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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

So this is part of a bigger project. My long term goal is to have a media server and feed audio/video content in every room. I will be running 2 or 3 cat6 cables in every room. I have an existing coax in every room and what I'm trying to do is to place an antenna in the attic and feed that to every room. I can buy this (Leviton-47690-8C-Passive-Splitter-Bracket) from amazon but not sure how to feed other content to the rooms using the same cable (may not be possible). At this point I don't have much knowledge on how to accomplish and what I can accomplish. I'm doing quite a bit of reading but I could use some simple case studies if you have any.

I would be very interested on learning what people have done and possibilities. Like I mentioned, my primary goal is to have media delivery and networking. So please share your ideas and suggestions. The reason for posting my plan here is to get critic comments so I can refine my ideas and explore possibilities. And stay on the tight budget I am.


Thanks and appreciate any input.
 

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What other content do you want to feed the other rooms? In what format? HDMI? Component? Mixed? Your diagram looks spot on for getting OTA from antenna to the rooms. Do the tv's in those rooms have QAM or ATSC/NTSC tuners? You may be able to use a QAM modulator (do a web search) to inject one or more signals into the stream to go to each tv. As I don't know your budget, I can't tell you if it's cost-effective for you.


The other alternative is to use the cat6 you are running (1 pair, leaving 1 for networking) to setup either a component+audio or HDMI over cat6 matrix distribution system (again, web searches will turn up many options, and there are several threads on here re: same). With HDMI, one drawback is that it works to the lowest common denominator because of EDID requirements - so if you have a TV that is 1280X720, one that is 1366X768, and a third that is 1920X1080, the signal that will be sent to all is 1280X720 (the highest signal accepted by the worst tv in the batch). When I looked at these 6-12 months ago, I don't recall any of them pushing high-def audio signals either, but that may have changed. Again, you haven't spelled out your requirements, so it's just a guess at this point as to what you want to distribute and to where.


Just remember, money makes almost anything possible, so it's a matter of how much you are willing to spend to solve your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike,

Thanks for your response. At this point, I'm not sure what I wanna feed in each room. I know people talk about HDMI on every room but what content do they serve? The reason I plan to drop a cat6 in each room so that I can run windows media center or something similar on my media server downstairs and feed content over ethernet in all rooms. But not sure if you'd still need to run component/hdmi in each room! I wanna learn what people are doing within a limited budget (~$1k) and decide what I want to do. I'm just looking for ideas and see what grabs my attention. As you mentioned you can do anything but I wanna know what people are actually doing and I've been reading the threads.

What would you do if you had an unfinished basement where you wanna put a theater and feed audio/video in the theater and other rooms?
 

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Since you are really looking for ideas right now, I'll give you a brief recap of my layout to give you an idea of what I'm doing:


(1) I have an OTA antenna upstairs that, like you propose, is distributed to tv locations via an rg6 splitter.


(2) I have a cable box that is distributed to all tv locations using a component over cat5 a/v matrix. This feeds 2 tv's with component video and analog (stereo) audio, and 2 with component video and digital audio (up to 5.1). The particular matrix I have also allows to distribute additional rg6 feed, so each of my tv's gets an OTA feed (#1 above), a cable feed (RG6) and the cable BOX feed (component over cat5). I did have more sources (dvd megachangers), but those are being pulled based on my new #3 below.


(3) I have a Windows Home Server (60 terabytes) that holds my dvd and blu-ray collection in iso format. This is connected to my home network. I have networked media players (in my case, Dune) at each video location that playback (stream) the ISO files (along with music and photos) from my WHS over the network.


So you can see I have a mix of distribution - RG6, component over cat5, and network.


So, here is the first and only thing you need to think about right now:


*** what sources do I want to feed my tv's:

OTA? (seems like a yes based on your first post)

Cable or Satellite?

If yes to Cable/Satellite, how many boxes AND how many users?

DVD?

Blu-Ray? (if yes, then would is your minimal acceptable audio quality?

Streamed media? (again, seems like a yes based on your responses).

If yes to streaming, then what type of player do you want? (Hint, this is where your Wii and PS3 come in).


ONCE you come to grips with what you WANT to watch on your tv's, then we figure out whether it makes sense to centralize or localize specific items, and then determine a distribution plan, because just about anything is possible. Don't focus on HDMI or anything else until you decide what your sources are.


If you stop there for now, things will be less confusing. Focus on that question above and answer that, then we'll go to the next step. Right now, I'm working with someone in another thread and he's trying to put his hands around everything and in the process missing a lot. Do NOT pass go, let's get the source question answered first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike thanks for sharing your setup.

My sources would be at this point,

1. The digital audio and video library I have

2. OTA

3. Streaming media (netflix, hulu, Amazon VOD)


I will get back to you again with more detailed response.
 

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Mike pretty much hit the nail on the head... I've been looking for the same type solution as Spider (but I know what I am doing - been in IT for 11 years and AV industry for 9) trouble is there isn't an "easy" solution.


Google things like Mythbuntu, XBMC or Boxee. It'll get you on the right track. OTA and cable you can capture and stream across the network, avoiding the whole "convert HDMI or YUV to cat5 and then back" scenerio as it's expensive to do. Get it in the computer, get another to receive the stream and enjoy! PS3 can absolutely do this, Wii I believe can not (Netflix yes, stream from network no).
 

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a. what's in or what's going into each room..


b. what's the network requirements of each room (tv, consoles, pc's laptops, dvr/brr so on and so forth??)


c. what the load will be on the port??


d. looking at fibre solutions between switches...


sadly to do this job correctly you will need to look at a whole heap of things before you do anything and sadly you're already out of your $1,000 scope build already, you better save some more cash before you attempt to anything as you're short alot of cash...
 

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If you have an existing coax in every room, have you considered running HDMI over the coax in rooms that you want HDMI? If you do a search for HDMI over coax, I know that Gefen makes some. That way you won't have to run wires.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider9 /forum/post/20871991


Mike thanks for sharing your setup.

My sources would be at this point,

1. The digital audio and video library I have

2. OTA

3. Streaming media (netflix, hulu, Amazon VOD)


I will get back to you again with more detailed response.

Ok, so til you get back to us, just a quick comment or 2 based on the above:


1. Digital Audio & Video - you can send via network to media players at each display location (less expensive) or centralize a player and distribute via component/hdmi (more expensive and worth it only if you have other like sources to distribute (doesn't sound like it).

2. OTA - looks like you're covered with existing solution.

3. Streaming media - what devices do you have capable of this? Or do you need to purchase? Same as #1 - you can choose to centralize if you NEED to, but most people have inexpensive media players at display locations connected via network to your central media source(s).


You haven't indicated how large this distribution will be - based on the Leviton product from your first post, I'm guessing 6 or less?


If you are building a LARGE network, I'd say that mystic_sniper's questions are good things to look into. However, if you are going to be small (most "average joe" homes), then questions (c) and (d) become less important - you can accomplish what you want with quality consumer-grade equipment without the need for fiber between switches (in fact, you probably will only have one switch!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Answering mystic_sniper's questions

a. what's in or what's going into each room..


Each room would have a tv and a game console or some device that can play media from a NAS or a media server.


b. what's the network requirements of each room (tv, consoles, pc's laptops, dvr/brr so on and so forth??)


the only networked equipment in each room would be the gaming consoles or some media capable networked device. laptop/tablets will be using the Wi-Fi. I may leave a spare Ethernet port just in-case. I don't want any dvd/bd player in any room. as I want to digitize every media I have.


c. what the load will be on the port??


can't say what the load would be. I will install a gigabit switch in the basement and run cat6 in each room. should be plenty for serving media. In terms of load, at max, there will be two devices playing something simultaneously, one PC, and maybe two wireless devices on the network.


d. looking at fibre solutions between switches...


Not an option because of cost.



I would also like to add that, If I get a cable/satellite box, can I broadcast that on my tv's without placing that by each tv?

gregmosercts mentioned I can get the OTA or cable on a computer and stream, but that takes away the freedom to watch different OTA channels in different rooms as you'll be using a single tuner on the pc and no the the tv tuners. I have used Myth TV and will probably be using something similar once I build my new media server, or is it better just to have a NAS to store it all and I use the clients connected to each tv to play the contents. it would be nice use the same software on each location to stream but not sure if that's possible.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider9 /forum/post/20880930


I would also like to add that, If I get a cable/satellite box, can I broadcast that on my tv's without placing that by each tv?

You basically have 2 options (that I can think of) if you get a cable/satellite box and want to centralize it - (1) a component or HDMI matrix (generally over cat5), or (2) a QAM modulator that injects the signal into your RG6 feed to each tv. I'm not sure (2) would work, but in theory it should, as you'd be taking the output of your box and sending it to the modulator for injection into the RG6 signal sent downstream to the tv's.


Neither option will be inexpensive (i.e., large expense to only have cable box centralized).


There is kind of a third option I'm researching for myself - using a Tivo, and a WHS add-in to pull Tivo recorded content over to the WHS, from which I can playback from a media player (though I am trying to figure out what file format and whether a conversion is needed on the server first). And of course, this would only work for cable (and OTA if the right Tivo box is used). This would require all time-shifted viewing as well.


A comment on using a pc with cable - if you get a 4 tuner cable-card tuner like the Ceton unit, it is my understanding that you can "assign" tuners to different units (think they have to be pc's or wmc devices). That way, up to 4 locations would have a dedicated tuner. I may not be stating this exactly correct - search on the Ceton tuner and you should find the answer. That would solve your problem with different locations seeing different channels. As I recall there were some downsides to this, but I don't remember what they were. Just do a search for it. I may have seen it in the Houston-Comcast thread here on AVS - some of those guys have Ceton tuners.
 

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This biggest challenge I found with video distribution is the content that my family watches. We watch live (broadcast) TV, video-on-demand, recorded shows/movies and pay-per-view. We have ComCast cable.


The VOD and PPV means interactive, or 2-way, services. A video matrix could (I haven't tried this yet) handle this. However, we watch recorded content. The preferred solution here is something like Media Center.


Of course, then you consider streaming content, like NetFlix.


I haven't found a single distribution scheme to really handle how my family "currently" watches TV. My current plan is to gradually shift my family's TV viewing habits and [hopefully] narrow it down a bit. Once I can limit our viewing habits to fit a distribution solution then I'll go for it.


(By the way, I wired out the waazoo...for various possibilities)


Of course, before any of that happens I probably sell everything and move to a small cabin in the mountains...no TVs...just the wife and I...and the critters!
 

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ok, you probably should take a look at the ZeeVee stuff (zeevee.com). I use this equipment in our commercial facilities because you can set up multiple channels on a single coax cable and simply turn the channel locally to get the source output that you want. We use them for digital signage. I think ZeeVee has the right idea and in the grand plan you can take any HD source, inject it into a normal cable stream (ie in parallel with your regular house cable) and control the source using upstream IR products. Unfortunately, if you are looking to control more than one or two HD sources, the setup can get pretty pricy. Give it a year or two, though and the technology will bloom for home use.
 
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