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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family and I are building a brand new Sports Bar from the ground up and should be complete within a month or two. I've been tasked with setting up the TV's and organizing a distribution system. We've had 3 professional A/V consultants come in but each one has quoted us for the project well over our budget. While doing a lot of research myself and also getting some very useful information from these 3 consultants, I decided that I will design my own distribution system that's more affordable.

Basically I'm trying to avoid installing some control software system (like control4). Our bar is not going to be a Buffalo Wild Wings so I don't think that's necessary at all. I decided that we're going to have 4 zones (1 for each Direct TV Box). Each Zone will consist of 4 TV's (55"). What I would like to do is have our employees have the ability to change the channel on either zone in our A/V closet. To accomplish this, I have each HDMI splitter, pushing their extra outputs into an HDMI switcher. That switcher will have a "loopback" TV connected to it so that when they're changing the channel on either zone within the A/V closet, they can see what they're doing.

Below is my design.


Now I'm working with a Salesman from HD TV Supply Online (can't post link) to help me get the hardware that I need in order to accomplish this design. However he's stating that I can't connect HDMI splitters into HDMI switchers because it might have issues.... He's also suggesting that I use Component Extenders rather than HDMI extenders because of "hdcp handshake issues"....however all three professional consultants I had onsite all suggested HDMI extenders.

So my questions are the following:
1) will this design work? I really don't see how it can't....
2) shouldn't I be using HDMI Extenders? Wouldn't it be a better signal and picture quality?
3) Can you get true 120Hz refresh rates through extenders? Every extender I see online only has 60Hz. I've already wired the entire Bar with Cat6e wiring to get the best picture quality. I was hoping to get true 120Hz out of it as well
 

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My family and I are building a brand new Sports Bar from the ground up and should be complete within a month or two. I've been tasked with setting up the TV's and organizing a distribution system. We've had 3 professional A/V consultants come in but each one has quoted us for the project well over our budget. While doing a lot of research myself and also getting some very useful information from these 3 consultants, I decided that I will design my own distribution system that's more affordable.
You should really listen to your consultants... AV is the lifeblood of a sports bar - if the system isn't reliable, flexible and well-supported, it could significantly impact your success...

The lack of switching flexibility - tying groups of TVs together that MUST watch the same channel - is a horrible idea for a sports bar. As is only having a total of four possible sources simultaneously. Minimal should be the number of simultaneous NFL games during Sunday afternoons, plus one for ESPN News and a spare for "something other than sports" (news, etc.).

So my questions are the following:
1) will this design work? I really don't see how it can't....
Work, probably. Is it what you should do - no. At the very minimum, use the DirecTV RF remotes so your staff can control everything without going to the closet - and ditch the 'loopback' setup as well.

2) shouldn't I be using HDMI Extenders? Wouldn't it be a better signal and picture quality?
Picture quality will be the same regardless - even if you use component video. But you shouldn't be thinking about anything except HDBaseT as a solution here.

3) Can you get true 120Hz refresh rates through extenders? Every extender I see online only has 60Hz. I've already wired the entire Bar with Cat6e wiring to get the best picture quality. I was hoping to get true 120Hz out of it as well
This shows why you need a pro. 120Hz refresh is a function of the display - not HDMI. 1080p/30 is what gets delivered, the rest is done by the display itself...

Yes, hiring a pro is not cheap - but this can make or break your business. You want to make sure it's done right.

Jeff
 

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jautor is right. You will probably end up spending more in the long run trying to do it yourself, especially in time, and then could end up having to spend more bringing in a professional when things don't work as expected. It's a cost that is worth the expense for a sports bar, especially considering that it's a life blood to a sports bars.

From what I gather, you've got, 12 TV's and a Projecter, with 4 sources? A matrix would make life so much easier on you. Whether it be a 20x20 HDBaseT Matrix or a JAP (Just Add Power) IP based system, it will be easier to manage on a daily basis and give you the ability to make sure everyone in the bar can watch any of the 4 sources at any given time.

Yeah, it may run $15 - $20k, but you've already figured some expense for the 4 Splitters and 1 Switcher, not to mention the 8x1 A/V Receiver, so drop those items and go with a single solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You should really listen to your consultants... AV is the lifeblood of a sports bar - if the system isn't reliable, flexible and well-supported, it could significantly impact your success...

The lack of switching flexibility - tying groups of TVs together that MUST watch the same channel - is a horrible idea for a sports bar. As is only having a total of four possible sources simultaneously. Minimal should be the number of simultaneous NFL games during Sunday afternoons, plus one for ESPN News and a spare for "something other than sports" (news, etc.).



Work, probably. Is it what you should do - no. At the very minimum, use the DirecTV RF remotes so your staff can control everything without going to the closet - and ditch the 'loopback' setup as well.



Picture quality will be the same regardless - even if you use component video. But you shouldn't be thinking about anything except HDBaseT as a solution here.



This shows why you need a pro. 120Hz refresh is a function of the display - not HDMI. 1080p/30 is what gets delivered, the rest is done by the display itself...

Yes, hiring a pro is not cheap - but this can make or break your business. You want to make sure it's done right.

Jeff
The lack of switching flexibility - tying groups of TVs together that MUST watch the same channel - is a horrible idea for a sports bar. As is only having a total of four possible sources simultaneously. Minimal should be the number of simultaneous NFL games during Sunday afternoons, plus one for ESPN News and a spare for "something other than sports" (news, etc.).
This is exactly how we want the setup to be, on 4 zones. Each one of these 'Professional' A/V consultants were quoting us for that exact same setup and had no issues with that design. The major difference is that they wanted to setup a controlling software on top to handle each zone remotely either through an iPad or a computer. These controlling software are extremely expensive and do way more (like lighting, HVAC, security system etc) than any small establishment like ourselves need. Also there is no need for more than 4 channels to be displayed at once. We're not located in NYC, we're located in a very small town, deep into NJ. For Sunday football, our customers will mostly be Giants, Jets and Philly's fan. Even if all three of those teams are playing at the same time, we'll even have a 4th zone for an additional game. There's absolutely no need for each one of our 12 TV's to have their own dedicated Direct TV box. To have our employees have to constantly go to each and every TV each time they need to change the channels, especially when more than half will definitely be viewing the same game is a waste of time and money.

This shows why you need a pro. 120Hz refresh is a function of the display - not HDMI. 1080p/30 is what gets delivered, the rest is done by the display itself...
Each extender has specifications with limits on them. Just because the TV's support 120Hz, (the TV's I'm currently buying will) doesn't mean you'll get that if you don't have the right extenders. As I already stated, the specs that I'm seeing these extenders online are being rated at 60Hz. I'm not sure if it's because there aren't any rated at 120Hz, or if I'm just looking for the cheap stuff apparently.
 

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The lack of switching flexibility - tying groups of TVs together that MUST watch the same channel - is a horrible idea for a sports bar. As is only having a total of four possible sources simultaneously. Minimal should be the number of simultaneous NFL games during Sunday afternoons, plus one for ESPN News and a spare for "something other than sports" (news, etc.).
This is exactly how we want the setup to be, on 4 zones. Each one of these 'Professional' A/V consultants were quoting us for that exact same setup and had no issues with that design. The major difference is that they wanted to setup a controlling software on top to handle each zone remotely either through an iPad or a computer. These controlling software are extremely expensive and do way more (like lighting, HVAC, security system etc) than any small establishment like ourselves need. Also there is no need for more than 4 channels to be displayed at once. We're not located in NYC, we're located in a very small town, deep into NJ. For Sunday football, our customers will mostly be Giants, Jets and Philly's fan. Even if all three of those teams are playing at the same time, we'll even have a 4th zone for an additional game. There's absolutely no need for each one of our 12 TV's to have their own dedicated Direct TV box. To have our employees have to constantly go to each and every TV each time they need to change the channels, especially when more than half will definitely be viewing the same game is a waste of time and money.

This shows why you need a pro. 120Hz refresh is a function of the display - not HDMI. 1080p/30 is what gets delivered, the rest is done by the display itself...
Each extender has specifications with limits on them. Just because the TV's support 120Hz, (the TV's I'm currently buying will) doesn't mean you'll get that if you don't have the right extenders. As I already stated, the specs that I'm seeing these extenders online are being rated at 60Hz. I'm not sure if it's because there aren't any rated at 120Hz, or if I'm just looking for the cheap stuff apparently.
The setup you have put together will work, kind of.

Using 4 speakers per zone off an A/V receiver is certainly questionable, since they aren't designed that way - at all. Typically you want to zone your audio throughout the space so you can regulate good audio for your setup appropriately. 16 speaker amplifiers are out there for not a lot of cash, and you can get appropriate audio switchers as needed.

Your video may, or may not work, reliably depending on the quality of the equipment in use. The reason that a large matrix switcher is often specified is because it reliability can take all the sources in, and connect them to all the destinations reliably. This doesn't mean that cheap setups don't work, but it often means that they are unreliable and cause headaches for the end users.

That's a huge deal. Unless you plan on all of your employees being A/V techs, you want something that they can figure out. You've talked to 3 consultants and you don't know what a 120hz television actually means, then argue when you are told it means something different than what you think it does. That's not a good sign if you want to play A/V designer.

It's also a bad sign when you believe that component video is somehow inferior in picture quality to HDMI video. Both HDMI and component will be delivering 1080i/60 (or similar) from your television system. Component eliminates all HDCP issues, and produces a far more reliable signal.

Want to be on a budget and get HD quality? You can pick up a 16x16 component video matrix switcher with analog audio switching for $250...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/EXTRON-CROS...T300-1616HV-/381394770748?hash=item58cce65b3c

That gives you a discrete HD signal to all of your displays, allows for you to put in as many component HD video sources as you like, and switch audio independently to a amplifier as you would like. Certainly is a low cost alternative.

Since you ran cat-6 everywhere, you will need some solution which utilizes category cabling within it, which will cost you about $500 per end point, or $6,000 for your 12 displays. That's a baseline for whoever you purchase from for reliable product. Perhaps a bit less for each Tx/Rx pair, but this won't be an inexpensive item to put in place.

I do agree completely that if you can use RF remotes with the DirecTV receivers, than the loopback monitor would make no sense at all. Just go out with a remote and control the TV that everyone is viewing. Very straightforward.

Control systems make things easy to use. Yes, they can do a lot more than lights, but they make it so that someone can control things on the very first day they start working. It takes the need to learn the A/V system out of the hands of people who are being paid to wait on tables or run a restaurant. Your choice if you want it or not, but you can always ask for a control system to not be used. That doesn't mean that quality gear shouldn't be used, and you shouldn't confuse cheap stuff as being the same as good stuff. Gear heats up, needs proper ventilation, needs to be properly cabled, and properly racked. Especially in a environment that may be hot, smoky, or greasy in any manner.

Frankly I would start off looking at your competition, and then seeing why people would want to come to your place instead of the competitions. Make sure you don't flub your setup by coming up short.
 

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This is exactly how we want the setup to be, on 4 zones. Each one of these 'Professional' A/V consultants were quoting us for that exact same setup and had no issues with that design.
You should haved asked them how they would design it, you'll get a different answer than what you've suggested...

Also there is no need for more than 4 channels to be displayed at once.
The problem is that, if you're wrong and need to add more flexibility, the system you've designed won't allow for it...


There's absolutely no need for each one of our 12 TV's to have their own dedicated Direct TV box. To have our employees have to constantly go to each and every TV each time they need to change the channels, especially when more than half will definitely be viewing the same game is a waste of time and money.
Didn't suggest that. Go look up "DirecTV RF Remotes". $25/each, allows remote control of a receiver from anywhere in the building. So you have one remote per "zone", labeled and stuffed behind the bar, and your staff can change channels in any zone without going back to the closet.

Just because the TV's support 120Hz, (the TV's I'm currently buying will) doesn't mean you'll get that if you don't have the right extenders. As I already stated, the specs that I'm seeing these extenders online are being rated at 60Hz. I'm not sure if it's because there aren't any rated at 120Hz, or if I'm just looking for the cheap stuff apparently.
Again, doesn't work that way. 60Hz is the top frame rate for HDMI signals, period. Higher refresh rates (120Hz/240Hz/etc.) are done WITHIN the TV, and have absolutely nothing to do with extenders.
 

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What's your budget and how technically competent are you? I'd second using analog video. If you don't need/want to matrix these screens, Minicom broadcasters and receivers go for very cheap on ebay and are reliable enough over cat 5. I would stay away from HDMI switchers, splitters, etc. What's the point for a sports bar?


If you want HDMI, drop the money for something like Just Add Power. Setting one of these up is really not that difficult.


iRule will work more than well enough for bar control and will cost you $100 plus whatever devices you want to put it on. If you're brave you can pick up a used pro audio DSP from bi-amp, QSC, Symetrix, etc and dive in. You can build something very powerful, reliable and intuitive, just expect to spend a lot of time doing it.
 

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if price is an issue, then I would suggest a Zeevee HDb2640 for the 12 tvs and a dedicated Directv receiver for the projector. With the Zeevee, you can add more tvs as needed. It's component video inputs, so you will need to use the proper Directv receiver accordingly.

Any tv can display any of the 4 sources and you just need the remote that came with the tv. Not HDMI so you wont have any HDCP, clock stretching or any other hdmi issues when dealing with splitters and selectors.

We don't know the speaker layout so we can't comment on that too much. Do you want different zones? How many speakers per zone? etc etc
 

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The 'Analog Sunset' happened a couple years ago. How do component video distribution systems still work? Are Blu-rays only affected? I still read of component distribution systems often used for new comercial installs.
 

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The 'Analog Sunset' happened a couple years ago. How do component video distribution systems still work? Are Blu-rays only affected? I still read of component distribution systems often used for new comercial installs.
Yep, only Blu-ray... New streaming devices (AppleTV, Roku, etc.) don't include analog outputs because they really have no need to. Set-top boxes (including sat receivers) still do - the FCC wasn't keen on abandoning early HDTV users with pre-HDMI displays... Oh, and because their commercial customers deployed a lot of analog distribution gear that would make them non-competitive if they dropped the outputs!
 

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Yep, only Blu-ray... New streaming devices (AppleTV, Roku, etc.) don't include analog outputs because they really have no need to. Set-top boxes (including sat receivers) still do - the FCC wasn't keen on abandoning early HDTV users with pre-HDMI displays... Oh, and because their commercial customers deployed a lot of analog distribution gear that would make them non-competitive if they dropped the outputs!
Thanks, Jeff.

OP, hire a pro to design, if not to install. This is a lot of money, and it's not as easy as you think.

You may be able to get some assistance from a manufacturer, though they tend to support their dealers by referring inquiries to them. Try ZeeVee, Zektor, and JAP.
 
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