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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Help with two monitors and different resolutions same receiver Denon units

I have three different full Denon Receiver setups in my house. Two of them have multiple monitors. Just upgraded to 4K and now I have issues. I first upgraded my living room/dining room to a Denon 5200 before DIRECTV came out with their 4K boxes and that's when I learned WAY too much about HDCP compliance. Thankfully, the shop I have used for over 25 years, Magnolia (now part of Best Buy) took my loyalty into consideration and let me swap the 5200 for a new 6200 for the price difference. I just had to eat the $200 Aura 3D upgrade cost. Oh, well. I also bought a 4200 for my bedroom/master bath, which luckily DID have HDCP compliance, so all good there. Here's the thing: both are set up with a second monitor. One 4K main monitor and the second in each setup is 1080p. Both second monitors have crazy cable runs that required busting up walls, ceilings, and routing under hardwood floors, so when those runs were done, I used double Cat6 lines that are converted to HDMI with Atlona Baluns. All good so far... Until you introduce a 4K source. The second monitor, whether used in mirroring or zone 2 setups, won't show the feed. Clearly, the Denon units won't downscale the 4K signal to 1080p, which is understandable. Although, earlier the second monitors were 720 and the mains were 1080 and even my older but now replaced and upgraded Denon units would play different resolutions between them automatically, which means they did down convert 1080p to lower resolutions simultaneously. I have run a straight HDMI connection across the room to see if the Balun was the issue and nope. That's not it. My biggest issue is the construction aspect of rerunning cables and then upgrading the second monitors to 4K, which would really add up and I really only care about the main monitors being 4K. Is there a down converter or some other way to achieve this post Reciever so my second monitors can view matching content. Full disclosure: this is really about gearing up for football season, which is why I have mirrored monitors all over. No pausing while grilling or peeing. I call that advanced civilization. ;). Please help! Thank you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS. I'm new here, and I now realize that hammering that all out on an iPad without really reviewing it large enough to gauge, I owe you all some paragraphs in the future. You have my word.
 

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And for more clarification, it's only 4K sources that are an issue. 1080p and lower hits both monitors just fine with my setup. As 4K becomes more and more accessible and, as I stated earlier... FOOTBALL! I need to figure this out. I'm seriously hoping there is a patch that can tide me through before breaking down and reconstructing. I'm also now wondering if it's that pesky HDCP issue that may be fouling my output signal to both monitor 2 scenarios, as neither of them would be capable of accepting the new compliance. Would an HDFURY or some other HDCP Stripper possibly fool the output to monitor two, or would I still be missing the down conversion needed from a 4K source to that second monitor running 1080p max in both cases, regardless of the means of signal transmission? Thank you!!
 

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And for more clarification, it's only 4K sources that are an issue. 1080p and lower hits both monitors just fine with my setup. As 4K becomes more and more accessible and, as I stated earlier... FOOTBALL! I need to figure this out. I'm seriously hoping there is a patch that can tide me through before breaking down and reconstructing. I'm also now wondering if it's that pesky HDCP issue that may be fouling my output signal to both monitor 2 scenarios, as neither of them would be capable of accepting the new compliance. Would an HDFURY or some other HDCP Stripper possibly fool the output to monitor two, or would I still be missing the down conversion needed from a 4K source to that second monitor running 1080p max in both cases, regardless of the means of signal transmission? Thank you!!
The Denons will only output the lower resolution of the two signals when outputting over HDMI to both zones.
 

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The Denons will only output the lower resolution of the two signals when outputting over HDMI to both zones.
If that's the case his secondary monitors wouldn't go blank, they would show the lower resolution.

The OP may have to set his output to 1080p when running dual displays. I'm guessing you don't have both monitors on all the time do you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Denons will only output the lower resolution of the two signals when outputting over HDMI to both zones.
Got it. That's been my unfortunate conclusion. To solve this, is there a unit or processor that can go in-between the Denon and monitor 2 to take a 4K signal and convert it to 1080p when appropriate? Hopefully, something "smart" that can sense 4K when it turns up and do this seamlessly without HDMI handshake issues on the output side? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If that's the case his secondary monitors wouldn't go blank, they would show the lower resolution.

The OP may have to set his output to 1080p when running dual displays. I'm guessing you don't have both monitors on all the time do you?
You are correct. My goal was to avoid "dumbing down" monitor one to accommodate the lower resolution of monitor 2. Lofty, but hopeful plans. And, to achieve this, I have to further reduce the actual source first to 1080p, so when using DIRECTV, if it's already recorded in 4K, it's unusable with that solution, regardless.
 

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You need a scaler that will down-scale a 4K signal to 1080p for that display. That would permit distribution of 4K to the 4K display, and a 1080p copy of the same signal to the 1080p display.

Here's one:
http://www.wyrestorm.com/catalog/EXP-CON-4K-DD

EDID from the display should just tell the scaler what to do. You'll want to feed it from an HDMI split or the second monitor output from the AVR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You need a scaler that will down-scale a 4K signal to 1080p for that display. That would permit distribution of 4K to the 4K display, and a 1080p copy of the same signal to the 1080p display.

Here's one:
http://www.wyrestorm.com/catalog/EXP-CON-4K-DD

EDID from the display should just tell the scaler what to do. You'll want to feed it from an HDMI split or the second monitor output from the AVR.
Thank you! I Got excited, but then I Just did a full check on that unit, and it's only HDCP 1.4 compliant, which is sure to give me problems with the HDCP 2.2 that both the 4200 and 6200 units require for both input and output over HDMI. That's the other and potentially much lager issue. It appears I may need both a scaling unit and HDCP Stripper, which may actually be illegal now, since there are several high profile lawsuits or cease and desist cases against HDCP Stripper manufacturers. Ugh. If someone has a proven and simple answer for this, I am anxiously awaiting your insight. Much appreciated.
 

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Thank you! I Got excited, but then I Just did a full check on that unit, and it's only HDCP 1.4 compliant, which is sure to give me problems with the HDCP 2.2 that both the 4200 and 6200 units require for both input and output over HDMI. That's the other and potentially much lager issue. It appears I may need both a scaling unit and HDCP Stripper, which may actually be illegal now, since there are several high profile lawsuits or cease and desist cases against HDCP Stripper manufacturers. Ugh. If someone has a proven and simple answer for this, I am anxiously awaiting your insight. Much appreciated.
Check with the manufacturer. HDCP 1.4 is kind of useless for 4K now, they should have updated the unit. A phone call would do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I spent a bunch of time on the phone with Denon. As expected, they confirmed output can only match lowest resolution of the two monitors and, of course, they offered no soltution to convert the feed to monitor two, post receiver, and also claimed ignorance whether HDCP 2.2 would have any effect, which I suppose it will.
 

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I spent a bunch of time on the phone with Denon. As expected, they confirmed output can only match lowest resolution of the two monitors and, of course, they offered no soltution to convert the feed to monitor two, post receiver, and also claimed ignorance whether HDCP 2.2 would have any effect, which I suppose it will.
The dual monitor outputs (if both main zone) act just as would most HDMI splitters (on or off an AVR) ... ie. only the lower of the 2 resolutions will pass.
 

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Do you only need the same content going to multiple displays when watching sports and other live television programming? If so then, for the time being, I would recommend forcing 1080p output to all displays when you want the same content going to both 4K and 1080p displays. There's only been a few sporting events that are even available in native 4K, so this wouldn't even impact the picture quality you are seeing on your 4K displays (assuming they have decent 4K upscaling capabilities), in most cases. This would eliminate the need for a downscaling device, at present.

Of course, the trick is to figure out how to force 1080p when you want to be able to watch content on the 1080p displays and 4K when you are only using the 4K displays. As previously mentioned, the receiver should present an EDID that matches the capabilities of your least capable HDMI-connected device by default. So, the first thing you need to do is figure out why they are not doing this. Are all displays connected directly to the HDMI outputs of your receivers or is there some sort of splitter/converter between them that is disregarding the EDID from the 1080p displays?

If they are connected directly to the receivers' HDMI output then does the behavior change if you power on the 1080p displays before powering on the 4K ones? If not, does swapping the HDMI output ports to which the displays are connected make a difference?

If there are external splitters/converters between your receivers and displays then do said splitters/converters have EDID mode switches? If they do then check to see what mode they are in and what each of the available modes does. Most will give you the option to either allow for the regular EDID auto mix (shared capabilities limited by the least capable device) or to use the EDID of the device connected to HDMI Output #1 only and disregard the EDIDs of devices connected to the other outputs. Some will allow you to enter your own custom EDIDs. Ideally, you would want one with at least the first two options and the ability to switch the EDID mode via. Remote control. That way you can set it to auto mix when watching content on your 1080p or both the 1080p and 4K displays and it would output 1080p (or lower resolutions) to all displays. And, you could set it to only take the capabilities of your 4K display (provided it is connected to HDMI Output #1 ) when you want to watch native 4K content on your 4K display(s) only.

In the future, I suspect that there will be more options for downscalers that would allow you to send native 4K to your 4K displays, while simultaneously sending downscaled 1080p to your non-4K displays. There just aren't very many affordable options out there now. Most likely, future 1080p displays (e.g. most displays smaller than 50") will be capable of accepting 4K content and downscaling it internally. However, this wouldn't necessarily help you as you might have to replace your cable runs in order to get the 4K content to the display, in addition to replacing the displays themselves. This is actually how your 720p displays were capable of getting the same feed as your 1080p displays. Your receiver was never doing any downscaling. It was simply passing (up to) 1080p resolution to all displays and your 720p displays were downscaling the video internally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ideally, I'd like to have 4K on the big 4K monitors alongside a 1080p version of whatever that is at all times. I gave myself till football season, because it's obvious that this will be the first season of live broadcast 4K continuous Seattle Seahawks wins, week after week, and I want to be ready. It was just a milestone I set a little way off, in electronics terms, because I learned some valuable lessons adopting 4K slightly too early to start with. Right now, I would just love for it to all work as seamlessly as it did before the upgrade. I'm currently also dealing with HDMI handshake and control issues, because of mixed legacy and new equipment, along with the regular HDMI BS that is further compounded by HDCP compliance. I would really love to figure out a couple of inline HDMI down converters that would just kick in when needed to adapt monitor two on both systems to handle potential 4K, which is really becoming Quite common.


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This is a tough situation. Your old Denon probably didn't down convert 1080 to 720 for your second display. Your second display probably could accept a 1080 signal and the display down converted it, that was common with many 720 displays. It is not common with 1080 displays accepting 4K signals yet. If you have a 1080 display that accepts a 4K signal and HDCP 2.2 it would work fine too. You could use an HDFury integral to convert to HDMI 1.4 and then use the Wyrestorm piece to downscale the 4K signal to 1080. Besides VERY expensive switcher/scalers that is the only thing I can think of besides changing your 1080 display to a 4K one.
 

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If you do decide to purchase a scaler to downscale the 4K to 1080p for your 1080p displays, while passing 4K to your 4K displays, just be aware that there may be video sync issues. Downscaling adds latency and not all scalers will automatically delay the "unscaled" video to match the scaled video. In fact, many can't even output both resolutions simultaneously, which means you'd need to continue using multiple outputs on your receiver (or another splitter before the scaler) rather than running all video thru the scaler. The video being out of sync may or may not matter to you, depending on whether or not you can actually see two displays at the same time and whether or not you can hear the audio that accompanies one while watching another. Latency could be anywhere from a few frames (hardly noticeable) to a few seconds (very noticeable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I've tried every input/output configuration and a few things became apparent. First, on my 4200 unit, which now has HDMI running to both monitors, as this was the easiest cable run to replace, while the other one is still too daunting. A few things happened: I'm now able to watch anything on the second (1080p) monitor, as long as it's not full 4K. I sometimes have to set the overall output to 1080p, which puts both monitors at 1080p, and then I can upscale on the one 4K itself. Usually, after I set the output to 1080p, I can then switch it to "auto" and then the 4K monitor gets an upscaled feed while monitor 2 remains locked at 1080p. If it's a full 4K feed, the Denon is clearly a pass through and unable to downscale. On my 6200 unit with the HDMI to cat6 balun for monitor 2, I can't get any picture at all anymore. If I do, it's only for a brief moment and then I lose it. That has to be the balun as the culprit. I may have fried it trying an HDFURY unit I got to try and strip HDCP back down to 1.4 Not sure. Next is to try a downscaler, which are popping up on the market steadily now, as people are faced with legacy integration and an obvious need for this has arisen.


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