Want to run PC to AV reciever on other room ?? What best options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hdmi ??

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post #2 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 01:20 PM
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Info? Audio? Video? Where do you want to control it?

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post #3 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to be able to play a movie on my PC and watch it on my projector in other room, or the plasma TV.

I have optoma projector, Onkyo reciever, Hitachi Plasma.

I have Radeon X3870 video card in my PC...

Will audio and video go thru HDMI to onkyo reciever?

or do I need to run audio line also ????

I have Soundblaster XFI platinum soundcard with front bay

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post #4 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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is it possible to send mp3 audio from pc thru HDMI so I can also listen in other room on surround system ?

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post #5 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 03:32 PM
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Without changing course too much, I'm also curious in a similar question. I'm in the process of building the HTPC now. This is going to be on one floor and I need to somehow get everything from the HTPC to a Samsung LCD on another floor. Ultimately I want to be able to change whatever I'm watching on the Samsung without having to go downstairs to HTPC. In the other room, I do not have a receiver setup so I'll just use an HDMI cable to get the HD signal and sound.
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 05:23 PM
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now we have 2 different sets of questions with the same core idea here, which if i'm understanding correct.

Room 1: PC with Radeon x3870 connected via....???...to what display?
Room 2: Projector OR Plasma (not both?)

IF room 1 is simply the PC and you don't have to have a display there, then you're correct that HDMI is going to be your best bet. I believe the x3870 is capable of passing S/PDIF audio (5.1 max) to your Onkyo Receiver. Then the question will be, how do you control it, right? Or let me know if i missed another aspect of your setup...

Muckster, your situation is a bit different. But your setup from what i can understand:
Downstairs: HTPC (no display?)
Upstairs: Samsung LCD
Which graphics card in the HTPC? Are you going to want to view both displays at the same time? There are some wireless HDMI devices out there, but they all have their sacrifices or high prices.
For controlling the HTPC, you'll want something IP based (think wifi) which can be really simple. If you want fancy, you can get an iPAD and something like MyMovies plugin app for it which now has a pretty sweet Media Center Remote feature. Otherwise, there are literally dozens of Media Center control apps for an iphone/ipod touch that would allow you to control your setup via wireless (instead of RF/IR)

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post #7 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadymg View Post

now we have 2 different sets of questions with the same core idea here, which if i'm understanding correct.

Room 1: PC with Radeon x3870 connected via....???...to what display?
Room 2: Projector OR Plasma (not both?)

IF room 1 is simply the PC and you don't have to have a display there, then you're correct that HDMI is going to be your best bet. I believe the x3870 is capable of passing S/PDIF audio (5.1 max) to your Onkyo Receiver. Then the question will be, how do you control it, right? Or let me know if i missed another aspect of your setup...

Muckster, your situation is a bit different. But your setup from what i can understand:
Downstairs: HTPC (no display?)
Upstairs: Samsung LCD
Which graphics card in the HTPC? Are you going to want to view both displays at the same time? There are some wireless HDMI devices out there, but they all have their sacrifices or high prices.
For controlling the HTPC, you'll want something IP based (think wifi) which can be really simple. If you want fancy, you can get an iPAD and something like MyMovies plugin app for it which now has a pretty sweet Media Center Remote feature. Otherwise, there are literally dozens of Media Center control apps for an iphone/ipod touch that would allow you to control your setup via wireless (instead of RF/IR)


Right...

I have just the pc in this room. the projector and Onkyo reciever are in the other room.

I would like to

#1 be able to play a movie on pc and view on projector and hear audio on surround.

#2 be able to play MP3 on pc and hear it on the surround system


How do i do this?

What do I need to do ?

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post #8 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 05:58 PM
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i asked this in another user's similar forum, and will ask you as well--have you considered a Media Player? It would connect via Ethernet or Wifi and then could connect to your projector and handle playback. So many Media Players can easily handle surround sound over HDMI. Here's my guide which has a comparison chart for hopefully easy reading - http://www.missingremote.com/guide/m...ers-comparison

A Media Player would also take the "Control" aspect out since they all come with remote controls.

If that's not viable, let me know and i'll think more about it....if not, then i'm guessing you're OK with routing an HDMI cable from Room 1 over to the receiver in Room 2?

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post #9 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadymg View Post

i asked this in another user's similar forum, and will ask you as well--have you considered a media player? It would connect via ethernet or wifi and then could connect to your projector and handle playback. So many media players can easily handle surround sound over hdmi. Here's my guide which has a comparison chart for hopefully easy reading - http://www.missingremote.com/guide/m...ers-comparison

a media player would also take the "control" aspect out since they all come with remote controls.

If that's not viable, let me know and i'll think more about it....if not, then i'm guessing you're ok with routing an hdmi cable from room 1 over to the receiver in room 2?

what is a good basic media player to do this ?

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post #10 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 06:08 PM
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I think we need to back up a little because it sounds to me like the real issue is you've got media on your PC (music, movies, videos, etc) that you want to listen/view that in another room.

The reason I say back up a little is because there are a number of ways to do this these days and by starting with the assumption that the PC must be directly involved eliminates a number of options.

To simplify it as much as possible there are basically three ways to go about what you want:

1) As your question states, you could connect your PC "directly", of course there are some issues with this, one is getting the connection established, which depending on distance and your ability to route rather inflexible cables can be costly and/or difficult (long HDMI cables can get expensive and are not easy to feed through walls). And the second issue is control, even at the most basic level, getting keyboard/mouse back to the computer can be tricky over long distances. You could go IR, but IR routing is rather expensive, as are RF controls. All doable mind you, but something to look into and understand before you commit to a plan. Also it's "nearly impossible" to multitask in this way. PCs just aren't set up to handle multiple users on multiple screens simultaneously.

2) The next option is to build a second HTPC and place it directly in the living room. IMO this is a better option than the first because it eliminates all those issues of routing signal and control long distances. But beyond that, and possibly more importantly, it separates the the control and display so the entertainment room is completely independent of what's going on on the PC, so you don't need to worry about either room affecting the other. And with some of the cheap ION/Atom type hardware out there, it may be cheaper than running cables and controls.

3) And the third way is via "stanalone" streamers. The industry has really taken off over the past year or two. Depending on what all you want to do, you may find a streamer that does everything you need that you can just plug in and use. Stuff like the PCH, Dune, WDTV Live, SageTV HD Theater, Roku, Sonos, Squeezebox, etc. All play content housed on a PC via a network connection of some sort. You'll have to figure out exactly what you want and research the streamers to see which one best fits your needs but these are an increasingly viable option.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #11 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 06:12 PM
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Stanger makes some GREAT points, as usual ;-)

IF you decide Media Player is the route, check out the Comparison Guide I linked. It should be fairly easy to follow. If you decide you want JUST a media Player and no usage of the computer itself, then you'll want one WITH a hard drive (to store music/movies) on. If you still want to store everything on your computer, then it makes life easier as pretty much EVERY Media Player out there will do the basics you're looking for, just a matter of how much extras you want (Netflix? Bit Stream? 1080p?)

The prices range as little as like $50-80 for something like WD or PAtriot Box Office to as much as like $400 for the QNAP NMP-1000 (which has a HD and can bit stream audio and ripped blu-rays)

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post #12 of 33 Old 12-29-2010, 07:16 PM
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4)Media extender. If the PC is already running Vista or Win7 you can use Media Center extenders (if you have a Xbox 360 you already have a Media Center extender), or install Sage TV and get one of their extenders.

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post #13 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a spare windows 7 PC... I can put in that room.

I might go this option.

But I would have to upgrade the video card... as it has an older X800 Radeon in it... I believe does not have HDMI.

What would be a good choice to stream music and videos?

Would I need a soundcard too ?

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post #14 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadymg View Post

Muckster, your situation is a bit different. But your setup from what i can understand:
Downstairs: HTPC (no display?)
Upstairs: Samsung LCD
Which graphics card in the HTPC? Are you going to want to view both displays at the same time? There are some wireless HDMI devices out there, but they all have their sacrifices or high prices.
For controlling the HTPC, you'll want something IP based (think wifi) which can be really simple. If you want fancy, you can get an iPAD and something like MyMovies plugin app for it which now has a pretty sweet Media Center Remote feature. Otherwise, there are literally dozens of Media Center control apps for an iphone/ipod touch that would allow you to control your setup via wireless (instead of RF/IR)
Sorry, I will have the HTPC set up in the family room and connected to a Panasonic 50" V-series Plasma. The motherboard comes with an onboard card but I planned on installing a Radeon 5570 as well. I will use HDMI for video and optical for sound from a Yamaha receiver that I don't know the model number off hand. In my bedroom upstairs is the Samsung TV. I'd prefer to run HDMI to that for HD quality as well. While I don't want cost to be a factor, I'm not willing to drop another $500+ to make this happen. We watch this TV but generally only at night before bed, in the morning while getting ready, or if company is staying over and we don't want to watch the same thing. It literally gets less than 4 hours of use per week.

I don't know a lot about different AVRs and such to know their capabilities but was wondering if I should either buy something like that... possibly use the onboard video card for the Sammy and 5770 for Panasonic (not sure if I can set that up), or stick with the concept you laid out.
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post #15 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 09:51 AM
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And I should state it won't be simultaneous viewing 99% of the time. Normally, one TV is off while the other is on.
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post #16 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 10:03 AM
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^^^

Wouldn't it be easier to just forget that 1% when using the HTPC and keep one HTPC and AVR and switch between the two TVs, having a second AVR does nothing really.
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post #17 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 10:26 AM
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it's starting to get a bit tricky managing 2 different user setups here. I'll start with Muckster. Assuming you can live without that 1% time of being able to watch the same thing at the same time on both systems, then a Media Player is really what you're after. It's way less cost than another HTPC, has its own control, own audio, and saves you from having to run HDMI across rooms. Let me know if there's a reason you're against this, unless i'm missing something obvious you're trying to do which it won't be able to.

MFusick:
If you go with an ATI 5xxx graphics card, it will be able to pass audio and video through the HDMI, so no additional sound card will be necessary.

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post #18 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 10:47 AM
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I'm definitely not opposed to this option. Is something simple like the WD TV good enough? Any recommendation works for me. I'm assuming Apple TV is out if I want to have the Media Player connect to my Windows based computers? Of course, now I'm assuming you can integrate a Media Player with another PC wirelessly??? Not a big deal if you can't but would be cool if you can.

To be honest, this whole HTPC started when I didn't want to buy a specific brand that may or may not continue good support.

And since I won't be running multiple HDMI cables any more, would you recommend I still buy the ATI 5770 video card? I'm getting conflicting reports on just using the onboard card for this mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...SID=4fp3ucxyc9. I know I just went a new direction and don't need an elaborate answer. Just your thoughts since I've heard both.
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post #19 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadymg View Post

MFusick:
If you go with an ATI 5xxx graphics card, it will be able to pass audio and video through the HDMI, so no additional sound card will be necessary.
mp3 audio too ?

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post #20 of 33 Old 12-30-2010, 11:06 AM
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lol, yes, MP3 audio is the easiest in the world to transmit. :-)

And yes, the WD Live will do fine. I know i linked before, but this is a comparison guide i have: http://www.missingremote.com/guide/m...ers-comparison
I also have a link there of a review of the Patriot Box Office which i also think does a decent job. The funny thing you'll notice, at a certain price point (sub-$90) a lot of these share almost identical chipsets, so it really comes down to slight changes in the standard UI. What i like about Patriot is that they continue to improve their firmware.

and that mobo has the H55 chipset of Intel which is MORE than capable of bit streaming HDMI audio and video. And it's good quality. Check out Andrew Van Til (Babgvant) review of the Clarkdale chipset, i think you'll be more than impressed and satisfied with it: http://www.missingremote.com/review/...-661-clarkdale

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post #21 of 33 Old 12-31-2010, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a liveHD media player box from WD...

I have only used it off a portable hardrive and thumbdrive.

Can it hook to a pc and play files from a PC too ?

Could I just run it to a spare networked pc instead of upgrading my video card?

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post #22 of 33 Old 12-31-2010, 07:05 AM
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WD devices support DLNA. It's a standard for how to store, play, and control media over a network.

If you connect the WD to your TV, you'll be able to stream media from your PC. The WD is acting as a DLNA Renderer, and it can be controlled from a DLNA Controller.

Trying it would be the simplest way to learn. You'll need a DLNA Server running on your PC. On Win7, Windows Media Player can do that.

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post #23 of 33 Old 12-31-2010, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jriver View Post

WD devices support DLNA. It's a standard for how to store, play, and control media over a network.

If you connect the WD to your TV, you'll be able to stream media from your PC. The WD is acting as a DLNA Renderer, and it can be controlled from a DLNA Controller.

Trying it would be the simplest way to learn. You'll need a DLNA Server running on your PC. On Win7, Windows Media Player can do that.

Is it as easy as just plugging it into a windows 7 PC ??

How do you usually hook it up? I know it has two USB ports... you just use a USB cable?

Any software that needs to be installed?

and last,

Can I watch something on the other pc in the other room that is network connected to the pc the WD is plugged into ????

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post #24 of 33 Old 12-31-2010, 08:09 PM
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Is this the device you have?

If so, you plug an Ethernet cable into it and connect it to your receiver or TV, and it can play media from your PC.

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post #25 of 33 Old 01-01-2011, 01:32 PM
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I am thinkng Apple TV is your ticket...I am not a computer guru at all but it seems like on the Apple TV interface I would be able to access any movies on my computer...I can access pics and music..I don't have any movies stored to check my therory. I am thinking if moved the movie into itunes you would be able to access it. I have my Apple TV wired via ethernet since my HT is on the opposite side of the house from my PC and router ....works seemlessly...I have only had it for a week
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post #26 of 33 Old 01-01-2011, 01:36 PM
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AppleTV definitely has a nice interface, and leveraging Itunes is good if you're familiar, but there are a lot of limitations it has versus some similarly priced Media Players. I mean, it totally depends on what your needs are.

If you haven't yet, i highly recommend looking at the Comparison Guide which does list formats supported.

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post #27 of 33 Old 01-01-2011, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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wow great info.. keep it coming.

I am learning tons

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post #28 of 33 Old 01-12-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jriver View Post

Is this the device you have?

If so, you plug an Ethernet cable into it and connect it to your receiver or TV, and it can play media from your PC.

It is nice to see Jim Hillegass contribute here as a user, without recommending/defending his own proprietary products.
I would suggest looking at the JRiver products, particularly because of their proprietary, very fast database capabilities, to organize, convert, tag, retrieve, and view content. Humongous sized content. Doubling and doubling again your content, while maintaining blink time retrieval, separates the men from the boys. JRiver deserves kudos in this regard. Quirky at times maybe, but NOT bad. Now, if only JRiver would offer a lifetime license price, I might go for it (again). But then I am not sure if I am also banned from procuring their product?

Methinks:
Servers, clients, renderers, controllers, players.
Stream, copy, buffer, convert.
Is an understanding of all these metawords necessary, when all a man and his family want to do, is instantly satisfy their greedy eyeballs and ears, with the desired content, in whatever room they happen to be in, at the moment. Without any need for concern for other family members doing the same. Simultaneously. Or from remote rooms, in distant resorts, connected to the cloud.
'Play it NOW SAM'! That is what I want. A PINS device.
I want a cloud connected PINS facility.

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post #29 of 33 Old 01-17-2011, 12:36 PM
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Just wanted to add my two cents:

I had the same dilemma and decided to run both ethernet and HDMI from computer to HDTV which was in another room. Used a 50ft HDMI cable from Bluejeans cable and have no issues. Of course my walls were opened and so it was easy to run the thick HDMI.

So I have the ability to run an extender type device via ethernet, or direct wired to HTPC. Tried the extender route first with an Xbox and felt too limited. Then tried the direct route and clearly more options, but with more options comes a lot more tinkering to get it just right.
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post #30 of 33 Old 01-20-2011, 09:51 AM
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Here's what I have: Windows 7 computer in "office" room, home theater in living room. Soundcard has analog out to computer speakers and digital out to living room receiver. Video has digital out to computer monitor (set as monitor 1) and analog out to projector (set as monitor 2). Control is via a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Pros: it works for me
Cons: too many wires to run through the attic, (requires buying cables, drilling holes in the house, and breathing attic dust), bluetooth has limited range may not work in all houses.

I've seen the Seagate freeagent theater+ go for under $50 when it was on closeout which is the price I paid just for the bluetooth keyboard and mouse. It can be wired with one network cable, an add-on wireless adapter, or a USB hard drive. I have no idea how reliable the freeagent is. If I was doing it over, I'd probably go that route (or use a laptop with hdmi out in the living room), but the wires I've already bought and the holes I've already drilled work for me.
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