Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

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Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:02 pm

Alright, so I'm working with a computer in one room, roughly 50ft away. I need to get USB, audio out/mic, and display to a monitor in a room over. What would you guys recommend?

Currently I'm toying with the option of a USB cable and then a displayport or hdmi run along with it. The less cables the better. One issue I've run into with audio over hdmi or displayport as there seems to be a complete lack of information about it. Video cards are supposed to be able to support audio over hdmi in the form of sound. They also supposedly support audio in over the auxiliary channel, but finding a video card that is compatible with that or lists it as a feature is a crapshoot. The same holds true for displayport.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that AMD video cards actually have a sound chip on board where as Nvidia cards supposedly act as a intermediary between whatever sound solution you have and the HDMI/DP cable. Yet, from what I've heard and read Nvidia cards are outright atrocious when it comes to this specific feature, it doesn't work a lot of the time and there are almost no features to tweak it with in the control panel (I don't have a Nvidia card so I can't confirm it).

As a AMD owner though I know there is a audio output listed in my sound devices, but there is no conforming audio input for the HDMI jack. Furthermore it's listed specifically as a HDMI audio device so I don't know if sound works over displayport. I don't know if this pertains to my specific video card, the model of video card, or even the series of video cards. I have a AMD 6970.


Really this is a huge crapshoot. I know audio over USB is an option, but I'd like to stay away from that as there is better use of remote USB bandwidth, I'd rather not to deal with the hassle of it, and purchasing a few USB audio devices can get expensive (this is for more then one computer). Running analog over another cable is a option too, but I could see that degrading over the runs, it would add another cable as well.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:20 pm

So lengths...are you going the short way through a wall or actually routing 50 feet of cable? I am unfamiliar with the standards to know what your maximum length would be (before you start running into transmission line issues), but that could end your party real quick.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:30 pm

*Irony Alert*: Everything you just described sounds like a perfect usecase for Thunderbolt.

More practically speaking (assuming you don't have Thunderbolt hardware):

1. Monoprice has some good low-price cable for HDMI that gets the job done nicely. I own a 50' cable that worked very well for video.
2. For audio, it is perfectly possible to get one or more TRS 1/8" cables that will go 50' instead of trying to fight with HDMI (I've only ever gotten HDMI audio working with Intel chipsets strangely enough). I'm not sure where the audio ends up (speakers? headphones? an amplifier?) but with a half-way decent TRS cable you should be able to do 50' without the losses being too great.
3. USB: You may have me there since USB has some pretty strict cable length requirements.... would a wireless keyboard/mouse combo work?
[EDIT on USB: Looks like there are active repeater USB cable setups that reach 50' out there. Amazon has one for under $20 and I'm sure you can find cheaper if you do more searching. I'm not sure how well they work though.]
Last edited by chuckula on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:31 pm

I would recommend a thin client and an RDP connection.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:47 pm

Before getting into a real discussion of specific issues, you've missed one important detail- Why?

There are wireless solutions, where are Ethernet and fiber extenders, and there are long cables, each with different costs and drawbacks. Further, any solution besides directly running a pair of cables will result in some level of input and output latency.

With respect to HDMI audio, it works great on my laptops GTX675m (GF114), including DD/DTS 5.1 pass-through to a receiver, and I know that the HD6000-series works at least in stereo, and I'd expect them to work just as well as a pass-through device. Just don't expect them to send multi-channel audio that isn't pre-encoded, although they should technically be capable of this (shameless jab).

For HDMI audio in, I've never tried to do it, and have no idea how that would work from either an interface perspective nor a software perspective, so good luck with that one :).
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:42 am

I would recommend a complete SFF system. Surely there's somewhere you can mount one where it won't be in the way? If you don't need a lot of CPU horsepower, there are even some small ones that you can bolt to the VESA mounting holes on the back of the LCD monitor.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:18 pm

No I don't have TB, no I wouldn't use TB, nor would I spend the ridiculous amount of money running TB to use one or even two less cables. Yes I know this is pretty much the only scenario TB accels at and I described it down to the letter. Although TB is capable of doing such things, it would already have to have capable devices of doing this. I'm assuming TB has more of a problem with transmitting and receiving audio then DP and HDMI do as those have been around for years.

I can find cables, that's not a issue.

TRS?

USB has loose standards. Meaning it has defined maximum length, but that's not anywhere near close to how far data can actually go on it. You buy cables with built in single port hubs (they function like repeaters), which the cable itself powers. You can't use it to power actual devices though, so you put a hub on the other end and it covers the power requirements.

What kind of wireless solution gets a low latency signal to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and audio 50 feet away? Also operating in a noisy environment with more then 10 of the same devices operating at the same time.

RDP isn't something I would use for more then monitoring. Input has to actually take place on the other end, like playing games.


No one has had any experience with using audio-in on either DP or HDMI?
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:27 pm

Bensam123 wrote:No one has had any experience with using audio-in on either DP or HDMI?

I don't think what you're asking for exists, as neither standard was really designed to do that. DP does not have audio input capability at all. The closest thing is probably the ARC (Audio Return Channel) feature of HDMI; but this is not designed to route a mic input back to the PC. Rather, its intent is to provide a way for a TV with a built-in tuner to use the HDMI port to digitally send audio from its tuner to an A/V receiver. I would be very surprised if any consumer video cards have the ability to decode the ARC; and good luck figuring out a way to get an ARC-compatible signal from your mic or headset.

The latest version of the DP spec supposedly allows USB data to be routed over the video cable, which would theoretically allow you to use a USB mic. But like ARC, I'm not aware of any video cards that implement this functionality.

If you really need the return audio channel, I think you're just going to have to run some good shielded low-loss audio cable alongside the video cable. Or use a USB mic over the same cable you're using for mouse & keyboard.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Bensam123 wrote:No one has had any experience with using audio-in on either DP or HDMI?

I don't think what you're asking for exists, as neither standard was really designed to do that. DP does not have audio input capability at all. The closest thing is probably the ARC (Audio Return Channel) feature of HDMI; but this is not designed to route a mic input back to the PC. Rather, its intent is to provide a way for a TV with a built-in tuner to use the HDMI port to digitally send audio from its tuner to an A/V receiver. I would be very surprised if any consumer video cards have the ability to decode the ARC; and good luck figuring out a way to get an ARC-compatible signal from your mic or headset.

The latest version of the DP spec supposedly allows USB data to be routed over the video cable, which would theoretically allow you to use a USB mic. But like ARC, I'm not aware of any video cards that implement this functionality.

If you really need the return audio channel, I think you're just going to have to run some good shielded low-loss audio cable alongside the video cable. Or use a USB mic over the same cable you're using for mouse & keyboard.


Yeah, I think his best solution will be to boost an HDMI cable and a USB cable over the distance. No wireless solution will be lag-free for gaming, and anything other than a low-latency PC monitor already adds enough input lag.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:21 pm

Yeah, my original solution was running DP and a USB cable.

The ARC as you so described it is a part of the specification, what scope or implementations are available was what I was questioning here. If anyone has had any experience with them. DP also supports audio input over auxiliary channels. The same that applies to HDMI also applies to DP here as far as implementation goes.

I was asking because some monitors have audio input on them in addition to audio output. There are quite a few on Newegg.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Bensam123 wrote:I was asking because some monitors have audio input on them in addition to audio output. There are quite a few on Newegg.

Got a link? I couldn't find one in a few minutes of searching the LCD monitor section of the site. Are you sure it isn't just a pass-through, to give you a convenient place to plug in your analog headset?

You also need a video card that has the ability to decode the audio channel and make it appear as a separate audio input device to the OS. Since the audio is coming over the same digital cable that the video is being sent over, it can't come in through your existing sound card's mic/line inputs.
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Re: Getting peripherals and sound to a remote location

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:15 pm

I've got a setup similar to what you're looking for. Shorter distance, older stuff, but you should be able to adapt from this list:

35 ft VGA extension:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... 1&format=2

32 ft active USB extension:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... 1&format=2

Powered USB hub:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/7-ports-po ... sb-hub-678

USB sound:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/usb-virtua ... pter-59077

Mic input is a bit iffy right now, but I'm not sure if that's because of the cheap sound card or the cheap headset that's hooked in to it.

Monoprice also has this interesting HDMI extension:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?p_id=8121
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