Resolved Question

multi-view HDMI switch - advice needed - how to???

I'm trying to hook up two new HD camcorders (mini-HDMI outputs), a regular f-connector cable TV signal, and possibly a network camera (thru a PC?) to a single HDTV. I could really use some input on what type of switch is needed. We also want to view all feeds at once (in a quad-view type setting). I've seen some switches out there with multi-view capabilities but they are either way too expensive or only have bnc type connectors, which I don't believe are HD.

We'd like to keep these signal as Hi-Def as possible (The TV is only 720p but we may upgrade that if needed...)

Also, on related topic - The two camcorders need to run about 100' and 50' respectively. I currently have on order two long HDMI cables, several short ones, two HDMI signal boosters, and various adapter fittings... But I'm still at a loss on how to get what I'm after... I'll try to post a pdf diagram of what I need if I can figure that out...

Is this the right forum for this feed?
Please help... Thanks!

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Best Answer

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Sounds like a home brew CCTV?

It's a shame more wasn't revealed. You find folk try this only to discover the camcorders auto shutoff and blow the would be CCTV design out of the water.

OK. With that out of the way and keeping in mind I've been in the design world of CCTV for over a decade (I won't bore you with how long) this is not cheap to do. The old standard def stuff is much cheaper and easy to find but you have stepped into HD which currently is running about 100x the costs. Are you sure you can afford this?

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No home brew... I work in a R&D lab environment

Basically we will have these cameras set up inside an x-ray hutch with the feed coming outside to the TV monitor. We'd like to monitor the movement of a bunch of tiny stages with better clarity... My ignorance is more in the requirements for a Hi-Def signal to run all the way into the TV... I think you can only run an HDMI cable so far without the need of a signal booster(?).Thus I was spending the money on that stuff. I also bought a 3-way HDMI switch before I realized it did not split the pictures like our old BNC multi-view splitter does. We used that for some older SD camcorders...

I've since seen some devices that deal with HDMI over a Cat5e/6 cable??? I'm thinking it might be better to splurge on one of those (~$2500?) if that will eliminate the need for the boosters and long HDMI cables, which ran about $500 total... Can you run a HD signal from a camcorder over Cat5E? or even a BNC cable via some adapters? Is all of this overkill since our TV is only 720p?

As it stands, With my current gear already on order, I'm trying to find a basic mutli-view HDMI switch but all I can find are fancy ones... I did find a KVM switch HERE that would be perfect if I knew it would work with camcorder inputs vs pc inputs. Any experience with those?... Or is THIS something that will carry a Hi-Def signal over BNC?

BTW, thanks for the heads up - I do believe our new camcorders can disable the auto-shutoff feature...

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At 100' iffy.

Let's find some (cheap) HDMI over ethernet (more specifically, twisted pair ready to use cables). finds it fast enough and page down to see the under 20 buck things.

I would never go past a few 10's of feet with just HDMI no matter if it was 720p or other. Just begging for trouble.

To get HD signals onto a HD display is going to require a pretty expensive video processor.

In our lab we had to tie up the engineering manager that wanted to get a quad video processor (HD) and then installed a quad set of displays on a display tree. UNDER 90 bucks! And with smaller HD displays for 120 bucks each, we were done for much less than any HD video processor.

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Now we're talking!...

Was just showing my manager what we're up against and we also thought of using 4 smaller monitors in lieu of the larger TV and splitter/processor. That may be the way to go... We can probably achieve what we want for about $1000 all told... I've read that the HDMI over Ethernet needs to be over solid wire Cat5e or 6. Is that correct? Or are you saying we can achieve the same HiDef signal with the twisted pair Cat5e lines that we already have run?

I did plug our new HD camera up to the TV directly with the HDMI cable supplied and there is no comparison to that vs the composite video input. Thus, we're really anxious to get the HD feed all the way to our TV/monitors with as little signal loss as possible...

FYI, I like the reviews of THIS product better than the $20 items...

I appreciate your help, Bob! Happy

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Nice choice on the HDMI over cat5/6.

What I was showing was the cat5/6 HDMI things have plummeted in price. The ONLY reservation I have is when your engineers make their own cable. How many times have you found them pairing it like this -> 1,2 3,4 5,6 and 7,8? They always do that the first or second times. Most learn this is not right and if you have a great engineer they just use a pre-made cable.

Thanks for the chat. I hope you see what the issues were and good to see you taking this easier solution.

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I'll make it myself...

If I can't find a suitable pre-made...

Again, bear with me for a moment... I'm assuming that two 8-pin RJ45's are needed since an HDMI has 19 pins, and HDMI over Ethernet uses up to 16 of them??? Can this be achieved with two simple 100' 24AWG stranded patch cords? To achieve the best Hi-Def resolution what are your recommendations regarding solid vs stranded? 24AWG vs 26AWG? Shielded vs non? Does it matter that we don't really need the audio signals?

The reason I ask is I saw a 100' Cat5e dbl shielded 24AWG solid patch cord at L-com for about $150. Two of those would make it more economical to just run a single 100' HDMI cord with a booster. Whereas I can get a 100' Cat6 unshielded 24AWG stranded patch cord for only $50 each... I'm curious how the signal would differ between those setups...

Thanks again,

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Sorry but I've learned to buy simple 100' pre-mades.
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Good deal. thanks for all your help!!!
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I didn't answer your question about all of them.

Sorry but while that would be interesting from an engineer's view, we had to get this done fast to avoid it going to committee and escalating to such costs that it would never get done. So using off the shelf cables and extenders it was done in 3 days (Amazon shipped it in 2, then 1 to setup.) By the time the dust cleared it was up and working.

I'm sure you know the term "analysis paralysis."

We too have a building full of engineers so they can always suffer from that and over analysis yet most of them will use the elevator without a full analysis of how it works, what was used and which systems do what.

I used links to Amazon to show that this stuff is now off the shelf. It wasn't that easy just a few years ago.

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