Is an inexpensive video wall possible? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 04-15-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
dsiebert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Laguna Beach
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
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?
dsiebert is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 04-16-2013, 05:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Fudoh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 1,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
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.
Fudoh is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-16-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
dsiebert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Laguna Beach
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
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.
dsiebert is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 04-18-2013, 07:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Fudoh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 1,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Fudoh is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 11-02-2013, 07:49 PM
Newbie
 
volzalum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
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.
volzalum is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 11-03-2013, 06:14 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Fudoh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 1,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
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.
Fudoh is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 11-03-2013, 08:50 AM
Newbie
 
volzalum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Here is the ambery system

http://www.ambery.com/2x2hdvgaviwa.html
volzalum is offline  
Reply Video Processors

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


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