I recently bought a "almost" finished home with 2 stories and a full basement. I got in 2 days before the drywall went up, and the builder gave me permission to run any wires I wanted prior to that. I didn't have time to order anything so I settled for a single RG-6 and 2 Cat5e cables to each drop with an additional 2 Cat5e drops behind the main TV on the fireplace. I know I would have rather ran Cat6, HDMI, etc, but I didn't have the time or cable on hand and had to work with what I had. So here is what I think I will be installing and am basically just looking for some good advice on how to do it correctly.
Main TV is a Panasonic Plasma. I bought a Monoprice HDMI extender with IR that is run over 2 pieces of Cat5. I plan to extend the HDMI input for the TV down to the basement and into a Monoprice 4x1 HDMI switcher. In the switcher I will have one Dish DVR (Hopper) and 1 AppleTV with the additional 2 inputs open in case I want to add my blu-ray or something later (i VERY rarely use discs anymore.)
Then I have 2 small kids rooms upstairs and 1 living room on the mainlevel that I would like to share one of the dish Joey systems on (same channel on all TVs). I am thinking I will have to do this via an RF modulator and modulate an SD picture to these 3 locations using one of the joeys. i bought a Sewell BlastIR system and an extra 2 recievers that I would like to use to make it so you can change the channel on the Joey from any of the 3 locations. This is where I might need some help. I hoped to use one of the Cat5 drops I have at each location to extend the IR Reciever down into my basement and into the connecting block of the IR distribution system. It only has 1 input, but I am thinking maybe I can punch down all 3 recievers (via Cat5 extensions) into a 66-Block and bridge the 3 together into 3 single wires then plug that into the connecting block. Will this work?? I am unsure of how far I can extend the IR, and how many times I can connect it via parallel?
After that I am hoping to just take the RCA cable output from the Joey into a Belkin RF Modulator and then into a 3-way splitter to get the signal up to the 3 TVs. I shouldn't need an amp or anything should I? The runs maybe 30ft each. I would much rather bring the signal up to the 2 HD tvs via HDMI, but I would like to leave one of the cat5 cables connected to the network so the boys can plug in their gaming systems and I don't know of any good way to extend HDMI and IR over a single Cat5e.
One of the other things i will need to figure out is how to sheild the IR signals going into the Hopper and Joey in the basement from interfering with each other since they both use the same IR set. I have the little stick on "eye" blasters. Can I just cover them with black electrical tape or something to keep the signal from bleeding out into the other equipment adjacent?
Again, I am new to this forum and new to this type of AV distribution but work as an IT consultant by trade, so not new to the technology. Any help and/or advice you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated!