HD video and audio over coax?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-07-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,
I've been around these forums for over a year now but never had the need to sign up and post until now. We're in the process of building a new home and I'm starting the plans on the A/V distribution...
We're going to have 3 LCD tvs and the home theater installed. Our plan is to have all the satellite boxes out of sight and in the A/V rack in the home theater. I was looking around and the best thing I found to do is to install HD baluns over CAT5e that run component video and digital audio point to point. This looked like a good plan until I read that if i use coaxial modulation and distribution it would do the same thing without the point to point limitation. That way more than one person can tune into the same receiver. I realize that there are HD matrix solutions but those are way out of the budget.

My concern is that can HD quality channels be modulated over coaxial cable throughout the house or will the quality degrade significantly?? I plan on using all HD receivers, and if the coaxial distribution is just going to degrade the quality then what's the point.

Any input is really appreciated.
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-07-2008, 08:58 PM
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You can't modulate HD. (well you can,but it will cost you way more than 10k to do it. Yup ten thousand. way more)

Get a component video matrix switch. You can get 4x4 or even 8x8 relatively cheaply. Why digital audio? are you going to have an A/V receiver at each location? Most (probably all) tvs don't have a digital audio input. Some have a digital audio output.

Basically, run a 5 conductor mini coax bundle, (component video plus analog audio) to each TV location. Also pull two cat5e. Or, just run the two cat5e and use baluns for comonent video plus analog audio. Yo can do this right away and ust run each TV from its own cable box, or satellite box. You can then add a matrix switcher at any time to upgrade the functionality.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-08-2008, 05:37 AM
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Exactly what fletch said. HD modulation in consumer applications is non-existent. The modulation you speak of is composite grade RF (think 10 years ago, analog cable). You don't want that to be the backbone of your installation.

If I were building a new house today, I would run 4 catx cables and a mini bundle of 5 coax to every TV and feel very confident that my bases are covered for a very long forseeable future. I can distribute straight component/analog/digital audio via the coax. I can distribute component/analog/digital audio via baluns and two Catxs. I can distribute HDMI via two Catxs. And with all of the above I can piggy back IR control (which you will also need to remotely control those boxes). And lastly, I can go pure TCP/IP with HD extenders via a Vista Media Center solution.

The extra two catxs are cheap to run and simple piece of mind for the next generation of resolutions to come down the pipe.
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-08-2008, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the quick reply.
Basically your saying that I cannot use coax cable to transport component video and audio with HD quality w/o spending $10k.

I was already planing on running 2 cat5e cables to each location for media center extender functionality and future expansion reasons. Now you recommend in addition to that use a 5 conductor mini coax bundle to each location from my av rack. Will this just work like a really long component and audio cable and will be hooked up to the tv just as if they were only 5 ft long? Will the ends of these cables just be regular RCA jacks? What is the max length i should run this cable before signal quality begins to decrease?
If i did this would it be the same quality of video compared to if i used CAT5 baluns??
So the whol point of going this route is that in the future i can just add a 4x4 component matrix switch if in the a/v rack if i wanted extra functionaliy?

Again thanks for the advice
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-08-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooDi13 View Post

thanks for the quick reply.
Basically your saying that I cannot use coax cable to transport component video and audio with HD quality w/o spending $10k.

I was already planing on running 2 cat5e cables to each location for media center extender functionality and future expansion reasons. Now you recommend in addition to that use a 5 conductor mini coax bundle to each location from my av rack. Will this just work like a really long component and audio cable and will be hooked up to the tv just as if they were only 5 ft long? Will the ends of these cables just be regular RCA jacks? What is the max length i should run this cable before signal quality begins to decrease?
If i did this would it be the same quality of video compared to if i used CAT5 baluns??
So the whol point of going this route is that in the future i can just add a 4x4 component matrix switch if in the a/v rack if i wanted extra functionaliy?

Again thanks for the advice

You can use coax to distribute HD. You just need 5 of them, hence the 5 mini coax bundle. Its just easier to pull 5 mini coax in one jacket than 5 RG6 loose.
You can substitute 2 cat5e for the 5 coax. However, as Robert said, it would be a good idea to do both. ANd I agree with him that you should run 4 cat5e plus the 5 coax. It will cost you a little more for the wire, but it will prepare you for pretty much any eventuality.

none of this has anything to do with modulation. You are going to be running component video, which is baseband. The only difference is the type of wire you carry it on. If it is coax, then it is just like if you ran a standard component video cable three feet from your DVD player to your TV. And yes, the ends are regular old RCAs.

You will need the tools and compression fittings to terminate your wires. Do a search here for info relating to the proper tools and connectors.
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-08-2008, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright I understand what needs to be done. Any idea on the max length i should run the coax bundle??
Also I've been researching the component matrix switches but need help figuring one thing out.
Let's say i have 3 TVs and 3 set top boxes. With the matrix each TV can access any of the STBs. How are the STBs controlled?? i understand that i need to use IR repeaters installed next to the tv that carry the IR signal to the boxes but how can i choose which STB i want to control?
example: TV 1 is watching STB 1 and with a IR repeater controls it, now lets say TV1 decides to watch STB 2 how will it control that STB? if i just attach all the IR blasters to all the STBs all the channels would change at the same time. I've looked a little bit and couldnt find a component matrix switch that also switched IR signals.
I guess my question is there such a thing as a IR matrix switch??
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-08-2008, 07:08 PM
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Actually Gefen is realeasing consumer HDMI over coax this quarter, they had it at CES

no word on price that I have heard of yet but supposed to be cheaper than what ever one else was saying


http://www.convergedigest.com/WiFi/w...e.asp?ID=21158
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-10-2008, 10:28 AM
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Here is the actual press release from Geffen...

http://www.reuters.com/article/press...008+BW20080104

This is a step in the right direction, but I am not sure it will be the answer for full distribution. For example, most people only have 1 coax running to each TV now. Problem is that it will probably only handle one HDMI Source. It is unknown if you can send say 3 sources over 1 coax. Right now, with my "older" modulator, I can send 3 sources over 1 Coax on seperate channels. With this Geffen solution you have to end with HDMI so people who want to distribute more then 1 source would still have to run wire. The best solution would be a modulator transmits multiple sources on 1 coax and on the other end enter the TV with the coax and use the ATSC Tuner to and switch then channels. So you could have a Blue Ray on Channel 15, Satellite Receiver 1 on say channel 20, and Satellite Receiver 2 on say channel 25. This is unlikely to happen at a consumer level for a long time it appears.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-10-2008, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooDi13 View Post

Alright I understand what needs to be done. Any idea on the max length i should run the coax bundle??
Also I've been researching the component matrix switches but need help figuring one thing out.
Let's say i have 3 TVs and 3 set top boxes. With the matrix each TV can access any of the STBs. How are the STBs controlled?? i understand that i need to use IR repeaters installed next to the tv that carry the IR signal to the boxes but how can i choose which STB i want to control?
example: TV 1 is watching STB 1 and with a IR repeater controls it, now lets say TV1 decides to watch STB 2 how will it control that STB? if i just attach all the IR blasters to all the STBs all the channels would change at the same time. I've looked a little bit and couldnt find a component matrix switch that also switched IR signals.
I guess my question is there such a thing as a IR matrix switch??

You will need a remote control system with IR routing. Universal remote Control, RTI are two companies. RTI is a dealer only distribution model. URC is too, but product seems to be readily available. Also, many matrix switches, especially the pro brands like Extron and Autopatch, are serial controlled only. Which may add another level of complexity to your situation.

Also, you can use IR repeaters, but they tend to be less reliable than a good RF solution like RTI.
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-10-2008, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I found this IR router http://www.smarthome.com/8127.html that seems like it could do the trick. Also for the matrix I think this would be good solution too http://www.hdtvsupply.com/neavcovimasw.html
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post #11 of 36 Old 02-10-2008, 06:00 PM
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Just an FYI. The above referenced Gefen HDMI over coax solution still requires 5 coax cables. It is not a single coax solution (which will never happen).
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post #12 of 36 Old 02-10-2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fletch999 View Post

Just an FYI. The above referenced Gefen HDMI over coax solution still requires 5 coax cables. It is not a single coax solution (which will never happen).

I am not sure where you are getting your information but the states "consumers will be able to extend the reach of HDMI from room to
room over their existing in-home coax cabling."


I do not know of many if any homes with 5 coax cables to each room.

I would like to see where you got the info on needing 5 coax cables
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post #13 of 36 Old 02-11-2008, 08:17 AM
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I got the info from my Gefen rep. He says that they are talking about homes that already have an HD distribution system over component video. Maybe he's wrong, I dn't know. If he is then this thing will cost a LOT, my guess. We'll have to wait and see.
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post #14 of 36 Old 02-12-2008, 01:55 PM
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Why woudl Geffen come out with another product that supports 5 coax connectors? They are saying in the press release that this is the first of it's kind and if it were with 5 coax wires, then this is nothing spectacular. I do agree that price will probably be expensive though. It has got to be since they don't even mention price in the press release.
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post #15 of 36 Old 02-12-2008, 07:09 PM
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There are other HDMI over coax solutions in development but not available today. If this ships and can do HDMI over coax it will be unique. At least for a while.

If this is really a one coax solution, then it will be really unique, at least for a while. But no one else is eve close to a one coax solution and from what I've been told neither is Gefen.
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post #16 of 36 Old 02-13-2008, 07:36 AM
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The HDMI over coax should be for for a single coax. I can't post urls because I don't have 3 posts, but if you google "NAB07: Gefen's Wireless HDMI is a Work in Progress" you will see they mention "Wa saw HDMI transmitting over a coaxial cable". Price is mentioned at $700 but that was almost a year ago FWIW.
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post #17 of 36 Old 02-18-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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is this http://www.monstermarketplace.com/El...g2548a709.html the 5 conductor mini-coax bundle i should be using??
thnks
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post #18 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dag025 View Post

The HDMI over coax should be for for a single coax. I can't post urls because I don't have 3 posts, but if you google "NAB07: Gefen's Wireless HDMI is a Work in Progress" you will see they mention "Wa saw HDMI transmitting over a coaxial cable". Price is mentioned at $700 but that was almost a year ago FWIW.

If they can get all the bandwidth of HDMI over a standard old Coax cable, why would they even bother with HDMI? Manufacturers could just incorporate F-connectors into all their components rather than HDMI.

In my opinion, it won't happen. This kind of solution will only work over bundled coaxes like others have stated...

Carl

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post #19 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 08:59 AM
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It already is happening. Gennum has already produced speeds of 10gb/s over at least 75 m of Belden 1694A. This is what the Gefen product is based on.
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post #20 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dag025 View Post

It already is happening. Gennum has already produced speeds of 10gb/s over at least 75 m of Belden 1694A. This is what the Gefen product is based on.

Just went to their website. The only products that were named all involved 4 or 5 coax runs - not a single run. Am I missing something?

I know that the new Liberty and Gefen products that use multiple coax cables over cables like the Belden 1694A.

Carl

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post #21 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 09:15 AM
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post #22 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:

The link above is a white paper outlining how "we think we can do this and we think it will work". I didn't read the whole thing in detail (I'm not that interested), but did see several caveats including signal boosters etc.

Also, they are using (as you previously mentioned) the Belden 1694A coax as their test coax - a construction that almost nobody has already installed by itself in the wall of their home. More commonly, it is installed in groups of 3 or 5 depending on the application.

Based on the white paper, I stand corrected that this may be in fact possible. However, the expense required at either end of the coax will make this solution not practical for the near future.

Carl

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post #23 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooDi13 View Post

is this http://www.monstermarketplace.com/El...g2548a709.html the 5 conductor mini-coax bundle i should be using??
thnks

This is the type of construction that you need, but the manufacturer (Skywalker) is known to cut corners on constructions. I would not compare it to a Belden coax of similar design.

Carl

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Can we put this to bed? http://www.marketnews.ca/news_detail.asp?nid=3380

"announced a sender/receiver kit that will send an HDMI source with up to 1080p resolution with full HDCP compliance using up to 300-feet of a single line of RG-6 coax"
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post #25 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 11:07 AM
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That is what that article says. There are several other companies using the Gennum chipset to do HDMI over coax, and all of them are using multple coaxes. This includes Liberty, Ethereal and a couple others. If Gefen can do it over one coax, then they have a unique solution.
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post #26 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 11:28 AM
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Just talked with Gefen and it does appear that they are working to develop this product, but it is not available yet and it had not known release date. It is currently still in development.

I agree that this would be an interesting product if they are able to pull it off.

Carl

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post #27 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 05:48 PM
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For those that say it can't happen over one coax......what do most people have coming in to their house? One coax, right? And on that coax is what, telephone, cable (including HD channels - many of them), and internet. I realize that there is a cost to the boxes, say $600 each the cable companies may pay. So why can't someone take the HDMI video out, recompress it, then uncompress it at the other side? It would be less complex than what the cable companies are sending - a lot less. Perhaps this is the route Gefen is taking? I'm surprised others haven't as well.

HDTV.....or not......Is the HDTV picture quality we have come to love threatened? Will we look back at what we "used" to have? ........I hope not........
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post #28 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedders View Post

This is the type of construction that you need, but the manufacturer (Skywalker) is known to cut corners on constructions. I would not compare it to a Belden coax of similar design.

Carl

Thanks Carl,
And this type of cable shouldn't show any sign of serious signal degradation when run for about 120'?
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post #29 of 36 Old 02-19-2008, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooDi13 View Post

Thanks Carl,
And this type of cable shouldn't show any sign of serious signal degradation when run for about 120'?

Depends on what you mean by serious. Any length at all has attenuation and return loss. Most likely with a Belden (or Coleman) product over 125' you will not notice . If you are using Skywalker or some other off-brand: I can't say for sure. Belden says their 23 AWG mini coax will work with Uncompressed HDTV SMPTE 292M up to 210 feet.

Carl

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post #30 of 36 Old 02-20-2008, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tojohnso View Post

For those that say it can't happen over one coax......what do most people have coming in to their house? One coax, right? And on that coax is what, telephone, cable (including HD channels - many of them), and internet. I realize that there is a cost to the boxes, say $600 each the cable companies may pay. So why can't someone take the HDMI video out, recompress it, then uncompress it at the other side? It would be less complex than what the cable companies are sending - a lot less. Perhaps this is the route Gefen is taking? I'm surprised others haven't as well.

You're missing the point. Nobody said that coax doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to carry multiple HD feeds. We've all known that for years. What we are saying is that HDMI along with HDCP was developed as a content protected distribution pipe for digital distribution that in part satisfied the big media giants as to their fears of piracy. If you are able to take that HDMI and put it back to a single coax, kindof defeats the purpose doesn't it? Technically feasible sure.....But practical, we'll see.
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