4 DirecTV Boxes - 15 TVs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-03-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Forgive me if this is in the wrong section and please move so if it is, but I have a question about distribution.

I run a sports restaurant and we're looking to upgrade to HD within the next month or two. Currently we have four DirecTV wired directly to the TVs (currently just run 12 TVs, adding thee more soon) using splitters -- each set of TVs have their own dedicated box. Ex: Box 2 controls TV 2, 7, and 10. This set up is almost seven years old and it's really not ideal as we can't change one TV without changing another.

Each TV is wired with one coax cable that runs the entire length back to the office, I'd guess the longest run is about 125'. We're looking at getting the ZeeVee ZvBox170 so we can still use the existing RG6 cabling to cut down on down time and costs. We'd like to wire in each box to a ZvBox and use the proper channels (say 25.1, 25.2, 25.3, 25.4) so that each TV can be tuned to a different DirecTV box -- say one one ESPN, one on ESPN2, one on NFL, another on NBA.

My question is, how do I accomplish this without using all sorts of splitters that would degrade the signal? Am I looking at some sort of matrix switcher with a four input and multi output? I'm pretty hands on and technical and want to do this task myself. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-03-2012, 11:24 AM
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You should really talk to a DirecTV commercial installer. The new SWM (single-wire) D* systems and coax-networked client boxes, coupled with the IP control (iPad app, etc.), would seem to be a much better and cheaper solution than a bunch of ZeeVee boxes, especially if you're going to have more than say 4-5 sources to begin with...

That said, for a ZeeVee solution you'd just need a decent, properly-sized RF (coax) distribution amp with enough outputs for all the displays. With HD digital modulated channels, you won't have the same analog PQ issues as you've probably seen in the past. Picture will either be perfect or will have real problems (and you shouldn't have those...).


Jeff


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post #3 of 7 Old 12-03-2012, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,
First off thanks for the help. I thought the SWM8 systems was just a means to control different receivers that all use the same dish? I have the dish to receiver part covered, it's the receivers to the TVs that I don't have. This is why we decided on the ZeeVee boxes as it could modulate the signal to run over the RG6 wire already in place.

Your second part appears to the answer I was looking for:
I take four DirecTV HD receivers and send them into their own ZvBox.
Each ZvBox feeds a four input distribution amplifier.
Since the most I've seen is about 8 or 10 (please link to others if you know of any) I should split the signals from there.

Does that sound right? I have it in my head but just can't get it in writing. I just don't want to degrade the signals if I don't have to and I know splitting a lot can do this.

As said, I'm a pretty hands on guy and can do/fix most things, so if this is something I can tackle myself then I'd love to do it. It'd be a learning experience and I'd know the ins and outs if something were to mess up.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-03-2012, 07:31 PM
 
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If you have a Buffalo Wild Wings near you, talk to their manager to see if they can show you how theirs is setup and distributed. Most is through Component or HDMI over Cat-6 solution for distribution. Take a look at http://www.hdmi.org/installers/case_studies_hgefen.aspx which is spot on with what you are trying to do.

HDMI splitters http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdmi-splitters.html#axzz2E3Bu1DaQ http://audio-video-supply.markertek.com/search?w=hdmi+splitter&IMAGE.x=0&IMAGE.y=0
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-03-2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PK930 View Post

Jeff,
First off thanks for the help. I thought the SWM8 systems was just a means to control different receivers that all use the same dish?

Well, yes, I should have been more specific - the SWM system means it's easy to use installed, single coax distribution to place receivers at the individual displays. As the latest D* are also very physically small, they could be tucked near each display (depends on how you have them all mounted), and you could then use an RF or IP-control setup to change channels, etc. Not as slick as a centralized ZeeVee setup, but it would be cheaper depending on how much variety you need.
Quote:
I have the dish to receiver part covered, it's the receivers to the TVs that I don't have. This is why we decided on the ZeeVee boxes as it could modulate the signal to run over the RG6 wire already in place.

My suggestion was based on the assumption that you wanted a 1:1 ratio of receivers to displays. Fewer receivers to more displays and the ZeeVee setup works better and better.
Quote:
Your second part appears to the answer I was looking for:
I take four DirecTV HD receivers and send them into their own ZvBox.
Each ZvBox feeds a four input distribution amplifier.
Since the most I've seen is about 8 or 10 (please link to others if you know of any) I should split the signals from there.
Does that sound right? I have it in my head but just can't get it in writing. I just don't want to degrade the signals if I don't have to and I know splitting a lot can do this.

Actually, you'd feed all 4 ZeeVee boxes into a single amplifier, and that amplified signal would be split to all 15 displays. Doing that split is easy, just a matter of calculating the gain/losses to match the amp and the splitters.

Probably like:

ZeeVee (x4) -> 4-way combiner -> distribution amp -> 2-way splitter -> 8-way splitter (x2)

Greg's suggestion is a good one too, but with a 4:15 ratio of receivers:displays, the ZeeVee solution is pretty good economically, especially with the cabling already in place.

Jeff


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post #6 of 7 Old 12-04-2012, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Greg, I looked at the Gefen equipment but that would require running new cabling. Which I'm not opposed to, as I think I've run enough wire in my life to wrap the Earth, but using the existing RG6 would be far more financially sound.

Jeff, I had to actually sit down and draw everything out to get the proper picture in my head -- I'm a visual learning kinda guy. I think I have it all laid out. Except the modulators...

I was set on on the ZeeVee system but now I ran across the Channel Plus 5415HD, which can be had for almost $300 cheaper than the ZeeVee. It's only limitation I see is that it'll only produce up to a 720p picture, which is fine if you consider the distance most people will be viewing the TVs from. I just can't find too much info about it other than it has loud fans. I can deal with loud fans.

Maybe I should start a new thread on that subject...
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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Yeah, there's been very little mention of that ChannelPlus piece. They made great gear in the SD-days, but I've seen nothing (good or bad) about their HD product except the mentions of the loud fans - probably the same ones you found.

ZeeVee is absolutely built for commercial usage, I don't know if I'd put the CP gear at that level. It certainly would be an interesting thread topic to find out if anyone in the forum has used one. I suppose if you could get one from someone with a good customer service / return policy, it may be worth a try.


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