playing consoles on laptop?

By QuasiShinryuu
Dec 1, 2005
  1. I'm looking for something that would let me hook the RCA cables from my game consoles (ps2, GC) up to my laptop, and use my laptop screen + speakers to play them. Ideally, it would hook up through the USB 2.0 or something, but whatever would work. Various people I've asked all seem to think that some way to do this exists, but none of them could tell me what exactly. Again, I basically want to use my laptop in place of a tv, not in addition to. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    It's possible your laptop may have the ability already. You should check through your laptop manual or ports in the back/sides to see if it has a VIDEO-IN or VIVO videocard. The exact make/model of laptop would be helpful if you're unsure.

    There are indeed USB capture boards which you can use to do what you are trying to do. Unfortunately, most of them require USB 2.0 ports for proper speed/bandwidth, so your laptop will need to have the newer/higher speed USB 2.0 ports.

    If so, you can get USB capture boards.. For example, one of the more popular and quality units is the Dazzle board - $45

    Keep in mind that the speed of your USB port and laptop will determine how feasible it will be to play videogames using such devices. The latency between the input signal and it's display on the monitor can sometimes exceed 1-2 seconds, which as you know, would make playing a racing game or other game requiring fast responses impossible to play. Most modern laptops though are able to capture with about 250-500ms latency, which is pretty doable.

    Hope this helps!
  3. QuasiShinryuu

    QuasiShinryuu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, on closer inspection I have an S-video In port. Now, if I were to by the S-Vid cable for the ps2 what software would i need to have it display on my screen?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Are you sure thats S-Video In? Many laptops have S-Video Out for connecting to a TV. Your laptop most likely doesn't have one unless its a Media Center one.

    Again, What is the model of your laptop?
  5. QuasiShinryuu

    QuasiShinryuu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's an Alienware Area-51 m7700, as seen at
    The site lists:

    I/O Ports
    Externally accessible:
    Parallel: One parallel port
    Serial: One serial port
    Video: One DVI connector
    TV-out: One S-Video out connector
    TV-In: Video-IN Ports (TV-Tuner required, not included)
    Keyboard: One PS2 connection
    Mouse: One PS2 connection
    IEEE 1394: Two mini IEEE 1934a (4-pin) ports
    USB: 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
    Headphone: 1 headphone jack
    Audio: 5.1 channel out (SPDIF) / Line-in, Microphone in
    Network: Integrated Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
    Modem: Integrated 56K V.92 modem RJ-11
    Infrared: Infrared port for Data transfer

    I assumed "TV-In: Video-IN Ports (TV-Tuner required, not included)" was one of the 2 that looked like S-Video, but I definitely could be wrong. The Gallery names it as "S-Video Port" (rear view) as opposed to the S-Video out, which it names as "S-Video Out" (left side view)

    Though I guess from where it says 'TV-Tuner required, not included' I wouldn't be able to directly connect the PS2. If that's the case, what else might I try that wouldn't give the same kind of lag as a USB device?
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I think your assumption is right that will take input.

    What it means for TV-Tuner required is that if you want to watch TV you need a TV tuner. But that doesn't mean it can't handle the signal if you give it to it already processed, like it would be comming out of your console. Like pointed out above, you may run into latency issues, making action type games very difficult.
  7. QuasiShinryuu

    QuasiShinryuu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So far as the latency is concerned, any idea if I should expect it to be about the same as a USB device, or better, or what?
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Using the Video-IN on your laptop should have NO latency... so it will be near-instantaneous response. MUCH, much better/faster than an external capture board + USB.

    For viewing the video-input, a free/cheap program is AmCap:

    So all you truly need to do is:
    1) Get an SVIDEO connector for your console. There are also Composite->SVideo adapters, but honestly- they can be just as much as a true svideo cable. (i.e. for my PS2, the Sony SVideo cable is like $19, but the composite to svideo adapter at Radio Shack is like $21).
    2) Make sure you have the WDM drivers installed on your Alienware. If it's the factory install, it should have them already. A quick peek in the Device Manager should show them.

    Good luck!
  9. QuasiShinryuu

    QuasiShinryuu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not really sure what WDM drivers are, so that could be the cause, but when i try to run the program I get an error message: "Cannot add vidcap to filtergraph, hr =0x80040275"

    Then if i try to select a source, it crashes.

    I'm guessing i don't have the necessary drivers, as the only listings under 'Devices' are Webcam, Audio in, Modem #0 Line Record and #1 Line Record.

    as I'm on a slow Dial-up line, I'd like to be sure what I'm downloading is what i need, before wasting all that time.

    Update: I plugged in my webcam and tried AMcap, and it looked like it was running fine. Still no visible option to pick the Video-in line though. Also, I checked in my device manager, I have a 'Legacy Video Capture Devices,' the properties for which say "WDM Video For Windows Capture Driver (Win32)"
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