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How to display content on 6 TVs

Posted on 2013-12-10
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Last Modified: 2014-01-26
What are some ways I could handle outputting to 6 LCDs from a central location?  Some will run powerpoint, some a dvd or media file from the "server", some would have websites etc...  Just need flexibility to push just about TV content to any TV.  Trying to get distances to see if I need vga or hdmi extenders (how long can I run these without repeaters)?
Beefy PC with some nice video cards and something like ultramon to push content to each TV?  What if they are smartTVs, that help out at all?
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Question by:rhwimmers
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by:garycase
ID: 39709450
Since you basically want to use the TVs as monitors, there's no advantage to a "smart" TV.

You essentially just enough video cards to support 6 displays (a pair of NVidia quad-display cards or AMD/ATI Eyefinity cards will do that) ... and then you need the ability to control the outputs, which you seem to have a handle on.     HDMI runs can be longer than VGA or DVI, so that's your best choice.   With high quality cables you can run 50-60 ft without extenders, or you can get cables up to 100' with built-in extenders.
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by:rhwimmers
ID: 39709574
Also saw some hdmi over cat5 which could get me 300'.  Is this the best way to do it though?  Is this how a professional AV type company would do it or is there some other hardware device that I am not aware of that could help?
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by:garycase
ID: 39709612
Yes, running the data over network cabling (I'd use Cat-6) is the best choice for very long runs.    Do you know the lengths involved for your situation ?
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by:rhwimmers
ID: 39709634
Not yet, but I am going to assume 100' for most of them will be sufficient, one of them might be more like 200 though, possible?
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by:garycase
ID: 39709666
With high-quality RedMere cables, you can easily run 50-60' without any amplification.

For longer runs up to 100' you can get cables with built-in signal extenders.   For anything over 100' just use Cat-6 based extenders.

You basically have two issues:

(1)  The cable lengths required to drive the displays;

(2)  The computer setup to manage and create the content on the displays.

We've discussed #1 ... and I think you know what to do;
I presume you have a handle on #2 .. is that correct?
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by:rhwimmers
ID: 39709686
That's correct.  I guess I was curious if there were other options or non PC-based options, just seems to me this is how us IT guys would do it, just not sure how the AV guys would?
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by:rhwimmers
ID: 39709830
Also, ive used ultra-mon for 4 monitors in the past, any other options out there for software to display what content goes where?
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by:garycase
ID: 39709842
There are other options, but UltraMon is as good as I've seen, so I'd just stay with that.
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by:rhwimmers
ID: 39717637
If I want the same powerpoint on screens 1,3,5 and something different on 2 and 4 how does that work?  Can I say mirror screens 1,3,5 and extend screens 2,4,6?  Or are they all "extended" then I would need to open up powerpoint 3 times and drag/move it to each screen?
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garycase earned 350 total points
ID: 39718385
Been a while since I've used Ultramon, but I recall that it supports mirroring displays on only selected monitors, so I believe you could mirror 3 & 5 from 1, and leave 2 and 4 independent.    But the real answer to your last question is I don't know :-)

What I've done for a few folks who wanted several independently configurable displays is install VMware; then run a separate virtual machine in full screen mode on each of the displays.

If ALWAYS want the configuration you'd outlined (e.g. monitors 1, 3, and 5 cloned, with independent displays on 2 and 4), then I'd set up 1,2, and 4 as extended displays; and use an HDMI splitter to split the signal for monitor #1 to #3 and #5.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39756092
Maybe Display Fusion
http://www.displayfusion.com/
Supports 10+ Monitors
http://www.displayfusion.com/News/2012/07/how-many-monitors-does-displayfusion-support/

I could add on a more professionsl level
Cinemassive concepts just for ideas
http://shop.cinemassive.com/multiple-monitors
CineMastery Multi-Monitor Software
http://shop.cinemassive.com/multi-monitor-software
This is like a Video wall
There is software used with Cinemassive and the video wall.
it is a central controller
http://www.cinemassive.com/
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