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    Hi everyone,

    This is not about the Media Center PC itself, but rather about outputting to multiple (different) monitors at once, via an HDMI splitter that doesn't seem to work.

    All is well if I use a Samsung TV, but if I plug in some small computer monitor with DVI-D input, via a connector adapter, I get nothing. I even tested by plugging the cables directly, without the HDMI splitter, it works fine.

    One of the monitors, a Fujitsu-Siemens P15-1, reports "frequency out of range" when the cable comes from the splitter. The other kind of monitors, iiyama ProLite PB1705S, doesn't do anything and goes into stand-by mode.

    I wish I could specify the model of HDMI splitter, but it says nothing specific on it. General things like 8-port HDMI Splitter, made in China and there's a barcode label. Power is 12 Volts.

    I'm ready to replace it with another one, but how do I know if it will work with my monitors? I can only think of seeking local used ones and trying it out before buying.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Have you tried to just connect the DVI-D cable to the splitter. That is remove the output to the tv and replace that with the DVI-D cable.

    If that works then try again with the DVD-D cable in a different socket of the splitter.
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    Hi everyone,

    This is not about the Media Center PC itself, but rather about outputting to multiple (different) monitors at once, via an HDMI splitter that doesn't seem to work.

    All is well if I use a Samsung TV, but if I plug in some small computer monitor with DVI-D input, via a connector adapter, I get nothing. I even tested by plugging the cables directly, without the HDMI splitter, it works fine.

    One of the monitors, a Fujitsu-Siemens P15-1, reports "frequency out of range" when the cable comes from the splitter. The other kind of monitors, iiyama ProLite PB1705S, doesn't do anything and goes into stand-by mode.

    I wish I could specify the model of HDMI splitter, but it says nothing specific on it. General things like 8-port HDMI Splitter, made in China and there's a barcode label. Power is 12 Volts.

    I'm ready to replace it with another one, but how do I know if it will work with my monitors? I can only think of seeking local used ones and trying it out before buying.
    Simple HDMI splitters don't reformat video input for compatibility with the individual display connected to each leg of the split. This means that if someone is using this type of splitter to supply video from a PC to both a TV and a monitor, both displays should have the same native resolution and be able to operate at the same refresh rate. Otherwise, one or the other won't be able to correctly display the video.

    Neither of your monitors has a native resolution similar to what is used for a modern flat screen TV.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 28th Nov 2016 at 17:01.
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    No no, I have only tried one of them at a time. The TV by itself works, the monitors do not. Never hooked up two of them at the same time.

    And when the Fujitsu is hooked up, it displays that error, none of the others react to the HDMI input from the splitter.

    However, you seem to say that they have to have the same characteristics for this to work. I thought HDMI can negotiate with each of them since it's digital. But there are five kinds of monitors in this. So how can I output the same thing to five different displays? Find a common resolution and apply that to all of them?

    EDIT: Oh, is there a more sophisticated splitter that acts as a multiplier and negotiates individual resolutions? I don't mind getting different hardware, the dreadful thing to do would be redoing the wiring
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    But just to clarify my suggestion, is the cable to the monitor from the splitter in the self same socket as what was serving the tv ?
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    No no, I have only tried one of them at a time. The TV by itself works, the monitors do not. Never hooked up two of them at the same time.

    And when the Fujitsu is hooked up, it displays that error, none of the others react to the HDMI input from the splitter.

    However, you seem to say that they have to have the same characteristics for this to work. I thought HDMI can negotiate with each of them since it's digital. But there are five kinds of monitors in this. So how can I output the same thing to five different displays? Find a common resolution and apply that to all of them?

    EDIT: Oh, is there a more sophisticated splitter that acts as a multiplier and negotiates individual resolutions? I don't mind getting different hardware, the dreadful thing to do would be redoing the wiring
    OK, I misunderstood. I thought that the monitors failed to work when the TV was also connected to the splitter, but each monitor worked if it was hooked up by itself.

    I looked up the specs on an inexpensive HDMI splitter that I own. They say "Supports: 480i/576i/480p/576p/720p/1080i/1080p" by that they probably mean standard resolutions like 720x480, 720x576, 1280x720, and 1920x1080. The Fujitsu-Siemens P15-1 is 1024x768 resolution and the iiyama ProLite PB1705S is 1280x1024 resolution. Possibly the splitter doesn't support any resolution these monitors support.

    Simple HDMI splitters don't reformat video input for compatibility with the individual display connected to each leg of the split. This means that if someone is using this type of splitter to supply video from a PC to both a TV and a monitor, both displays should have the same native resolution and be able to operate at the same refresh rate. Otherwise, one or the other won't be able to correctly display the video.
    I should have stated that the above is only true for LCD monitors if you are trying to display a resolution greater than the LCD monitor's native resolution. You could use a resolution that is lower than the native resolution, assuming its one of the monitor's supported resolutions. To be sure, I tried some of the lower resolutions supported by my 1920x1080 LCD monitor and they all worked fine, but I cannot go above 1920x1080. There are no options available in Intel HD Graphics Control Panel for resolutions exceeding 1920x1080 in the resolution settings for this display/monitor although higher resolutions are supported by Intel HD graphics 4600.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 28th Nov 2016 at 20:59. Reason: clarity
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    Yeah, thank you for all that. @DB83, yes, I literally unplugged the TV and plugged the other monitors in - one at a time.

    Now I have to go find one of these "video servers" or whatever I should call the things that display what the monitor can do. Some examples would be appreciated.
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    If you are using Windows 7 or above, Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization->Display->Adjust Screen Resolution will provide a list of permitted resolutions for connected monitors. The manufacturer's software interface for your graphics adapter (Intel HD Graphics Control Panel, AMD Catalyst/Vision Control Center, NVIDIA Control Panel etc) should have a list of supported resolutions for connected monitors available too.
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    No, the input is a box that looks exactly like this. It can output either 720p 60 Hz or 1080p 60Hz, there's no other option. Of course the splitter doesn't output anything on the screens.

    This is why I'm asking, what sort of HDMI matrix switch has one or two inputs at most, 8 outputs but most importantly, is able to handle different sorts of outputs simultaneously?
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    No, the input is a box that looks exactly like this. It can output either 720p 60 Hz or 1080p 60Hz, there's no other option. Of course the splitter doesn't output anything on the screens.

    This is why I'm asking, what sort of HDMI matrix switch has one or two inputs at most, 8 outputs but most importantly, is able to handle different sorts of outputs simultaneously?
    I can't recall seeing an HDMI splitter capable of video output at something other than standard video resolutions (i.e. 720x480, 720x576, 1280x720, 1920x1080) let alone a combination scaler-splitter which scales each output independently like you are describing. In fact, all of the HDMI splitters I have seen output video using the same resolution and refresh rate as the video they receive.

    You would probably need something like the item below sitting between an 8-way splitter and each of the monitors that you want to connect which cannot display video at 720p 60 Hz or 1080p 60Hz:
    https://www.crestron.com/products/model/HD-SCALER-HD-E

    There may be less expensive similar products available, but I doubt that any will be low-cost. It might be less expensive to replace the monitors.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Nov 2016 at 16:17. Reason: accuracy and clarity also left out a word
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    I think I found two solutions.

    One is a behemoth matrix switch that *might be* what I described: individual resolutions for each output. It's this one.

    The other one is an 8-way DVI splitter, which I'm hoping can at least do what the current HDMI splitter was supposed to be doing however isn't. This other one.

    Both are horribly hard to get for me, since I live far away from the USA, but at least I'll know.
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    I think I found two solutions.

    One is a behemoth matrix switch that *might be* what I described: individual resolutions for each output. It's this one.

    The other one is an 8-way DVI splitter, which I'm hoping can at least do what the current HDMI splitter was supposed to be doing however isn't. This other one.

    Both are horribly hard to get for me, since I live far away from the USA, but at least I'll know.
    The 8x8 matrix switch might work but will cost $1995 for the version without audio or $2520 for the one that supplies audio. I think that it can scale the video output to suit each monitor.

    I don't think the DVI splitter will work. If I understand the documentation correctly, it doesn't scale the video for each output. Instead, it finds the supported resolutions and frame rates that the displays have in common, then sends them to the computer acting as the video source, which allows choosing the best resolution and frame rate that all the monitors can use. However, if the computer acting as the video source can't provide video output that is suitable for all of the monitors, some will not display the video.

    [Edit]Given the amount of money involved I think waiting for confirmation from someone else would be a good idea. I could be wrong. It is possible that neither device scales.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Nov 2016 at 18:20.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    However, if the computer acting as the video source can't provide video output that is suitable for all of the monitors, some will not display the video.
    Yep. That's why I was thinking of converting the HDMI input to downscale it somehow (before going into the switch), or mounting one converter box for each output (digital to analog, after the switch) with selectable output resolution.

    Also, I found this product for less than $100 USD. It appears that it can do the same thing the DVI splitter can do, which isn't bad considering the plans I just detailed above.

    Your thoughts?
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    However, if the computer acting as the video source can't provide video output that is suitable for all of the monitors, some will not display the video.
    Yep. That's why I was thinking of converting the HDMI input to downscale it somehow (before going into the switch), or mounting one converter box for each output (digital to analog, after the switch) with selectable output resolution.

    Also, I found this product for less than $100 USD. It appears that it can do the same thing the DVI splitter can do, which isn't bad considering the plans I just detailed above.

    Your thoughts?
    It looks like a good splitter, but since it doesn't scale, you are right -- you must to use another device to do scaling somewhere.

    If you can find a video resolution that all the connected displays support, you could scale the video to that prior to it reaching the splitter input.

    If you can't find an input resolution that all of the monitors support, you need to scale the video output from the splitter connections used by the "problem" monitors.

    Thinking further about the matrix switcher, I don't think it is worth the risk. I can't find documentation for it that says for certain that it scales video. It is safer to assume that it doesn't scale video.

    One more thing... How do you intend to provide audio? Do the monitors with DVI connections accept audio via DVI? I remember seeing one of them has an audio input jack.
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    No, audio is not intended. Just some screensavers in a club. Obviously the music is treated separately

    EDIT: Most likely the common resolution, that all the monitors support is 1024x768. There's only one monitor in there that's widescreen, a Philips 190CW. Even that one appears to support 1024x768, just that it only has VGA 15-pin input. This shouldn't be a problem, I think
    Last edited by j_me; 30th Nov 2016 at 21:30.
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    Well, the new splitter worked (the Cypress CLUX-18S)

    Thanks a lot I now have the problem that the HDMI to VGA converter, which is a box that attaches to any HDMI output, in theory, doesn't work when connected to the splitter's output. Having it translate the output of a device with a native HDMI port works fine (even outputs analog audio) but when connected to the HDMI splitter, no go. It was pretty cheap and it's a small thingy not requiring independent power, but as far as I can see, all the alternatives are like that, just some of them are more expensive and some don't produce analog audio.
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  17. Member DB83's Avatar
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    You probably answered the issue with the hdmi to vga output on the splitter with this line "and it's a small thingy not requiring independent power".

    Splitters general require a power source to provide a steady stream of information.

    And what of your hdmi to vga converter ? Is that also just a simple cable or a powered unit ? The same issue can apply to the former
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    Well, the new splitter worked (the Cypress CLUX-18S)

    Thanks a lot I now have the problem that the HDMI to VGA converter, which is a box that attaches to any HDMI output, in theory, doesn't work when connected to the splitter's output. Having it translate the output of a device with a native HDMI port works fine (even outputs analog audio) but when connected to the HDMI splitter, no go. It was pretty cheap and it's a small thingy not requiring independent power, but as far as I can see, all the alternatives are like that, just some of them are more expensive and some don't produce analog audio.
    HDMI to VGA converters usually either plug into a wall for power or come with a USB cable to supply power. HDMI carries power but it is often not enough. I would tend to agree that devices which have their own power supply are more likely to work well than those which rely solely on HDMI for power.
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    I have one final problem. The HDMI splitter works and I just found an HDMI -> VGA converter that takes external power and also works, made by Lindy. This one.

    The problem: it only works with one of the monitors, the Philips 190CW. It *almost* works with the two others - you plug it in, the monitor does sense something, then it displays the image it should display, but only for a split second, then blank (black) screen. Then it just goes back and forth between displaying and blanking. I tried this with both the other displays (one 17" HP LCD, one 17" CRT Horizon, iirc) and both use different cables plugged in different ports of the splitter.

    As a curiosity, the Lindy converter didn't want to work until I plugged a mobile phone charger in the back of it - the power adapter for a Blackberry Q20, which says it supplies 1300 mA, of course 5 Volt.
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    No curiosity. You were already told that cable adapters usually require a separate power source. Even the write-up for this adapter states that extra ppwer may be required.

    And this inconsistent signal also IMO screams of power issues. Are you sure that the power source you are using for the hdmi>>vga is supplying sufficient 'juice'
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    I meant it's curious that it needs a powerful external power supply. 1.3 Amps is not enough? Okay, I'll try to get one of those 2.5A power supplies they sell for Raspberry Pis. Will report back.
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  22. Your link says it requires 230 mA.
    Power consumption 230mA , bus powered via HDMI port (extra power can be added via USB Micro-B port)
    Your 1300 mA supply is big enough.
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    It probably doesn't in normal conditions. But your use is not 'normal' given a hdmi splitter which is reducing the power from the hdmi source.
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    Interestingly, it worked, but it seems to depend on the monitor more than on the power supply.

    I got some 5V 3A USB power supply and yes, it works, but with a certain monitor. Another one just wouldn't work properly if connected to that cable (maybe it wants even more juice?) It's the Philips 109CW. The HP works fine there, with the 3A power. The Philips works fine with 750 mA of power, on a much shorter cable.

    All of them work now, except for the 17" CRT Horizon monitor. Regardless of which power supply I use for the converter, that one doesn't wanna. It does sense the signal, tries to display it for maybe 1 full minute or maybe even more, then starts blinking. However, only when disconnecting the cable does it report check signal cable.

    I think I need an even better converter for that one. Something like this. I've been using one of these for ages and it worked every time, except it converts the other way - from VGA input to HDMI output.
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  25. Are you running 50 foot cables or something?
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    I just encountered this same experience on a 5x5 videowall we put up: if it's like that, it's an HDCP issue. Not enough valid keys, not full continuous negotiation, etc.

    Check all your devices against known good HDCP- compliant displays (borrow/rent if you have to).

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    I can finally set this to solved. @Cornucopia, yessir, it was an HDCP issue, this CRT monitor not working bit. To elaborate:

    - tried a powered Lindy HDMI input to VGA output converter attached to the end of an existing HDMI cable (with a gender changer connector) and no go (the power supplied was 1.3 Amps, always 5 Volt);
    - tried, only as a test, to connect the HDMI->VGA converter directly to one of the splitter's ports. No go;
    - tried the converter directly connected to the HDMI output of the source computer and still no go;

    Therefore,

    - connected another, unpowered converter I had, looking like this to the splitter;
    - the resulting VGA connection went into another converter doing the conversion back to HDMI, looking like this (that box also takes 5V power, but works fine with 1A and maybe even less);
    - that box feeds the data to the long HDMI cable;
    - at the end of the cable the image is converted to VGA again, via another Lindy adapter and this time the monitor displays it.

    So yes Cornucopia, you were probably right - if the computer's HDMI output is converted to VGA by a Lindy adapter, that CRT monitor doesn't work (it's not Horizon, by the way, but I don't remember the brand, I've never heard of it and it sounds like a cheap one but hey, we wanted one CRT monitor) but if the HDMI data is converted to VGA with that other adapter not using external power, it works. Sounds like some HDCP incompatibility. I found that other adapter sold as a "PS3 to monitor" converter.

    @jagabo, in meters I think the longest cables are under 10, which would be around 30 feet as far as I know. Wouldn't be surprised to find that one or two of them are actually 50 feet / 15 m long, as they're masked by fake walls and I can't even measure them visually.

    Next step, next year: get a few minuscule, grayscale CRT TVs and some Casio TV470 and TV500, get one Lindy HDMI -> composite converter and from there, connect to a 1W TV signal modulator like this one. Then, watch the videos on tiny screens, grayscale CRT or old colour LCDs.

    Happy holidays, everyone.
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    But surely HDCP does not have influence in the analogue realm and once you are talking VGA you are in analogue.

    Ok. So you have got this working. More luck than judgement methinks. So many different monitors. So many different adapters.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    But surely HDCP does not have influence in the analogue realm and once you are talking VGA you are in analogue.
    He's using HDMI to VGA adapters for the VGA monitors. HDCP problems could affect the HDMI side of the adapters.

    [Edit]However, if someone is doing multiple conversions: HDMI->VGA then VGA-> HDMI then a longish cable run then HDMI->VGA again, HDCP can only affect the first HDMI->VGA converter. The only benefit I can think of from multiple converters is signal amplification and more robust data transmission resulting from the use of the VGA->HDMI converter.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Dec 2016 at 17:42.
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    You also forget that these days a legit/proper HDMI-to-VGA adapter would either add a Macrovision-type signal to the analog, would downscale to NON-HD, or wouldn't even pass a copy-protected source.

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