Control multiple TV's via TiVo boxes in remote closet > RF over Coax? (Budget Limited) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Goal: Using TiVo(s) (or Cable boxes) in central closet to watch TV's in different rooms.

Background:

  • TV locations: 1 MBR, 1 upstairs bedroom, 1 Loft, 1 Kitchen 1 family room
  • One 4-tuner TiVo XL that the 4 tuners could be shared 4 TV location above
  • One 2-tuner TiVo Premiere that could be used with any 1 location above
  • Open to using multiple cable company's HD DVR's at each location
  • House has Coax & Cat6 @ each above location - so TiVo signal can come come over via MOCA (coax) or Ethernet (Cat6)
  • BluRay & Amp only need to be dedicated only to Family room - not distributed

A/V guy Recomendation:
Using IR Repeaters @ the TV end to send commands back over Coax to the TiVo.

Question:
Can I basically control individual TV's at each location with a simple Signal sent over Coax?
In short, the goal is to allow TV's in each room to have it's own tuner & TiVo watching ability but limiting cable or Tivo boxes & putting them all in one location.
Do I have enough boxes?

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post #2 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 11:07 AM
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http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-mini/index.html?WT.ac=tivohome_banner_tivomini

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post #3 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep aware of that & they would be a consideration also if there were no little box in each room, & the little Mini's didn't have it's own monthly charge & up front cost.

Having said that, having the AV guy charge me $1K+ to do the repeaters over coax may still cost more than having those little boxes in each room.

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post #4 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 11:48 AM
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Lifetime service w/hardware on a Mini is $249.

You can do remote control via RF to any number of TiVo units for a few hundred, using either the Xantech XtraLink2 over coax, any number of IR repeaters over cat5, or just a collection of TiVo remotes with the "Next Generation Remote Control Extender" to convert them into RF.

But none of those pieces actually handles the video distribution itself, which you haven't discussed. Doing any HDMI or other HD-capable solution is going to cost more than a couple of Mini units, and won't provide you with independent viewing (every room will get the same content).

If I was a cable customer (I'm on DirecTV), the TiVo XL plus Mini per room would be at the top of my list...


Jeff

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post #5 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Lifetime service w/hardware on a Mini is $249.

You can do remote control via RF to any number of TiVo units for a few hundred, using either the Xantech XtraLink2 over coax, any number of IR repeaters over cat5, or just a collection of TiVo remotes with the "Next Generation Remote Control Extender" to convert them into RF.

But none of those pieces actually handles the video distribution itself, which you haven't discussed. Doing any HDMI or other HD-capable solution is going to cost more than a couple of Mini units, and won't provide you with independent viewing (every room will get the same content).

If I was a cable customer (I'm on DirecTV), the TiVo XL plus Mini per room would be at the top of my list...


Jeff

Thanks for input.

After review I agree that TiVo P4XL + Mini is the way to go for me for TV distribution & independent controlling.
Controlling them remotely was the key & you've provided me with some alternatives!

My updated plan would be for:

1) Kitchen/Master = share a dual Tuner TiVo signal - thus independent Live TV viewing will not be capable for these 2 rooms (but recorded shows are).
2) Family Room = TiVoP4XL distributed to 3 below
3) Loft = TiVo Mini from #2
Opt) 2nd BedRm = TiVo Mini from #2

My remaining concerns are:

1) If i am sending remote control input signals via Coax - how will that affect my MOCA signals from the TiVo's?
2) Will coax + my TiVo's + my HDTV = HD signals in 1080i output? Or do i need a converter somewhere along the line or do i need to terminate the Coax (or my other cable in the wall is CAT6) to HDMI?

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post #6 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleM View Post

1) If i am sending remote control input signals via Coax - how will that affect my MOCA signals from the TiVo's?

No problem, but I'd go with the NextGen RF product instead as it avoids other potential issues with IR receivers (interference from flat panels) that the older systems like XtraLink will have.
Quote:
2) Will coax + my TiVo's + my HDTV = HD signals in 1080i output? Or do i need a converter somewhere along the line or do i need to terminate the Coax (or my other cable in the wall is CAT6) to HDMI?

No, the only HD output(s) from any set-top box (including TiVo) will be from the HDMI and component video outputs. You can get an HDMI-over-coax solution or several variations of HDMI or Component over Cat5e. The coax-based HD distribution will be $200+ per run (and point-to-point). Cat5e solutions, point-to-point, can be <$100. That will be on top of any IR solution - so again, rapidly approaching the cost of a Mini w/lifetime with less functionality...

Jeff

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post #7 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No problem, but I'd go with the NextGen RF product instead as it avoids other potential issues with IR receivers (interference from flat panels) that the older systems like XtraLink will have.


No, the only HD output(s) from any set-top box (including TiVo) will be from the HDMI and component video outputs. You can get an HDMI-over-coax solution or several variations of HDMI or Component over Cat5e. The coax-based HD distribution will be $200+ per run (and point-to-point). Cat5e solutions, point-to-point, can be <$100. That will be on top of any IR solution - so again, rapidly approaching the cost of a Mini w/lifetime with less functionality...

Jeff

Exactly. It's going to end up being way more expensive than just putting TiVo Mini's everywhere. It's only gets interesting with more equipment to distribute, and even then it's not cost effective, just convenient.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No problem, but I'd go with the NextGen RF product instead as it avoids other potential issues with IR receivers (interference from flat panels) that the older systems like XtraLink will have.

Ok - it looks like you arre really pushing this RF extender - which I believe also - is a better solution to overcome walls.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No, the only HD output(s) from any set-top box (including TiVo) will be from the HDMI and component video outputs. You can get an HDMI-over-coax solution or several variations of HDMI or Component over Cat5e. The coax-based HD distribution will be $200+ per run (and point-to-point). Cat5e solutions, point-to-point, can be <$100. That will be on top of any IR solution - so again, rapidly approaching the cost of a Mini w/lifetime with less functionality...

Jeff
Main objective was to get the Tivo's out of sight.
Next is to bring HD to each of the location.
- I have 1 Cat6 besides the coax out to each location - With the longest run being maybe 70' to the upstairs loft from the patch panel.
So a solution that is bringing a signal via CAT6 with an HDMI extender in between should solve my HD output issue no?

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post #9 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleM View Post

Ok - it looks like you arre really pushing this RF extender - which I believe also - is a better solution to overcome walls.

Yes, because it works and is super-cheap. And yes, RF works through walls and across floors in the house. If you want to control multiple TiVo boxes, you can assign each box and remote to a different IR code ID. There are some TiVo remotes that have a DVR1/DVR2 switch that makes this really handy...
Quote:
Main objective was to get the Tivo's out of sight.
Next is to bring HD to each of the location.
- I have 1 Cat6 besides the coax out to each location - With the longest run being maybe 70' to the upstairs loft from the patch panel.
So a solution that is bringing a signal via CAT6 with an HDMI extender in between should solve my HD output issue no?

Yes. Best products for that on the market are the HDBaseT units (cheapest ~$180). There are other solutions, but single-cable ones are generally over $100 anyway, and HDBaseT will give you remote repeating as well for that price.

Jeff

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post #10 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yes, because it works and is super-cheap. And yes, RF works through walls and across floors in the house. If you want to control multiple TiVo boxes, you can assign each box and remote to a different IR code ID. There are some TiVo remotes that have a DVR1/DVR2 switch that makes this really handy...
Yes. Best products for that on the market are the HDBaseT units (cheapest ~$180). There are other solutions, but single-cable ones are generally over $100 anyway, and HDBaseT will give you remote repeating as well for that price.

Jeff

1) How would the RF come into play via the HDBaseT extenders?
* wouldn't it render the RF unnecessary since it can carry IR signals too now? ]
** if above is true, then the cost savings of using RF vs. HDBaseT is at the expense of losing full HDMI capability listed in #2 below - no?

2) Since HDBaseT extenders can basically carry a lot of data including full uncompressed 1080P, 3D, 7.1 Audio & bi-directional IR functionality - what if I don't care about full surround sound @ the secondary locations - does it make sense to get a non-HDBaseT balun for those locations & still get the uncompressed 1080P video?
*** correct me if I am wrong but balun is an extender no?

3) Therefore, if the points in #2 above are true, then I can get a HDBaseT for the primary family room location because that's where the main viewership will be for my house
**** loft, kitchen, guest upstairs bedroom will get a lesser extender but still get 1080p & digital sound

Again - appreciate your thoughts.

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post #11 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleM View Post

1) How would the RF come into play via the HDBaseT extenders?
- wouldn't it render the RF unnecessary since it can carry IR signals too now? ]
- if above is true, then the cost savings of using RF vs. HDBaseT is at the expense of losing full HDMI capability listed in #2 below - no?

It would provide a remote control repeater solution for that location. Whether you should use that or an RF solution for the whole house will depend on the rest of the setup... But at least for that room, you don't need both.
Quote:
2) Since HDBaseT extenders can basically carry a lot of data including full uncompressed 1080P, 3D, 7.1 Audio & bi-directional IR functionality - what if I don't care about full surround sound @ the secondary location - does it make sense to get a non-HDBaseT balun for those locations & still get the uncompressed 1080P video?

All of the HDMI baluns carry the HDMI signal untouched. The audio/video features are the same, as long as the balun can handle the bandwidth of things like 3D and deepcolor (the cheaper ones may not). The choice of surround sound or not at the receiving side doesn't matter, all baluns will do the same in that regard.

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post #12 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

It would provide a remote control repeater solution for that location. Whether you should use that or an RF solution for the whole house will depend on the rest of the setup... But at least for that room, you don't need both.
Understood!
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All of the HDMI baluns carry the HDMI signal untouched. The audio/video features are the same, as long as the balun can handle the bandwidth of things like 3D and deepcolor (the cheaper ones may not). The choice of surround sound or not at the receiving side doesn't matter, all baluns will do the same in that regard.

So then, your overriding determinant with the HDBaseT original suggestion is based on the ability to connect over further distances right?

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post #13 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 11:02 AM
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So then, your overriding determinant with the HDBaseT original suggestion is based on the ability to connect over further distances right?

No, although that's a feature of HDBaseT, it rarely comes into play for residential uses - <100' is a typical run length, so any of the "powered" baluns can handle that distance.

The things in HDBaseT that are important are 1) single-cable solution, 2) built-in IR, RS232 repeating/control, and 3) Ethernet pass-through.

Doing all that will other solutions will require at least two, and likely three or four cat5e cables. If you have a short-ish run, have enough cable and don't care about any of those things, a ~$100 HDMI balun set can work just fine. But I'd vote for the HDBaseT solution anyway.

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post #14 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No, although that's a feature of HDBaseT, it rarely comes into play for residential uses - <100' is a typical run length, so any of the "powered" baluns can handle that distance.

The things in HDBaseT that are important are 1) single-cable solution, 2) built-in IR, RS232 repeating/control, and 3) Ethernet pass-through.

Doing all that will other solutions will require at least two, and likely three or four cat5e cables. If you have a short-ish run, have enough cable and don't care about any of those things, a ~$100 HDMI balun set can work just fine. But I'd vote for the HDBaseT solution anyway.

Jeff

Thanks again! This helps put everything in context & a nice bow around my strategy.
Question now is if I can execute?! wink.gif

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Isn't HDBaseT a lot more stable and reliable as well?
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 04:23 PM
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Isn't HDBaseT a lot more stable and reliable as well?

Yes, we should expect so, which is why when the comparison and cost gets close anyway, go for the HDBaseT gear.

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post #17 of 27 Old 04-18-2013, 09:26 PM
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Huh....I think I have just stumbled upon my anticipated solution for cable distribution throughout my new construction. I REALLY like the idea of the TiVo DVR coupled with the TiVo Minis

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleM View Post

Ok - it looks like you arre really pushing this RF extender - which I believe also - is a better solution to overcome walls.

Main objective was to get the Tivo's out of sight.
Next is to bring HD to each of the location.
- I have 1 Cat6 besides the coax out to each location - With the longest run being maybe 70' to the upstairs loft from the patch panel.

This would achieve having all of the Mini units in one central location...correct? Is that the goal or is it to simply have them out of sight?

I am not so sure of the dimensions of the Minis but barring you are wall mounting an LED or so couldn't you mount the unit behind the TV? Velcro or some other method? Its late and I may just be talking crazy talk but I am really intrigued with this design framework.
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, we should expect so, which is why when the comparison and cost gets close anyway, go for the HDBaseT gear.

Hah - I was trying to find the words to verbalize my thoughts around this issue to my A/V guy.
Net-net, if the components are very marginal in price difference - always go with the higher performing one.

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post #19 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Huh....I think I have just stumbled upon my anticipated solution for cable distribution throughout my new construction. I REALLY like the idea of the TiVo DVR coupled with the TiVo Minis
This would achieve having all of the Mini units in one central location...correct? Is that the goal or is it to simply have them out of sight?

Both!
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I am not so sure of the dimensions of the Minis but barring you are wall mounting an LED or so couldn't you mount the unit behind the TV? Velcro or some other method? Its late and I may just be talking crazy talk but I am really intrigued with this design framework.

I was thinking about that too - eliminate the extender cost but then the dimensions necessitate at least a 6" protrusion from the wall behind a wall mount TV.

Most LED/Plasma's these days are less than 2" deep & with a low profile tilting mount - add another max 2" & you are looking at only 4" of clearance.

Am I missing anything in that logic?


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post #20 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
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Both!
I was thinking about that too - eliminate the extender cost but then the dimensions necessitate at least a 6" protrusion from the wall behind a wall mount TV.
Most LED/Plasma's these days are less than 2" deep & with a low profile tilting mount - add another max 2" & you are looking at only 4" of clearance.

Am I missing anything in that logic?

TiVo Mini Dimensions: 6.09" W x 6.09" D x 1.3" H. Weight: 0.78 lbs.

If you stick the Mini flat against the wall/TV (velcro!), it's only 1.3" thick... May need an IR repeater for the mini with the loss of line-of-sight, but for many mounts there can be enough space to work with. For the truly flat / flush mounts, the 8x10" recessed Arlington TV box outlet may provide a nice hidden solution.

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post #21 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you stick the Mini flat against the wall/TV (velcro!), it's only 1.3" thick... May need an IR repeater for the mini with the loss of line-of-sight, but for many mounts there can be enough space to work with. For the truly flat / flush mounts, the 8x10" recessed Arlington TV box outlet may provide a nice hidden solution.

Dagnabit, why was I thinking I need to lay it horizontally flat?!
Thanks again!

I'll check out the Arlington TV box outlet.

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post #22 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 11:18 AM
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Dagnabit, why was I thinking I need to lay it horizontally flat?!

You are thinking two-dimensionally, Khan. That will be your downfall. Spock out. tongue.gif

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post #23 of 27 Old 04-19-2013, 09:09 PM
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Pretty crude diagram but I did the best I could in KeyNote.

*Assumptions:
Network Path = Service>Modem>Router>Switch>Tivo Prem. XL4
Network Path = Service>Modem>Router>Switch>Tivo Mini in Closet
Network Path = Service>Modem>Router>Switch>Tivo Mini in Bed Two

Tivo Mini in Bed 2 has the necessary HDMI jumper that connects Mini to display

I wil need an RF Extender to control the Tivo gear in the Media Closet. I am open to creative ideas ( maybe some 3D thinking ) as to how I could install the 2nd Mini in the Master Bed then split the HDMI to the Bath. I suppose it would require a back feed from the splitter (mounted in the rear of the dresser, as we don't intend to wall mount) back into the wall then to the Bath display?? Thoughts?

Bed 3 will have a variety of drops going towards it for future installation. No video necessary at move in time.


Does this look plausible?



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post #24 of 27 Old 05-01-2013, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No, although that's a feature of HDBaseT, it rarely comes into play for residential uses - <100' is a typical run length, so any of the "powered" baluns can handle that distance.

The things in HDBaseT that are important are 1) single-cable solution, 2) built-in IR, RS232 repeating/control, and 3) Ethernet pass-through.

Doing all that will other solutions will require at least two, and likely three or four cat5e cables. If you have a short-ish run, have enough cable and don't care about any of those things, a ~$100 HDMI balun set can work just fine. But I'd vote for the HDBaseT solution anyway.

Jeff

Me again on this topic:

If the Mini is receiving the video signal via Coax - doesn't it have an HDMI output to the monitor - ergo - It IS an HDMI extender already no?

Am I missing something by trying to shove everything in one location when I can just hang the Mini on the wall in the back of the TV & still get my HDMI hiDef signal?

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post #25 of 27 Old 05-01-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleM View Post

If the Mini is receiving the video signal via Coax - doesn't it have an HDMI output to the monitor - ergo - It IS an HDMI extender already no?

Not an HDMI extender, but it accomplishes the same goal...
Quote:
Am I missing something by trying to shove everything in one location when I can just hang the Mini on the wall in the back of the TV & still get my HDMI hiDef signal?

You're missing the added expense and "fun" of HDMI video distribution. biggrin.gif

The only thing gained by relocating these dedicated client boxes is any aesthetics by "hiding the equipment". If you can accomplish that by tucking the box behind the TV, it's a much easier / cheaper solution...

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post #26 of 27 Old 05-01-2013, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not an HDMI extender, but it accomplishes the same goal...
You're missing the added expense and "fun" of HDMI video distribution. biggrin.gif

The only thing gained by relocating these dedicated client boxes is any aesthetics by "hiding the equipment". If you can accomplish that by tucking the box behind the TV, it's a much easier / cheaper solution...

U are the voice of reason.
haha. Thanks again.

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post #27 of 27 Old 05-02-2013, 11:57 AM
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Since this topic has come back up can someone shed some light on if idea to get the same content on two screens would work.

Recap:

I would like to share Tivo Mini content on my Master Bed and Master Bath TVs (adjoining rooms). If I run the Cat5e from the 4 tuner box in the A/V closet to the Mini located behind the TV in the Master Bed, could I then place a splitter directly after the HDMI out and split the signal to the Bed Tv then go back into the wall via a HDMI to the Bath TV?
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