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post #1 of 18 Old 04-15-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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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?
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-16-2013, 05:22 AM
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As for stripping HDCP, how much of a risk is it really that a device's keys would be blacklisted?
zero, since HDCP along with all other BD/HD security features have been hacked years ago, nobody cares.

The E122 box seems solid. As you've said yourself, using a PC would be the alternative. I don't know where you saw a Matrox card for $3000, but you can realize such a setup with a $300 or $400 card.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-16-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fudoh View Post

zero, since HDCP along with all other BD/HD security features have been hacked years ago, nobody cares.

The E122 box seems solid. As you've said yourself, using a PC would be the alternative. I don't know where you saw a Matrox card for $3000, but you can realize such a setup with a $300 or $400 card.


A $300-$400 card will let you input HDMI and output HDMI to 4 devices? What cards can do that? I was looking on Matrox's site and it looked like I'd need the Mura MPX 4/2. I couldn't find an online price for it, but the 4/4 was over $4000, so I guessed the 4/2 would be around $3000.

Or are you talking about getting some type of HDMI capture card that can capture raw HDMI frames for further processing and then use a separate quad monitor card to output to the TVs? I know quad monitor cards aren't that expensive, though the software I'd need to use to do this may well be - plus I'm subject to the unreliability of a PC. I suppose this might be worth looking into though, thanks for the tip. If you have any suggestions for specific products I should look at on the PC side (especially software, unless it comes with the hardware) please let me know.

I wonder about the latency of a solution like this compared to dedicated hardware. I'd probably need to delay the audio somehow to account for this. Perhaps I would have to do that with the E122 as well.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-18-2013, 07:25 PM
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A $300-$400 card will let you input HDMI and output HDMI to 4 devices?
You can output digital to four monitors using most mid-class ATI cards with Eyefinity. You might need one or two DisplayPorto to HDMI converters, but that's ok. Matrox has phased out many of their 4x DVI cards and replaced them with Displayport cards. The DVI ones are still available though. Just check their website. You don't need the Mura series.

For input side you need a capture board, right. The cheapest Blackmagic will do it. Can be an external box as well if you like. They all take 720p60 and 1080i60 from your receiver (once HDCP's stripped). Startech PEXHDCAP might work as well.
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though the software I'd need to use to do this may well be
there's no special software you need. VLC (free) can do this for you.
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plus I'm subject to the unreliability of a PC
that's the down side yes, but I don't see any real problems, but then again if you add up everything, the E122 still seems like a good offer.
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I wonder about the latency of a solution like this compared to dedicated hardware.
minimal. BMD's capture cards and boxes have live preview. Unless you don't process the input, the delay is just 1-2 frames.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-02-2013, 07:49 PM
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I don't know how they work, but it looks like Ambery has a 2x2 HDMI system for ~850 that includes everything but the HDMI splitter and HDMI cables. If anyone tries it out, post how it works. With 40 inch Flat panels so cheap now, a whole 2x2 wall could be done for ~3k.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 06:14 AM
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Do you have a link to the Ambery 2x2 HDMI processor ?

In this price range I'd have suggested the Datapath x4. One DVI input for up to 4K, for fully confgurable DVI outputs along with all kinds of rotation, scaling, etc. About $1000 when I last checked. A friend just used one to build a commercial video wall of rather cheap Samsung 55" displays.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 08:50 AM
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Here is the ambery system

http://www.ambery.com/2x2hdvgaviwa.html
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-28-2014, 10:02 AM
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Can anyone give more insight into this? I bought 4 50" LCD's yesterday from Wal-mart for $900. I didn't realize there aren't cheap video wall processors. I am willing to pay $1500 for one but want it to work with HDMI and be as simple as possible.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-29-2014, 04:32 PM
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With this budget you should look into the Datapath x4 video wall processor. There's a version by EMS Limited (UK) as well, which should be a little cheaper. It's great, extremely easy to use and *very* flexible. Here's a short video of the x4:

I've reviewed the Datapath on my website as well: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/datapath.html

You set it up once using a PC. After that it fully works as standalone unit. Technically it's a DVI device, but you'll be fine. If your source uses HDCP protection you'll need a little helper on the input ($30 HDMI splitter).

PS: Here's the rebranded EMS version: http://www.ems-imaging.com/index.php...lers/xtreme4vs
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-01-2014, 02:12 AM
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The cheapest I am finding this is ~$1600. Is it worth $800 more than the amberry?
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-01-2014, 09:16 PM
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A real video wall is more expensive because you can individually calibrate each display. This way you get a consistent image color.

Depending on how picky you are and the nature of your application, you might be ok with a slight variation between the displays.

I don't know the calibration capability of the products mentioned in this post. But I'm familiar with a local company that produces high quality video walls and know that it takes a lot of engineering to display a well calibrated image across multiple displays.

Randy
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-01-2014, 11:31 PM
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one video wall processor can simply deal with that easily for 4 LCD screens, Or 2 led video processors.

What kind of effects do you need to realize? we manufacture video wall controllers and we can make the solutions for you.
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-01-2014, 11:49 PM
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This is for a tradeshow event. We basically want to run a loop, first a video of the tradeshow live to capture audience attention. Then we want to show a video that jumps between using all 4 screens to using 3,2,1. Total video time less than 10 minutes.
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-04-2014, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by harryz View Post
one video wall processor can simply deal with that easily for 4 LCD screens, Or 2 led video processors.

What kind of effects do you need to realize? we manufacture video wall controllers and we can make the solutions for you.
Hi, We are artFix London. We are looking to setup an inexpensive 2x2 50 inch video wall in our new Soho space, in London. Could you help? You may contact us at our info mail too. Thanks!
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-04-2014, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by George Neris View Post
Hi, We are artFix London. We are looking to setup an inexpensive 2x2 50 inch video wall in our new Soho space, in London. Could you help? You may contact us at our info mail too. Thanks!
Hi, George. We once exhibitioned this solution, i am not sure whether it meets your exact demands.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-04-2014, 07:29 PM
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hi George,

We once exhibitioned the solution the same as your requirement, i am not so sure whether it is what you need.

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post #17 of 18 Old 12-06-2014, 05:20 PM
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rs/
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post #18 of 18 Old 12-07-2014, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Fudoh View Post
With this budget you should look into the Datapath x4 video wall processor. There's a version by EMS Limited (UK) as well, which should be a little cheaper. It's great, extremely easy to use and *very* flexible. Here's a short video of the x4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWoVyyW-50

I've reviewed the Datapath on my website as well: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/datapath.html

You set it up once using a PC. After that it fully works as standalone unit. Technically it's a DVI device, but you'll be fine. If your source uses HDCP protection you'll need a little helper on the input ($30 HDMI splitter).

PS: Here's the rebranded EMS version: http://www.ems-imaging.com/index.php...lers/xtreme4vs
I bought this one off ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Video-Wall-C...vip=true&rt=nc

It looks exactly same as QNAP version but I can't find reviews online for it. I would like to know more. Someone told me that all video wall solutions are basically from one company who owns the patent to everything.
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