9 monitors) would be ~24"

For monitors, 49" ultrawide is a common size and usually does 5120x1440 resolution, and is roughly the same as 2x 27" QHD monitors next to each other.

Countless Google searches talk about utilizing Remote Desktop to connect to my home computer to occupy the top half of monitor, but my laptop will be connected to my corporate VPN, so that is not feasible (and I don't want to expose an RDP port to the internet).
I do the reverse; depending on how your work machine is configured, you probably can do it despite the VPN, as even with a full rather than split tunnel, you need to have the local route. Doing the reverse that I do requires local admin privileges, but using the work machine to get to your personal one just requires that they be on the same LAN subnet.

I have no problems using two separate mice/keyboards for each computer, but I've been told that many 4K monitors now have built-in KVM switches. I also have an unopened Logitech multi-device mouse that can be used across different computers.
Most higher end ones have USB switching for the K/M part of KVM, but will typically involve some lag when you switch. I'm also not sure how convenient it is when used with PBP (in some cases there is a software control, but in cheaper ones, switching will be little buttons an the OSD.)

Using one on remote desktop can work well, but there is also https://github.com/debauchee/barrier which is the free/open source replacement of the now-commercial Synchrony - which is KVM over IP, and works really well.

Originally Posted by Need View Post
https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell...or-accessories also does.

Don't see any particular advantage over the LG (although I've looked at the LG's specs for about 30 seconds total), and quite a bit pricier new - but it is frequently on sale via Dell Outlet ( https://outlet.us.dell.com/ ) for around the same $600

Originally Posted by CarlTheWebmaster View Post
I get this if 100 percent of the network traffic on the work laptop goes through the VPN, but (almost?) every VPN client I've ever used lets you bypass local IP addresses, for example to connect to a local printer. Is there really no way to connect over the local LAN to the home desktop?
It almost always possible to get to local resources, because it has to be able to get to the local LAN to reach the local gateway. There are tricks to make that more difficult with IP routing, or with hypervisors, but I've never seen anyone actually bother to do it on a regular employee laptop, as it's going to be super-fragile to network changes.
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Last edited by nkedel; Oct 20, 22 at 3:40 pm
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Old Oct 24, 22, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by nkedel View Post
you'd do much better with just treating it as two 32:9 (3840x1080) widescreens on two cables
My biggest annoyance is when people share their 4K screen when I'm viewing it on a 1080p monitor. Even if they just share the program window, it's often way larger than 1920x1080, so it's tiny to view.
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