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Solutions for using my computer in 2 different rooms of the house

HenslerHensler Registered User regular
I'm giving some serious thought to replacing my game consoles in my living room with my PC, but I still need to be able to use the PC in my home office when I'm working on professional stuff and need to use my big, beautiful monitor. The TV in the living room is a basic 82" plasma with HDMI hookups, but no sort of Internet connectivity. Right now, when I want to hook the computer up to the TV, it's a pain in the ass - unhooking all the chords, physically moving the TV to the living room, and hooking it all back. And then repeating it when I need to get work done.

On the plus side, I know that it works well with my TV and I like how it looks. I'm just looking for an easier way to handle it, without having to disconnect and re-connect the PC every day. My video card does have multiple outputs, and I've considered looking for a really long HDMI chord to run through the floor to the living room from my office, but haven't tried it yet. Anybody got any ideas/advice for what I should do?

Hensler on

Posts

  • smokmnkysmokmnky Registered User regular
    How long would the HDMI run be? Because that might be your best option, of course you'd have to figure out how to get the controller and/or keyboard+mouse in your living room as well

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    smokmnky wrote: »
    How long would the HDMI run be? Because that might be your best option, of course you'd have to figure out how to get the controller and/or keyboard+mouse in your living room as well

    I'm thinking the total length run would be ~30 feet from the back of the PC, through the crawl-space, and to the back of the TV. Ideally, I'd like to use Bluetooth for the mouse/keyboard/controller problem, and a wireless 360 gamepad. The actual distance would be a little shorter, but I still might be pushing on signal loss at that point. And I just realized I'm going to need to run audio from the PC to the TV as well. Hmmm...

    Teslan26
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    If you're looking at ~30ft of HDMI make sure you get the highest quality cable available. We're running an HDMI cable from a PC to a TV roughly the same length and the quality is atrocious. There are lines everywhere and it's very blurry at times.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    From the chart I was looking at, I didn't think there would be much quality loss for that length of HDMI - but the chart WAS on an HDMI cable manufacturer's site, so I'm glad you mentioned that.

    Through Google, I've found some decent sounding wireless transmitters that are designed to do just this - but I'm worried the distance is going to be too far with all the wireless traffic I already have in my house, and there look to be some latency issues with 1080p - which is the deal breaker for me, since I want to use it for Blu Rays and gaming.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Signal degradation is a concern at that distance. I know they make HDMI boosters, after 25 feet you'll start running into issue. Best bet is to see if you can't find boosters and a halfway point.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Well, first go ahead and get a cable and just see how it looks. Measure it out then consider one of these cables:

    25'
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024005&p_id=2109&seq=1&format=2

    30'
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024005&p_id=3963&seq=1&format=2

    35'
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024005&p_id=2742&seq=1&format=2

    These are 24AWG (you can get HDMI cables from 22 to 28AWG, with lower gauge being better for longer cable runs), and should be okay at the distances specified.

    Alternatively, you could just go straight to 22AWG wires... it'd be slightly more expensive, but should have a higher likelihood of successfully going over the whole run without degrading.

    30' and 35'
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024002&p_id=4033&seq=1&format=2
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024002&p_id=2805&seq=1&format=2

    Hensler
  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Thanks, I'll check out those 22AWG cables first, before I look into the wireless solutions or an HDMI booster.

    Now I just need to figure out if my wireless input devices will be able to control the computer from the living room and what to do about the audio. Since HDMI supports audio and my graphics card has HDMI out, shouldn't I be able to send my audio signal out through there? Right now my speaker set up is plugged into the on-board audio on the mobo.

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    You should be able to send the audio out along the hdmi to the tv.
    for the wireless devices, the best idea would be to use a usb extension/repeater cable like this one: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030312&p_id=8490&seq=1&format=2
    than you can put the wireless keyboard/mice receiver next to your tv.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    You should be able to test the controller by just walking over to the other room and trying to play a game (even if you can't see it, any input is good input).

    If your graphics card has passthrough HDMI audio support, it should show up in the audio panel as a connected device when you have a HDMI cable plugged in. Then you'll just need to click through that menu and change your output device when you change your location... or just configure it to always output to both.

  • smokmnkysmokmnky Registered User regular
    So 30' is doable I've personally done a ~75' run and it worked fine. I did have to buy a nice thick cable and it also had like a built in repeater. At the time I didn't realize that those lengths were supposed to be "impossible". I just got really lucky with my cable selection. That being said I spend almost $100 of the cable and if I had it to do over again I'd have looked at something else.

    I think you should be fine with something in the 22AWG range and monoprice is cheap

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Thanks everyone, I'll let you know how it goes :)

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    What is the lag on wireless input devices going to be at that distance? I suspect it would be noticeable when gaming, but I have no idea.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Frem wrote: »
    What is the lag on wireless input devices going to be at that distance? I suspect it would be noticeable when gaming, but I have no idea.

    I'm hoping that with the cable Foomy linked above, I can put the receivers for the wireless devices next to the TV and they will still have a wired connection to the PC, with no signal loss since there is an amplifier built into the cable, so the lag will be negligible. I'm going to try using the wireless controllers from the living room to see what the signal strength is first, though - if it's strong with no lag, the only cable I'll need to run is the HDMI.

  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    Hey any progress on this? It is relevant to my interests! I was interested in getting my PC, situated in the attic, working with the living room tv, two floors below. The visuals and sound can be set through a HDMI cable, straight through the floor. It gets trickier with the controller and kbam. No idea how I could possibly get them working on it. Using my phone with teamviewer is one option. I could remotely control the pc but it is extremely slow to use. Really though, its just going to be for gaming with Big Picture Mode on steam so the pad could be used for all I need.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Hey any progress on this? It is relevant to my interests! I was interested in getting my PC, situated in the attic, working with the living room tv, two floors below. The visuals and sound can be set through a HDMI cable, straight through the floor. It gets trickier with the controller and kbam. No idea how I could possibly get them working on it. Using my phone with teamviewer is one option. I could remotely control the pc but it is extremely slow to use. Really though, its just going to be for gaming with Big Picture Mode on steam so the pad could be used for all I need.

    Sorry about the lack of updates - I've put this project on the back burner for a bit. I may be moving for work soon, and decided to wait and see how that shakes out before I buy the cables and such. I DID try out the Bluetooth devices, and I was getting a good signal to the PC with no noticeable lag over a distance of about 30 feet, so if you do that, you might be good with just a long HDMI cable (I haven't tried the X-Box 360 Wireless Receiver yet, but it has comparable range to Bluetooth according to Microsoft's website).

    If you're in range, you may want to check out some wireless streaming devices that use either eWHDI or WHDMI - they are designed for this sort of set up and make things easier if you don't want to run cables. I've been reading a lot about this subject since I started this thread :D .


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