2 TVs, one HTPC and one Cable Box

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Diggs Offline
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Post: #1
Due to some changes in my home, I will be moving my bedroom from upstairs to the ground floor. Because of this, I will have 2 televisions mounted on the same wall, just one on each side of the wall. My living room and main HTPC is located on the wall currently with the wiring inside the wall. I would love to be able to connect a 2nd television in the bedroom to the same HTPC and Cable box. Since the TV's will be back to back so to speak, the wiring is all in the same location. The remote situation is not a problem, I will use a tablet in the bedroom to control both the HTPC and the Cable box, but the signal to each tv is where I would like some advice.

This HTPC is running with an AMD A8-3850 APU. I have a PCI Express slot that is free and open for a second video card with HDMI out. I can just plug the second TV into this video cards HDMI output, set Windows / Catalyst drivers to mirror so each Monitor/TV displays the same thing. I have done this on standard monitors but not televisions. Should I be wary of anything trying this setup in Windows? I have no intent to use crossfire on this since I am not a gamer, but just want to confirm XBMC will not have any issues.

Now comes the cable box. While not that critical, it would be nice to have it also plugged into both TVs, and again the tablet can control the cable tuner without an issue via WIFI. However, I don't have the option of adding a second video card and I don't really want to use a splitter if that is even an option for HDMI. I am curious if I can install a basic TV tuner card into the available PCI slot of the HTPC and connect the cable box to the HTPC which would simply work as a pass through (set on channel 3 at all times while using the cable box for the actual tuning like back in the VCR days).

I assume doing this will be fine, but would love some input before I go and purchase a video card and a TV tuner. I would also like some input on which Tuners I should consider. I have thought about getting this also, but since I don't DVR at all, and don't really need 4 tuners, it seems to a very expensive item and overkill, but very cool all the same.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6815706001

Would love a better method to do all of this if anyone has one. I have an HTPC in my current bedroom now, but I would like to use it elsewhere in the house if I can use the main HTPC for both rooms.

Thanks in advance,

Diggs
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-17 22:14 by Diggs.)
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #2
So after making this post I was looking around at HDMI splitters just to see what was offered. I found some at monoprice.com.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/search...&x=24&y=10

Seems they get very good reviews, but I am skeptical. Has anyone tried one of these and if so how well did it work? My longest distance from the HTPC to the TV might be 6ft, so distance shouldn't be an issue for signal loss.


Thanks,

Diggs
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numb7rs Offline
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Post: #3
If I were in your situation, I would try the 2x2 matrix. It sounds like exactly what you need, and it's not too pricey. (You could also have one device on each screen as a bonus!)

The only minor problem is that you'd need physical access to it to change. Not too much of an issue though, just switch over when you move to the other room.

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T800 Offline
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Post: #4
Do both screens have more than one HDMI?
If so split both signals coming out of the HTPC and the cable box and connect to both screens.

I split the HDMI signals from my 360, PS3 and XBMC Back Up (ATV1) to every screen in the house via splitters and switches even with a 15 metre HDMI cable in the chain.

Living Room i3 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 120GB SSD • HD 7750 • 2x TBS8922 tuners • Aeon Nox 4.0
Bedroom A6 3500 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 40GB SSD • HD 6550 • Aeon Nox 4.0
Servers unRAID server for Movies (22TB) • unRAID server for TV Shows/Music (11TB)
HTPC http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=99831
unRAID Server http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=106786
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-19 01:33 by T800.)
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #5
(2012-04-19 01:27)T800 Wrote:  Do both screens have more than one HDMI?
If so split both signals coming out of the HTPC and the cable box and connect to both screens.

I split the HDMI signals from my 360, PS3 and XBMC Back Up (ATV1) to every screen in the house via splitters and switches even with a 15 metre HDMI cable in the chain.

Yes, both have multiple HDMI inputs. And thank you, that is exactly what I needed to know. I think the splitter route is the way to go and cheap too! Just wanted to hear it works well.

Thanks again!
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numb7rs Offline
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Post: #6
That matrix is less than the price of two splitters, and can do exactly the same job ...

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maddog808 Offline
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Post: #7
(2012-04-19 03:15)numb7rs Wrote:  That matrix is less than the price of two splitters, and can do exactly the same job ...

+ 1

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T800 Offline
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Post: #8
(2012-04-19 03:15)numb7rs Wrote:  That matrix is less than the price of two splitters, and can do exactly the same job ...

Not exactly. The matrix is a neater and cheaper but it does require extra operation to use. It can be fully automatic using two of these for $9 more:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/produc...1&format=2

Living Room i3 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 120GB SSD • HD 7750 • 2x TBS8922 tuners • Aeon Nox 4.0
Bedroom A6 3500 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 40GB SSD • HD 6550 • Aeon Nox 4.0
Servers unRAID server for Movies (22TB) • unRAID server for TV Shows/Music (11TB)
HTPC http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=99831
unRAID Server http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=106786
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numb7rs Offline
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Post: #9
(2012-04-19 09:05)T800 Wrote:  Not exactly. The matrix is a neater and cheaper but it does require extra operation to use.

I just realised that two devices to two screens needs four outputs, not two. I'll be quiet now Rolleyes

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AT5IONT-I Problems? Check out my Motherboard I/O Map for troubleshooting tips.
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T800 Offline
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Post: #10
(2012-04-19 14:54)numb7rs Wrote:  
(2012-04-19 09:05)T800 Wrote:  Not exactly. The matrix is a neater and cheaper but it does require extra operation to use.

I just realised that two devices to two screens needs four outputs, not two. I'll be quiet now Rolleyes

You were correct in the first place.
Two inputs (HTPC and Cable Box) to the matrix and two outputs (one to each screen). The switching between devices would be done manually via the matrix for the single HDMI input on each TV.

The advantage of having two HDMI inputs on each TV and using splitters means he can have a dedicated input on each screen for each device.

Living Room i3 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 120GB SSD • HD 7750 • 2x TBS8922 tuners • Aeon Nox 4.0
Bedroom A6 3500 • W7 Ultimate x64 • 40GB SSD • HD 6550 • Aeon Nox 4.0
Servers unRAID server for Movies (22TB) • unRAID server for TV Shows/Music (11TB)
HTPC http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=99831
unRAID Server http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=106786
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numb7rs Offline
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Post: #11
(2012-04-19 15:24)T800 Wrote:  Two inputs (HTPC and Cable Box) to the matrix and two outputs (one to each screen). The switching between devices would be done manually via the matrix for the single HDMI input on each TV.

I was correct in some previous posts, but not when I said that it could do the same job as two splitters. The splitters can be plugged in and left, whereas the matrix would require switching everytime you changed rooms (unless you had four outputs, but then it's more expensive).

I think we're confusing the poor guy. I know I would be.

Summary for Diggs - Just get the splitters Wink

EDIT: By 'switches' I of course meant 'splitters'

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(This post was last modified: 2012-04-19 16:36 by numb7rs.)
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #12
LOL, thanks for all the discussion and not confused at all. Smile This helped me a great deal since I didn't realize before starting this thread that HDMI splitting was a viable option, and now I see that it is and isn't that expensive. Likely cheaper than the plan I had at the start. Once I get the move started, I will snag a pair of splitters and should be able to reduce my HTPC and Cable box inventory to half!!

Thanks again folks!
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-19 15:49 by Diggs.)
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