CXO

Multi-room viewing on the cheap

Having a single video server in your home that can multicast HD streams to separate client set-top boxes is something that a few companies are working on (and is something I would very much like to have), but no one has perfected it.

Dave Zatz over at Zatz Not Funny decided that he didn't want to wait. He came up with a very straightforward way to get HD video from his TiVo to two separate displays using a TiVo HD, a component cable, a 35' HDMI cable and a drill (it isn't a real project unless power tools are involved).

Of course, Dave's solution doesn't allow for separate programs on each of the displays; however, it does solve the problem of needing to buy two TiVo HDs.

I am using a similar low-tech method of getting SD video from one of my DirecTV R10 (aka DirecTiVo) units to 3 separate TVs.

I ran a coax cable out from the DirecTiVo (which was already connected to a 32" LCD in our family room via S-video) to the input of a video switch I installed in the basement. The switch connects to all of the cable lines running through the house and distributes the video signal from the DirecTiVo. I use IR remote transmitters to allow the DirecTiVo to be controlled from any room in the house. It's very low-tech, but really handy.

Have you used low-tech methods to get the most out of your home theater equipment? If so, post a comment in the discussion and tell us about it. 

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