What is the best way to connect my new setup? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2013, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
onse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I'm updating my whole system; AVR, projector, speakers, PC, TV and screen. Before I buy anything I need help to choose how I should connect everything together so that everything would work nice and simple.

Things I'm planning to do with the setup:

- Watch movies, Live TV and TV Shows with XBMC => Video to projector and TV. Audio to speakers and TV's speakers.
- Listen music from iTunes via iPad Remote and from Foobar => Audio to speakers.
- Play games with Steam => Video to projector and TV. Audio to speakers.
- Video/photo editing with the PC => Video to PC screen and projector. Audio to speakers.

So the problem is that how should I setup everything so that I could easily switch between different audio and video sources. For example, I would like to listen music while playing games from Steam, but I would like to be able to switch to game sounds fast too. Same thing while watching TV and so on.

I'm also not sure if I should get both PC that would sit below the "PC table" and HTPC that would be inside the TV "cabinet" or just one HTPC/PC that would be on either inside the TV cabinet or below the PC table.

This is one way I thought to do it:

In this example there would only be one HTPC/PC unit that would be integrated inside the TV cabinet and it would give video for all TV, projector and the PC screen that is on the other side of the room.



At least one problem with this setup is that if I'm watching or playing anything to the TV or projector would not be able to use the PC screen for any purpose.

Any suggestions for better setup?
onse is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-01-2013, 12:01 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,308
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Liked: 379
If you want to switch audio and video separately, that feature has mostly disappeared from AVR's these days. You'll need to use the AVR to switch audio only, and route video separately. Since you only appear to have one video source and three displays, a 1-to-3 HDMI splitter would seem like the best solution. But any solution involving HDMI may cause issues if the video capabilities of the displays are different. As long as they're all 1080p capable, you should be ok, though.

So use the splitter to connect the HTPC to the three displays (you might connect the TV through the AVR so that you can get audio over HDMI for DTS-MA support). Then connect a digital audio cable from the HTPC to another input on the AVR. Now you can switch inputs on the AVR (audio) without affecting the (video) projector or PC display. If you want the TV to work the same way, use a 1-to-4 HDMI splitter instead.

If you plan to add any other video source(s) beyond the HTPC, look at a 4x4 HDMI matrix instead of a splitter.


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
Old 03-02-2013, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
onse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Is this what you mean:



And if I need to add another source like console, I would replace the splitter with a matrix and connect the console to the matrix with HDMI and to the AVR with SPDIF?

Plusses and minuses for this setup:

+ Cheap.
+ No need to switch audio signal at all (?).
+ Pretty simple overall.
+ HTPC/PC unit inside the TV cabinet (can't be seen and saves space).

- Can't use PC for photo/video editing at the same time while watching movies/TV or playing games (maybe I would be able to watch live TV if I used TV's own tuner? But live TV from projector or games and movies would be out of the question though).
- When I need to add USB device (external HD, USB stick, cards from camera etc) I have to walk 3-4 meters from the PC display to the TV cabinet where the HTPC/PC is and plug in the USB device there.

Few questions:

1. I suppose I would need powered HDMI splitter? Is there any effect in quality when using splitter or matrix? My TV, projector and PC display will all be 1080p (1920x1080). The PC display might have higher resolution. How do I change what display will have the picture? Can it be done so that if the display is on then it will receive the HDMI signal? Or do I have to use remote or something to switch between the HDMI output?

2. Connect one HDMI from splitter to AVR input and from AVR HDMI output to TV for DTS-MA support? Did I understand right? DTS-MA doesn't go through SPDIF? BTW my speaker setup will be 5.1.

3. Check the second "+" above. Am I right on that one? If I wanted to listen music insetad of TV or game sound I would have to just mute TV on XBMC/mute game in Steam?

4. Instead of seperate SPDIF and HDMI, would it be possible to just connect the HTPC/PC unit to the AVR with HDMI and then from AVR's HDMI output I would use short HDMI cable that would go to the HDMI splitter? Check this picture. I could connect TV to AVR with analog audio cables and this way I could watch TV with its own tuner and even listen TV audio from the speakers while the video would go to the PC display via HDMI?


I will start thinking two additional setups now so I know what is the best way to go with the three:

1. This setup
2. Another "one unit" HTPC/PC setup but so that the unit is below the table where PC display is.
3. "Two unit" setup: Powerful PC is below the table and minimal HTPC is inside the TV cabinet.

In the third option the PC would be used for photo/video editing and also for Steam (as I wouldn't want to buy two powerful units. Also it would mean twice the noise and power consumption). The HTPC would be something like Zotac ZBOX Nano AD12 and would be used for movies/TV and music. Not sure if this would be to complicated though.
onse is offline  
Old 03-02-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
onse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Here is the second setup option:



Plusses and minuses for this setup:

+ Cheap.
+ No need to switch audio signal at all (?).
+ Pretty simple overall.

- Can't use PC for photo/video editing at the same time while watching movies/TV or playing games (maybe I would be able to watch live TV if I used TV's own tuner? But live TV from projector or games and movies would be out of the question though).
- PC tower below the table.

So with this setup (unlike with the first one) I would be able to plugin USB devices without the need to move when I'm sitting in front of the PC display. The downside compared to the first setup is that now the HTPC/PC unit is sitting below the table where it can be seen and where it wastes space (is on the way [maybe]).
onse is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off