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  1. #1
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    Default can I distribute digital AV through digital coaxial cable?

    Hey

    I recently rennovated my flat, and I laid both ethernet and digital coaxial cable to 4 'zones'. The digital coax was mainly to distribute a Freeview signal around the house from a new external aerial, but now I'm interested in seeing what else I can do with it!

    I know I can distribute digital AV through Ethernet to some extent, but I would rather keep those sockets for computer setups. Right now, I only have old CRT TVs so I have been using the low quality solution of modulating the signal from my main living room system (Hifi/Virgin Cable/Mac Mini) around the house and just tuning in the various channels.. which works and is extremely convenient and fairly low cost, but now I'm hoping to upgrade to a digital solution and I'm struggling to find anything which works with digital coax.. any ideas?

    Virginmedia manages to send digital AV (and high def?) content through digital coax doesn't it?

    Also, what would be the best way (if any) to distribute audio through digital coax? A solution which would end with a headphone jack to fit nicely into the input on my new clock radio would be perfect!

    Thanks for any help,

    Dave

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    When you say you want to go digital, do you mean effectivelly doing a smaller version of the Virginmedia system that comes into your house. If this is the case then to transmit TV digitally throughout the house will be very very expensive, and probably not worth the cost.
    The best way would be to use several Virginmedia boxes in the rooms you want. And feed the cable signal into these locations.
    Or use something called a Dream box, some models can support up to 2 tuner cards per box, and hard drives. Be wary there are many copies of this box.
    This is the manufacturers website http://www.dream-multimedia-tv.de/en
    And here is the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreambox

    The other method would be to stream the TV via ethernet. Also not that cheap an option.
    One more method would be to use your ethernet cables and send the signal from the scart to ethernet to scart. To do this you will need some scart to RJ45 adapters. Or the KAT5TV system http://www.kat5.tv
    The way you are doing it now is probably the best cost wise etc. We have installed quite a few home channel systems that use UHF frequencies. The only problem is when you have more than one channel as you have to avoid certain channels so you don't get interference. website about taboo tv channels http://www.kat5.tv/taboo.html
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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    Hi Toscal

    Thanks for your advice- especially the link to 'taboo' tv channels.. I currently have terrestrial TV on channels 1-5, Virgin on 6 and my Mac Mini on 7 but I found I have to disconnect the Mac when not in use as I would get interference on the other channels, so hopefully this guide will sort that out!

    It looks like the KAT5TV solution is the most sensible for my setup, however I would need to rewire (not a massive deal as I have crawl space under my flat) as the centre point of this star configuration isn't in the living room (d'oh!). One point not clear on the KAT5TV website (although it is late and I may have missed it!) is.. can I distribute one signal to multiple locations? If so, what extra kit would I need to achieve this? If I can use a regular ethernet router that would be great as I have one lying around somewhere!

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviestar View Post
    Thanks for your advice- especially the link to 'taboo' tv channels.. I currently have terrestrial TV on channels 1-5, Virgin on 6 and my Mac Mini on 7 but I found I have to disconnect the Mac when not in use as I would get interference on the other channels, so hopefully this guide will sort that out!
    I can recommend the taboo channel calculator - it solved exactly the same problem for me

    Quote Originally Posted by daviestar View Post
    It looks like the KAT5TV solution is the most sensible for my setup, however I would need to rewire (not a massive deal as I have crawl space under my flat) as the centre point of this star configuration isn't in the living room (d'oh!).
    You may only need to add a couple more cables from your "a/v hub" area to the centre point of your wiring. Once you have your signals back there, you can patch-out to other cables/rooms. I would suggest having a colour code for your patch lead sheaths, e.g. red for ethernet, green for KAT5, blue for phone etc.
    The colours don't really matter as long as you know what's what. The colours can provide additional identification in the wiring closet and help to prevent patching errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by daviestar View Post
    One point not clear on the KAT5TV website (although it is late and I may have missed it!) is.. can I distribute one signal to multiple locations?
    Yes, you can do this, see: http://www.kat5.tv/daisychain.html
    (and http://www.kat5.tv/systemoverview.html)

    Quote Originally Posted by daviestar View Post
    If so, what extra kit would I need to achieve this? If I can use a regular ethernet router that would be great as I have one lying around somewhere!
    *** DO NOT *** plug KAT5 modules into any networking equipment!!
    KAT5 takes advantage of the Cat5 cable structure to transmit a/v signals - it does not "stream" them over Ethernet networks. You can't use an ethernet switch/hub/router to distribute KAT5.

    Check out the KAT5 forum here on Automated Home for more info:
    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...splay.php?f=23

    HTH,

    Tim.

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    Thanks for the reply TimH

    After doing a bit of reading, I was hoping to future proof my installation somewhat by sending HDMI over 2 ethernet runs with something like this system:

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/New-P...ffordable.html

    Mainly because it is cheaper than the other alternatives, and supports 1080p for when I get round to upgrading my TVs. I know, in the meantime I'll have to make do with fairly costly HDMI converters, but it seems to make sense to install the latest and greatest in my walls so I don't have to rip them up again in the near future.

    What I was hoping to do is something like this:

    * TV/Virginmedia/Mac Mini all plugged into an AV amp with one HDMI output.
    * Plug single output into an HDMI 2-way splitter
    * Send one HDMI to my living room TV, the other to ethernet extender
    * Via ethernet, run back to centre of star configuration
    * Distribute to 4 zones via a patch panel
    * Convert back into HDMI in each zone

    Does this seem like a wise plan?

    You say I can't use a normal ethernet switch/hub/router, could you please suggest something I can use? I am struggling to find much.. I found this intruiging package:

    http://www.hdcable.co.uk/hdmi-splitt...-8-output.html

    It seems to go against what I have read so far - it claims 1080p in a single cable (which I presume would be cat6) over 60m, it claims compatibility with satellite HD receivers (which I take to mean Sky HD?). If you guys recommend this kind of package, do you know of anything similar with only 4 zones?

    EDIT: After some more searching I found this:

    http://www.hdtvsupply.com/1x4-hdmi-s...over-cat5.html

    This seems like an amazing deal, what d'you guys think? It also includes the receivers! Under 215 (before shipping). I did notice it outputs video on the older HDMI 1.2a specification.. should this be a concern? Only my main setup (which would bypass the ethernet extender if I go by my plan above) would ever benefit from features such as Dolby TrueHD, the zones being extended are minor- small TV in the bedroom etc.

    Thanks again for all your advice!

    Dave
    Last edited by daviestar; 6th September 2009 at 06:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply TimH

    After doing a bit of reading, I was hoping to future proof my installation somewhat by sending HDMI over 2 ethernet runs with something like this system:

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/New-P...ffordable.html

    Mainly because it is cheaper than the other alternatives, and supports 1080p for when I get round to upgrading my TVs. I know, in the meantime I'll have to make do with fairly costly HDMI converters, but it seems to make sense to install the latest and greatest in my walls so I don't have to rip them up again in the near future.
    I haven’t used those ones but have heard some comments re: the quality/performance of the cheaper units.
    If you accept that you may have to upgrade the extenders for “premium” versions, e.g. Gefen, Black Box etc. then you're covered.

    What I was hoping to do is something like this:

    * TV/Virginmedia/Mac Mini all plugged into an AV amp with one HDMI output.
    * Plug single output into an HDMI 2-way splitter
    * Send one HDMI to my living room TV, the other to **Cat5/6** extender
    * Via **Cat5/6**, run back to centre of star configuration

    * Distribute to 4 zones via a patch panel
    * Convert back into HDMI in each zone

    Does this seem like a wise plan?
    In principle, yes, I think you've covered all the cable runs you need. Assuming you have a spare coax or cat5 you can then send IR signals back to your wiring closet over that spare cable.

    It’s a terminology thing, but where a/v signals are sent over structured cabling they are usually referred to as “Cat5/Cat6 Extenders” rather than “Ethernet Extenders”. The latter term tends to imply some sort of encoding to send the a/v signals as Ethernet data packets (which could then be sent over the internet) when in reality the extenders are usually using the balanced, twisted pair structure of Cat5/Cat6 cable to transmit the tv pictures. If devices were truly “Ethernet Extenders” then there would be no distance limitations, instead of the 50-60m typically quoted. There are exceptions though, so see the link right at the bottom

    As an aside, a Slingbox (www.slingmedia.com/go/slingbox) does extend a/v signals over Ethernet so you can watch your own set top box etc. on your mobile phone, at a friends house, hotel, abroad, etc.

    Since most HMDI-over-Cat5 extenders do not use Ethernet, and you can’t use an Ethernet switch to “multiply” the a/v signals, you’ll need to find another way to get 4 output from one input, like the 1-in, 2-out splitter you mention above. It is likely that you will need an active splitter (something powered and capable of repeating and amplifying the HDMI signals to be able to drive 4 further screens. I take it your existing amp has only one HDMI output?

    Another option is to move the cable box into node zero to simply the back-and-forth wiring a bit, but this will depend on how your house has been wired.

    If you’re certain you want to go HDMI over cat5 then you could also simplify your wiring by going for a repeater/amplifier with RJ45 presentation directly, to minimise the number of boxes required at Node Zero. These devices are definitely not “budget” though.

    Another option would be distributing HD signals as component instead of HDMI. You then have the choice of stereo audio or digital. If digital you could use a KAT5 system configured as 4 video channels (3 channels for component and 1 for digital audio). HD over KAT5 with digital audio would only need 1 cat5 cable per run.

    You say I can't use a normal ethernet switch/hub/router, could you please suggest something I can use? I am struggling to find much.. I found this intruiging package:
    http://www.hdcable.co.uk/hdmi-splitt...-8-output.html
    Yes, this looks like the sort of thing - very tidy
    It seems to go against what I have read so far - it claims 1080p in a single cable (which I presume would be cat6) over 60m, it claims compatibility with satellite HD receivers (which I take to mean Sky HD?). If you guys recommend this kind of package, do you know of anything similar with only 4 zones?

    Thanks again for all your advice!
    As for alternative sources, try looking at Gefen (e.g. http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5249) and Black Box.

    Black Box do this (http://www.blackbox.co.uk/products/d...140a&tx=7&sx=4) which is a true HDMI-over-Ethernet extender and this is designed to stream over existing data networks.

    For HDMI-over-Cat5, look at http://www.blackbox.co.uk/products/d...550a&tx=7&sx=4

    There's lots there, and I see that I've rambled a bit, but HTH.

    Cheers,

    Tim.
    Last edited by TimH; 9th September 2009 at 07:03 AM.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviestar View Post
    What I was hoping to do is something like this:

    * TV/Virginmedia/Mac Mini all plugged into an AV amp with one HDMI output.
    * Plug single output into an HDMI 2-way splitter
    * Send one HDMI to my living room TV, the other to ethernet extender
    * Via ethernet, run back to centre of star configuration
    * Distribute to 4 zones via a patch panel
    * Convert back into HDMI in each zone

    Does this seem like a wise plan?
    Just to clarify, the above configuration will allow you to watch the *same* channel / source in all rooms, it won't let you watch different things in different rooms. For that you will need a matrix switcher.

    See this thread for a link to the type of thing:
    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...ead.php?t=2362

    With a switcher you can chose what gets sent to each room so any one of the four (in this case) inputs to any or all of the output channels.

    Cheers,

    Tim.

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