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“I’d like to set up my Sony laptop to act as a monitor while I am
shooting HD video.It doesn’t necessarily need to *capture* the video,
but to display it….”
Without dedicated monitoring software or an onboard video card with an HDMI, S-Video an Express or PCMCIA card slot on your laptop you won’t be able to monitor incoming video.
Dedicated software like Adobe’s On-Location (PC/Mac) and Scopebox (Mac) are excellent choices. Unfortunately, On-Location (formerly DV-Rack) is bundled into CSx so you can’t purchase it separately. Scopebox can be purchased, but only for mac laptops.
Canon, Sony give out software to do basic edits with their video and video capable cameras. The functionality for live monitoring is generally limited to capturing video. There are breakout sets which when connected via firewire or through an Express or PCMCIA slot with or w/o supplied software may allow you to live monitor as well depending on what you get.
If you dig around E-Bay or other places, you may be able to find an old copy of DV-Rack (SD or HD versions) prior to the Adobe takeover. On-Location or an old copy of DV-Rack are your best bets.