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Like many people posting in this forum, I'm moving into a new house soon. One of the bennefits (or curses) of this new place is that I'll have more rooms in which to put TVs. In "the old days" that wasn't a problem because you could always split the input signal, buy enough cable/sat boxes to cover all the rooms, or in a worst case, you could record on one VCR and then put the tape in the inexpensive VCR in any of the rooms and watch it delayed. In the modern world of PVRs and time shifting, everything's different. To truly enjoy my new house, I need to be able to record via PVR a program, and watch it form any TV in the house, maybe even switch TVs mid program. That leads me to a distribution system.


What I have when I move in:


A "Data Center" which has a punch block, Ethernet switch, and UPS. This area will also house the multiswitch, DSL/Cable modem, and firewall etc. The house has also been wired (some what) with Cat5. Fortunately, the previous owner agreed to leave all spooled Cat5 and wall jacks when he leaves. Considering that and the fact that I used to run cable for a living, whatever needs to be run, will, whether it be Cat5, RG6, or even DAS. I would also like to keep all my IRDs and PVRs in this area.


My first stop was to a local hard core AV shop where I got info on the ChannelPlus (and ChannelVision) products of modulators which will do almost what I want for a price of about 1,000 USD. I was told that I could get one modulator with 3 in/X out that will let me use UHF channels to pick which PVR I am watching, and then use a combination IR hub with IR blasters and discreet RC station codes to pick which PVR I am controlling and manage everything that way.


I have two main questions about these types of products.


1) Is this the appropriate price for this type of setup? I have no problem paying more for purchasing something from a B&M when that B&M truly helps me out, but simply being a B&M would not be justification for a 200% markup if that is the case. Can any one tell me how much this type of system should cost for hardware only, no cabling?


2) Is what was explained to me truly the best way to handle this? It sounds like with this configuration, after I buy all this equipment, it would still require me to use two seperate sequences on two sperate remote controls or blow another few hundred dollars on learning, macro remotes so that I can tell the device which input I want to watch and control. That's not to mention the quality aspects.


I was hoping that whatever I do, I'd be able to choose the input, and it would be smart enough to automatically route all IR commands to that input. I understand that with UHF bands on RG6 there's no way for the "hub" to know which input I've selected, but why isn't there a product that does do that (Or is there)? I was hoping for something that wouldn't take me down to UHF quality anyway. Ideally I could run S-Video or Composite to the TV. I don't plan to bring the Cable/Sat signal strait to the TV anyway, so modulation into unused bands isn't really important. I guess, what I would love to have is a form of client/server system. Something where I can get a "server" or "hub" which is similar to the ChannelPlus products. Then get a set top box as a "client" which is an IR target and communication tool back to the server. They would communicate with each other via RG6 or Cat5, and use a networking protocol to send the data as opposed to NTSC over UHF. Could such a protocol be used without degradation? Even if it were still analogue, it could use more bandwidth than one channel to get a better signal. Is such a product available? If so, does it cost significantly more?


I looked at a bunch of threads here before posting, but I didn't see any detailed information. I also tried to go to www.channelplus.com, but I cannot reach the site (DNS Servers are AFU).


Thanks in advance for any help and advice.


Daniel M. Pomerantz
 

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Try worthington Distribution www.wothdist.com


They have about the best prices for ChannelPlus, ChannelVision, etal.


As far as your question about the right way to go, there have been some discussions concerning modulated channels and signal quality. I plan on using the ChannelPlus Bidirectional 3x8 amplifier/IR/Distribution Hub 550BID (Be sure you use a Bidirectional Distribution panel for Pay-Perview and Sat). As long as signals are balanced and attenuated properly, I don't think that there would be any significant degredation.


I don't know of a product that operates such as you describe, but If it exists, you could be sure that it would cost well in excess of the distributed/modulated system.


As far as you $1000 price tag, I don't know all the equip you were quoted, but here's an idea of what it costs from worthington:


3x8 Bidirectional Video/IR distributor $195.00

3 Input Modulator (mono) $230.00 *** I would go with MTS Stereo which is about $560 for 4 inputs


Good Luck
 

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I've been very happy with channel plus. I've found the signal quality to be very good. Their remote IR system is exceptional also. I would agree with the previous post that the 5645 mts stereo modulator is the way to go. With four channels you will have room for expansion such as a door cam / security in the future.


Also, Lee Griffin at homedirector.com has the channel plus ir accessories for a great price, only $20. About 10% of retail. He has the following in his kit:


2100A Power Injector

2010 IR/Reciver

2132 Target

7172 Emiiter


Retail of thes items is near $175.00!
 

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There is a product from Xantech which is doing exactly what you are asking in terms of routing the IR signal. You have to specify the input you want to control and then it is the normal IR code.


Look for the RT8 or the RT16. They have instruciton manuals that you could download full of schemas explaining the installation and behavior.


Hope this help!
 
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