Splitting Digital Signals?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jay Mitchosky, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Hey All

    Is it possible to split a single optical digital output into two (preferably into coax)? I have a satellite receiver with a single optical output that I would like to use in two different rooms.
     
  2. Bill Whatley

    Bill Whatley Auditioning

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    Jay,

    Looks like our conversation got nixed in the roll-back to the previous forum software. Here's a quote from your response:
    ************************************************** *****
    Thanks Bill. I actually stumbled on that unit while searching the net and it looks excellent. I wish they had a more basic unit as it's a bit overkill for what I want to do (just feed component video and digital audio to an adjacent room). But right now it looks like the only show in town at a reasonable cost. There is another product that I was looking at (I think AudioAuthority as well) that used CAT-5 for the distribution but it's quite expensive.

    If I understand correctly for my application I would connect the component video and optical digital outputs from my satellite receiver to the input on the 985. From there I would feed one of the available digital outputs to my theater receiver and the other to my rec room receiver. For the latter I would run coax digital as it's a fair distance to the rec room. It's great that both outputs are available as I could easily switch from one to the other for my theater receiver if I run out of inputs. Likewise I would run component video to the rec room RPTV. I don't need to share the video feed as the receiver has DVI as well and it seems that both analog and digital video outputs remain active together. Any flaws in my logic?

    One thing I have been wondering about is how well the component and digital audio feeds would hold up over a long run (say 50'+ if I had to estimate).

    If you don't mind my asking how much did you pay for this unit and where did you order it from?
    ************************************************** ****

    Your Logic seems sound to me. I guess I should have read your original post a little closer, as you are only wanting to split your digital audio. This could be done with 2 relatively inexpensive items... An optical "toslink" splitter and an optical to coax converter. You could take the optical out from your SAT, into the toslink splitter, one output from the splitter to your theater receiver, then the other output into the "optical to coax" converter, then over coax to your Rec room rcvr. Then of course DVI to the theater display and component to the rec room.

    The Toslink splitters I have seen for 6.00 and the optical to coax converters for around 17.00. You can find them here: .minidisc.org/part_Dayton_Audio_Optical_to_Coax_converter.html
    .partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?DID=7&PartNumber=180-964

    I currently have Component video and digital coax audio running 100' to my theater (4-runs RG-6), and 75' to my breakfast room (bundled RG59), and they both work great. The digital audio will run much farther than the component video. Component video bandwidth is much higher and therefore requires better grade coax than the audio. I ordered mine from .cables-unlimited-usa.com as they have reasonable prices for a change.

    I purchased my 985DTO direct from Audio Authority and paid around 225.00 including shipping.

    Sorry, don't have enough posts yet, so no hot links allowed. It's cut-n-paste i guess!
     
  3. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I actually found the item you mention (here) on a previous search. I had planned on doing precisely what you suggest as I happen to have a coax/optical converter from a previous application. However reading a review on that particular product found that it only passes one signal at a time. In other words two different locations could not use a common signal simultaneously. And there will be times when I will need precisely that, so back to square one. [​IMG]

    That said, there is still value in the DTO as I have yet to confirm if using the component and DVI outputs on my HD-DVR receiver are mutually exclusive (Dish Model 942 in the US, Bell ExpressVu Model 9200 in Canada). I've plugged in a DVI cable and component continued to function BUT the DVI was not connected to a monitor so wasn't drawing any current. Will likely be a different story when it's actually hooked up to something. If it's one output or the other I'll either a) just run component, split it off with the DTO to the theater and rec room, or b) run DVI and bite the bullet for a second receiver for the rec room. Really depends on what kind of performance advantage I would realize using the DVI output vs. component. To my door the DTO would be about C$300 plus a long run of four cables and terminations (component plus digital), vs. about C$600 for another Model 9200. Alternatively I could spend about the same either way and get just the standard HD receiver but, frankly, I've become such a DVR whore that it's really a challenge to watch live TV without the control. [​IMG]
     
  4. Bill Whatley

    Bill Whatley Auditioning

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    Jay,

    This device is strictly a passive splitter. It will work to split one signal into two (1 into 2), with both outputs (delivering a somewhat attenuated signal), active at the same time. This device can also be used in the other direction, ie. 2 seperate optical sources feeding one input on a rcvr. In this 2 into 1 configuration, then yes only one SOURCE can be active at a time. For your scenario (1 into 2) this splitter should work fine. The only possible problem would be if your 942 has a very low optical output, and once run thru the splitter (which has some loss), doesn't retain enough signal strength to drive your rcvr. This is probably not the case, so the splitter should work fine.

    Also, according to this post:
    .dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=47642&highlight=hdmi+component (cut-n-paste and insert www)
    you should be able to use both HDMI/DVI and component outputs from the 942 at the same time.

    Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
     
  5. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Sonuva! Something crashed and my reply got tossed.

    Good info re: that splitter. One out/two in is what I need so that's perfect. My concern, however, is that will happen to the over that run as you suggest.

    Great thread link to DBSTalk. Saves me having to experiment. Later on in that discussion they reference a product that allows you to run component video via CAT-5. This would be a cheaper cable solution then the DTO, but it doesn't have audio. They do have an analog audio solution via CAT-5 but I really want digital. Price for two ends each of the component and analog baluns would be a little more then the DTA but overall would be cheaper given the cable used. But I'm still looking at analog audio at that point.

    By the time all is said and done I might be better off just buying another receiver. Unfortunately I'll also need a splitter for the satellite feeds.
     
  6. Bill Whatley

    Bill Whatley Auditioning

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    Jay,

    Looks like one word was omitted from your response. So I'm not sure if your asking about "what will happen to the (Aduio or Video?) over that run"

    Both should be fine at 75-100', as I have this configuration in operation right now. I am running 100' for component video and digital coax audio and it works just fine. I haven't actually looked at the signals on a scope, but the "eyeball" test says all is fine through my DLP projector on a 110" screen. The DTO IS an active device, but according to the factory folks, it does NOT boost the signal, but rather rebuilds the signal to industry specifications for its outputs. In other words: it's not a line driver for long runs, so the output from the DTO is equal to the output from your PVR. So your results on 75' cable runs should be the same as mine.

    Also Steve Martin (Smart calibrations LLC), came out last Friday and calibrated my DLP PJ and my old Pioneer Pro-700HD TV, and all went well. I would think that if the signals had degraded too far over this 100' run, that Steve would have had problems getting things to calibrate properly. Steve did a fabulous job! and my PJ and TV now produce much more stunning pictures than before.

    I too, have welcomed the PVR to my setup. Aside from football games, we hardly ever watch "live" TV anymore. And it sure is nice to access my TIVO stuff from anywhere in the house. If I were you, I would invest the 6.00 or so and give that optical splitter a try, I think you will be happy with the results.
     

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