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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Folks. So I am working on a small project and trying to eliminate one of my HTPCs. Long story short, I have one HTPC for the living and one HTPC for the Bedroom and office. The HTPC for the bedroom\office uses a single video card with an HDMI splitter. Works perfectly btw.

Here is what I am trying to do: I moved all my equipment to one closet and have everything connected with super long HDMI cables. What I want to do is eliminate the bedroom\office HTPC. And use the main HTPC for ALL the TVs, living room and the bedroom\office TVs.

What I need is a good video card! Up to $200. 3D capable. I am not a gamer so just good video quality, but nothing too crazy. Just something where I can watch very high quality movies. Dual HDMI or......

Questions:
1. Is it better to do Dual HDMI (which kind of limits my options) or may be get a good card that has one HDMI and one DP and use a DP to HDMI adapter? Not sure if that's done or not. I know DP also carries sound, but I need some input since I've never done it that way
2. Since I've never actually set things up this way, I am assuming that as long as I "Duplicate Displays", I should not get them extended as if I have dual monitors next to each other, right?
 

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I wonder how long these super long HDMI cables are.

Also,.... before you get useful recommendations for a video card I think you need to specify the rest of the hardware in the box.

How are you "doing" 3D? ... This could also define your video card needs. (When some people say 3D they are talking about games with 3D-type graphics like a first person shooter... but you mention it's not for games... So, I'm just curious how you have 3D setup or maybe that's part of this upgrade notion.) (I've just decided to keep my 3D discs separate from my HTPC and play them back directly with 3D BD players. It's easy and when you setup 3D you have other little things like getting the glasses charged and ready and so on so putting a disc in is no trouble.)


Typically,... I think 1 HTPC is fine but I think usually people put a small client box at additional locations and use networking rather than long HDMI cables and dual displays.

Of course,... nothing wrong with doing it your own way I suppose.... I wouldn't want to count on my machines dual video output though... sounds difficult. Edit - Will you play different video at each zone but at the same time?

-Brian
 

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What I need is a good video card! Up to $200. 3D capable. I am not a gamer so just good video quality, but nothing too crazy. Just something where I can watch very high quality movies. Dual HDMI or......

Questions:
1. Is it better to do Dual HDMI (which kind of limits my options) or may be get a good card that has one HDMI and one DP and use a DP to HDMI adapter? Not sure if that's done or not. I know DP also carries sound, but I need some input since I've never done it that way.
First I think you need to understand active v. passive adapters and DP++ ports that are on most computer gear. I have explained this before (unrelated thread but my post here is related to DP adapters in general):
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-ho...hdmi-2-0-adapter-2160p-60hz.html#post30251066

Secondly most modern video cards support multiple displays, there are even low-end AMD cards with Eyefinity for example. Since you're not gaming there's no need for any high-end GPUs of any sort, just one that will support as many monitors as you need, in cloned configuration.

So even if the card has one HDMI and one or more DP (which is actually the more common case these days) the fact that most DP ports on PC equipment are DP++ ports means they can also function as HDMI ports (with passive adapters). So the type of ports is not all that important other than you may have to use passive adapters. Check with the manufacturer/product specifications for the specific model card you plan on buying to see if it will support all the displays you're trying to connect.

2. Since I've never actually set things up this way, I am assuming that as long as I "Duplicate Displays", I should not get them extended as if I have dual monitors next to each other, right?
Right, though keep in mind some types of media playback are prohibited from being displayed on cloned displays (e.g Blu-ray and other DRM-protected content). In this case you either have to have defeated the DRM and/or be using a player that lets you play in cloned mode.

Your other problem might be audio. AMD cards only allow HDMI audio for one port IIRC. It used to be that the one port also had to be the primary display but they did away with that requirement since Catalyst 14.10 or somewhere around there and you can now assign audio to any connector. However I think this still allows only the use of one HDMI audio stream but I'm not sure as I've never tried TBH. The DP audio streams are separate I believe and you can use multiples there but the only way that works for you is by using an active DP-HDMI adapter. Also keep in mind DP does not support DD or DTS (either lossy or lossless), only PCM output. If you're just using TV speakers/TV audio, it won't be a problem though.

Nvidia cards I'm not sure but I think it's similar to how AMD has worked since later Cat revisions (previously Nvidia was more flexible prior to AMD changing to be more in-line with others).

I wonder how long these super long HDMI cables are.

Also,.... before you get useful recommendations for a video card I think you need to specify the rest of the hardware in the box.
I wonder these things too, along with what audio configurations are in each room. I'm guessing his 3D requirement is 3D-video and not gaming.
 

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How are you going to control the playback on the screen that is some distance away from the source?

Use the wired network instead of HDMI to carry all of your signals, then at the TV do the conversion.

Depending on what you watch, you may be able to get away with just an XBOX360.
 
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