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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It would be great to watch the HTPC recorded shows on the other 4 TV's in the house. One way to do this without the need of clients or servers would be to modulate the HTPC signal to an unused cable channel, say channel 70, and combine it with the existing cable channels. Now, every TV can tune to ch 70 and watch whatever's being shown on the HTPC. I've done this before with sat TV and it works ok.


Here's the main problem, the HTPC output is high resolution, in my case 1776 x 1000 component video and most RF modulators need composite video. There are component to composite convertors out there but the ones I found were a bit pricey


Another way would be a second video card. Guess it would have to be a PCI card, maybe a $15 ATI Rage. Is this feasible with Windows XP Pro ? Can you run two video drivers at the same time ?


Ken C
 

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I was going to look into using the HDTV signal distribution kit at Smarthome (can't post a link yet). Looks like it's pretty easy to expand. Don't know how good the quality would be, though.


That or maybe an HDMI splitter from Gefen combined with a couple of their extenders for longer cable runs.
 

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Condsider the LinkPlayer2 networked DVD player. It can playback dvr-ms, DivX, WMV, mpeg, .ts, AVI, including HDTV, plus audio files, including AAC, WMA, mp3 via a network from a PC to other parts of the house. It even plays back DVDs :)


Check out http://www.s1digital.com/Linkplayer2...r_p/dvdlp2.htm for more info (MOD: If I'm not allowed to post, please remove).


Sounds like it may be able to do what you want?
 

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I am doing this exact thing, except to channel 83 ;)


My video card has an s-video out, from there I use an svideo to composite adapter, and plug that into a 'CE Labs 2000SD Stereo RF Modulator'. The modulator is set to channel 83, and then spliced back into my regular cable which then is amplified and split to the TV's.


Let me know if this doesn't make sense, but it works pretty well.


Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by case
I am doing this exact thing, except to channel 83 ;)


My video card has an s-video out, from there I use an svideo to composite adapter, and plug that into a 'CE Labs 2000SD Stereo RF Modulator'. The modulator is set to channel 83, and then spliced back into my regular cable which then is amplified and split to the TV's.


Let me know if this doesn't make sense, but it works pretty well.


Cheers!
Exactly what I want to do. The HTPC video card, an ATI 9700 Pro also has an svideo output, but it seems to be disabled. If I unplug the component video the svideo works.


Are you using two video cards ?


The composite video needs to run at a different resolution than the 9700 Pro (1776x1000), probably something like 640x480, or whatever works with a standard TV.


Ken C
 

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So, what do you currently have connected again? I believe you can only have two displays active on the Radeon cards, so if you have a monitor connected, and a component through VGA, then you will need to disconnect one to connect the svideo.


In the display properties you can set the displays to 'clone mode', and it will auto detect that it is a tv display and scale appropriately.
 

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If you are using all the available outputs on your current card (or all the outputs it will let you use at once) you should try adding a cheap pci video card. I'm not sure about PQ but I know that in the past I have run an AGP video card w/ VGA and S-Video running at the same time as a PCI with VGA only, the S-Video was running at a different res than the two monitors also. If the card is cheap enough and you can return it, it wouldn't hurt to try. You may need some sort of software to clone the monitors rather than send them all different signals.


Good Luck.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by case
So, what do you currently have connected again? I believe you can only have two displays active on the Radeon cards, so if you have a monitor connected, and a component through VGA, then you will need to disconnect one to connect the svideo.


In the display properties you can set the displays to 'clone mode', and it will auto detect that it is a tv display and scale appropriately.


Unfortunately, I'm using the DVI to component dongle and the ATI manual says you can't use the DVI and svideo outputs at the same time.


Ken C
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by BFauska
If you are using all the available outputs on your current card (or all the outputs it will let you use at once) you should try adding a cheap pci video card. I'm not sure about PQ but I know that in the past I have run an AGP video card w/ VGA and S-Video running at the same time as a PCI with VGA only, the S-Video was running at a different res than the two monitors also.

Brian
Were you running Windows XP Pro ?


Ken C
 

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Yes actually the only system I have ever built with pro. I have also done dual cards on a machine using XP home, but it was only two VGA outs, no S-Video. I wish I could remember more details but I think that both cards in the XP machine were from the NVidia 4000 series, like a 4200 and a 4800 or something. I could do various desktop/monitor settings using NView desktop drivers/software, sometimes the S-video out was an extention of the desktop and other times it was a duplicate of the primary monitor.


Hope that helps,

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by BFauska
Yes actually the only system I have ever built with pro. I have also done dual cards on a machine using XP home, but it was only two VGA outs, no S-Video. I wish I could remember more details but I think that both cards in the XP machine were from the NVidia 4000 series, like a 4200 and a 4800 or something. I could do various desktop/monitor settings using NView desktop drivers/software, sometimes the S-video out was an extention of the desktop and other times it was a duplicate of the primary monitor.


Hope that helps,

Brian
I'm going to go ahead and order an ATI 7000, about $30, and give it a shot. The 7000 and the existing 9700 are both Radeon cards, so maybe only one driver, we'll see.


Of course, some sort of RF/IR Blaster house-wide remote system will now be needed. But that will come later, after the "beta" tests. :)


Thanks, guys,


Ken C
 

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Getting a second card will definitely work for you in XP.


For RF remote, I use the Firefly from Snapstream, and really like it. Great range, and customizable.


Cheers!
 

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Is there any possibilty of a "cheap" HTPC client extender? What would be required in putting together a cheap PC client that accessed the main HTPC and was able to view any recorded shows, or stored music or movies? Would it work well?
 
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