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View Full Version : HDMI splitting + Boosting advice please




meulemaster
Aug 22, 2009, 04:37 PM
Hi experts...

I am dealing with the following situation; Two Panasonic Viera Plasma TV's (42 and 65 inch) that I want to connect to one Mac Mini running plex. The TV's are about 15 meters from each other (the distance the cabling would have to run).

On the 65 inch I do not want to connect the audio to the TV and on the TV in the bedroom I do.

Can someone advice me on the following things:

1) What can be used to split the signal coming from the Mac Mini and running to the two TV's?
2) Will this signal need to be boosted? and if so, what is the best way to do this?
3)How can I hook up the audio for the TV in both rooms (one being hooked up to the TV and one to the stereo center in the living room)

Any advice would be much appreciatted!

Cheers!



hitekalex
Aug 22, 2009, 10:40 PM
Well, HDMI is a digital bitstream.. so you can't "split" or "boost" it.

I think your best bet is investing in a AVR with multi-HDMI switching capabilities.. You could also just get an HDMI switch, but since you also want to split audio signal, that probably won't do.

You could also use HDMI for one TV, and analog component outputs for the other.

In any of these cases, you won't be able to use both TV's at the same time. If that's what you want to do - you need two ATVs.

peetah
Aug 23, 2009, 02:38 AM
You need this: http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5244

I use it to split an HDMI signal among 4 different TVs in different parts of a small office.

hitekalex
Aug 23, 2009, 10:49 PM
You need this: http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5244

I use it to split an HDMI signal among 4 different TVs in different parts of a small office.

$500?? He'd probably be better off buying a few more Apple TV's instead..

Dertyb
Aug 24, 2009, 04:07 AM
There are plenty of lower price HDMI splitters that will do the job:

e.g.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011301&p_id=4921&seq=1&format=2

or

http://www.hdcable.co.uk/splitter-1-2-pro2.html

If you search for 'HDMI 1x2' you ought to be able to find out a bit more.

On the audio side, it sounds as if you're looking to simply set things up in stereo in both rooms, so the easiest thing to do is to get a 3.5mm audio splitter for just a or so, and run a set of phono cables each to the TV and stereo.

Dependent on your TV, you should be able to assign the analogue audio input to the HDMI input.

Buzbox
Aug 24, 2009, 09:28 AM
If you have the current Mac Mini you may be able to run the Mini DVI Port & Mini Display Port at the same time you just need the adaptors to run both at HDMI. If your 42" is 1920x1080p resolution like your 65" you could set the Mac Mini in Mirror mode if not you can output in dual monitors and set the resolutions accordingly, SwitchresX is the software I use to get the desired resolutions to both displays- http://www.madrau.com/SRX3/html/SRX/About.html
In Plex you can then set the different monitor resolutions to match your two Plasma's (this is under Preferences - System Settings - Displays menu)

If it is an older Mac Mini then use the Gefen 1 in 2 output HDMI Splitter http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5723 , build & picture quality are worth it (especially if you are using it on a 65" plasma)
Audio can be split via the Griffin iMic USB interface to the 42" Plasma (you'll need to check if you can assign an analog audio input to the HDMI input on the 42" Plasma though) http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic
You can then run the separate 3.5mm output to 2 RCA to the Stereo System that you're using with the 65". If using an AV Receiver with Surround Sound you can also use a 3.5mm Toslink to Optical cable (You can get these cables up to 20m in length) Once again Plex has an option to output via the Digital audio output or the analog audio output via the iMic (however you would need to change this manually when switching between the two Plasma's) Hope this helps as I'm running a very similar scenario with an iMac with Plex, a 42" Plasma & 100" front projection system

meulemaster
Aug 26, 2009, 01:40 AM
Thanks a lot for all your advice!!! Really helped me a lot!!

Cheers,

Colin

NOD
Aug 26, 2009, 02:01 AM
The fundamental difficulty w/ HDMI splitters is the HDCP handshake issue. If you try to run something from a source to one display, but the other display is off, the HDCP handshake may not work, and you may end up needing to turn on the other TV and activate that HDMI input as well in order to get the signal to work on the first.

Wotan31
Aug 26, 2009, 08:29 AM
The fundamental difficulty w/ HDMI splitters is the HDCP handshake issue. If you try to run something from a source to one display, but the other display is off, the HDCP handshake may not work, and you may end up needing to turn on the other TV and activate that HDMI input as well in order to get the signal to work on the first.
Agreed. As a standard, HDMI really sucks. It's a mess. 19 pins on an HDMI cable? Really? And a non-locking connector? Sounds like a poorly planned "slap it all together" kind of solution. And don't even get me started on the *completely* idiotic protocol and signaling. A drunk monkey could design a better solution. Did I mention HDMI sucks? Oh well, as consumers, I guess we all get stuck with consumer-grade crap. Pity that's the best option for home use. :(

jw2002
Aug 26, 2009, 11:31 PM
Your HDMI signal should be fine after 15 meters. I have a 15 m long cable running from my AVR to the plasma tv, and it has worked without a hitch.

meulemaster
Aug 27, 2009, 02:47 AM
Thanks again for the responses!

Decided to go a different route by using my wired network as a means of connecting the two (actually 3) TV's. Decided that the Living room is where the Mac Mini will get used most and will leave it there. The other rooms will have HDMI + Audio wires connected to the TV's so a laptop can easily be connected to it. We will use one laptop with plex installed and so, if all goes right, it should easily find the data stored on the EHD's of the Mac Mini.

This seemed like a better and more cost-effective solution then trying to split/boost the HDMI signal and run it through the house.

Cheers!