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Using One HD Box for Two TV's (with a twist)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I've reviewed various threads here and elsewhere on a topic similar to this, but I haven't seen one that addresses my issue.

I am a Brighthouse Networks cable subscriber using a Samsung DVR HD Model SMT-H3270 box on my main living room TV which is a Mitsubishi 65 inch rear projection. This Mitsubishi does [u]not[u] have HDMI so I am using component cables between the Samsung box and the Mitsubishi TV.

We just bought a new Panasonic 46 inch plasma TV for our bedroom. We will be mounting the new Panasonic on the wall and directly on the other side of the wall is where the Samsung box is located. Hence, I was hoping to use my current Samsung box on both the Mitsubishi and the Pansonic TVs fully understanding that I will have to watch the same thing on both TVs at any given time (whether it be TV or DVR recorded programs).

The problem is that when I tested my idea before putting any holes in the wall, I couldn't get both TVs to work at the same time. Basically I connected the Samsung's HDMI output to the Panasonic's HDMI input (via an HDMI cable, obviously) and connected the Samsung's component cable and digital audio output to the Mitsubishi (which is how it always is connected btw). But as I said I can't get them to display at the same time. When the HDMI is connected to the Pansonic TV the Mitsubishi TV won't display. When the HDMI is removed from the Panasonic, the Mitsubishi will display again like normal.

My assumption is that the Samsung box doesn't allow you to use both the HDMI output and the component output at the same time. The only reason I'm not sure is because I tried the same thing with another TV but this time I used the HDMI for the Panasonic TV and used regular composite (yellow, red, white) on the second TV and I was able to get everything to display on both TVs at the same time. Again, I'm assuming here, but I was wondering if that method worked because the HDMI was outputting HD and the composite cables were outputting non-HD.

So, I guess my questions, or guidance I'm hoping to get from someone more experienced than myself, are:

(1) Can anyone confirm that a Samsung DVR HD Model SMT-H3270 cannot send an HD signal though the HDMI output and the Component output at the same time?

(2) Maybe more importantly, can someone think of any options that will allow me to use the Samsung DVR HD Model SMT-H3270 box on BOTH the Panasonic TV via HDMI and the Mitsubishi TV via component cables and the digital audio cable at the same time?


If both TVs had HDMI I saw some threads discussing a work about via an active or passive splitter but that isn't a fix for my situation since both TVs don't have HDMI - hence why the thread title said "with a twist."

And, I should mention that I understand that I can simply rent another HD box from Brighthouse for $8.00 per month - I may just do that, but I'm not sure our planned usage in terms of how often we'll watch "TV" on the bedroom Panasonic justifies another box if I can find a work around to allow me to use the Samsung DVR HD Model SMT-H3270 box for both TVs.

Thanks for any suggestions.
post #2 of 20
I don't know about that specific box, but based on your testing, I believe the Samsung box won't output HD on both HDMI & component video at the same time.

My suggestion is to use a 1 in, 2 out component video distribution amp, and run component video cables with L/R stereo audio to both locations.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

My suggestion is to use a 1 in, 2 out component video distribution amp, and run component video cables with L/R stereo audio to both locations.

Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. I was so happy to finally have a TV with HDMI that it hadn't occurred to me the component was a common denominator between the two TV's. I guess my only hesitation is, finally having an HDMI capable TV, I hate to resort to component cables for it. But it is an option I guess.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

EDIT - looked at a few of the component distribution amp hubs and they are not cheap.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawtyger View Post

Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. I was so happy to finally have a TV with HDMI that it hadn't occurred to me the component was a common denominator between the two TV's. I guess my only hesitation is, finally having an HDMI capable TV, I hate to resort to component cables for it. But it is an option I guess.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

EDIT - looked at a few of the component distribution amp hubs and they are not cheap.

While I also like to use HDMI I agree with KenH that a component distribution amp is your best bet. Unfortunately as you've found they are more a "commercial" item and as such aren't cheap
It's somewhat common for newer HDMI boxes to disable other outputs when using HDMI IMO this is probably to detour people people from using HDMI to a display while also recording from its component or even composite outputs.
I kind of wish forum sponsor Monoprice.com sold such a distribution amplifier(it would probably be a decent price) unfortunately I've never seen that they do.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawtyger View Post

I guess my only hesitation is, finally having an HDMI capable TV, I hate to resort to component cables for it.

For HD cable channels, which are either 720p or 1080i, component video is the technical equal of HDMI video. On occasion you'll find a box or HDTV that processes one better than the other, but in general they should look the same.

Quote:


...looked at a few of the component distribution amp hubs and they are not cheap.

Radio Shack has a good one for $50. http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=4049758

Look at Monoprice for 5 channel (component video & stereo audio) cables.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
What about using an HMDI to DVI conversion cable since my Mitsubishi TV has DVI. If I had this conversion cable, couldn't I perhaps get an HDMI distribution amp and hook it to the Samsung HD DVR and then run one HDMI to HDMI cable to the Panasonic TV and run the HDMI to DVI cable to the Mitsubishi TV.

I guess the benefits I saw were (1) this allows HDMI to be used on the new TV instead of resorting to component, and (2) the HDMI 1 in 2 out boxes look to be a little cheaper in price.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawtyger View Post

What about using an HMDI to DVI conversion cable since my Mitsubishi TV has DVI.

This is an option, but you'll then have to also run analog stereo audio, since DVI has no audio capability. Sets with DVI input will have analog stereo audio input that corresponds to the DVI video input. You could run HDMI to the Mitsu and get a breakout box for the audio, but those are not cheap. It would give you the HDMI video that you would use the HDMI to DVI adapter for the video and optical audio out (maybe analog audio out is also available?). Most HDTV's with DVI video in only accept analog audio in, so you may also need a digital to analog audio adapter, that can take multichannel audio and output stereo analog audio.

Quote:


I guess the benefits I saw were (1) this allows HDMI to be used on the new TV instead of resorting to component

As noted above, it's not necessary a benefit.

Quote:


(2) the HDMI 1 in 2 out boxes look to be a little cheaper in price.

Look at the overall cost of all the cables and amps.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For HD cable channels, which are either 720p or 1080i, component video is the technical equal of HDMI video. On occasion you'll find a box or HDTV that processes one better than the other, but in general they should look the same.

...if you consider going D->A, through noise susceptible analog cables, through a noise inserting distribution amp, then more analog cables, then A->D to be same as keeping it digital all of the way.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

...if you consider going D->A, through noise susceptible analog cables, through a noise inserting distribution amp, then more analog cables, then A->D to be same as keeping it digital all of the way.

I know you're big on the theoretical advantage of doing things like this digitally, but real world results are what count. If done properly, component video works as well or better (zero handshake issues) than HDMI for 1080i & 720p HD resolutions. I've been doing this with hi-rez computer video for decades at over 200' distances, and more recently have done HDTV comparison testing up to 50' distances.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For HD cable channels, which are either 720p or 1080i, component video is the technical equal of HDMI video. On occasion you'll find a box or HDTV that processes one better than the other, but in general they should look the same.

Radio Shack has a good one for $50. http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=4049758

Look at Monoprice for 5 channel (component video & stereo audio) cables.

Ken, I missed this post. I may try this if I can get it at the local Radio Shack and it can be easily returned if it doesn't work. Just need another set of component cable too the.

The one thing I'm confused about is I currently run audio to the Mitsubshi via a digital cable between the Samsung DVR and my Yamaha receiver for the audio for the Mitsubshi TV.. Would I just leave this the same and just run red and white audio to the Panasonic TV?
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For HD cable channels, which are either 720p or 1080i, component video is the technical equal of HDMI video. On occasion you'll find a box or HDTV that processes one better than the other, but in general they should look the same.

Radio Shack has a good one for $50. http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=4049758

Look at Monoprice for 5 channel (component video & stereo audio) cables.

Nice price and pretty decent reviews, I also agree and have experienced little to no difference comparing HDMI to Component, I mainly like HDMI because one small cable does it all but as you said handshaking can be an issue at times.
Can't argue with MP for cables, good cables at a great price. My only complaint is at times they are rather thick and stiff but some of that could be due to heavier materials which isn't all that bad MP does sell HDMI splitters should the OP decided to go that route.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawtyger View Post

The one thing I'm confused about is I currently run audio to the Mitsubshi via a digital cable between the Samsung DVR and my Yamaha receiver for the audio for the Mitsubshi TV.. Would I just leave this the same and just run red and white audio to the Panasonic TV?

Yes, if the Mitsu is getting audio now, that can stay the same, as long as you can assign the existing audio input to the DVI video input, which would be done either automatically on a few sets or more typically by menu setting.

And yes, you can use the 'red and white' analog stereo audio to the Panasonic.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

I know you're big on the theoretical advantage of doing things like this digitally, but real world results are what count. If done properly, component video works as well or better (zero handshake issues) than HDMI for 1080i & 720p HD resolutions. I've been doing this with hi-rez computer video for decades at over 200' distances, and more recently have done HDTV comparison testing up to 50' distances.

Agree to disagree, I guess. I've never seen a TV that didn't look better with a properly adjusted video section and HDMI rather than component. Especially when the source was a Cisco/SA DVR. The OP didn't have a Cisco/SA DVR, but I can't imagine his having superior D-A circuitry.
post #14 of 20
The OP can still use an HDMI input on the Panasonic to connect a BD player.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Update:

So, I go to my local Radio Shack and get the 1 in 4 out component video distribution amplifier. I also got some cheap component cables to test how this idea will work as discussed above. Again, the idea being that I'll use my Samsung HD-DVR in the living room on the Mitsubishi TV also with my new Panasonic TV in the bedroom utilizing the distributor and running composite cables from the living room distributor to the bedroom Panasonic TV knowing that we will only be able to watch the same thing in both rooms.

Then, right before I get started my wife says "you know, I really want to be able to change the channel, stop and start a live show, and play back a show on the DVR." Seriously?

So, I start looking online for what I think are called IR blasters and I'm a little confused. Do these work through walls?

I guess I either need (1) something that works through walls so that if we want to change the channel in the bedroom the controller will work through the wall and change the channel via the Samsung box in the living room, or (2) something that I can attach to the Samsung box and run through the wall to the bedroom so that I can use the cable remote in either the living room or the bedroom.

Any suggestions?


$8.00 a month for a cable box is looking more attrative.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawtyger View Post


Then, right before I get started my wife says "you know, I really want to be able to change the channel, stop and start a live show, and play back a show on the DVR." Seriously?

So, I start looking online for what I think are called IR blasters and I'm a little confused. Do these work through walls?

I guess I either need (1) something that works through walls so that if we want to change the channel in the bedroom the controller will work through the wall and change the channel via the Samsung box in the living room, or (2) something that I can attach to the Samsung box and run through the wall to the bedroom so that I can use the cable remote in either the living room or the bedroom.

Two options:

1) RF remotes that work through walls to control equipment in other rooms. The Harmony brand is usually a good starting point, and has the benefit of controlling all the equipment you have (up to the device capacity of the Harmony remote bought).

2) You can run cable to carry the IR signal. It'll be connected to an IR receiver at one end an IR emitter at the other, both being powered.

An IR blaster is an emitter with a wide, powerful emission. It still requires line of sight to the equipment you want to control.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

1) RF remotes that work through walls to control equipment in other rooms. The Harmony brand is usually a good starting point, and has the benefit of controlling all the equipment you have (up to the device capacity of the Harmony remote bought).

Anyone have any experience with how reliable these RF remotes actually are when going through a wall - total distance from remote to unit through wall would be less than 25 feet?

I saw the URC-RF10 MasterControl Learning Remote at Radio Shack (http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...uctId=11929773)

And

The URC-MRF-100B PowerBlaster RF Base Station at Radio Shack (http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...uctId=11913987)

I could get this combo for about $80 and this seemed to be the most reasonably priced by a lot.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

2) You can run cable to carry the IR signal. It'll be connected to an IR receiver at one end an IR emitter at the other, both being powered.

Regarding option 2, I guess these also come in wireless versions like the following Next Generation Remote Control Extender - http://www.amazon.com/Next-Generatio...2662245&sr=8-2

Anyone happen to be using the Next Generation Remote Control Extender?

I guess one of the benefits of not just getting another HD box for $8.00 per month in the bedroom and instead going with the component distribution box and an RF option is that we would be able to watch DVR recorded programs in the bedroom. A multi-room DVR apparently costs $30 per month (instead of the $18.00 we currently pay for the HD DVR we currently have) plus $8.00 for the extra box for the bedroom which is out of the question.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Additional Update:

I went ahead and hooked up the component amplified distribution box and it works as advertised. I am able to see and hear what is being outputted by the Samsung DVR box. I don't see an degradation in the quality of either TV.

I haven't run anything through the wall yet, just tested it in the living room by bring the Panasonic to the living room. Given that this option would allow us to watch in the bedroom something we have recorded on the DVR in the living room, I am thinking that is a benefit over just getting an addition separate regular HD box for the bedroom. As an added bonus, if I hook up the wall cable directly to the bedroom TV, we can technically watch different TV channels in each room albeit the bedroom TV would be limited to non-HD 1-99 channels (I'll just send my wife to the bedroom to watch her show there should she want to watch something different)

Now I just need to decide whether to buy an RF remote or run an IR cable. I'm wondering if a hard wire setup would be more reliable?

If anyone can think of anything I haven't or any potential issues, let me know - I'd like to have this think nailed down before putting any holes in the wall.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
When you all mentioned an IR emitter and receiver, were you referring to something like this - http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Infrare...695694&sr=1-15

I actually have what appear to be IR emitters from my Mitsubishi living room TV which I never setup (probably didn't know what they were) and look like the emitter cable with the eye and the end that plugs in. I guess that emitter was made just for the Mitsubishi TV because I don't see a similar type plug in on the Samsung HD box.
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