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My question seems to be pretty simply presented but I'm in need of some help. I've got a Win 2008 R2 server and 5 monitors stationed throughout an office. These are just NEC Monitors with VGA/DVI (they may have hdmi but I'm not sure) inputs; definitely nothing fancy so DLNA is not an option (although I wish it was!)

I do NOT have a ton of AV knowledge and am trying to learn quickly.

I have attempted to use Ethernet to DVI Baluns to achieve the desired result. I can get 2 remote monitors to use a 'combined desktop' and display video in fullscreen with a surprisingly good result. I don't think windows will 'combine desktop' on more than 2 monitors however, and I need to have all 5 monitors displaying the same video.

The video playing will range from simple powerpoint presentations to active video of triathlons.

I have tried UltraMon with little success - the mirroring of displays just doesn't work fluidly enough to provide a good picture on high action videos. Client/Server solutions such as MaxiVista are out as well because the monitors I want to stream the video to are just dumb monitors - no PC attached.

Any ideas, suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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You're looking to have the same thing displayed on all 5 monitors, correct? –  Skyhawk Apr 3 '12 at 14:19
    
Correct. I would like to have all 5 monitors displaying the same content. –  Hanny Apr 3 '12 at 14:23
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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

We don't do product recommendations. But what you are looking for is called a Video splitter which would replicate a single input signal to a number of output signals. An example would be the Aten VS-1208T for VGA input/output or the VS-0108H for HDMI signals. A whole number of manufacturers produce this kind of devices, but you probably are facing some trial-and-error to get satisfactory results as the signal quality and the feature sets will vary massively.

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This seems to be exactly what I am looking for. Would I be able to use just a generic ethernet to dvi adapter (like a ethernet to dvi balus I currently have) and plug in the monitors to that first switch you mentioned (for VGA)? It seems that would be the case, and if it is - that is exactly what I am after! Again, not going to be showing anything crazy on this, pretty basic setup. –  Hanny Apr 3 '12 at 16:05
    
Most likely you would need to use the baluns which are listed as "compatible" by the manufacturer - you might be lucky with a third party model, but cannot assume compatibility as there is no standardization for baluns. Aten has the VE170 receiver baluns which are meant to be used with the VS-1208T. –  the-wabbit Apr 3 '12 at 22:00
    
Yea, I saw that after I had posted my previous post. I think you're right and I think this will be pretty much my only option at this point. Thanks for your help! –  Hanny Apr 3 '12 at 22:22
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You have two options. Either get a cheap itx or embedded pc for each monitor so that you can stream content across a network or get a multiway DVI/HDMI AV splitter. HDMI and DVI are pin compatible so to use an HDMI one with your monitors you just need need a small socket adapter.

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I would suggest one the following :

  1. AMD graphich card(5450 which is pretty cheap http://www.amd.com/US/PRODUCTS/TECHNOLOGIES/AMD-EYEFINITY-TECHNOLOGY/HOW-TO/Pages/faqs.aspx ) so you will have a fluid experience even at videos (depending on player and codecs , for power point it will make no difference )
  2. Combine one AMD card with 1 kvm switches (4 kvm switch for 4 monitors ) - 2 real connections (one on hdmi to DVI , and one DVI-DVI).Examples of KVM switches: http://aten-usa.com/?product&cat=787&Item=CS1644 .
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These monitors are simply too far to be connecting them directly via DVI. The idea is to stream over the network and have it go specifically to these monitors. –  Hanny Apr 3 '12 at 15:30
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I guess you have 2 ways:

  • Output stream through server video card. Then you should go with ATI eyefinity card that can handle up to 6 monitors. I don't understand why you combine monitors, you just need to launch 5 powerpoint (one per screen). Will much depend on distance between server & screen
  • Use devices that have one ethernet and one monitor output. Then use software or video streaming through etherent to feed them.
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These monitors are spread throughout the office and will not be getting connected directly to the PC through the graphics card. Looking more for a solution that will allow me to run ethernet to these monitors and push out video that way. –  Hanny Apr 3 '12 at 15:29
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