I'm trying to find a way to build a 2x2 video wall using a satellite receiver's HDMI output as the source and 4 50" - 60" plasmas (or LCDs, they seem to have smaller bezels) as the display. It turns out this is a lot more complicated than I first assumed. I know there are options to easily get to that size using a projector etc. but that is not an option here as it will go in a room that is all glass walls facing west. I did a lot of googling and tried to narrow down my options, but price seems to be what is narrowing down my options more than anything.
There are commercial displays that have the video wall capability built in, but they're $2000-$3000/ea, which is stupid when I can buy 4 50" TVs for the price of one of those commercial displays. No way I'm spending $10,000 on this project - for that money I could probably come pretty close to 100" in a single display! There are solutions using graphics cards from Matrox, and perhaps AMD and Nividia as well, but the Matrox card alone is at least $3000, and I'd need to someone hide the PC that it would need in the wall. Pass.
So a dedicated video wall processor would seem to be the best/only alternative, but most are many thousands of dollars with all sorts of capabilities for various formats and huge numbers of displays. Much more capability than I need, as all I want is 2x2, all the time. Fancy configuration and flexibility is wasted on me because I would just configure it once and then never touch it again. I found some that appear to be somewhat reasonably priced, like the $1200 Dido LT, but it turns out you need FOUR of those to do a 2x2 video wall! I would have thought that surely someone has built a basic 2x2 HDMI in / 4xHDMI out video wall, but I guess not. Or is that out there and I'm just not finding it when doing searches related to video walls?
I found one less expensive alternative. IEI's VWBOX-E122 is under $1000, takes one DVI input and has 4 DVI outputs. Converting HDMI to DVI and back again is trivial, but it appears this device doesn't do HDCP which may present a problem for me because I believe the Directv receivers enforce it. I know there are some devices out there that strip HDCP, so maybe I could work around that, but I'd run the potential risk that the device's key gets blacklisted, then a future Directv firmware update could render my setup useless.
Does anyone know anything about this VWBOX-E122 unit? Will it do what I want, or is there something I'm missing here? Spending nearly $1000 for a video wall controller is more than I thought it would cost when I first started researching this, but considering how crazy expensive everything else is, I almost wonder if this is too good to be true and I'm missing something obvious here and this will not do what I believe it will.
As for stripping HDCP, how much of a risk is it really that a device's keys would be blacklisted? Is this done regularly, or since the master key was cracked a couple years ago have they sort of thrown in the towel and put their efforts toward working on a new stronger version of HDCP they'll undoubtedly require for 4K content?