Sky HD, a HDMI splitter, 2 TV's and a question about changing channels!

thisburningage

Standard Member
First off, I really, really hope these aren't stupid questions! We've just gone ahead and bought an LG 50PK350 (great TV but annoyingly only 2 HDMI inputs!) to go in our lounge whilst keeping our Samsung LCD for the bedroom and we were facing the problem of how to split the signal from our Sky HD box to both sets. Luckily the rooms are next door to each other (there's a lot less than 10 metres between HD box and each TV) and so, after a bit of digging through the forum search facility, I came up with this: Thatcable supplies Audio & Video Devices which seems like it will do the job. However, it's now raised a few questions regarding our Sky HD:

1. By solely splitting the signal I'm presuming that whatever Sky channel is being shown on one TV will also be shown on the other...but is there a way of watching different channels on each TV (again, apologies if this is a hopelessly n00b question!:blush:)?

2. What would be the best device to use to enable us to change Sky channels on the TV which isn't in the room with the HD Box? I've been trying to read around the subject and the "Magic Eye" seems to crop up a lot, such as this one: SLx Sky/Sky+ Remote & SLx Magic eye extender: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo Am I on the right track or are there better options out there?

Essentially I'm trying to keep each install as cable-free and tidy as is humanly possible as there's quite a few devices still to be added (our PS3 for example is being moved into the lounge and that signal will also need to be split between the 2 TV's, plus the lounge is being treated to a surround sound system as soon as we can physically afford to take the plunge! :)).

Thanks in advance.

Leigh.
 

logiciel

Moderator
If you really want to go the split HDMI way then you don't need to go to that expense, yet anyway. Give one of these a try: HDMI Splitter: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo
"Magic eyes" are for sending the channel by an aerial type cable to get them in SD quality, and getting the remote control back the same way, so they don't come into the split HDMI scenario. For that you'd need an IR Extender.
Either way you couldn't get the HD receiver to receive and supply two channels at the same time!
I'd go for a Videosender to do the job wirelessly and put up with only SD quality in the other room.
 
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thisburningage

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply :)

Unfortunately we'd definately like to keep HD quality in both rooms. Being able to watch 2 different HD channels on each TV isn't the end of the world however and if there's currently no way of doing it then it's cool :) So it's an IR Extender I need to look for? I'd better get Googling! ;)
 

kevmarshall

Active Member
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kevmarshall

Active Member
First off, I really, really hope these aren't stupid questions! We've just gone ahead and bought an LG 50PK350 (great TV but annoyingly only 2 HDMI inputs!) to go in our lounge whilst keeping our Samsung LCD for the bedroom and we were facing the problem of how to split the signal from our Sky HD box to both sets. Luckily the rooms are next door to each other (there's a lot less than 10 metres between HD box and each TV) and so, after a bit of digging through the forum search facility, I came up with this: Thatcable supplies Audio & Video Devices which seems like it will do the job. However, it's now raised a few questions regarding our Sky HD:

1. By solely splitting the signal I'm presuming that whatever Sky channel is being shown on one TV will also be shown on the other...but is there a way of watching different channels on each TV (again, apologies if this is a hopelessly n00b question!:blush:)?

2. What would be the best device to use to enable us to change Sky channels on the TV which isn't in the room with the HD Box? I've been trying to read around the subject and the "Magic Eye" seems to crop up a lot, such as this one: SLx Sky/Sky+ Remote & SLx Magic eye extender: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo Am I on the right track or are there better options out there?

Essentially I'm trying to keep each install as cable-free and tidy as is humanly possible as there's quite a few devices still to be added (our PS3 for example is being moved into the lounge and that signal will also need to be split between the 2 TV's, plus the lounge is being treated to a surround sound system as soon as we can physically afford to take the plunge! :)).

Thanks in advance.

Leigh.

Don't suppose you are lucky enough to have a Thomson Sky box with Component output are you?
 

logiciel

Moderator
So it's an IR Extender I need to look for?
That's only if you decide to go the split HDMI route. As kevmarshall says the HDMI splitter that I linked isn't exactly cutting edge technology, but it's been known to work and would save quite a bit compared to the one you found, and to the £300 models that some people use!
The alternatives are the aerial cable and "magic eye" route, and the Videosender. Both send the picture one way for SD reception, and the IR control back the other way.
 

garan

Standard Member
I looked into distributing TV to multiple end points about a year ago and went for Multiroom as a lower cost option.

If you've got CAT5e/CAT6 UTP structured cabling you can distribute the HDMI in one of two ways:

If you've got a pair of CAT5e/CAT6 UTP running between bot end points, you can use baluns that distribute the video and sound whilst controlling the IR for the video too. (approx cost about £150)

If you've only got a single CAT5e/CAT6 UTP cable between the end points then you can run gigabit ethernet with HDMI over IP baluns but this is very costly at about £250 per end point plus you need a gigabit capable switch.

After weighing up the options I decided to simply get a non-HD Sky multi-room subscription and swap the boxes around on special occasions. (Costing 12x£10 for the minimum contract period).

The killer with the multiroom option is of course the second tenner per month to activate HD on the second box. I drew the line with that!

I've now realised that I didn't need the extra HD channels in the other room so I've cancelled the multiroom and I'm quite happily managing with a Humax Freesat HD capable set top box.

Regarding the magic eyes, I've got one that I use just for picking up the IR; I don't use it to distribute the video or audio signal as I've got a TV on the wall and the satellite box hidden away. It works well and again on cost, was much cheaper than something like the RF capable Logitech Harmony solution.

Let me know if you want some links etc..

Cheers,

Garan.
 

logiciel

Moderator
The "magic eye" is normally half of the channel one way IR back the other scenario, so how do you have it set up to do only the second part - or is it actually an IR Extender?
 

garan

Standard Member
I'm using a magic eye but solely for the remote function. I'm using a VisionLink eye at the TV end (small eye and an F screw connector for the incoming coax making it less likely to work itself loose) which is connected back to the satellite receiver via coax and plugged into the powered RF port on the back of the receiver. The other end of the VisionLink isn't plugged into the TV; it's just cable tied out of the way.

That gives me the IR link back to the box. I stayed away from Powermids and similar IR extenders as I wanted to avoid putting anything bulky behind the TV plus this avoided any additional power requirements at either end.

Audio and Video come over a long HDMI cable following the same route as the coax cable.

I got the VisionLink from SatCure:

Satellite tv remote control extenders
 

logiciel

Moderator
OK, so OP can do that as an alternative to Extender, if he goes the split-HDMI way. :thumbsup:
 

thisburningage

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies guys. Could I ask if we could break it down a little?

As I briefly mentioned before, we'd definately like to aim for having a HD signal on both TV's.

kevmarshall: looks like we're in luck as we do have a Thompson box with Component outputs :)

garan: Thank you so much for the in-depth reply...but...er...once again in English?? :D;) Trust me, it's more a testament to my own woeful lack of knowledge in this area than your descriptive skills as I'm sure if I knew more your reply would be most useful...however I'm afraid the majority went right over my head :(

logiciel: As far as splitting the Sky HD signal is concerned, I'm all for keeping costs down and we're not ones for actively looking for the most expensive option solely for bragging rights but, on the other hand, I would like to make sure I'm buying the right gear now that will allow me to expand the system over the next couple of months to include permanently connected devices such as a surround sound system in the lounge; a PS3 and Wii also in the lounge but also connected to the bedroom; and spare ports to connect occasional devices such as our Panasonic HDC-TM20. Could someone explain the plus points to be had from going for a HDMI splitter box such as the one in the link I posted above or ones like this: HDMI 1.3b Splitter - 2 Port | Video Splitters & Extenders | Sharing, Converting, Extending | LINDY UK or Media Factory - Octava HDS42-UK, dual output HDMI cross switch ? I've heard some cheaper options have trouble dealing with certain types of audio or am I wrong on this?

Having to watch the same Sky HD Channel in both rooms is not a major problem but I'm still more than a little unclear on the best route to go down regarding changing channels I'm afraid! :blush:

If it's at all possible to outline a rough flow diagram description of what goes into what and what we need to buy (with ease of use and cabling ideally kept to a minimum) it would genuinely be very much appreciated as we're at bit "all at sea" at the moment!

As far as price goes, paying £30-40 odd pounds for a splitter box is certainly do-able if it warrants it (and if it'll stand us in good stead when making additions) and we'd be happy to spend up to £150 (possibly a bit more) in buying what we'd need to complete the install (luckily I already have several suitably long HDMI leads going spare).

Thanks again guys :)
 

logiciel

Moderator
You are in luck as now you can choose one TV for HDMI and the other for component, with a "magic eye" or a IR Extender. Component would be better for the long run imho - and you don't have to work out garan's cable now!
If you were staying with the HDMI cables that you already have, I'd give a try to the splitter for under £10 - I had one that worked fine. You could always send it back.
The two you've linked at around the £40 mark may have the edge but I don't really see how. HDMI is digital so the devices either work or they don't.
Either way they have only two outputs, so the matter of future expansion doesn't affect them.
As the split-HDMI method differs from the aerial cable method in only sending the channel, and not sending the remote control back the other way, it would require either the "magic eye" used as garan does, or a separate IR Extender. There are many of these with Powermid as a typical model.
If you go the aerial cable way then you need to get the "magic eye" device that connects to the cable.
A Videosender has two units, one connected to the satellite receiver that sends the channel to the second unit in the other room. That receives IR signals from the remote control and sends them back to the first unit for transmission to the receiver.
Like the aerial cable they can give you only SD in the second room. Again there are many models on the market.
 
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kevmarshall

Active Member
Thanks for the replies guys. Could I ask if we could break it down a little?

As I briefly mentioned before, we'd definately like to aim for having a HD signal on both TV's.

kevmarshall: looks like we're in luck as we do have a Thompson box with Component outputs :)

The Thomson (I have one) outputs HD via both Component & HDMI at the same time so you don't need a splitter at all.

Run Component video to the nearest TV and HDMI to the one furthest away.

HDMI will carry video & audio but you will need an Optical cable for the audio to the nearest TV………if it has Optical IN……if not, you can use a basic RCA phono cable for the sound.

When you get your AMP/Surround Sound it almost certainly WILL have Optical IN so Dolby Digital 5.1 can be obtained that way from the Thomson box.

This is how I have my two HD TVs set up and it works fine.
 
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thisburningage

Standard Member
Thanks so much guys, really, really appreciate the advice! It seems we now have two cheap and reliable methods for getting an HD signal to 2 TV's and I now know more what I'm looking for regarding remote control devices! Cheers chaps! :thumbsup:
 
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Tonefiesta

Standard Member
I got a vision magic eye and HD remote for £14 posted from ebay,
not bad at all when the remote alone is over £20 in the shops :-|
 

dr_mabuse

Active Member
I'm using a magic eye but solely for the remote function. I'm using a VisionLink eye at the TV end (small eye and an F screw connector for the incoming coax making it less likely to work itself loose) which is connected back to the satellite receiver via coax and plugged into the powered RF port on the back of the receiver. The other end of the VisionLink isn't plugged into the TV; it's just cable tied out of the way.

Garan
Sorry for asking you to possibly repeat yourself but just so as I've got this straight: I can use the Magic Eye I've already got going back from my bedroom TV to the RF output on my current SD sky box, and plug it into the corresponding RF out on my new HD box when it arrives next week, BUT NOT attach the other end to my second TV in the bedroom, thus using it as a receiver/transmitter of channel commands from the remote in the bedroom. Then use something like the below linked item (thanks to a fellow AVF user for posting a link to it in another thread) just to split the HDMI output from the HD box to drive both lounge and bedroom HD TV's? (I'm just assuming here that the HD box only has 1 HDMI out).

HDMI Splitter 2 port 1 Device to 2 TVs Powered Amplified UK PSU - HD-SP202 - Video Cables, HDMI Cables & Adapters, HDMI Switches & Splitters, HD-SP202 from kenable

Is that right? :confused:

Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

logiciel

Moderator
As you already have the aerial cable, and if you don't mind keeping that when you add the HDMI cable, then it IS the easiest way to get the remote control back to the receiver.
 

hinzp

Standard Member
Hi - First post here

I have a (stupid question) - I am have a Sky HD box in my lounge and connected to my TV via HDMI. I am planning to use the component and run a cable to my bedroom so I can watch TV upstairs. Does a component cable carry sound? or do i need another cable to run to my room?

also will I be able to get 1080i from this componant wire:
Techlink 680149 10m Component Cable Gold Plated OFC Wires CR Only £37.99 at TVCables

I am unable to use the HDMI as the cable is hidden behind the skirting.

Many Thanks

Hinz
 

Broadz

Distinguished Member
Component only carries video. Use the RCA stereo outputs with standard coaxial stereo cables on the box to send the audio from the Thomson box to the remote TV. Your remote TV should have stereo inputs that work in sync with the component video input. Connect both cables to the remote TV.
 

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