HD Distribution

For homeowners this is an unknown topic so I will share some information for you and how this can be used within the home.

What is HD distribution?

HD distribution means taking an HDMI output eg a Sky box, and instead of going straight to a TV, going into a splitter. Then one output can go into the local TV and the other output can be converted to a Cat6 output. We then run a Cat6 cable to another TV location and put a receiver on the end. This converts it back to a HDMI output and plugs into the TV.

The old way of linking Sky to a second TV was via coax cable and using the analogue tuner built in to tune in the Sky channel. This meant you could watch programs but in low definition. To watch it in full HD back in the day was very expensive. Moving forward to todays market prices of the HD units have come down to a more affordable price.

Here is a video example:

hd distribution

What HD sources can be distributed?

Because you are converting a HDMI signal this means you are not tied to just Sky. It can be a HD DVD player, Game console, PC, CCTV etc…. And you are not limited to the amount of TVs it can go to. With a matrix you can have multiple HD inputs going to multiple TVs. This can be controlled by a small remote or you can have a iPad or iPhone programmed to do the job. If you tie this in with sonos and lighting, heating, blinds etc you have the beginnings of a smart home setup.You can make it as simple or complex as you like. You can add to systems if you start off small.

If you are a Sky customer and have Sky going round the house via the analogue signal. You may find when your box needs replacing because of a fault you maybe upgraded to box with no output for a second location. If this is the case you can upgrade your system to have HD going round your house. You will find the picture quality the same as the main TV where the Sky box is. Also you may find newer TVs do not have analogue tuners built in anymore ( some do some don’t ) and one by one you loose the ability to view Sky in that location. You can either use a HDMI to Freeview modulator or run Cat6 cables to the TVs that you wish to view the Sky on.

PVR example

You may have a PVR ( recorder ) Set-top box, Freeview or Freesat, and you would like to view your recorded programs in bed. One of the best ways is to run a Cat6 cable from the box in the lounge to the bedroom and use the converters. They come with little IR eyes which means you can use your existing remote for the PVR in your bedroom and watch your program that you have recorded. You can also have a second remote so you can have one upstairs and one downstairs.

You could also use the HDMI to Freeview modulator. There is less involved but the only downside is not all TVs can decode the signal, and I find the signal lags around 4 seconds due to conversion so the remote is delayed a small amount.

Here is an video example:

HD over coax

Multiple inputs and outputs

This is the more complex systems. Normally all your HD devices would go in an out of the way location. Eg under the stairs, box room etc… here you would have a matrix processor, this converts all the signals to Cat6. We would run the Cat6 cables to all the TVs and put the converters on and plug the HD into the TVs.

To use the system you would switch on the TV, select HDMI1, and this would be the HD matrix. The matrix comes with a remote and you press 1 – 4 to select what ever HD device is dedicated to 1 – 4.

  1. 1 = Sky box
  2. 2 = Sky box 2
  3. 3 = DVD
  4. 4 = CCTV.

Then use the remote for that device.

If you were looking to get rid of all the remotes, you can have your iPhone or iPad programmed to control TV, matrix, and device’s. Or you can have an all-on-one remote to do the devices, like the Harmony remotes. From experience I have found the iPad, iPhone and the normal Sky remote to be the most successful combination.

For more details on HD distribution and its application feel free to contact me and I can do a site survey and advise what would be best for you.