Living room project

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Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:23 am

Hello guys :)

Came here to ask you some advice:

So I want to connect my PC which is in my room to my big TV which is on the living room. There is about a 30ft distance between the two. I want to do this to enjoy Big Picture in the living room with a gamepad to play games like Mark of the Ninja and Bastion for example.

Now, I've been studying the best way to do this. The easiest would be to buy a small form factor machine and stick it in the living room, which costs a bit of money. The next as I read would be to purchase a WHDI device, though it's expensive and I don't think it would do the right job. The next straightforward way would be to pass a HDMI through the hallway but it does not seems to be very easy. So...

I was wondering if I could use a power line to pass ethernet to my livingroom (something like this http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=TL-PA2010PKIT) and then use something like this (http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011012&p_id=8121&seq=1&format=4#feedback) to connect both PC and TV.

I'm opened to suggestions of course, if you can provide me to an easier way, but not very expensive if possible.

Thank you

EDIT

Oh, also can you advice me in a gamepad controller which can work at that range to? I guess it must be bluetooth to go over that distance...
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:08 am

You could just get a 50ft HDMI cable and run that from your graphics card to the TV in clone mode. Should give you enough slack to get over a door frame or two.
Don't buy super-cheap HDMI cables longer than 25ft though, you're going to want high-quality, shielded, certified HDM1 1.4 spec beyond about 10ft. No need to go bonkers, you should be able to find that for around $50.

Buy a 50ft USB extension cable and stick a USB hub on the end for the keyboard/mouse/gamepad dongles
Best gamepad in my opinion is the Xbox 360 pad for Windows.

I don't think your HDMI to CAT5 would work over a powerline network. You're need at least 200Mb/s for that to be reliable at 1080p, and the powerline networks are only higher than that in theory. In practice it's like WiFi that promises "Up to 300Mbps" but actually only delivers 60Mbps. I've seen 200Mbps powerline setups synchronise on new cabling at 120Mbps and as low as 36Mbps in an old house.
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:26 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:You could just get a 50ft HDMI cable and run that from your graphics card to the TV in clone mode. Should give you enough slack to get over a door frame or two.
Don't buy super-cheap HDMI cables longer than 25ft though, you're going to want high-quality, shielded, certified HDM1 1.4 spec beyond about 10ft. No need to go bonkers, you should be able to find that for around $50.

Buy a 50ft USB extension cable and stick a USB hub on the end for the keyboard/mouse/gamepad dongles
Best gamepad in my opinion is the Xbox 360 pad for Windows.

I don't think your HDMI to CAT5 would work over a powerline network. You're need at least 200Mb/s for that to be reliable at 1080p, and the powerline networks are only higher than that in theory. In practice it's like WiFi that promises "Up to 300Mbps" but actually only delivers 60Mbps. I've seen 200Mbps powerline setups synchronise on new cabling at 120Mbps and as low as 36Mbps in an old house.


Damn, passing cables will be a pain in the butt :( What if I pass only a CAT6 cable, without the power lines, you think it can deliver the necessary bandwidth? And the controller, a Dualshock PS3 Bluetooth isn't a good option? Bluetooth is supposed to deliver better quality over range than WIFI so I thought it could work...

Thanks
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:45 pm

I've only tried those HDMI-to-CAT5 cables once, they were fussy and rely on good quality cabling (ie, shielded CAT5e or CAT6). You might as well spend the money on a good quality HDMI cable that you KNOW will work, rather gambling on some non-HDMI-certified hardware that MAY work.

Bluetooth controllers are fine. I suggested the USB hub on an extension for a few reasons:

  1. You're already running an HDMI (or CAT5e) cable anyway. Why not run two at the same time for almost no extra effort.
  2. Bluetooth hardware is more expensive, unless you already have it. Do you have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse?
  3. You can plug a usb stick into a hub and download photos, play movies, save files connect your smartphone, connect the play & charge kit for your controller.

Essentially, I used to do this in my own living room when there was no space for the HTPC near the TV. I started off without a USB hub and in the end I bought one and ran it under the carpet before screwing it to the underside of the coffee table. Everyone thought my house was awesome just because they could play movies and charge their phone from the coffee table ;)

The reason I suggested the XBox pad is that it has good windows driver support. Most games recognise and explicitly support the XBox360 pad and come up with an XBox360-specific overlay for it automatically, replacing "press enter" or "press e" messages with "press start" or "press (X)" with the correctly-coloured XBox button icon.
I've never seen a PS3 controller do that, nor any other third-party controllers. Sometimes the third-party controllers bring up the XBox360 overlay, but why buy an imitation when the genuine article is good quality and affordable?
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:56 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I've only tried those HDMI-to-CAT5 cables once, they were fussy and rely on good quality cabling (ie, shielded CAT5e or CAT6). You might as well spend the money on a good quality HDMI cable that you KNOW will work, rather gambling on some obscure hardware that MAY work.

Bluetooth controllers are fine. I suggested the USB hub on an extension for a few reasons:
  1. You're already running an HDMI (or CAT5e) cable anyway. Why not run two at the same time for almost no extra effort.
  2. Bluetooth hardware is more expensive, unless you already have it. Do you have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse?
  3. You can plug a usb stick into a hub and download photos, play movies, save files connect your smartphone, connect the play & charge kit for your controller.

Essentially, I used to do this in my own living room when there was no space for the HTPC near the TV. I started off without a USB hub and in the end I bought one and ran it under the carpet before screwing it to the underside of the coffee table. Everyone thought my house was awesome just because they could play movies and charge their phone from the coffee table ;)


Well, I guess the cable is out of question, only if it is a HDMI, because this system requires 2 CAT cables to work. Maybe the HDMI is the best solution...

Well, I don't really need the keyboard or mouse, this setup is really to use Big Picture so only the game controller is necessary.

Thank you for your time :)
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:40 pm

HDMI is not without it's flaws. 1080p over 50ft needs good quality cables.

On the other hand, 720p runs like a dream even on cheap 50ft cables. If you're not sure about it, buy a $10 cable off ebay and try it at 720p first. Hell, you might get lucky and find a $10 cable that runs 1080p over some long distance (I highly doubt it). FWIW I run my HDTV at 720p most of the time anyway (42" screen, sofa is 10' away, windows dpi scaling is awful).
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:31 am

Chrispy_ wrote:HDMI is not without it's flaws. 1080p over 50ft needs good quality cables.

On the other hand, 720p runs like a dream even on cheap 50ft cables. If you're not sure about it, buy a $10 cable off ebay and try it at 720p first. Hell, you might get lucky and find a $10 cable that runs 1080p over some long distance (I highly doubt it). FWIW I run my HDTV at 720p most of the time anyway (42" screen, sofa is 10' away, windows dpi scaling is awful).


Yeah, I'll try that, it looks to be the cheapest and easiest way ;)
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:51 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Buy a 50ft USB extension cable and stick a USB hub on the end for the keyboard/mouse/gamepad dongles


Just to be clear, the only kind of "cable" like that is really a self-contained/self-powering chain of USB hubs. Because of timing issues, you can't get over 5 meters with any one USB 2.0 link.

Such products exist, and they may work totally fine, but they're kind of kludgy...
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Re: Living room project

Postposted on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:12 am

Glorious wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:Buy a 50ft USB extension cable and stick a USB hub on the end for the keyboard/mouse/gamepad dongles


Just to be clear, the only kind of "cable" like that is really a self-contained/self-powering chain of USB hubs. Because of timing issues, you can't get over 5 meters with any one USB 2.0 link.

Such products exist, and they may work totally fine, but they're kind of kludgy...


Yes. Well I guess I will opt by use a DualShock Controller from PS3, it's bluetooth and it does not have the problems that most wireless controllers have ;)
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