I was hoping to find some help to trouble shoot a system we have had constant issues with at my church. Part of the issue has been "too many cooks in the kitchen" and part has been just sub-par equipment that did not work.
What we would like to do is get the content from a single computer displayed on two local LCD monitors (located in sound booth) and two projectors (located in the sanctuary). One local monitor would need to display screen "A" and one local monitor + the two projectors would need to display screen "B." There has also been discussion of adding a third monitor and projector to display screen "C," but that is not very likely.
The desktop we are using is a Dell XPS 7100 with AMD Phenom II X6 1035T and an ATI Radeon HD5770. The HD5770 has 2x DVI + 1x HDMI + 1x Display Port.
We currently have a couple of 15" LCD monitors that will likely be swapped out for something larger, 1920x1080 capable and with both HDMI and DVI input.
I believe the projectors we are using are Hitachi CPX608, where we make use of the M1-D input. (No HDMI input available.) If I am not mistaken, the cable runs to the projectors is greater than 60', so I do not think that Redmere cables are an option.
After some research (and failed/inconsistent attempts nickel and diming ourselves on band-aid solutions), these are the products I am now looking at:http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011307&p_id=8159&seq=1&format=2http://www.octavainc.com/1x4%20HDMI%20distribution%20amp%20over%20%20CAT6.html
So this is how I diagram the connections in my head...
Computer DVI#1 >> DVI Cable >> Monitor #1 (screen A)
Computer HDMI >> HDMI Cable >> Amplifier Splitter >> Shielded Cat6 >> Receiver >> HDMI >> HDMI/MD1 Adapter >> Projector (screen B)
(Shielded Cat6 >> Receiver >> HDMI >> Monitor #2 (screen B))
Computer DVI#1 >> DVI Cable >> Monitor #1 (screen A)
Computer HDMI >> HDMI Cable >> Amplifier Splitter >> 2x Shielded Cat6 >> Receiver >> HDMI >> HDMI/MD1 Adapter >> Projector (screen B)
(>> Amplifier Splitter >> HDMI >> Monitor #2 (screen B))
The monoprice option is obviously more attractive due to price. The Octava option doesn't require power for the receivers though and an IR routing. I don't think the power would be an issue, but the IR routing could be a benefit. The doubling of Cat6, while inconvenient, isn't a deal killer.
Does anyone have experience with both of these units?
Is the Octava worth nearly 3x the money?
Am I going about this the right way?
Is there a better way to accomplish what we are attempting to achieve?
Any advice, criticisms or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
You're on the right track. First make sure the projector and monitors can all accept the same resolution (including refresh frequency) from the computer. If you don't HDMI will try to find a common resolution and if it can't you'll have problems.
The Octava is an excellent device and Joe can give you more information about those. The Monoprice has price on its side. The Octava has the advantage that if you went to display C, then you already have a matrix splitter (no additional hardware). With the Monoprice you would have to buy another one. The Octava also has the ability to modify the EDID if necessary.
If you can provide a better estimate of the longest run, then we could probably narrow down the options but cat 6 would certainly be a reasonable way to do this.
I discussed the issue with one of the other church members last night and got some additional information today. The only thing he could tell me for certain is that the cable runs in-wall/ceiling are Cat6 and "less than 100 feet." The Cat6 is then punched down on either end to wall plates where Cat5e is run to the Sewell transmitters and receivers. He also did some testing today and discovered that when our sound system is on, the drop outs of the second projector seem more prevalent. So, it appears we could be having some sort of interference from that. One of my thoughts was to replace the Cat6 / Cat5e runs with point to point Cat6A runs.
Part of the plan is to order two new 1920x1080 capable monitors. The projector is capable of 1125i (1080i @ 50/60 Hz). So I think this could help as well with any of the odd issues we may have experienced in the past with screen sizing. (This was often program dependent.) If this were the case, how critical would the EDID management on the Octava unit be?
Also, with the Monoprice unit, I am not sure where I would need any additional hardware compared to the Octava unit if we added a third projector. With the Octava or the Monoprice, if we simply mirrored the display to the third projector, both units are capable this right out of the box. If we wanted to show something different on that display, I don't believe either of these splitters has that capability. In order to display different content (rather than mirror) we would probably be better off looking at something like one of the Octava 4x4 Matrix units.
Let’s throw a ‘curve ball’ into the mix
Our recently introduced HDDSX-EX HDMI over IP solution may be the best option for you – the initial cost is pretty favourable and the system offers you a very simple upgrade path in terms of a straight ‘one-to-many’ or ‘many-to-many’ (Matrix) option without significant additional cost.
HDMI over IP does involve some image compression though for what you are looking to achieve I believe it will be more than acceptable, we can sort out a demo Transmitter/Receiver for you to evaluate.
With HDMI over IP you utilise a Gigabit Network Switch to ‘manage’ the signal to multiple Displays and with some add on software (ours is just about to be released for Cisco Switch gear) plus additional Transmitters you can convert to a ‘Matrix’ (many-to-many) solution with minimal cost.
HDMI over IP runs over a single CAT cable and is pretty robust so assuming you can live without IR at each Output you will likely not have to re-wire any of your current Zones!
With our HDMI over IP solution you are looking at $150 for a Transmitter + $150 per Receiver (one per Display) – plus whatever size of Gigabit Switch you require (we can advise on compatible models).
Joe, thank you for the input and the 'curve ball.' Any and all help is much appreciated.
While the initial cost of the HDDSX system does appear higher than that of the Monoprice option, it does have some intriguing features. The ability to upgrade to a matrix solution in the future is certainly attractive. Can I ask, is this system based on HDBaseT?
Unless the compression is significant, I doubt it will be an issue for us. It is rare that we are actually displaying HD video. The majority of the time the system is used to display song lyrics through Easyworship or Presi and Powepoint Presentations. If you want to shoot me a PM about the demo evaluation of the system, we would certainly love the opportunity.
Is the software you mentioned included with the HDDSX system or is that a separate purchase or download? What are the system requirements, OS compatibility of the software? Are their plans to provide compatibility outside of Cisco switches? (Not that this would be an issue.)
Your comment about not having to re-wire is very attractive. Given the fact that our sound system seems to be creating some of the havoc with our existing setup, do you think that the HDDSX system might resolve this without having to change the cabling to Cat6A? Having a single IR extension would be favorable, it appears this is possible with the HDDSX. Not that this is critical, as we don't have it now and the Monoprice system didn't have it either.
The cost really isn't that bad at all in the scheme of things. Regarding the recommended compatible switches, can you include that in the PM about the evaluation system?
Thanks again for your input!
HDMI over IP and HDBaseT are two different technologies – HDBaseT retains full resolution video by packetizing the HDMI signal, we do have HDBaseT products but at higher cost and without some of the flexibility the HDMI over IP options offers for commercial installations.
Compression – you won’t have any problems with the image quality.
Gigabit Switch – we will support other brands, our ‘parent’ Co. has close ties with Cisco so our guys know that product very well, it made sense to start there.
‘Matrix’ Software – will be a cost option, though were aiming to keep it sensible.
PM – on the case now.
Thank you for the assistance on this Joe. I'll check my PMs now.