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If I want to connect my laptop, which has a VGA output, to a monitor, I plug a VGA cable into both ends. The output being my laptop, and the input the monitor

VGA output sockets are the same as VGA input sockets however, so what if I want to use my laptop as the monitor, with the video being outputted from somewhere else?

As I said, VGA's output is the same as input, so in theory, I have the hardware in my laptop to do this. But presumably I need some software.

So can I use the VGA port on a laptop as a video input?

(And also, can this be done with HDMI?)

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What happened when you tried? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 25 '12 at 16:02
Like @techie007 says in his answer, this is an output connector, so the cable goes straight into a graphics card. There's no way you'd be able to get software to change the way the hardware works. – jackweirdy Nov 25 '12 at 16:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on your laptops hardware, but in at least 99% of all cases: No. You can not.

Just because a plug fits does not mean it has the functionality.

[Edit]: the only way I can ever imagine this working is is your "VGA connector" is of the displayport type. And that assumed you used VGA connector as a term for "plug/cable to the monitor" and not as "DB 15 cable, once used for VGA and now commonly but incorrectly referred to as a VGA connector".

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Your video adapter is an output device. just because the ports are the same/similar doesn't automatically mean they are wired, or work the same.

If you want video in, you need a video capture adapter.

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So I need external hardware in order to get video in. Oh well, thanks for your help. – ACarter Nov 25 '12 at 16:55

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