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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have several of my movies archived digitally. I would like to essentially have them hosted in my server closet and then use the existing coaxial cable ran through the house to be able to display the content on the TV's.


The big thing here is that the home has four TV's in different rooms, although all of the coaxial cable run into a utility type room. I would like, if possible, to be able to stream the digital content to select TV's and not others (such as if I am watching a action movie and don't want little eyes to see it on their TV).


I can setup a windows home server if necessary but I need a little assistance on what would be needed to basically take the content and transfer it through coaxial cable. Is there a standalone box that does this or could I do this with some type of linux or windows machine with certain devices made by other manufacturers?


By the way, i'm looking for a few different options so that I can weigh pro's and con's. Any advice?


Thank you in advance!
 

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Sounds like you're thinking about locating the player in your wiring closet, and distributing audio/video from there. I'd do something different, locate a player at each TV, and distribute the digital bits from the wiring closet. You wouldn't even have to use your coax, save that for distributing CATV or satellite, and just use cheap Powerline adapters to get the bits to your TVs. You also avoid the problem of how to get your remotes to work through walls and across multiple levels in your house.


Any solution that involves distributing baseband or ATSC modulated HD video and audio, or HDMI over coax is going to be more expensive than putting a player at each TV. You can do SD video cheaply of course with an RF modulator and distribution amp, but I'm assuming you want HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue /forum/post/19590844


Sounds like you're thinking about locating the player in your wiring closet, and distributing audio/video from there. I'd do something different, locate a player at each TV, and distribute the digital bits from the wiring closet. You wouldn't even have to use your coax, save that for distributing CATV or satellite, and just use cheap Powerline adapters to get the bits to your TVs. You also avoid the problem of how to get your remotes to work through walls and across multiple levels in your house.


Any solution that involves distributing baseband or ATSC modulated HD video and audio, or HDMI over coax is going to be more expensive than putting a player at each TV. You can do SD video cheaply of course with an RF modulator and distribution amp, but I'm assuming you want HD.

Its going to only be used for movies... so DVD's right now. I don't know, in a few years probably all Blueray level content. Although this would be in digital format on hard disks in the "server" (whether it be linux baesd ,windows, proprietary... i'm not sure, can someone shed light on this subject?)


I don't want to have a receiver at each and every TV. That is why I was thinking that the best solution for me would be to go through coax wiring which is already located throughout the house and all terminated at the same wiring closet (where I could locate the media server).


Remotes are irrelevant. I may be thinking a bit outdated, but i'm thinking about something simple like tuning to channel 3 and the movie is playing. However, again, one thing I want to do which i'm not sure if there is a product that does it but I may want to block a few out of the coax lines if I don't want the movie playing there. Each TV wouldn't have the ability to pause/rewind/etc.


The idea is that I can sit on my coach with ipad or wireless laptop and tap into the server (web based or through remote login VNC) and pretty much say "play" and then specify what rooms I want it to play on. The rooms will have absolutely no control over functions such as pause/rewind/etc, only the man tapped into the server through the network (me!)


Costs are not as important as getting what I'm looking for.
 

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That's a much simpler problem to solve then, put an HTPC (or media player you can control with an iPad) in the closet feeding into an HDMI splitter, and then use HDMI over coax to distribute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue /forum/post/19592195


That's a much simpler problem to solve then, put an HTPC (or media player you can control with an iPad) in the closet feeding into an HDMI splitter, and then use HDMI over coax to distribute.

What about the requirement of blocking some rooms?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuJaX
What about the requirement of blocking some rooms?
Kind of pointless for me to respond, since you're not capable of implementing any of this on your own, and whoever you hire to set this up will be able to solve a simple problem like that. But just off the top of my head, you could use an HDMI extender plugged into a remote control AC outlet, a remote control HDMI switch, or a full blown Crestron system controlling an HDMI matrix switcher.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuJaX
Its going to only be used for movies... so DVD's right now. I don't know, in a few years probably all Blueray level content. Although this would be in digital format on hard disks in the "server" (whether it be linux baesd ,windows, proprietary... i'm not sure, can someone shed light on this subject?)


I don't want to have a receiver at each and every TV. That is why I was thinking that the best solution for me would be to go through coax wiring which is already located throughout the house and all terminated at the same wiring closet (where I could locate the media server).


Remotes are irrelevant. I may be thinking a bit outdated, but i'm thinking about something simple like tuning to channel 3 and the movie is playing. However, again, one thing I want to do which i'm not sure if there is a product that does it but I may want to block a few out of the coax lines if I don't want the movie playing there. Each TV wouldn't have the ability to pause/rewind/etc.


The idea is that I can sit on my coach with ipad or wireless laptop and tap into the server (web based or through remote login VNC) and pretty much say "play" and then specify what rooms I want it to play on. The rooms will have absolutely no control over functions such as pause/rewind/etc, only the man tapped into the server through the network (me!)


Costs are not as important as getting what I'm looking for.
No offense, but in this day and age, that is a pretty lame and inflexible setup. Dont you think the individuals in each room would like to watch what they want, when they want, and be able to say pause when they have to goto the bathroom? Maybe your a control freak though.

You are going to get the best picture quality and functionality by having a dedicated player at each TV set connected throught network IP. If you are worried about parental levels, you can organize content and shares such that say the kiddes rooms dont have access to the adult content, while the adult rooms have access to everything. Good luck. BTW-using coax will give you a ****** image quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello and thank you for the responses.


qz3fwd - I do realize that this setup may seem lame and ancient, but it is exactly what i'm looking for. It isn't a matter of costs, its a matter of complete control using what I already have in place (which is coax). I do understand that quality will downgrade by taking a signal and pushing it through coax, but it is a requirement of mine. I also understand about classifying movies myself and then blocking certain types, but that would require a seperate box (i assume) at each TV which is one thing that I need to avoid unless it is a tiny box that can just be stuck on the back of the tv.


jhue - I'll have to take a look at some of those Crestron switchers. If they are programmable or have the ability to transmit information to the main server and I can use coax cables then it may be a good route to look to go for the "control" aspect of what i'm looking to accomplish.


Again, I do completely understand how non-optimal this setup will be. I'm looking for advice based upon what i'm looking to have happen rather than what would be the best route because again, I have to use coax, I cannot have tv set boxes at each tv, unless they are small enough to stick to the back of the tv without being seen and I need to be able to block certain rooms non-physically (through server software/windows home server/linux/web based/etc or whatever primary software route i go)


On a side note, this is sort of a project for me. I'm not looking to have some home automation company come in and do this. It is more of a learning experience/hobby/etc to see if i can't get all these requirements fulfilled.
 

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I presume that you want to take the signal from one device and output it over coax to several TVs? If so, I figure your best bet would be to take control of what the device is sending and then buy four cable modulators (one per TV). Maybe something like this . They will only take an S-video signal, which will only carry SD and the TV you're sending it to will have a degraded video signal over channel 3 or 4 which will probably look "crappy" on many HDTVs...but if you don't care, that's fine. Besides, anything that will take an HD feed and modulate over coax in QAM will be several times more expensive (like thousands of dollars).


Now you split your s-video (or composite) input to each of the cable modulator boxes from the streaming device (or PC). You then control that streaming device via laptop, how will depend on what streaming device you choose and I'll allow you to figure out that part.


Now, to control which TVs can actually "see" that content. I figure the easiest method is to control power to each cable modulator connected the TVs. If the modulator is turned on, then it'll send the output of the device to the TV (on channel 3 or 4), if not, then it won't and channel 3 (or 4) on that TV will be "empty".


So...how do you turn the cable modulators on/off? I say you use an X10 network and get a bunch of X10 power relays.


Does all this sound like a big huge kludge to me...? Yes, certainly. Does it do what you want...? I suppose. Does it sound like a waste of money...? To me, yes
.


edit: All of this presumes that your coax runs to each TV are "home-runs". Meaning you have four cable wires in your utility closet, one from each TV.
 

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saying cost isnt a matter, but you want to use existing coax?


coax is the same size as cat6. you could cut the coax, tie cat6 to it and pull it through the wall. would be super quick and easy to run your individual cat6 lines.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue /forum/post/19592195


That's a much simpler problem to solve then, put an HTPC (or media player you can control with an iPad) in the closet feeding into an HDMI splitter, and then use HDMI over coax to distribute.

Umm...that isn't possible. I can't find an HDMI over coax converter that requires less than five coax feeds per HDMI run and they are all around $200! It'd be expensive and he doesn't have enough coax runs to use it.


Edit: ok, I lied, there is a Geffen unit that is nearly $800 that'll do it over one RG-59/RG-6; so $3200 for four TVs....
 

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For delivering content I'd look at Coax MoCA (Ethernet over coax). Sure it will require a media player at each TV but you'd gain control over what content is viewed at each TV. To control the ability to view local (streamed) content you could configure the players not to store share permissions (place different media types on different shares). Looks like it would roughly run $400 (5 adapters) outside of the server side and media players ($400?) plus you'd gain the ability to stream different online content at each TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by takagari /forum/post/19603221


Or you could go with a media box that has wifi.


and done?

Probably but more than likely if won't stream Blu-ray through-out the house which was an (ultimate) goal. But in the future who knows...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior /forum/post/19602936


Besides, anything that will take an HD feed and modulate over coax in QAM will be several times more expensive (like thousands of dollars).

Right now the entry price for an HD modulator appears to be about $2500, for a ZVPro 280. They ZVBox 170 will do 720p but not 1080i, for half the price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuJaX /forum/post/19602701


jhue - I'll have to take a look at some of those Crestron switchers. If they are programmable or have the ability to transmit information to the main server and I can use coax cables then it may be a good route to look to go for the "control" aspect of what i'm looking to accomplish.


On a side note, this is sort of a project for me. I'm not looking to have some home automation company come in and do this. It is more of a learning experience/hobby/etc to see if i can't get all these requirements fulfilled.

Crestron is only installed by dealers, even the new low cost Prodigy line is still not DIY.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R /forum/post/19603242


Probably but more than likely if won't stream Blu-ray through-out the house which was an (ultimate) goal. But in the future who knows...

Was the plan not to stream it over coax? may as well be divx/xvid. BD would be wasted once down converted to go out over coax
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The reason why the termination point has to be coax is because I have to maintain the coax cable and not replace with cat5/hdmi.


Any really good sources for DIY type projects like this (web store or physical brick and motar store)?




This is how my I see this outlined.


Server (windows media server, boxee, linux based, etc doesnt matter)

->Has an output of HDMI or something similar that will broadcast video/audio


-->Goes into a video/audio router which will be able to push to a few devices (lets say 4) using the existing coax cable. Quality isnt that important because the TVs are not HD and don't have HDMI anyway. Router has the ability to enable/disable port to basically block output to specific TV's. As someone mentioned, it may be a simple power on/power off type mechanism. The idea is that I can control this through the Server


--->TV goes to specific channel, such as channel 3 and if that TV is enabled then there will be video and audio.


The biggest thing is that the existing coax has to be maintained. I could attach something to the back of the TV, but it has to be small. Nothing "desktop" size. The TV's are old and small.


Again, this isnt a cost problem, it is simply having to work with what i'm dealing with because this is in a commercial environment. It isnt a high demand or high quality type environment. It is almost, in my opinion based upon my konwledge of the project, more of an experiment.
 

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If HD is not a requirement then just use the cheap analog RF modulator approach as suggested above, with a distribution amp whose power you can control via remote control to shut off rooms as needed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by takagari
Was the plan not to stream it over coax? may as well be divx/xvid. BD would be wasted once down converted to go out over coax
With Ethernet over coax you could stream at least one uncompressed Blu-ray at a time (more than likely two). But if you are using the TV's coax yeah it's more than wasted.
 
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