Originally Posted by finger123
This may seem like a stupid question for those who are in the know, but here it goes.... Why do you want to have HDMI travel over Cat6 in a house.
First, a clarification - HDMI over Cat5/cat6 is generally NOT "Ethernet". It's important in these forums that we don't use those terms interchangeably. Most HDMI extenders use cat5/cat6 wires in a proprietary, point-to-point manner. They work on cat5 because that's what has been wired in new homes (for the purpose of Ethernet networking). There are Ethernet-based HDMI distribution systems, which are probably better called TCP/IP-based systems...
The only advantages I see are the following:
No cable box at the site viewing site.
Save $5 per month on a cable box.
No box(es) at each TV - the more displays you have, especially wall mounted ones, the more this can be a real advantage.
Avoiding set-top box rental fees can help offset the cost of A/V distribution, but the break-even on that alone can be many, many years...
Sharing a box between two TVs meaning that you can only watch one channel at a time.
Wiring issues and signal degradation.
Heat issues at the site of multiple boxes.
Sharing one box would mean that, but centralizing all the set-top boxes and installing a matrix switch means any display can see any source. General rule of thumb is to distribute one set-top box per family member. And we're usually talking about DVRs in this context (or at least, mainly DVRs). Getting "your" content from "your DVR" anywhere in the house is the big selling point.
Remote issues are easily handled by good quality matrix switches that incorporate IR repeating and routing.
Wiring issues, heat, etc. are all issues regardless. Having the equipment in one place, though, means those issues can be addressed once, instead of multiple places...
I would think that the ideal situation would be a tiny cable box that has no DVR but just sits on the back of the TV or on the TV mount. That would seem to have all of the pros with no cons.
The built-in DirecTV RVU client in forthcoming Samsung TVs and the cable-industry equivalent (AllVid?) may make a lot of A/V distribution unnecessary. The latest "whole house DVR" solutions will also solve this issue. Having either a small box mounted behind the TV, or build into the set to access DVR'ed content and streaming Internet services is the future. But that's not available yet - coming soon...
Do people really put a DVD in their living room DVD player then go upstairs to their bedroom to watch the movie? If so than maybe I am behind the times but it just seems like all I need in my bedroom is CNN, Comedy Central and a few other channels. I do not really need to watch home movies streamed from my HTPC in my bedroom.
Most folks with HTPC setups are building them to house all their local content - not just user-created 'home movies'. You rip your BD and DVD discs onto the server, and then distribute the signal around the house. So without touching a disc, you can browse the 'library' and select anything to play.
I do have a DVD and BD player on my matrix switch, but it's mostly because I had the space available on the matrix to connect them both. I do use the DVD distribution for places like the guest room where I don't want the equipment. But the family room and the theater both have their own "dedicated" BD players - for exactly the reason you mentioned. Walking to the closet to put a disc in would be a real nuisance. But, some people do that...
But in short - you have to ask what you're trying to accomplish. If it's aethetics or practical space issues, centralizing makes sense regardless of the cost (well, as much value as you place on it, really). Accessing DVR content from more than one location - is much better than adding extra DVRs and having to manage duplicate content "in case" you want to watch it in another room.