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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my idea: to have 1 (or maybe 2) computers with 3-5 tuner cards installed, with each of these cards hooked up to 3-5 monitors around the house.


This raises a number of questions:

1/ What card? It would need to be a digital tuner (no HDTV necessary) with TV-Out. Hauppauge has a digital, but no TV-out. The Radeons have TV-Out, but apparently are not digital.


2/ Can I put more than one card in one computer? What sort of CPU would I need? I would also be using the computer for video recording, like Snapstream or something similar.


3/ Can I run composite or S-Video cables long distances (say, 50 ft.)?


4/ Is there a switch (IR, RF, and/or computer/ethernet controlled) that will allow remote switching of video and audio signals? The idea here is to allow a particular monitor to remotely "choose" between the video cards.


5/ Is all this just a ridiculous pipedream?


Thanks for any help.
 

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My take:


1) Don't think any are out yet...


2) Yes, but not doing what you intend. Two cards recording in the pc at the same time wouldn't produce nice results....regardless of CPU. The throughput to the harddrives would be what kills all quality.


3) Yes.. I've seen and heard of S-Video cables that long without a hitch. Most don't use S-Video the whole way, and instead use a Cat-(5 or 9, not sure wich, you'd have to check)as the long run.


4) Yes.. Sima makes a remote switcher.. You would of course need to include a whole IR-RF to RF-IR POWERMID type scenario to make the controller reach the switch so that you could change it on the fly (if not located in the same room as you).


5) Yes... Sorta. The video cards you need are comming, but your setup itself sounds kinda wierd.


Take mine for Example: I run a pc out to a RF Modulator, this coverts the pc's signal to COAX (takes over Channel 3). This is fed into a switch (1 is the modulated PC signal, the other is normal TV), and then distributed throughout the house. I use the Powermid's to send the remote signals back to the PC and into the pc via IRMAN and GIRDER to allow me control of the PC. It's a nice setup because I can watch a computer file/dvd on any TV in my house, etc or switch the switch to go back to normal TV.... I haven't gone with the remote switch yet....so I must physically switch the switch.


Your idea sounds similar, except, if you want each monitor switchable in itself, you must run two wires to each monitor or have 5 (depending on the amount of monitors) switches. I've done the running two wires approach in my Living Room to allow someone to watch PC output upstairs, and regular TV downstairs. But this forced me to run 2 lines all the way to a switch in my living room and then to my tv.


Basically, the easiest setup is to have a single Video Distribution Area.. with lines comming in from all Monitors. Then, Have (depending on Money) the most switches you can afford (remote would be difficult, because one remote switch can't be used twice or when you flick on one switch, you'd accidentally flick them all). I don't know of any remote switch inwich you could change the IR signal to make them act seperate. So in effect, remote would'nt work in this scenario.


So actually, your best approach would be remote switches in each room. The remote would only activate that switch inwich your in. Two wires must be run to each switch though to allow it to switch correctly between two inputs. Your talking alot of wiring. Then to control the pc, you'd need some type of IR-RF RF-IR Powermid type thing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for all the info. The "Video Distribution Area" is really what I'm aiming for, and I thought that having a centalized "server" with multiple digital tuners would be the answer. But, you've pointed up a lot of potential problems. Obviously, you would not be able to remote control identical side-by-side tuners since they would all respond to the remote commands.


As far as CPU power, I think the only answer would be separate computers for each card I wanted to record from - at least two so that I could record two shows at once.


Aside from the wiring hassles, all of this starts sounding really expensive.
 
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