how to get cat5 to send video to 5 screens


Standard Member
I didn't know what section to post this in so Mods move it if you need to:)

I've done about 5 or 6 searches and can't find what i'm looking for..
so Help:D

I want to know if there is a device out there that will allow me to send a sky signal and computer graphics to 5 different plasma screens by means of cat 5.

The sky can be composite and whatever you can send the computer graphics out in.
I would like to pick any of the two sources for any of the screens. audio is not a necessity but would be nice:)
The screens have vga and composite inputs at least but no RF

I hope some of you wise people can help me:smashin:


Active Member
You'll need a PC to do it. Feed the Sky output into the PC, run a program called VideoLAN, set it to stream the video over the local network. This will allow any computer on the local network to tap into that stream and play it.

It is possible to turn a cat5 cable into a VGA cable buy soldering connectors onto the end and following the correct wiring diagram. However, I've had mixed success with this so far (I tend to get a lot of ghosting).


have a look to mauve systems they are UK based and i have used some of their products here in Greece with no problems


Distinguished Member
StormHD said:
It is possible to turn a cat5 cable into a VGA cable buy soldering connectors onto the end and following the correct wiring diagram. However, I've had mixed success with this so far (I tend to get a lot of ghosting).

This is an awful way of doing it, to send VGA over Cat 5 you really need to use a pair of baluns, preferably powered ones.

Answer original question.

Easy way if you can run VGA and video cables to each screen:

5 way VGA distribution amp
5 way video distribution amp

Select which source you want to see by switching inputs on each screen - you should be able to incorporate audio by speccing the DAs with stereo audio aswell as video - you might be able to get away with using passthroughs on the screens rather than DAs, make sure they carry on passing through when a different input is selected though!

Budget ways if you want to use cat 5 are:

PC video output or scan converter from VGA->video.

One of these:

Five of these:

(have to stick to mono if you want PC audio am afraid)


PC input as before
4x2 video matrix switcher + additional 4 way switcher (or 5x2 switcher if can find one)
Five pairs of these


PC input as before
2x 5 way video DAs
5 pairs of these

AND finally

Five pairs of both of these

a five way VGA DA and a five way video DA

A lot of it depends on budget, commonsense, ability to run extra cables (if some of the screens are close together you can save money there, if you can run cables to all and avoid cat 5 you will probably save money) and importantly whether you want to be able to control what is routed where from a central location or just by changing input on the screens.....

phew! - I've been looking for a cat 5 matrix switcher that does everything you ask, they exist, but not cheaply, and with only two sources, why bother!


Standard Member
Thanks for the replies especially Sean T

3 of the vga runs are over 30 meters( is there not a limit for the cable run)

what are the advantages disadvantages of running Cat5 over other cables?

i found this

Is there any problems with the Cat5 method?
do you need a seperate computer to run the thing?
Cheers for the help so far

is there any other makes of this sort of system?


Distinguished Member
Dude, that Smart NetV thing is gonna cost ££££££££

How far over 30 metres are the runs? Out of a decent DA I wouldn't panic below 100m unless running a high refresh rate or resolution (as opposed to the likely 1024x768 @ 60Hz)

If you can actually run cables over the distance, then do so, no point in converting any signal if you can get away without.

If you can get away with source switching at the screens, and can run cables, spend a few hundred quid with Kramer on a 5 way DA for VGA and one for AV and the rest on cabling (either buy a big reel of VGA cable and terminate yourself into wall sockets, or get custom length cables made by Lindy or the like), it'll be cheaper and better than a cat 5 system!

There are other makes of the sort of system you mention, but they all cost money....


Standard Member
I've just been told by the guy i'm finding this out for that there is now going to be 8 screens and a projector
two of the runs are about 40-50 meters

my thinking was that Cat 5 would be more future proof.... but maybe I'm wrong

is there much of a difference between converting to Cat5 and back compared to hard wiring with the vga and video cables

any other things i should look at?

is the vga cable not expensive?


Distinguished Member
You should run cat 5 aswell if worried about future proofing.
The two longer runs may be worth investing in cat 5 sender for the VGA, as you say to save on cable cost and avoid any length issues, a passive sender and receiver will be no better, you'll need a powered VGA over cat 5 kit. Stick with coax for the video as it's still technically superior and cheap enough.

With eight screens to save money again you can convert all to video using a scan converter on the PC output, and then just do two runs of coax to each screen - the projector however should remain driven with a run of VGA and if possible a better quality signal from the sky box (eg. using an RGB-svideo converter and long svid cable) as any quality issues will be exaggerated massively with a larger screen size.

Check out the Kramer catalogue for pretty much everything you need, read it along with a price list! and check out your options on other stuff that is cheaper and does the same job - their DAs are damn good though (and their cat 5 interfaces excellent but £££)


Active Member
hi mate,

i second the kat5 products, they really are an excellent peice of kit however, they're only available to distro' composite and svideo, according to his website, keith is able to make up RGB units too - which all things considered blows away the competition with price.

the other kit i'm looking at is the: sonance navigator, scion av distribution and of course, the kramer kit, however, due to suppliers being the way they are, i'm struggling to get firm trade pricing!... oh, there is also another system called 'av nex' which a chap called vex maybe able to advise a little further on.

are you in the trade?



Try, they supply cat 5 baluns and transmitters/ receivers to do this, very reasonable on pricing, only cost about £50 stg for me to send 4 signals via cat5.


I've tested powered CAT-5 Baluns on a whole box of CAT-5 i.e. over 300m no problem. The baluns we use allow video and audio with IR control back the other way.

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