Questions About Routing Directivo to Entire House

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by tvn, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Mar 2, 2006 #1 of 35
    tvn

    tvn New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey

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    OK. Eleven years with DirecTV and the new home is all wired. Three DirecTivos stacked and ready to be routed. I've been basically running the same unit to all the rooms, and changing the RF Out connections between the machines as needed to watch Now Playing on each. Any suggestions on a better RF modulation system? I have two feeds coming into the bedroom with my R10, but i don't want to put a separate unit in each room. I also have the remote xtenders, so I'm good there. Each Tivo has its own Remote Address. Any thoughts of improving my routing? Tired of re-patching everytime something I want is on the other machine.

    (1) DVR80
    (2) R10

    6 rooms wired
     
  2. Mar 2, 2006 #2 of 35
    BlindLemonLarry

    BlindLemonLarry 'Lectric Chair Blues

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    Jun 19, 2004
    I have both a DirecTivo and a ReplayTV, the Tivo records DTV content and the Replay strictly records OTA content. The composite video and analog audio outputs of both boxes connect to the two line inputs of my VCR, and the RF out of the VCR feeds my global house cable wiring. (Which Time Warner was nice enough to install for the previous owner of the house, but now serves nicely to distribute my DTV. :D ) Upstairs TV sets stay tuned to channel three.

    With a remote extender upstairs, I can control either PVR from my bedroom or office, and remotely select one or the other by switching line inputs on the downstairs VCR. It's all handled transparently by my re-programmed All-In-One remote...the correct VCR input is chosen automatically when I select Tivo or Replay.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2006 #3 of 35
    tvn

    tvn New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    I like your set-up, but do you know how hard it is two find a VCR with two RCA outputs? I know i had a Toshiba in the late '90's and the SLVR Sony had them. But today?
     
  4. Mar 2, 2006 #4 of 35
    tvn

    tvn New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    Come to think of it, the front input and the rear input could do it. Sounds like a plan. Thanks.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2006 #5 of 35
    BlindLemonLarry

    BlindLemonLarry 'Lectric Chair Blues

    85
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    Jun 19, 2004

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    Bingo!

    I can't remember the last time I touched a VHS tape. At least my VCR can still serve as a video switcher/RF modulator. And oh yeah, a clock. ;)
     
  6. Mar 3, 2006 #6 of 35
    rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

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    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS
    Do a search here for "channel modulator". A lot of people use products from ChannelPlus, Sony and Dayton.

    -Robert
     
  7. Mar 3, 2006 #7 of 35
    Tom J

    Tom J New Member

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    Jan 24, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    I have 4 D*Tivo's stacked in a rack. The A/V or component outputs of each go to 4 main TV's for the best quality. In addition, an output of each Tivo goes to four modulators with their outputs combined together and distributed to all 8 TV's in the house.

    I used 2 ChannelPlus 3025 dual modulators cascading the output of one into the other. I chose Ch's 110, 114, 120, and 124. The 3025 has an integrated IR path so it may or may not work with your remote extenders. I used the 5V IR targets which work great.

    The one caveat with this setup is that each RF feed should be a separate run instead of a single feed split where convenient. This has its advantages which I'll expand upon if you want.

    I'm a broadcast engineer and I guess wiring my house has been my hobby. From the beginning I wanted a reliable, high-quality distribution system but it also needed to be cost effective. I bought a 3025 to evaluate it. I took it apart to research the design and I can say I'm sold on it for consumer use. In any event, its worked great for a year.

    Tom J
     
  8. Mar 3, 2006 #8 of 35
    tvn

    tvn New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    Thanks, Tom J. My installer recommended this and I was concerned about sending an RF signal (good but not great). And hear I am now looking to do it. I will probably keep my digital connections with my better unit and route RF to the entire house. I will look into the product you mentioned. Thanks.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2006 #9 of 35
    Tom J

    Tom J New Member

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    Jan 24, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    Exactly.

    Ten years ago we had noisy analog cable systems and even worse VHS quality. The cheap RF modulators that were (and still are) available made things worse. Using RF to hook up or distribute signals in the home deservedly got a very bad bad rap.

    Things have changed. The core frequency agile modulator chip used in the 3025 is used on a number of consumer and commercial modulators. So you may find equivalent results on another brand.

    Like I mentioned, I have the component outputs of my two HR10-250's feeding two HDTV's. These TV's also have these same Tivo's available as RF channels. Many times I have watched TV for several hours without noticing that I'm using the tuner. Inherently lazy, I usually leave the Video/RF selection where its at anymore (unless I want to watch HD). The bottom line for me is that for standard definition DirecTV video, I don't notice any difference.

    The purists will poo-poo the very idea of this. Nevertheless, RF is a very cost effective and efficient method of distribution. The convienience of watching any of the four Tivo's in the kitchen or anywhere else is great. Plus, not to complicate the OT, I have four security cameras that are modulated and therefore are also easily available for monitoring from any TV. :up:

    Tom J
     
  10. MikeF

    MikeF New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    Falcon, CO
    I highly recommend these RF modulators:

    http://www.beachaudio.com/product_info.php?products_id=21129

    I have two and they work better than I ever expected AND they send a stereo signal (most of your RF Modulators only send a combined mono signal over the cable so your distant TVs do not get a stereo signal). On top of all that these are cheap (compared to most tunable RF Modulators).
     
  11. Tom J

    Tom J New Member

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    Jan 24, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    Hmmmm interesting.

    MikeF, can you measure the width of that across the front. I would be curious how many would fit in a rack panel. And also the height? Their spec sheet doesn't list the dimensions.

    CE Labs makes some good stuff. I have a CE LAbs AV501HD distribution amp and am also quite happy with it.

    Tom J
     
  12. tvn

    tvn New Member

    70
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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    Thanks, Mike F. Can you explain the routing. Details are tough to find on-line. The Channel Plus was easy two a/v inputs and x amount of RF outs. How does this one work? Thanks in advance.
     
  13. MikeF

    MikeF New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    Falcon, CO
    4" wide x 1.5" tall x 3.75" deep (so they are tiny IMO)

    The front has two buttons for changing the channel that it modulates on and then the LED. The back has 3 RCA inputs (Left, Right, Video) and one Coax output.

    I have 2 of these boxes (one set to Ch 59, and the other to Ch 62) with a DTiVo hooked to each. The coax from each of these goes to a 4 way splitter (combiner in this case) with my OTA antenna feeding and a Radio Shack Ch 3 Stereo modulator I bought years ago (I'll probably replace that with another one of these CE Labs boxes) on the 4th leg. The output from the splitter then goes to my home run area to feed out to the house.

    One thing that surprised me with these boxes is the strength of the output. I used to have some cheapo modulators and then had an amp behind them to boost the signal. I had to pull that amp out of my path as these are putting out a nice strong signal already. Very cool ;).
     
  14. tvn

    tvn New Member

    70
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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    Mike F, I have to say, right now, with no switching ability, my RF out to my living room projector looks just as good as my earlier S-Video connection directly from the R10. I know I can route that one feed everywhere. I'm afraid going RCA out and combining and then going RF to the home run will hurt the quality, especially using the channels on the UHF band. Do you agree? I tried using the two inputs on a VCR and going RF out and I think the video was a little fuzzy. Is RF out directly to RF in as good as it gets, albeit without the switchability. I don't mind having the same signal in all the rooms at once. Or does the modulator improve the signal? Again, I appreciate your insight.
     
  15. lutton

    lutton New Member

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    Mar 10, 2004
    tvn: check parts express - http://www.partsexpress.com/ - they have modulators and other goodies. I got a three input modulator which works well for me.

    Also, they're in Ohio so ground shipping only takes a day or two.
     
  16. MikeF

    MikeF New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    Falcon, CO
    What you are trying to accomplish may be different than what I was trying to accomplish. With the CE Labs 1001st, the picture quality is not as good as from straight S video, but it is much better than from a VCR. Most VCR's have very crappy RF modulators in them as they are only meant to be hooked up with a 3' or shorter cable to the tv (never meant to be amplified and ran all over the house). This box is meant for longer runs, and produces a picture close to the output of the RCA video feed I think (even with it getting converted to RF and combined with sound). I haven't done a side by side test, but I think the output from this box is better than what I remember the RF output straight from the TiVo had.

    For me, I needed a way to allow any TV in the house watch the 3 DTiVos I have hooked up by simply switching the channel the set was on. All of my units are in the Media Center on the main big screen tv in our Family Room so on that set, all connections are direct into an amp and then fed into the TV (so straight S-Video picture). All other TV's (except a rear projection set in the Living Room) are just smaller TV's so video quality isn't as critical. With that said, the 52" rear projection tv in the living room gets a picuture off of these that is not perfect, but its better than what the neighbor gets on his Cable (non digital channels). Very little grain or interference. I may not have the discriminating eye that others have, but friends of ours just the other night commented how nice the picture looked on our remote big screen and started asking about switching to satellite (so that was just through coax. I blew them away when I showed them the picture direct from the DTiVo later :cool: ).

    You could always buy one of these and try it. If it doesn't work, then send it back. Beach Audio seemed to have a decent return policy (although I haven't tried to return anything to them yet).
     
  17. tvn

    tvn New Member

    70
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    Sep 29, 2002
    New Jersey
    Mike F, Thanks. If it is better than what I achieved through the VCR, then I'll give it a shot. I'm really tiring of switching the wires between the Tivos. Last night i went back and forth a few times. I'm going to buy one this week and I'll let you know. Thanks.
     
  18. BradHouser

    BradHouser New Member

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Is the RF out on the box mono or MTS stereo? I always assumed it was mono, similar to most VCRs. You stereo TV in the other room, if you have one, may end up with mono.
     
  19. MikeF

    MikeF New Member

    195
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    Jan 29, 2002
    Falcon, CO
    Most RF Modulators that I've seen combine the left and right and put out a simple mono signal. What impressed me (and still impresses me) is the CE Labs 1001st puts out full stereo. My remote TVs that detect stereo have the stereo light now on these channels, and the sound is definetly stereo (I can definetly hear left to right type effects. 24 now sounds awesome on the living room TV if I don't want to go down to the main family room tv).

    NOTE: CE Labs also makes a 1001f unit. That one is NOT stereo as I understand it but a combined output (Parts express sells that unit and I don't think the 1001st). The price on the 1001st from Beach Audio really can't be beat (I have nothing to do with these guys, just a happy customer).
     
  20. Lee L

    Lee L Got Basenji?

    9,603
    0
    Oct 1, 2003
    Morrisville, NC
    Great timing oin this thread. I am looking into the prewiring for a house to be constructed over the next few months. RIght now, I am planning on running 3 coax lines to each location, in most locations, 2 lines will be for a DirecTivo (2 HR10-250 whose location is fixed and 1 older SDDVR40 upgraded that can go anywhere right now) and one line will be for OTA antenna. Can I use a modulator at each D TiVo and put all the signals onto the OTA antenna wire or should I just go ahead and run a seperate wire (though budget is a little bit of a factor, this stuff adds up quick).

    My preference would be to keep each receiver located near the TV it serves for the better direct connection but still have the ability to watch remotely. I would not mind needing to go to the other receiver to change a setting to make this possible.

    Another reason not to spend a ton extra on it is that this is all essentially temporary for now anyway as I will have 2 Cat 5e runs to each location as well that I am assuming will be used for networking Series 3 units (or if DirecTv ges their act together, their new DVR's) in a year or 2.
     

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