Using the Surface as a Primary Display the Right Way

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sonichedgehog360, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    The Surface has an extraordinary sharp, colorful and luscious display so why not put it to good use as a primary display for your desktop setup? I ran into this scenario since I have a small form factor desktop (Silverstone RVZ02) that fits like a glove in my carry-on approved backpack (Cabin Max Metz Extra) that I take with me across the country but taking a bulky LCD monitor was just impossible. After days of trial and error with many different solutions, I have found a few proven methods to perfectly stream--lag-free--to my Surface display at its native resolution and it is a sight to below. Leveraging the power of my Ryzen R7 1700- and GTX 1080-powered desktop, I can game on my Surface at fullest settings as if it were my Surface doing it.

    Eventually (and hopefully), this post will comprise a complete guide which will describe in-depth the steps you need to follow. For now, please excuse the spaghetti-like mess of information. For the adventurous, keep reading and try your hand at this fun. For this, you will need the following gear: a quad-core desktop or better with a GTX 9xx or GTX 1xxx series Nvidia GPU; a USB gigabit adapter; a Cat5e LAN cable (a crossover cable isn't necessary; modern gigabit adapters automatically do the crossover exchange for you); a headless adapter (this little dongle fools the video card into thinking a 4K 60 Hz monitor is attached).

    Here are some methods you will need to poke around with:

    https://github.com/moonlight-stream/moonlight-chrome/issues/64#issuecomment-302929195
    http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/759/~/custom-resolutions

    Here are some programs I found incredibly important in getting everything working just right:
    Moonlight Streaming
    Remote Desktop Connection
    Splashtop Streamer
    Splashtop Personal
    Steam (In-Home Streaming)
     
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  2. HowdyDoody

    HowdyDoody Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for posting this! Would love to hear more about your solution. Had played with moonlight a while back but didn't get much further then streaming the desktop to another device. Your resources for solving the resolution issues worked perfectly! Connection is still a bit flakey but curious where you ended up getting.

    Of course would love to get pen input working with moonlight or some other high framerate desktop streamer but seems that's not possible at the moment.
     
  3. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Using Moonlight Streaming, it is around 20 ms latency, 2736x1824 at 60 fps, with no drop outs or microstutters. Just as a warning, if your desktop shares the Wi-Fi with your Surface or other tablet device, you will need to add the desktop using the IP address for its wired connection. After connecting and disconnecting a stream, I also have to unadd and readd the PC once in a while since it adds the PC by name, not IP, and forgets the IP you entered. Otherwise, it defaults to the Wi-Fi, as you might guess, is too slow and latency-prone for 1080p+ resolutions.

    One other step I did not mention: On both machines, under the wired card's Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) settings, I had to manually go in and assign the IP address and Subnet mask for each. For example, you could set the desktop as "10.19.90.1" and your Surface or other tablet as "10.19.91.1" for the IP address and you would then set the subnet mask as "255.255.255.0". Finally, Windows 10, for security purposes, defaults a crossover LAN connection to an Unidentified Network, making it a public network which will restrict data transfer. You will need to go in and assign Unidentified Networks on both machines to Private manually using the method described here ( https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials...tion-private-public-windows-10-a.html#option3 ). After that, under "Advanced sharing settings" in the Network and Sharing Center of each machine, go the Private section and turn on "File and printer sharing" and "Network discovery." Finally, pull up Command Prompt and run "ipconfig /all". Make sure "NetBIOS over TCP/IP" is enabled. If it isn't, go to the Settings app and search for "Network reset." This issue occurred with the USB wired adapter I had. As a final check, now to Command Prompt again and type "ping" followed by a space and the IP address of the other machine's LAN adapter. You should be good to go from there.
     
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