Hiding all those video components

by Volker Weber

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My TV was living inside a nest of cables and AV components. Up until this weekend. Now it's all hidden away. And it works brilliantly. Here's the story.

I solved my TV sound problem a long time ago. Run a cable from TV audio-out to Sonos line-in, program the ZonePlayer to switch to line-in as soon as there is a signal, and presto, great sound coming out of my stereo.

Video was a different story. My TV does digital terrestrial but not satellite. I am running three separate boxes to augment the TV:

  1. A dual antenna digital sat receiver with hard disk recording from a company I no longer recommend.
  2. An Apple TV, which serves as the target for Airplay video, Photostream and movie trailers. We stream live video from iPads to this box.
  3. A Netgear NeoTV 550, which plays all the media files from my NAS that the Apple TV refuses to acknowledge that they are there.

So I was running three HDMI wires into the TV, and all of these boxes had so sit on a shelf in the vicinity of the TV, so that they could be controlled via IR remote controls. To resolve this mess Belkin last week sent me a big box with two components (and another small remote): the ScreenCast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter.

ScreenCast AV has a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter connects up to four HDMI sources and sends the data stream over 5 GHz wirelessly to the receiver. The receiver connects to one HDMI port of the TV. The receiver also picks up IR signals from your remotes and send them back to the transmitter who emits the same IR signals through a four-headed IR blaster back to your components.

Now you can hide away your AV components, plus the transmitter and the IR blaster inside a closet, and only keep the receiver at the TV. I have mounted the receiver to the back of my TV where it picks up the IR signals as they bounce off the wall. The messy cables and the three AV components are now hidden away.

I have not dealt with any of the technical details. Belkin says that the ScreenCast can achieve full 1080 video, 3D video and 5.1-channel surround sound over a distance of up to 30 feet. I am just transmitting the signal over a short distance through an IKEA BESTA shelf. And it all just works.

Next step is to move all AV components into the basement. That's would be only 10 feet away from the TV, but going through a serious concrete floor.

Comments

Now the only thing missing is, that this device automagically switches to the input you want to use. The biggest mess with such a setup is the countless switching of input channels on the tv and with it adjusting the volume level.

Part of that can be resolved by Logitech Harmony, but not everything.
If I beam a video to my Apple TV, I just want it display on my Screen.

Christian Gut, 2012-05-07

250 Euro is a lot of money ... hope the price for this kind of tech is going down quickly. If devices could just support Airplay or DLNA, everything would be ok too, I guess.

Sebastian Herp, 2012-05-07

Das muss ich mir genauer ansehen, denn den Kabelsalat kenne ich gut und das FB Drama wollte ich mit der Logitech Harmony lösen, ging aber nur bedingt.

Thomas Köster, 2012-05-10

vowe: I solved my TV sound problem a long time ago. Run a cable from TV audio-out to Sonos line-in, program the ZonePlayer to switch to line-in as soon as there is a signal, and presto, great sound coming out of my stereo.

How exactly does this work? The ZonePlayer then just acts as a speaker and the signal itself doesn't run through the Sonos system? So this only works with one speaker?

Or how did you get around the delay between buffered audio and unbuffered video otherwise?

Mariano Kamp, 2012-05-15

Each line-in is a source that all players can see. It works like any other source.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-15

@Mariano:

Check https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091

especially

"CHANGING THE LINE-IN ENCODING SETTING"

This reduces the delay to a reasonable amount.

Ole Saalmann, 2012-05-15

Oops, linked like a n00b ...

Ole Saalmann, 2012-05-15

Vowe, Ole, thanks.

Will try it out. Would solve my most annoying living room issue.

Mariano Kamp, 2012-05-15

TV speakers have to be off.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-15

Works great. Tried it with TV signal and Google TV via HDMI and both look lip sync to me.

The output is interrupted sometimes though, but I guess that is a different issue, maybe interferences. I will call Sonos tomorrow.

Mariano Kamp, 2012-05-15

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

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