So this idea came from Dave Harper. Credit given where credit due.
You can use this method to play back any source through madVR. I tested some 1080p netflix content and had madVR upscale it to 4K. Looked great.
To make this work, you need a Monoprice Blackbird HDMI over IP extender. These are $129 here: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=39686
What this does is takes an HDMI input and encodes it as an IP stream on your home network. You'll then use a PC based IP player to play back the stream using the RTSP protocol. There are some limitations. First, the HDMI input only accepts 1080p. Second, the stream is reencoded on the fly, although I found the reencoded and madVR upscaled netflix looked better than just playing 1080p netflix. Since the device is only 1080p, it may be unable to handle any HDR. I haven't messed with this yet.
My plan is to throw it out there for anyone else that wants to expand on this and polish the process. I will also do more testing when I get more time. I'm sure a lot more could be done to polish this process and there's a good chance we can get it to do more than I have gotten it to do thus far. I'll lay out the steps if anyone wants to buy one of these and experiment.
Other areas this would be useful would be running 1080p sports through it from a TV tuner or youtubetv app on a player and using madVR's uspcaler to output 4K sports. In fact, this might be very useful.
Here are the steps:
- Get a source player. Apple TV, NVidia shield, roku etc. We will call this PLAYER moving forward.
- Get the monoprice blackbird linked above. You only use the transmitter. The receiver stays in the box unopened. We will call this BLACKBIRD moving forward.
- Hook up HDMI from PLAYER HDMI out to BLACKBIRD HDMI input.
- Hook up HDMI output from BLACKBIRD to TV or display. (This may be optional, I haven't tested).
- Using CAT5 cable, hook up ethernet from BLACKBIRD into your home network.
- The BLACKBIRD manual says that your BLACKBIRD will be on IP of 192.168.10.10, however, I found this was false. It defaulted to DHCP and was on my network. I found it looking in my router.
- Any video and audio going through your PLAYER will be rebroadcast over your home network.
- You can connect to this stream using the rtsp protocol such as rtsp://192.168.1.127/live/main/av_stream
- Now, the manual says you can use VLC to play back this stream. But there are direct show players that also can play streams.
I tested using zoom player.
- Open zoom player
- Right click and "Open", "Open streaming link", paste in the URL from above (replacing the IP with your BLACKBIRD IP). The stream will start playing
- If you've configured zoom player to use madVR, it will load madVR and madVR will be doing its thing.
I had a severe audio sync delay issue here, but I'm sure that can be addressed by adjusting the delay value in software or AVR input etc. Also, my nvidia shield was set to 60hz on my 1080p TV so it only output 60hz. This caused the stream to be encoded to 29.97fps instead of 23.976 fps. Need to test if changing the shield to 24hz first and/or removing the display altogether makes any difference here. Unfortunately, I don't have a 4K TV in the house, so testing this requires me to move a streamer back into my theater and attach to my HDCP capable AVR.