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Thread: Multiple Display Home Theatre PC??

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate TaylorMade's Avatar
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    Multiple Display Home Theatre PC??

    Hey there, I'm just about ready to set up the HTPC and am interested in making this thing about as bad *** and usable as possible. I have a 57" HD Toshiba that I'll be using as my primary display but I also want the ability to display on my 19" FP Monitor in my home bar as well as outside on my patio on a standard 20" TV with coax inputs. I know they make DVI splitters that will solve my monitor problem (although what's the longest DVI cable you can have as it'd have to be at least 35 feet??) but what can I do about the patio? I'm thinking some sort of junction box would be the best solution, similar to a home's built in intercom system where I'd just push the buttons corresponding to the appropriate TV. I've also seen splitters that work over CATV, which looks pretty neat. I've tried searching to no avail, and I was hoping that someone would have an idea here since I got so much great info on my car pc here....
    2008 Ford Expedition EL Ltd

    Carputer yanked from the Jeep and Denali and waiting to be installed in the Ford.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Hmm... Well, using a second vid out port on the vidcard is no good if you intend to have each monitor showing something different. If you're looking to mirror the displays (IE what one shows, the other one shows), then you are more than likely going to have to invest in a booster. The problem with this is that the parts are pretty expensive.

    This is, of course, unless you are willing to invest in some truly heavy duty cable, as I believe with the proper shielding you can run your video signal upwards of 50 feet. Beware that the last time I ordered this same type and length of cable for a customer, the cost was somewhere in the neighborhood of $280!!

    The only other option is to use a booster box, which is even more expensive, and may not be available for DVI connections, or convert the signal to NTFS and transmit it via wireless (ala Radio Shack's video transmitter/receiver units).
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  3. #3
    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    CAT5 will do it.
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  4. #4
    Banned eatyummypuppies's Avatar
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    You can probably put several DVI video cards in the machine and mirror one desktop or use each individually.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Frodo's right, Cat5 could do it as well.

    Puppies, additional vid cards will give him some latency issues, because he can only have one AGP (or PCI Express) video card, and PCI is horrid for higher resolution displays, especially when another video card is already working on the same thing. Unless the HTPC is going to be powered by a high-end P4 proc with lots of memory, I can't see a secondary vid card solution working as well as he might be expecting.

    However, you can get a card with dual DVI output, such as the ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder 8500, and mirror your display on those...
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  6. #6
    Banned eatyummypuppies's Avatar
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    I wonder if a USB video card could reliably handle video.

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate TaylorMade's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies. I have seen the CATV deals and I may give it a whirl, although I haven't looked too deep into how they actually work. I'm looking to display the same thing on all monitors, except maybe one, which would show the windows desktop, but in all reality, I'd probably show the same thing on all. I'd just like the ability to show it on more than just my big screen in the living room and the limiting factor is that they have different interfaces (DVI/Coax/Component/RCA).
    2008 Ford Expedition EL Ltd

    Carputer yanked from the Jeep and Denali and waiting to be installed in the Ford.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatyummypuppies
    I wonder if a USB video card could reliably handle video.
    Waitaminute. USB video card?? Aren't you thinking about a USB capture device? As far as I know, there is no such thing as a USB output device, since USB was designed to allow connected peripherals to be disconnected on the fly, and Windows is really unhappy having an expectedly permanent connected device suddenly disappear. Try unplugging a Creative Labs Extigy while it's outputting music some time. Instant system lock.
    Not only that, USB is a packet-based protocol, making it extremely lousy for video output of any sort. I would be more inclined to believe in a firewire device, but I still don't think there's such an animal...
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  9. #9
    FLAC bosstone74's Avatar
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    I have 60 foot of video and audio going through CAT5 for my Playstation 2
    Good stuff!
    BossTone74

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate TaylorMade's Avatar
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    oh yeah? How do you have that working?
    2008 Ford Expedition EL Ltd

    Carputer yanked from the Jeep and Denali and waiting to be installed in the Ford.

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