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Splitting Cox digital STB to 2 HDTV's with HDMI splitter?

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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Default Splitting Cox digital STB to 2 HDTV's with HDMI splitter?

Hey guys...go easy on me. I'm a girl....so don't get all "tech" on me -using all kinds of abbrevs. okay? Took me long enough to figure out what STB meant..lol. However, I do understand electronics & how to wire up stuff.

Want to buy new VIZIO for BR and not sure I can 'steal' signal from STB into there via HDMI. Have Googled all kinds of HDMI splitters, but with mixed reviews. Not all were used for my application (to split cable signal). Most were used to connect components (Xbox, PS3, etc.) TO the TV.

But when they were used to split signal OUT of STB to 2 TV's, many people got error msgs. (I'm assuming from the box itself) or they got audio/video on one but only audio on other. Then others got poor reception on both (I'm guessing from the signal being degraded 50/50 -- and also gathered that was due to quality of splitter itself, i.e., "cheap").

Soooo...my first question is - is it possible to split HDMI signal from STB and not lose (any discernable) audio/video quality? And if so, what sort of economical splitter do you recommend? My needs are simple.

Second question -- if I can't split HDMI, then will STB allow me to keep quality of existing HDMI output to LR -- BUT -- also use S-Video or Component output for BR TV?

Or can the box "sense" that I'm trying to 'steal' a second signal? I ask that because I'm guessing that's where the error msg. comes from the other forums I've read at times, they are using two output ports....altho the other forums weren't about Cox, so maybe other companies have different 'locks' on their boxes.

I'm just saying -- I'm confused because - currently, I have it hooked upt to get signals OUT from STB thru both HDMI & coax (coax going into BR to old non HD tv) -- then don't see why I can't just switch from out coax to out S-video??

But maybe there's something funky going on with STBs & HD signals and such -- so that's why I'm asking you experts You know much more than I do, and I hope to learn a lot.

Thanks for any help I can get. And the faster, the better because the deal I can get on TV isn't gonna be there for long so I'll be watching for any posts I get tonight.

Bonnie

Last edited by brit5467; 03-30-2012 at 10:30 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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Bonnie,
HDMI can be really iffy sometimes. A lot will depend on your box and the two receivers you split to. When one HDMI receiver is connected to a box, the receiver sends a signal to the box (called the EDID information) telling it what it is and what video format the box needs to send to make it work. You run into a problem with two receivers if they're different because the box now needs to format for two different receivers and it can only do one - which one???? The splitter plays into this, because it will only indicate one receiver (it usually uses one of the two EDIDs) to your box, and sometimes that receiver format won't work with the second receiver. (One common complaint is one receiver won't work when the other is on.)

Bottom line is, the only way to find out is to try a given splitter and see if it works. In this case, a powered splitter is best. I would suggest going to Monoprice.com for a splitter and maybe talking to them about your setup and get their suggestion for one of their splitters.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Your other question about the composite or S-video: Yes, you can go that way. The box has no way of knowing you're using those outputs so it should work fine. Run HDMI to one receiver and S-video to another (or better yet, component video if your receiver will accept it). You won't get High Def over composite or S-Video connections, but it will let you use two receivers, and it will give you a better picture than a coax RF connection (you'll need to run the audio separately).
I would try the HDMI splitter first, and if you can't get it to work, go the other option.
Good Luck.

Last edited by RBTO; 03-31-2012 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Sounds like you need an HDMI Matrix switch. These let you send one input to multiple TVs.

I use this one so I never run out of inputs or output but they have others with less on the in and out side.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
You want to look at the Auto and Powered HDMI Matrix switches
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...=10110#1011002

What they let you do is plug in 1 or more inputs then send the output to one or more TVs or other devices.

With a 4x2 matrix you and have 4 different HDMI inputs, and send any of them to either of the 2 devices plugged into the output. That includes sending the output of one input to both output devices.
So, you can have your STB and BRplayer plugged in to the HDMI matrix and watch STB on both TVs or BR on both, or TV on one and BR on the other etc etc..

I have BR and STB in to my 4x4, one HDMI to the Kitchen TV and the other to the Projector, I can watch BR on the projector while the wife watches the food network in the kitchen from the STB. Or the other way around.. works great no issues, Monoprice.com products are a great value for the money and if there is a problem the take care of it right away no questions asked.
Hope that helps!

Sorry .. Most STB will output all at once so HDMI out and composite/Component/Svideo will all work simulations.. at least that is true on all the STB I have ever had.
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Last edited by airscapes; 03-31-2012 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Thanks to both. I didn't reply before cuz waiting for email telling me I got replies. Maybe I need to check my preferences.

I'll respond to Doug first. I guess 'my BR' and BR in 'this' world are two different things. I meant BedRoom...lol. So most of your reply was confusing to me, but not your fault OHHH, just got it - Blue Ray....duhhh. Now I wonder if my post even made sense...lol.

RBTO, that was very helpful. Makes sense about receivers sending back signals to box. In my case, they will both be VIZIO HD tvs (did you think I meant Blue Ray, as well?) so don't think that will be a problem, do you? Even if you did think BR, I think your answers can still be applied to my question.

As for the type of output to use, I did not know S-video didn't send HD signals, because the startup manual for my TV had one of those "Good, Better, Best" diagrams showing what you could use so I just assumed they all did. However, now that I read it and don't just look at the pics (lol) I see it DOES say that. I was always under the impression since the S-video port looks fancier than the component one, that it was a grade above. Silly me. So thanks for pointing that out.

Now...you mentioned component and composite. What is the difference? Saw other posts about them while looking to solve my issue and it seemed some people had them confused. My TV diagram (of input ports) doesn't show composite, nor does back of my STB have it.

(partial post deleted by OP due to posting some totally erroneous & confusing info....lol)

Thanks to both again !!

Last edited by brit5467; 03-31-2012 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Well I am kind of lost.. BUT this may help you answer your own questions
Just did a google for "video Input Types" if you want to read more.. but this was the first one returned.
http://audiovideo.lifezagger.com/ind...IDEO_COMPOSITE
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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LOL....I'm sure. Just came in here to edit post cuz neighbor just told me it's not RCA, it's a Red, Green, Blue connection. And your link confirms that, as well as telling me I need a seperate audio. So all that about the other colored inputs was probably confusing. I see now I just totally overlooked the "component" inputs when looking at the manual. And now that I look further, it goes into detail about it and even shows exactly what to buy.

I just hadn't looked at it in a long time since it's from my existing TV and didn't realize how much info was in it.

So sorry for all the confusion and thanks for the link!! I think I will go edit post so that I confuse anyone else.

Last edited by brit5467; 03-31-2012 at 03:37 PM.. Reason: grammar correction
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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I knew what you were talking about when you mentioned BR, but I didn't catch that you were trying to use something other than the STB. In that case, airscapes is right - get a matrix switch. That let's you choose more than one input and send given inputs to given outputs so you could watch your box in the main room and your Blu-Ray (which actually is abbreviated BD) in the BR, or any combination thereof.

Composite is a single cable connection. It has video only and usually has a yellow coded connector. S-Video has the funny looking connector with 4 pins in it and gives a somewhat improved picture in cases where it is used. Component is actually a three cable connection, color coded Red, Green, and Blue (not to be confused with your audio Red & White outputs). It's the best analog connection and can produce a High Def picture (but not 1080p - don't worry no big deal). The problem with it, is at some point in time there is talk of limiting the component outputs to less quality than HD. Hasn't happened yet but it might????? HDMI is a true digital connection but is flaky, flaky, flaky. When it works, it's great, but a lot of folks have had problems with it (your case for example), and when it doesn't work, you get a blank screen. It is capable of carrying video and audio, and other signals (both ways), and incorporates copy protection measures (which is one reason it's flaky) that none of the others have.

I think you'll end up using your HDMI which is easier because it carries the picture in HD and the audio. If your receivers are similar, it will probably work with an HDMI matrix switch ok. Again, give Monoprice a buzz or e-mail and check with them for suggestions. I think they can fix you up with one of their products. They are a pleasure to do business with, in my experience.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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Thanks RBTO. I guess I have thoroughly confused everyone cuz you had it right the first time. My issue is only with STB, current living room VIZIO HDTV and wanting to buy new smaller version of same for my bedroom (will never use BR again...lol) but did not want to if I could not get the cable signal on the new TV.

And you both have answered what I was worried about. That a digital HD signal can be split from STB with HDMI or I can use component inputs for the bedroom TV.

I learned a lot !! Thanks to both of ya!
Bonnie
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:40 AM   #9
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All this extra writing, one sentence required.

One HDTV gets HDMI , the other hook up with component ( RBG RW). Both will carry HD at the same time.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
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Thanks for that info, Italian956. But in the others' defense, I think I did confuse the issue with the BR reference....lol.

So I won't lose any HD quality using the component input for the 2nd TV?

And I don't think I ever got a definitive answer to this -- is there any way my Cox STB will detect that I'm trying to send two signals out of it - i.e., some sort of 'security' thing so that they force you to rent
2nd STB from them?

I ask only because in many other posts, people had problems with getting pics on both TV's at same time and/or error msgs. Not necessarily by doing it this exact way, but still trying to accomplish the same thing.

Now...where's the best place on here to ask questions about the VIZIO soundbars VSB200 & VSB205? I own the 200 and love it, but just curious about some things....thanks.
Bonnie
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brit5467 View Post
So I won't lose any HD quality using the component input for the 2nd TV?

... is there any way my Cox STB will detect that I'm trying to send two signals out of it - i.e., some sort of 'security' thing so that they force you to rent
2nd STB from them?
The only problem that might come into play is your box can sense the HDMI connection and it may disable or downgrade the component outputs when it does (when the HDMI output is being used). Otherwise the component outputs can get you a full HD picture just fine (minus the audio which takes two more cable connections). Many devices will deliver both HDMI and component at the same time, and the only way to know about your box is to try it. If it doesn't work, you're back to an HDMI splitter solution.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:26 PM   #12
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How long of a cable do you need to reach the TV in the Bed Room.. 35' is beyond the HDMI spec but will normally work with a high quality cable, the component cable solution does not have that limitation. Just one more thing to keep in mind.
Personally I like the one cable HDMI with matrix solution, it cost a little more but is much more flexible since you can add a DVD, BR, Laptop or other HDMI device and watch that in the Bed Room while someone else uses the STB in the living room or vice versa .. that can not happens with the component solution.
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Last edited by airscapes; 04-01-2012 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:38 PM   #13
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RBTO ~ ok...sounds good to me! Am asking so many questions since I want to order one or the other (component or HDMI & splitter) while ordering other (non-related) stuff from Amazon to make up a "free shipping" order and want to do it soon.

Airscapes ~ as far as distance, 2nd TV is right off STB in LR so it's no farther than 10' if that much so I'm good there. And I see your point on the options when using HDMI matrix splitter. I'm not there yet, but can see the potential for the future.

I didn't not what 'matrix' meant (aside from the movie...lol) so checked out monoprice.com. They called it a switch. Is that the right thing? Have to admit, the description was a bit above my head. But I think I kinda understand.

I thought all a splitter could do was take an input from only one source and send it to two outputs....hence, I didn't understand the purpose of having more than two outputs. But I'm learning.

I mean, Geezz, you don't know how many times I referred back to the monoprice description to get the right use of "input & output" and how many times I've switched out those two words in this post...lol. I realize now, I had a mental 'glitch' of those terms (the beers during the race probably didn't help..lol....Go Jr.).

Here's the problem. I'm a visual person. So I was picturing signals going OUT (output) of my STB and INTO (input) into my TVs.

But (and correct me if I"m wrong). The splitter is just a 'device.' Input and Output is referring to how the signals 'flow'...hence, input INTO the splitter and output OUT of the splitter....right?

Think I got it now....lol. I mean, I think I do pretty good but it takes me a little while. I feel lucky to have been gifted with understanding mechanical stuff, electricity, electronics, & even plumbing. BUT I have no one to teach me anymore. My 'genius" uncle in these fields is older now and has no patience with me....lol.

So in my own words....the splitter/switch can take up to 4 inputs (DVR, DVD, BR, etc.) into it and route signals to 2 separate outputs, therefore (if I had it), I could play a VCR thru one TV and the STB thru another ? (Think you said that, but just making sure.)

So for my visualization - the box is the 'go between' that distributes various signals it 'accepts' from input sent INTO it? And can 'push out' 2 independent signals OR can divide 1 signal to 2 separate TVs?

Wheww...as I said..took me a long time to get THAT right...the input and output crap. But got it now....visually (I think..please confirm). Doesn't seem the same as electricity to me....or maybe I'm just confused there, as well...lol.

Thanks so much,
Bonnie
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:15 AM   #14
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Yep you just about have it. A switch will route multiple inputs to one output.

The Matrix part comes in when you have MORE than one output (TV).

So you need a matrix switch not a switch. Scroll down on the monoprice site.. matrix switches are below the switches..
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:32 AM   #15
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Bonnie,
Here's the visual on a splitter and matrix switch. The first number indicates the number of inputs, and the second the number of outputs. For example, a matrix switch with 2 inputs and four outputs is listed as a 2x4 matrix switch. All your splitters will be 1xsomething, depending on the number of outputs, because the splitter will only have one input.

The Monoprice splitter link:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

The Monoprice matrix switch link:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
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