Just Add Power introduces HDMI over IP using standard Ethernet LAN - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 85 Old 06-22-2009, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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This is not just another HDMI over twisted pair balun device. We are really talking about sending 1080p video with sound (audio output is 5.1, not full DD) over standard 802.3 Ethernet to a virtually unlimited number of displays. You can also use practically any IR remote controller to send control command back to the source device (pause, FF, change channels, etc...). If you take a few minutes to understand this solution you will see how it is totally different from the typical CATx point-to-point extenders. The following text is copied from the http://www.justaddpower.com/products...ConnectorH.htm product page:

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The Point-To-Point or Point-to-Many Projector Connector HDMI over IP allows you to simultaneously send out an HDMI 1.3 Signal (up to 1080p) to one or more HDMI video projectors or LCD Panels and return an IR Control Signal to the source using CAT5/6/7 cable over a standard Ethernet infrastructure. Can be used to distribute HD digital content to 100 or more remote displays by cascading Ethernet switches up to 3 levels, allowing the farthest display to be located up to 1,000’ away from the source device while sustaining excellent picture and sound quality. Each device is installed using 1 piece of UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) or STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cable. AV signals are transmitted digitally over the CAT5/6/7 cable without any signal loss. Auto adjustment of the internal video compression rate ensures smooth video streaming under different network conditions. The integrated Scaler function allows different input and output resolutions up to 2048x2048 (different displays can be at different resolutions). The IR send/receive function can be used to remotely control the HDMI source device (i.e. play/pause/ff/change source, etc.) from any receiver location using IR Blaster adapters.



Projector Connector™ HDMI/IP Transmitter (VBS-HDMI-308A)

1 UTP/STP 100Mbps Ethernet Port
Embedded HTTP Server
Protocol: IP, UDP, TCP, ICMP, and IGMP
1 HDMI In (19 pin Type A female)
1 3.5mm IR Receiver Port (receives remote IR signal from any VBS-HDMI-108A receiver)
Size: 5” W x 4.5” D x 1” H; 1.1 pounds
100-240V, 50/60 Hz, 5v DC Adapter - 1 Amp
HDCP Compliant
Plug-and-Play installation
Supports DVI with HDMI-to-DVI adapter
Video Bandwidth: 2.25Gbps (HDM1.3)
LAN Bandwidth: 50Mbps ~ 60Mbps for 1080p
Input TMDS Signal: 1.2 volts (peak-to-peak)
Input DDC Signal: 5 volts (peak-to-peak)
Resolutions - practically any input from 16 x 16 to 2M pixel image including the following:

640x480 @ 85fps
800x600 @ 85fps
1024x768 @ 75fps
1280x1024 @ 30fps
1600x1200 @ 30fps
720x480 @ 60fps
720x576 @ 50fps
1280x720 @ 30fps
1920x1080 @ 24fps

Projector Connector™ HDMI/IP Receiver (VBS-HDMI-108A)

1 UTP/STP 100Mbps Ethernet Port
1 HDMI Out (19 pin Type A female)
1 3.5mm IR Transmitter Port (sends IR back to VBS-HDMI-308A transmitter)
Size: 5” W x 4.5” D x 1” H; 1.1 pounds
100-240V, 50/60 Hz, 5v DC Adapter - 1 Amp
HDCP Compliant
Plug-and-Play installation
Supports DVI with HDMI-to-DVI adapter
Scaler automatically adjusts for each display devices optimum resolution up to 2048x2048.

Ideal for Digital Signage, with the PTP Projector Connector Type HDMI you are getting everything you need to make the multimedia connection between your computer or blu-ray player and any number of projectors or LCD monitors.

Introductory pricing starts at $549 for a starter kit (1 transmitter and 1 receiver), with additional receivers available for $250 each. Each device is assigned an embedded fixed IP address (uses 192.168.168.xxx range). New orders are being delivered in 10-14 days.

When we tested this with my Vudu running 1080p/24fps movies I found the actual bandwidth to be in the 30MB to 40MB range (the engineers do suggest a higher bandwidth allowance in the above specifications). It all depends on how well the source image works with the compression/decompression algorithms. We also tried using a Buffalo WAP to connect wirelessly, but it could not keep up with the continuous bandwidth requirements.

I look forward to answering any questions the AVSForum community has about this innovative implementation of HDMI distribution over Ethernet.

Ed Qualls - Just Add Power

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post #2 of 85 Old 06-22-2009, 02:15 PM
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Sounds pretty good but I have concerns about the video compression it uses to send the signal.

Quote: "Auto adjustment of the internal video compression rate ensures smooth video streaming under different network conditions."

If it's not lossless then there can be some degradation of the HDMI signal.

You say it's stereo audio, not surround, but I don't see that in the description. Normally if the audio is digital, it's also surround sound.

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post #3 of 85 Old 06-22-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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To do this over standard 100MB Ethernet LAN switches you have to go the compression/decompression route. If you were to implement this in a large venue (shopping mall, convention center) you'd most likely want to put the display IP traffic on its own set of LAN switches, so there would not be any competition for the network bandwidth. We built the adaptive bandwidth function to handle cases where there is competition for the Ethernet bandwidth. As for the audio, we figured that an implementation across a large number of screens would not be in a venue appropriate for full surround sound - the decision to fall back to 5.1 channel audio saved us a ton of data for the codec hardware to process (using an AC97 chipset for sound). While it is not a good fit for a serious home theater main viewing room, being able to distribute 1080p audio/video over the LAN to peripheral monitors is very desireable. We expect most of our placements to be in Digital Signage applications where they can use one media player to feed numerous displays (DS content is very codec friendly). You could use a standard 1X2 HDMI splitter at the source, allowing you to run your main Home Theater room with lossless full DD and then use Projector Connector HDMI over IP to feed other screens in the house.

When I was using this solution for playing 1080p/24fps movies on my 110" DLP screen I did see some very minor macro-blocking in the blacks, but that was a digitized movie coming out of a Vudu, which is already compressed for VOD distribution. Overall it looked very good, and the macro-blocking was not noticeable on small displays. It looked identical to the video monitor directly attached to the Vudu.

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post #4 of 85 Old 06-23-2009, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Good news, I was mistaken about the sound only being stereo. The sound component of Projector Connector for HDMI over IP supports up to 5.1 digital sound. I have updated the OP with this detail.

From a relative comparison perspective, I would put the video quality capability comparable to Blu-Ray if not identical. However I must admit that most of my personal experience has been with HD from other sources (including Vudu's HDX movies). Vudu's HDX content (the best VOD standard on the market) has been reported to have an average bandwidth requirement of about 10MB, while their standard HD movies are streamed at about 4MB. The Just Add Power HDMI over IP Projector Connector has 50MB-60MB bandwidth, and can provide support for transmitting an image at up to 2048x2048 resolution.

If you'd rather email me instead of posting here (or sending a PM), I can be reached directly using ed AT justadddpower DOT com.

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post #5 of 85 Old 06-24-2009, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutschow View Post

Sounds pretty good but I have concerns about the video compression it uses to send the signal.

Quote: "Auto adjustment of the internal video compression rate ensures smooth video streaming under different network conditions."

If it's not lossless then there can be some degradation of the HDMI signal.

That was a big red flag for me, too. And 1080p60 is not listed - limitations that will make future things unusable, 3D comes to mind.

So far nothing seems to have matched the previous announcement of tech that allows full bandwidth (IIRC). Can't remember the name, but it's here somewhere. Hopefully we'll see products some day.

larry

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post #6 of 85 Old 06-24-2009, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, 1080p 60fps is supported. Keep in mind that 1080p/60 is really more of a television broadcast speed vs. the standard for movies, which is 24fps. But please, let's not turn this thread into another 60fps vs 24fps debate. Bottom line is that the HDMI over IP transmitter will pass that through without a problem. At the same time, the built in scaler will adjust the output to match the optimum resolution and frame rate of the target monitors.

Do you have an application for multiple screens?

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post #7 of 85 Old 06-25-2009, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nded View Post

Yes, 1080p 60fps is supported. Keep in mind that 1080p/60 is really more of a television broadcast speed vs. the standard for movies, which is 24fps. But please, let's not turn this thread into another 60fps vs 24fps debate. Bottom line is that the HDMI over IP transmitter will pass that through without a problem. At the same time, the built in scaler will adjust the output to match the optimum resolution and frame rate of the target monitors.

Do you have an application for multiple screens?

No. And I just noticed that I misread the first post. When I saw ethernet, the squiggling lines in the pic, and then saw compression mentioned, I thought "wireless" was invovled at some points. Getting old....my mistake.

So I'm guess you can run into bandwidth limits when sending multiple "streams" over the same line.

larry

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post #8 of 85 Old 06-25-2009, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

No. And I just noticed that I misread the first post. When I saw ethernet, the squiggling lines in the pic, and then saw compression mentioned, I thought "wireless" was invovled at some points. Getting old....my mistake.

So I'm guess you can run into bandwidth limits when sending multiple "streams" over the same line.

larry


Multiple stream support is on the roadmap, but is not available today. When we get there, you would likely want a Gigabyte rated LAN switch to manage the traffic and bandwidth. For now, the single stream leaves enough room for other 100BT LAN appplication bandwidth requirements.

We just finished some additional testing with a Blu-Ray player and a standard DVD player with HDMI output. Both devices looked and sounded great on multiple screens simultaneously. This was all being sent over a simple LinkSys RT31P2 Vonage home router and assorted CAT5 UTP cable lengths. We wanted to make sure the QOS settings or voice over IP was not affected by the traffic. It worked fine.

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post #9 of 85 Old 07-08-2009, 08:55 AM
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Can a computer client see the stream without the receiver?
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post #10 of 85 Old 07-08-2009, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBradley View Post

Can a computer client see the stream without the receiver?

Not at this time. But we do agree that this is a very desireable feature for the product roadmap. Of course, this feature would be restricted to non HDCP protected streams.

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post #11 of 85 Old 07-08-2009, 09:58 AM
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I think it would be much simpler to use a free VLC server and broadcast multipoint H.264 or MPEG2 streams. These are standard video compression formats being used everywhere. There is no need for proprietary solutions. There are dozens of decoders available that easily handle 1080P@ 24fps and the video source can be any PC.

Regards,

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post #12 of 85 Old 07-08-2009, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afliss View Post

I think it would be much simpler to use a free VLC server and broadcast multipoint H.264 or MPEG2 streams. These are standard video compression formats being used everywhere. There is no need for proprietary solutions. There are dozens of decoders available that easily handle 1080P@ 24fps and the video source can be any PC.

I think your VLC idea would make it more complicated, as you would need a VLC compatible client at every screen to process the stream. This solution is quite simple, you just plug the receiver into the monitor and it works. Another problem with the VLC approach you've suggested would be for users with a Blu-Ray player or a digital signage broadcast client. How would you get the HDMI output (not to mention HDCP issues) from those sources into a multipoint H.264 or MPEG2 stream? Besides, anybody can plug in an HDMI and ethernet cable (which is all it takes to install this solution), not so many people can setup a server for broadcast multipoint functionality.

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post #13 of 85 Old 07-23-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Based on some of the PM's I've received, I'd like to offer some further clarification on how it is possible to deliver full 1080p audio/video to multiple screens with "only" a 100BT Ethernet LAN. Take a look at this table - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...hnical_details comparing the high definition formats. The heaviest bandwidth consumer is Blu-Ray with a maximum bitrate for Audio+Video+Subtitles set at 48Mbits. All other 1080p sources (HD-DVD, Tivo's, Vudu's, Media Center PC's, Gaming Platforms, Digital Signage content devices, etc) come in below that bitrate. Most of the time even a Blu-Ray movie is not putting out content at this maximum bitrate.

The HDMI over IP devices in the OP use up to 50MB LAN bandwidth for sending 1080p to a single receiver, and up to 60MB LAN bandwidth for sending 1080p to multiple recievers (the same multicast bandwidth is consumed whether you are sending to 2 or 200 receivers). Most of the time much less bandwidth is needed (especially for Digital Signage content). The ASIC's on the TX/RX units only use JPEG compression to reduce the bandwidth when necessary due to other network traffic, but not if there is sufficient bandwidth to send the full audio/video data stream. While the HDMI specification has much more bandwidth, that overhead bandwidth is not needed to send perfect audio/video digitally over a 100MB LAN.

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post #14 of 85 Old 08-01-2009, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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In another thread we have been discussing a possible sports bar application that wants to be able to put their NFL Sunday Ticket (up to 10 games at the same time) across 30 screens, with the ability to show any game on any screen. This application sent us back to the drawing board, and along with the help of my local Cisco representative, we came up with a way to support multiple transmitters on a single LAN. Here is a conceptual drawing of the application:



Only 5 screen are shown in this schematic, but the 48 port LAN switch could actually support 37 screens, plus the 10 DirecTV sources, and the PC for system control).

This same technique can be used to build a "right-sized" Home Theater HDMI Matrix switch for whole house video distribution like this:



For our "proof of concept" test, we connected 3 VBS-HDMI-308A transmitters to the Cisco managed switch on ports 2, 4, and 6. We connected 3 VBS-HDMI-108A receivers to the Cisco managed switch on ports 1, 3, and 5. We played back 1080p movies on all three transmitters. The receivers were connected to 2 HDMI LCD panels, and one 110" LCD projector (using HDMI>DVI cable). The switching between active HDMI sources was instantaneous and totally glitch free. The 1080p content looked great on all of the screens, and to my eyes the video HD content quality was exactly the same as a direct connected display. All I can say is that you gotta see this to believe it.

For the sceptics out there who wonder if the switch could handle the bandwidth requirements for multiple transmitters, I took a screen capture of the Cisco GUI showing that the per port bandwidth utiliztion hovered around 20%, while the total switch bandwidth utilization was under 1% (those Cisco switches are great performers).


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post #15 of 85 Old 09-10-2009, 10:37 AM
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would this system be able to pass along a TrueHD and DTS-HD MA track from a bluray?
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post #16 of 85 Old 09-10-2009, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahiser View Post

would this system be able to pass along a TrueHD and DTS-HD MA track from a bluray?

The current implmentation of HDMI over IP does not support those audio formats. It does support PCM and the DD 5.1 audio tracks. If you are in Atlanta for CEDIA this week you can see the system in booth #5312.

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post #17 of 85 Old 09-15-2009, 03:41 PM
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Do you have to use a PC to switch between sources?

I see that rs232 control is possible ("Crestron optional").

How would a Crestron system control this via r232?

And would you be able to program a Crestron system to switch between sources at each video location?
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post #18 of 85 Old 09-15-2009, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahr34 View Post

Do you have to use a PC to switch between sources?

I see that rs232 control is possible ("Crestron optional").

How would a Crestron system control this via r232?

And would you be able to program a Crestron system to switch between sources at each video location?

We already have a Creston module to control the system through a Crestron QM-RMC interface. Several other Crestron programmers have jumped on board and we expect to have a plethora of Crestron modules available soon.

At CEDIA we got committments from programmers to write drivers for Control4, AMX, Savant, and Pakedge to name a few. Within 90 days we hope to have support for most of the popular Family Friendly interfaces.

For those of you that missed our tiny booth at CEDIA, you can visit our booth virutally by visiting the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux3vQBhVSCQ

http://www.cepro.com/article/dealer_...game_changing/

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/09/14...-over-ip-solut

http://www.c4forums.com/viewtopic.php?id=4013&p=1

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/14/j...-over-ip-solut

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post #19 of 85 Old 09-16-2009, 06:35 PM
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Hi,

This product looks really promising.

I'm a networking guy so I understand VLAN's and multicast etc. However I'm not clear on how the recievers pick up a different source. If it is just subscribing to a multicast stream, why do you need to send any configuration commands to the ethernet swtich. The receiver should be able to request multicast streams over the IP network. If the switch supports IGMP snooping it should work fine.

If it is VLAN based then are you actually moving ports connected to receivers in and out of VLAN's with sources in them to change channels?

Sounds like the later is what is happening and the multicast is just to allow multiple receivers to pick up one source with all devices in the same port based VLAN. Essentially the same as using broadcast addresses rather than multicast addresses.

Is this how it works?

Thanks...Josh

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post #20 of 85 Old 09-16-2009, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgb View Post

Hi,

This product looks really promising.

I'm a networking guy so I understand VLAN's and multicast etc. However I'm not clear on how the recievers pick up a different source. If it is just subscribing to a multicast stream, why do you need to send any configuration commands to the ethernet swtich. The receiver should be able to request multicast streams over the IP network. If the switch supports IGMP snooping it should work fine.

If it is VLAN based then are you actually moving ports connected to receivers in and out of VLAN's with sources in them to change channels?

Sounds like the later is what is happening and the multicast is just to allow multiple receivers to pick up one source with all devices in the same port based VLAN. Essentially the same as using broadcast addresses rather than multicast addresses.

Is this how it works?

Thanks...Josh

Hi Josh,

We've tried to make the HDMI over IP solution as simple as possible to manage, and as low cost as possible. Therefore, we have not put any "smarts" into the transmitters or receivers. Instead, we are relying upon the capabilites of the switch. All of the transmitters are on the same IP address, and all of the receivers only have one function - listen to that IP address.

The channel changing function is realized by switching the port that is attached to the receiver to the desired VLAN. Every source is put on a different VLAN. Because it is a multi-cast, we are able to deliver seamless instant switching between sources.

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post #21 of 85 Old 09-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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Makes sense. So the GUI software is issuing:

#config terminal
#interface Fa0/xx
#switchport access vlan y

commands through the com port?

Trying to see what it takes to do this on a non Cisco switch that supports VLAN's. Doesn't sound like it needs to support multicast (IGMP snooping) though. Is that right?

Thanks.

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post #22 of 85 Old 09-17-2009, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgb View Post

Makes sense. So the GUI software is issuing:

#config terminal
#interface Fa0/xx
#switchport access vlan y

commands through the com port?

Trying to see what it takes to do this on a non Cisco switch that supports VLAN's. Doesn't sound like it needs to support multicast (IGMP snooping) though. Is that right?

Thanks.

That is exactly what the GUI's are doing. The buttons set the variables xx and y and then call a subroutine that sends those commands.

There has been much debate over the stated requirement for IGMP in our specifications sheet. The imbedded http server in the transmitters does use multicast, and we reccommend you choose a switch that supports IGMP. I have not found a managed switch during our testing that does not support IGMP, but you are welcome to give it a try.

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post #23 of 85 Old 09-18-2009, 06:18 AM
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Thanks for the response.

Could you use the Cat 5 blue or brown pair for a return path for IR. Split them out at the patch panel and the outlet.

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post #24 of 85 Old 09-18-2009, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgb View Post

Thanks for the response.

Could you use the Cat 5 blue or brown pair for a return path for IR. Split them out at the patch panel and the outlet.

That would be a violation of the standard - I have personally done this many times!

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post #25 of 85 Old 09-19-2009, 08:00 PM
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Have you guys looked at using one of these type IR to RS2332 boxes to make your own ethrnet switch driver? You could have an IR remote that would "change channels" when the box was connected to switch

http://www.crwww.com/CST-IR-232-specs.asp

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post #26 of 85 Old 09-20-2009, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgb View Post

Have you guys looked at using one of these type IR to RS2332 boxes to make your own ethrnet switch driver? You could have an IR remote that would "change channels" when the box was connected to switch

http://www.crwww.com/CST-IR-232-specs.asp

That is an interesting looking device. I've seen some similar ones from other sources, but it looks like we should add that to the pile of devices to test and document with the HDMI over IP solution. Thanks for the tip!

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post #27 of 85 Old 09-22-2009, 04:51 AM
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Have you tried this over 802.11n?
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post #28 of 85 Old 09-22-2009, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blake.blackshear View Post

Have you tried this over 802.11n?

Yes, we have had success with HDMI over IP using 802.1n wireless devices in point-to-point bridge mode. I still don't care for how picky wireless can be about outside interference, but yes, it does work. The N devices we used would choke for a few seconds if too many people stood between the antennas. As long as we kept a clear line of sight, it worked great. On the bright side, our TX/RX devices are robust enough to recover from the N glitches when they happen.

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post #29 of 85 Old 09-23-2009, 07:17 AM
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In another thread we have been discussing a possible sports bar application that wants to be able to put their NFL Sunday Ticket (up to 10 games at the same time) across 30 screens, with the ability to show any game on any screen...

Interesting You obviously put a bit of head scratching time into theoretically laying this out. What would the total cost to the bar owner be for this setup? (just part cost please, we don't need to muddy the water with service/install cost)

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post #30 of 85 Old 09-23-2009, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Interesting You obviously put a bit of head scratching time into theoretically laying this out. What would the total cost to the bar owner be for this setup? (just part cost please, we don't need to muddy the water with service/install cost)

-Suntan

The budget for the 10x30 HDMI matrix using MSRP would be $12,985 as follows:

$2,495 Cisco 48 port managed LAN switch
$2,990 10 HDMI over IP Transmiiters @ $299 each
$7,500 30 HDMI over IP Receivers @ $250 each

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