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VGA VIDEO + AUDIO + IRcontrol... what's best for me?

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by mholgate, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. mholgate

    Standard Member

    Jun 9, 2003
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    Your advice please.
    I would like to distribute VIDEO (preferably VGA) + AUDIO + a spare 3-wire signal (#see footnote) over CAT5e and/or COAX.

    I'm using a home-theatre pc (HTPC) as my entertainment hub in the living-room for freeview/music/DVDs/games. The VGA-port on my videocard simultaneously outputs a very crisp 856x480px image to my Loewe TV; and the DVI-port outputs 1024x768px to my projector.

    However, I'd now like to add a 17" TFT-monitor to the bedroom, and watch, listen & remote-control whatever is being displayed on the HTPC downstairs.

    My house is CAT-5e pre-wired (including patch-panel), so I think it's best to utilise this infrastructure to distribute the necessary signals to the bedroom TFT, rather than use wireless technology.
    There is 1x CAT5e wall-plate free in each room, and 1x COAX cable wall plate (quality unknown) free in each room.

    From what I can see I have three options:

    1) VGA distribution:
    * Use a VGA-splitter (because I still need the VGA signal locally), then distribute the duplicate VGA-signal using a 'VGA over CAT5e distribution' box solution.
    * Disadvantage:
    Still need someway of controlling the HTPC remotely, as all wires in the CAT5e cable would have been used for video+audio transmission.

    2) Modulation:
    * Use a VGA-splitter and a VGA-modulator in the Living-Room to encode the VIDEO+AUDIO into a single-channel that will then be fed through to the Bedroom and connected to the TFT TV (rather than a monitor). In terms of control, I can send serial signals (#see footnote) over the free CAT5e to the Living-Room HTPC.
    * Disadvantages:
    I've heard modulators are costly,
    Requires the use of both two cables,
    Perhaps the signal-quality of the 856x480px VGA signal will not modulate well (?)

    3) S-video disbribution:
    * Use a VGA-splitter and a VGA>S-video convertor connected to one of the many all-in-one 'AV CAT5e distribution + IR control' box solutions I've seen on the net. S-video routed to TFT MONITOR in bedroom.
    * Disadvantages:
    Picture quality of s-video is not as crisp as the original VGA signal which is a shame because of the quality potential the bedroom TFT-monitor could offer.
    Perhaps I will be limited to standard TV S-video resolutions? (640x480, 800x600)
    I may have problems utilising the bundled IR-control distribution method with my existing IR-control hardware (#see footnote)
    * Subject to further tests, I *may* be able to output s-video from my video-card (ATI Radeon 9600XT) simultaneously as the VGA+DVI signals (?) and therefore avoid the whole VGA-splitter & VGA>S-video conversion.

    I have an IRtrans USB device inside my HTPC that allows me to receive IR-signals from any remote and act on it accordingly (software). I also have a extender-module that can be located remotely and used to send IR-signals from the bedroom back to the main-module in the living room.
    Distribution of the signal requires 3 seperate wires.

    Any advice will be much appreciated!
  2. ntslik

    Standard Member

    Jul 26, 2002
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    How far do you want to get involved?, i.e. most Home automation systems will allow you to connect the set up you have, take Opus for example, you can distribute the video using the coax feed as a composite and the audio would normally have to be installed into ceiling or external speakers.

    Or a cheaper option could be the systemline modular system which can carry the video and audio via the cat5

    any idea on budget??

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