Multiple cable boxes in 1 location - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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ok this is what im trying to accomplish...i have 5 TV's upstairs each with their own cable box. I am placing all the cable boxes in 1 central location upstairs. I was going to purchase 5 of these: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042501&p_id=8008&seq=1&format=2 to extend the HDMI over CAT6 so each TV can connect to their intended cable box. now my problem was how to control each cable box independently...since they are all identical, i dont want to end up changing channels on all of them accidently. I was going to stick these onto each cable box: http://www.smarthome.com/8170S/Mini-Stick-On-Infrared-IR-Emitters-Bugs-Blasters/p.aspx....so it only controlled the intended cable box...is this solution feasible?
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 12:31 PM
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Yes, keep the systems separate, use stick-on emitters directly over the IR receiver window, and cover those with electrical tape or other opaque material so the IR light isn't seen by the other boxes...

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post #3 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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perfect smile.gif any helpful tips other than the electrical tape? and those walplates are the best to use for this?
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 12:54 PM
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They are nowhere near the best, but they are extremely cheap, and folks around here have used them with success. You do have 2 cat5e/cat6 cables per run, correct??? These inexpensive units (and all the others like it) require two cables per room.

This HDBaseT unit, also from Monoprice, would be the recommended solution, but at 6x the cost... (and only needs one cable)

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011012&p_id=8122&seq=1&format=2

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post #5 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah im running 2 cat6 cables to each location...
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 01:12 PM
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Another thought to consider. For the money you're going to spend on that many high-end extenders, you could potentially start looking into a matrix solution, which would also eliminate the need for so many cable boxes and the inherent installation mess and heat that come along with them.

It will be more pricey, but also allows you more flexibility for sources. For example, you could simply have a "His" and "Hers" cable box that would be available on all TV's. Then you could add a variety of other sources like appleTV's or bluray players to distribute as well. Just a thought.

But to get back to your original question, simply use stick on emitters with some shields like THESE FROM XANTECH

Regarding the extenders you've linked to... Extenders in general, and the cheap ones in particular, can be hit or miss. You won't really know until you get one and use it for a while. Connecting one source to one TV you should be fine. Although you may want to lock the output resolution on your sources to minimize handshake issues.

Good luck!
JG
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah the only decrease i could do is down to 4 cable boxes lol, upstairs i have the master bedroom, the gym, and 3 kids rooms....wife and I use the TV in our room which uses 1 cable box, and the 3 kids all use at the same time which is an additional 3 boxes :/
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 02:25 PM
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Gotcha. Yeah, at that point you'd need to step up an 8x8 which can get a little pricey. Plus you have to account for having a way to control the matrix, which isn't rocket science but does take some planning.

Sounds like you've got a grip on things. Kudos for having the foresight to plan on preventing cross talk between the boxes. I've seen lots of "pros" who don't account for that eek.gif
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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hm....if i wanted to get a 8x8 matrix which would you recommend? it would be great to throw a blu-ray player into this mix so i dont have to buy multiple of those lol...and what would you recommend to control it using the hardware im getting already? i was thinking on each of the HDMI wall plates, instead of using 5 single IR emitters, use 5 dual head IR emitters and attach one head to the cable box directly to avoid crosstalk, and each second diode in front of the matrix...make sense?
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by hvtopiwala View Post

hm....if i wanted to get a 8x8 matrix which would you recommend? it would be great to throw a blu-ray player into this mix so i dont have to buy multiple of those lol...

For the cost of any 8x8 matrix you could buy a Blu-ray player for every room in your house. And your next-door neighbor's. And their dog.

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post #11 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 10:41 PM
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For the cost of any 8x8 matrix you could buy a Blu-ray player for every room in your house. And your next-door neighbor's. And their dog.

Ha! My guess is he would run out of room before he ran out of cash to spend on blurays, not to mention wiring to the TV's... but your point is well taken.

As I mentioned, 8x8's get a little pricey. We do a lot of the Binary 8x8's from SnapAV. Retail on those is $4,000 for straight HDMI outs, $6,000 if you want the Cat5e/6 outputs. Using the cheaper option, you would still need a pair of extenders for each TV. The pricier matrix basically means that the transmitting end of the extender is built into the matrix itself. You would still need to price a Cat5e/6 receiver to go behind each TV.

You could theoretically control any matrix with IR. But unless you're planning to put programmable remotes at each TV location, you could be stuck carrying around the one IR remote that comes with the matrix.

Working around a matrix requires a bit of designing, and sounds like it may be overkill for you. But if you're savvy, and want are willing to undertake a challenge, then I say go for it!

Or, like jautor (jokingly) suggested you could simply buy a bluray for every TV. This might actually be better from a usability standpoint. If you only have one centralized player it can make loading discs a real pain.

Hope this helps!
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-04-2012, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by hvtopiwala View Post

...upstairs i have the master bedroom, the gym, and 3 kids rooms....
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...you could simply buy a bluray for every TV. This might actually be better from a usability standpoint. If you only have one centralized player it can make loading discs a real pain.

If the master bedroom is next to the gym, you could just use a bluray player with dual outputs. Ditto a couple of the kids rooms (they can't both watch different movies but boo hoo). Also most kids rooms these days have game consoles which can play DVDs (and sometimes blurays) and stream netflix and all that...so a separate bluray for those places definitely feels like overkill.
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post #13 of 19 Old 12-04-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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ok heres a problem that i was told i would have...those wallplates are only single band IR and not dual band IR which i was told i would need for verizon fios boxes...what IR extender can i use that is hardwired (not an IR to RF converter) that will support dual band?
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-04-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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In regards to my last post, woudl something like this work: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011009&p_id=9895&seq=1&format=2#description ? and just use standard HDMI extender wall plates instead of the one with IR...and it looks like these sensors are stick on so i can just use these and not order the smart home ones right?
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-04-2012, 01:03 PM
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Yes, that looks like what you need. Note that you'll need another wire run for the IR in addition to the two for HDMI.

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post #16 of 19 Old 12-04-2012, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah i was planning on just sending a third CAT6 run and just splicing into that while im doing the runs lol
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-09-2012, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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question, can i just use audio extension cables for the IR cables rather than using eithernet? its cheaper for 50+ft runs lol...is that ok?
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post #18 of 19 Old 12-09-2012, 12:31 PM
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Yes just about any wire with several conductors will work for IR. But running a Cat5e can be useful for other things in the future...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #19 of 19 Old 12-11-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvtopiwala View Post

question, can i just use audio extension cables for the IR cables rather than using eithernet? its cheaper for 50+ft runs lol...is that ok?
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Yes just about any wire with several conductors will work for IR.
While true, the cat6 cables would probably be better with interference... If the run passes near electrical fittings or near other sources of interference (appliances, motors, microwaves, etc), a good shielded cat6 may be preferably.
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