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Thread: Video Distribution, How? (In this case)

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Default Video Distribution, How? (In this case)

    Hi all,

    Basically I am buying a new house in a few months time, I want an integrated AV/Automation/Security system which I have most of it figured out in terms of ways of doing things and the products I need as well as what exactly I want.

    There is one thing I am still unclear though - video distribution.

    At the moment I have a media centre PC hooked up to an LCD running 1366x768 via VGA in the living room. I want to distribute this to the dining room, bathroom and bedroom. I only need these to display whatever the living room LCD is showing.

    The dining room will have another LCD running 1366x768, so I can just use a VGA splitter/replicator or even the second output on the graphics card, no problems.

    The bedroom and bathroom however will have small 7-10" LCDs only accepting RCA or S-video. I have looked at stand-alone VGA>RCA converters but they only support computer resolutions, i.e. 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc. And graphics cards don't support TV-out when it is set to 1366x768 resolution either.

    In short I need to distribute from a VGA feed to RCA or S-video outputs.

    Sound is okay as I will just use coaxial digital or RCA.

    So what do I need to do? Any advice please? Ideally looking for a solution less than 200.

    And to further complicate things... eventually I will have a bigger LCD running 1920x1080, possibly via HDMI too, to replace the current living room LCD. What are my options?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    for the screens in the other rooms, i.e. bathroom and bedroom couldn't you get screens that support VGA?! much easier then!?

    alternatively just fit multiple graphics cards in the pc, for the resolutions you're looking at you should be able to say use onboard graphics cards with a splitter maybe for upstairs and a high quality graphics cards for the main screens downstairs?!

    you can always add a couple of graphics cards as long as your mobo supports it, always pci graphics cards available on ebay

  3. #3
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Most small bathroom screens don't support VGA, and even if they do, they don't usually support this non-standard (1360x768) resolution. Plus running VGA over a long distance isn't even... I'll need FTP Cat5e and active baluns

    But I think I sort of solved the problem now. Because the new LCD panels are not 1366x768 anymore, I can use a standard 1920x1080 full HD resolution Which means I can make use of component connections instead of VGA for distribution!!

    I.e. media centre graphics card outputs 1920x1080 via VGA directly to the main living room LCD, while using the graphics card's TV-out for distribution via component.

    One problem still exists - the bathroom LCDs only accept composite or s-video, which means I will need a down-scaler to scale 1080i component down to composite/s-video.

    Does anyone know of such a product?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest separate graphics cards for the distributed signals but when I originally read your post I thought you were against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by wywywywy View Post
    Hi,

    Most small bathroom screens don't support VGA, and even if they do, they don't usually support this non-standard (1360x768) resolution. Plus running VGA over a long distance isn't even... I'll need FTP Cat5e and active baluns
    Good ol' UTP is fine for these:
    http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/Computer+...sp?sku=CS10933
    (max res. 1024x768)


    Quote Originally Posted by wywywywy View Post
    One problem still exists - the bathroom LCDs only accept composite or s-video, which means I will need a down-scaler to scale 1080i component down to composite/s-video.
    I think your best option is a separate graphics card...
    The S & composite inputs will only be SD anyway so there's no point in trying to distribute at 1080i levels...


    HTH,

    Tim.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    The S & composite inputs will only be SD anyway so there's no point in trying to distribute at 1080i levels...
    Because the bedrooms will be using 1080i

    Sorry I didn't mention it in the last post, but since the first post was made, I discovered that LCD prices have fallen a lot! I mean a lot! So it doesn't make sense for me to spend 150 on a dinky 10" that only does composite, while I can spend only 300 and get a 26" HD LCD. And next year when I finally need to purchase the things, prices should be even lower!

    Bathroom however is a different story. Water proof (IP rated) LCDs are still expensive (cheapest is 150 for a 5" on eBay), and I don't see the price coming down too quickly - plus even the current HD ones only take VGA at strange resolutions, they don't take component/HDMI/DVI or VGA with proper resolution unless we are into the mega-bucks territories.

    So do down-scalers exist at all?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    OK, no probs

    Sorry to bang on about a 2nd graphics card, but this really does seem to be the best option now, particularly as you're only going to a couple of bathroom screens.

    There's a bit of software called PowerStrip - it lets you adjust the display properties of your graphics card and set-up non-standard resolutions.

    There's some info here:
    http://entechtaiwan.com/util/ps.shtm
    http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/powerstrip.html

    It's very powerful, but it's possible to completely b*lls things up with it too, so be careful


    HTH,

    Tim.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    as posted above additional graphics cards with powerstrips is a very good way to go,
    power strip is pretty easy these days and can give excellent results.
    Would give you the control and flexibility you want at minimal cost!

  8. #8
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I actually have been using PowerStrip for years, probably since 1997 or something like that.

    But I struggle to see how is it going to solve my problems in this case?

    Thanks.

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