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Portable monitor or USB Capture device?

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Jan 13, 2005
ok strange question.
at work i can see the need to be a bit more mobile when we are working on our rack mounted stuff. none of our racks have monitors and more and more frequently we need them to get into NVRs or servers that are operating headless or have specific options or abilities you cant access through their web interface.

I had two ideas to fix this and i wanted to ask the public what they thought of each.
We need to be able to hook up over HDMI and have the ability to adapt VGA, which we can over hdmi

One option would be a portable monitor with hdmi as one of the inputs. more expensive (~$100)

second option would be a hdmi capture device over USB. less expensive (~$25)

we'd have a laptop where ever we are at but its often times a pain in the butt to lug a monitor with a stand around too, find a plug, wire it to the device we're trying to work with.
i can see it both ways but personally i am leaning twards a capture device. its cheaper, its not something we'll be doing on a daily basis and its one less thing to drop and break. it does how ever take up laptop screenage but you could easily swap between the window with the capture and the desktop, webpage, etc your using. also cost is a major factor at this job (talking public funds here)
Portable monitors would eliminate a cable as long as there was a battery in them and save screen space on the laptop if we were to be running diag on both but they are much more than the other option

what do you guys think?

again, terminal type or NVR maintenance work. not needed for daily use but probably once a week.
I'd set it up to connect through the network/IPMI... why are we physically connecting to rack mounted servers for this? Remote into those bad boys from your lappy!
not everything we have is accessible through those means. mainly the NVRs. they are newer but this company, for what ever reason, locked some settings into being only accessible in person and not remotely. like being able to see the live feed while the device account is not logged in, of which the logged in user does eventually time out. annoying stuff like that. To top it off from what i am hearing from the others, the settings dont always stay and some times revert in case of an outage long enough to run the UPS dry.
also any server that isnt off site isnt always necessarily "online" hence the need to be there in person. i think if i mention CATALYST 3560's or C2960's you might understand why... its all kinda from the same era