please help with rewire and setup - 5 cable boxes / 10 tvs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-07-2012, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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hi,
i am about to embark on a fairly extensive home renovation. all electrical will be replaced in the house. i was wondering if i could get some recommendations on wiring.

one thing i definitely want to do is keep all cable boxes in the same place (in the basement). then i want to send those signals to each tv in the house. i have no clue how to do this. i figure there would be around 5 cable boxes and 10 tvs. obviously i would want to control the cable box from the room that is tuned to it. so if i had cable boxes A-E, and the kitchen was tuned to cable box B, the remote in the kitchen should change the channel on cable box B. i understand that if the master bedroom also happened to be tuned to cable box B, the channel would change there too.

based on reading some prior threads it looks like i need a matrix of some sort (which one) but i don't see how that addresses the cable box control issue.

thank you
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-07-2012, 09:33 AM
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Matrix switch will definitely be in your future. Many good ones (read: not cheap) will handle IR routing/repeating as part of their solution.

The matrix switches climb in price rapidly as you bump above 4 sources, and certainly above 8 displays. If you can subdivide into two "groups" of displays (therefore using two small matrix devices), you can save a bundle at the cost of some limitations and/or complexity.

Do figure out what you want to accomplish, though - is this to "share stored content (DVR)", "keep displays in sync", "move from room to room", or "save money on set-top box rental". The last one, in terms of a large-ish matrix, is probably not a good idea on its own. Even $10/box rental could take years to payback for a large matrix.

On your cable box count - a good rule is to start with one box per family member / viewer.

But let's not get too far ahead - concentrate on getting enough wiring to enough places first, and the equipment choices. Matrix switch solutions will need 1-2 cat5e/cat6 lines per display. The best technology, HDBaseT, only needs one, but I would wire for 2-cable solutions. Actually, I'd still recommend at least a minimum of 3 cat5e's per display location.

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-07-2012, 09:36 AM
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You need a matrix switcher if you have 10 tvs and 5 cableboxes.

You would also need several programmable remotes (preferrably rf) to control the cableboxes. I would contact a professional as programming at this level takes some skill and know how to get it to work right.

Do you want a surround system anywhere? How about blu-ray players? Any other sources?
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-07-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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yes, would want surround sound in one room

and yes, would want a blu ray player
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-11-2012, 12:00 PM
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You may want to look at replacing some cable boxes with an HTPC setup using extenders to access the TV tuners and content. This may be cheaper and can help you avoid matrix issues. At the moment the main limitation of this setup is the lack of a decent extender option (xbox 360 has a lot of limitations in this area) but the soon-to-be-released Ceton Echo might be the answer. The components would be:

- HTPC with as many CableCARD tuners (Ceton InfiniTV or HDHomeRun Prime) as you require
- Ceton Echo at each TV (small device, hidden behind TV)
- All media streamed over gigabit ethernet
- Windows Media Center acts as DVR and media library for BluRay rips etc.

Running many concurrent streams may be too much for a single HTPC to handle but if you went with HDHomeRun tuners (they sit on the network, not directly in PC) you could add addl PC's if you needed to. This setup would be very extendable as you could just drop a TV and Ceton Echo at any location on the network and be up and running instantly. For you main surround sound room, have a dedicated BluRay, A/V receiver etc.
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