A/V switching AND distribution in new house construction.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by CRyan, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Ok. This is either getting really complicated or easier - not sure.

    So here is the deal. Home Theater room will house a media closet that will control and distribute all audio/video sources throughout the house including the theater room.

    So what do I need? I need a way to switch between four HD video sources and then distribute those sources to four different locations including the theater room itself.

    Not only do I need video, but I need to also distribute the stereo signal along with it. The theater room will be the only room needing multiple channel audio (7.1).

    To confuse matters a little more, I will also be distributing audio only to speaker locations throughout the house as well for just music. These speaker will simply be in-wall for casual around the house listening.

    So I want to be able to watch and listen to HD cable throughout the house (DVD as well). I have no need to see different channels at the same time, so I can get away with using only one cable box located in the media closet. Also, I just want to use the monitor speakers to listen to said sources. No need for additional speakers here.


    I need?:

    Component video switcher
    Component video amplification distributer
    Stereo switcher
    Stereo amplification distributer


    I guess I am envisioning a switcher with all sources going in and only one set of cables coming out. That cable would then need to go into the amplification distribution box where that one signal would be split and amplified to all needed locations. Is this right? Is this going to kill quality?


    Is my house going to become obsolete using component cables? This really scares me.

    Am I on the right track?

    C. Ryan
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Uhhhh....

    You have a bit of a complex situation: 4 HD sources going to any of 4 destinations. You also need to send DD5.1 to each of these places because DD is the sound standard for HD video.

    This is if you try to have a HD decoder box in one location.

    Then it gets worse when you want to control the source from any of 4 rooms so you need feedback/control signals throughout the house.

    There ARE systems that will do this, but it may be cheaper to simply have HD decoder box's at each TV location. This way you split the feed and simply run coax to each location.

    I'm going to move your post to the "HT Construction and Interiors" fourm where it may get better response.
     
  3. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Yes, 5.1 is the standard, however, I plan on having it donconverted to 2 channel for all viewing areas except the theater room. I don't need 5.1 in the kitchen, nor do I want a decoder box in there - hence why I will be using the monitor speakers instead of external ones.

    Simple design, clean instalation, central location for sources are all paramount here.

    Something else I will need is remote IR sensing. Forgot to mention that one.

    So what products do I need to consider?

    I am not really worried about the construction and installation of said system, but more intersted in the products and accesories I need to make this happen.


    Thanks,

    C. Ryan
     
  4. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    I may be scrambling to incorporate similar elements into some new construction, soon.

    I can Bob's point. Like many other people, I'm sure, I've tried some cool things that ended up being more complicated than a low-tech, less sexy solution would have been. Simple is better.

    That said, I'm a TiVo addict. Once HD recording is available, I don't think I want to have a recorder for every set in the house. I'd much prefer two recorders in a closet in the basement, with distributed video.

    So, how do you reconcile the two? Simple, but centralized. C. Ryan doesn't mention recording, so a box per set might be a good option, but what happens in 2 years when he wants to share recordings betweeen rooms? The walls are open now. It'll be a bear to retrofit this stuff.

    I wish I was contributing actual suggestions here...

    --Mike
     
  5. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Well, it seems to me that you have basically the same situation as me. You would like one Tivo (HD video source) that is then distributed to several locations within the house. Yours may be even a little more compicated if you are wanting 5.1 audio to those remote locations. At least all I want is 2-channel stereo.

    Again, I was hoping to find an all-in-one video switching and distribution component. I really think I have seen something like this, but I cannot find it now. So right now I am looking at seperate switcher and distributer boxes. Afraid though of quality degradation.

    Do you know how the HD Tivo is going to send HD video? Component or DVI?

    Anyway, In youre case, if you want to send Tivo only, all you really need is a distribution/amplification component that can be had for around $200. Simply plug your Tivo video-out into the distribution box and then you will have four or five outputs that will then go to all of your monitors thoughout the house. Fairly simply except for all the cable that will need to be run.

    Then you need a way to controll the Tivo from remote locations. Either hard wired IR distribution sensors or some other radio-IR remote wireless solution. Fairly simple really.


    It is when you are wanting to send multiple sources to those remote locations where things get a little more confusing.

    Anyway, I think you and I both need to hop over to AvScience since it does not appear so far that the HTF crowed does much video distribution.


    C. Ryan
     
  6. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Crestron systems can distribute high definition via CAT5E cable with no loss in image quality and they can control everything in your house that can be controlled via contact closure, IR or RS232. Be forewarned, this is a $$$$ solution but nothing currently beats it.
     
  7. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Oh yeah, now Crestron I am familiar with. I actually had this priced out. Ugh!

    They are obviously a proprietary system and I am looking for a DIY solution. Something I can piece together myself and use the Pronto to controll.

    Thanks,

    C. Ryan
     
  8. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Take a look at the products ChannelPlus offers - www.channelplus.com. I do not know about HD video distribution, but I recently set my house up to distribute TIVO to all 4 tvs in the house. I used the all-in-one unit - model 3025 - from ChannelPlus. This unit takes a composite AV signal in and modulates it onto an unused cable channel and then distributes/amplifies the output for up to 5 tvs. You can also piggyback the IR signal on the cable using the remote IR acessories that are available for this unit. It doesn't do stereo though - but for me, I'm simply sending this signal to a regular tv without any outside speakers so there really is no difference between stereo and mono from the two speakers as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I didn't know it wasn't stereo until I did an experiment to verify that fact. So far, everything works great for me.

    good luck,


    --tom
     

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