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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » HDMI EXTENDER FOR DCI PROJECTORS (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: HDMI EXTENDER FOR DCI PROJECTORS
Lucas Iaccarino
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: capital federal, buenos aires, argentina
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted 02-16-2018 08:34 AM      Profile for Lucas Iaccarino   Email Lucas Iaccarino   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello!
I`m looking forward to do some events in my cinema, and the client is asking me to have a laptop next to the Screen, to be able to display some Powerpoint and things like that.
The issue is that usually, some HDMI extenders or equipment like that is not being recognized by the DCI projectors... Anyone had this trouble? how do you fix it?
Thanks!

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6903
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 02-16-2018 09:14 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What HDMI or DVI options do you have on the projector? If your projector is a Series 2 machine, you shouldn't have any problem, unless there is no HDMI or DVI input at all, either on the projector's own input board or the IMB/IMS.

If you have a Series 1 machine, the DVI input might not be HDCP (High Definition Multimedia Copyright Protection - an encryption/decryption link encryption designed for consumer equipment, and implemented in almost all BD players and cable boxes) compliant. This shouldn't be an issue with laptops, unless you need to play a DVD or BD actually from the laptop.

The major problem is going to be the length of the connection. Monoprice sell powered, fiber optic very long HDMI cables. I used the 150ft one once to connect a laptop to a cat745 for a Facetime-on-stage Q & A with a filmmaker who couldn't be physically present at the screening. It just about worked, but got glitchy when high bandwidth video started to go through it. Apart from a one-off show when there isn't the budget to do anything better, this sort of thing isn't a viable solution.

You'll probably need HDMI<>SDI or HDMI<>Ethernet converter boxes at either end of the link. These are far more solid and reliable for long (as in, over 30 feet or so) HDMI links, but are a lot more expensive. There are several different ones on the market. The Aja HDMI<>SDI boxes are my personal favorite, but others (e.g. AMX and Crestron) offer solutions as well.

You'll also need to make sure that the video format coming out of the laptop is supported by the input board or IMB on the projector, and that if you are using an IMB HDMI input, you create a preset in the projector that applies the correct color space for the laptop's graphics card (usually Rec.709).

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-16-2018 10:05 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For reliable operation, stick to name brands like Extron (DTP or XTP) and the various HDBaseT solutions (there are many of them out there). A BIG KEY to it is SHIELDED CAT cable. It is FAR FAR FAR more important that the CAT cable be shielded than for a higher CAT number. Shielded CAT5e beats CAT6/6A or CAT7 unshielded.

Note, the DCinema projector is only going to recognized a handful of resolutions and depending on what port (DVI or HDMI) what those resolutions are will vary. Ideally, your source can handle 1080p (always your safest resolution for DCinema). If you cannot guarantee what your source will be capable of, think of having a solution that has a scaler on the receiving end (not a separate scaler unless you plan on other A/V stuff from the booth) to ensure that the projector always sees the 1080p/60 (e.g. an Atlona 200 series receiver, even if using a lower series transmitter).

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-16-2018 10:10 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lucas - have you checked possible cable runs from the screen to the booth? Does a CAT/Ethernet cable exist?

What type of projector will be used?

- Carsten

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9443
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-16-2018 01:02 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have used this one many times with reliable results
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=30985

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Lucas Iaccarino
Film Handler

Posts: 34
From: capital federal, buenos aires, argentina
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted 02-16-2018 01:33 PM      Profile for Lucas Iaccarino   Email Lucas Iaccarino   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, I will try with some of them and let you know the model that worked for me.
Thanks

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Bradley J Sime
Film Handler

Posts: 54
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted 02-16-2018 09:26 PM      Profile for Bradley J Sime   Author's Homepage   Email Bradley J Sime       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Steve in regards to the Extron box and the cable. I would also try your damndest to convince the presenter to let you fellows run the powerpoint from the booth, and have them use a blue tooth wireless clicker, if need be. That works well for us. I've found that letting the inmates run the asylum, even with a great setup, always is more trouble than it's worth.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2082
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-17-2018 11:04 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Barco Clickshare. No cables. No BS. Just works.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-17-2018 12:19 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Dave! Clickshare does indeed look quite interesting. Price wise, I'm sure it will be more than an HDBaseT system but probably less than an Extron XTP system (their better system) and probably more than an Extron DTP system.

I'm curious as to the distance it will work and how it handles going through walls to the booth and such. I see three different systems are out there but no mention as to the range. It is definitely something to look into though.

[Edit] on the individual product pages, they do list the "Reach"...just not on the brochure.

[Edit-Edit]. Upto 100-feet so that means in free-air, not through walls. Depending on the theatre dimensions, it will be dicy. The output resolutions are also, seemingly, fixed based on the specs (they don't list them as maximum but as a fixed value). I'd hope that they are maximums.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2082
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-17-2018 12:33 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've put in some, the 100 and 200. The 200 at least (I didn't personally set up a 100 yet) has its own wifi network so you can connect a phone and mirror the screen. With the "button" on a PC you get the screen projection and can assign it as a second screen like with a wired HDMI - you do get picture and sound from the receiver. From a phone via wifi you only get image, not sound. It may be able to act like a Chromecast and locally download and play stuff like Netflicks if it's also on an internet-connected wired network? I didn't try that.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-17-2018 03:27 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't question it's use for conference/meeting room applications, but Clickshare is not a wireless hdmi extender, but a software and WIFI based screen sharing system. It uses signal compression, needs software support for the buttons, there is some latency, no guaranteed frame rates, will fail on HDCP, etc. As such, it might work for the application in question here (Powerpoint presentation), but, and given the price, it is not a universal HDMI extension. It has grown quite popular over here and is a solid and well established system. It's main aspect is the shared operation, so multiple people can take over the display with their own device without plugging, switchers, etc.

We usually offer a wired HDMI extension plus optional analog audio, and if accepted, run the same presentation from our booth PC with either a clicker or through teamviewer as a backup. We also offer a chromecast and AppleTV for wireless screensharing from portable devices. Works all nicely through our AP20.

- Carsten

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2528
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 02-18-2018 04:31 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After pretty much mixed experiences with all kinds of HDMI over Cat.X Ethernet cabling extenders, we decided to install a traditional HDMI cable with an HDMI repeater roughly half-way. The maximum you can get out of it is roughly ~30m / ~90ft. Until now, we've not yet had compatibility issues with this setup, whereas beforehand it was pretty much hit and miss.

If we need to transport HDMI video/audio over longer distances, we usually convert it to HD/3G-SDI using an HDMI to SDI converter from BlackMagic Design and do the reverse on the other side (if necessary). This is very reliable even over very long distances of over 100m / 300ft with the correct (though pretty expensive) coax cables. There is one drawback though: HDCP won't work.

PS: We practically never feed the signal of a third party directly into the projector. If feasible, we'll put some "known-to-be-good" HDMI switch in between the projector and the "third party source". We do this to protect the HDMI port of the projector. We've seen blown HDMI ports in the past, which can result in repairs in the $10K+ range.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-18-2018 07:15 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Marcel,

I can pretty much guarantee that a product like the Extron XTP T UWP 202
https://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=xtptuwp202&subtype=633&s=8
(dual input, analog/HDMI)
and its entire family (different input combinations, faceplate style or brick, 4K version due to the hit the streets any day now) with the XTP SR HD 4K (and its family).
https://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=xtpsrhd4k&s=4
works reliably EVERY time. It is HDCP compliant works with 2-channel, multi-channel (including DTS and Dolby high bandwidth audio) and is good for up to 100 meters (330-feet).

In fact, the only downside to the Extron XTP line is that they are not on cheap side of the spectrum. The US-LIST price is $1690.00 for the scaling receiver and $1,390.00 for the transmitter. But they are practically plug-n-play (with the scaling receiver, you really don't have to worry about what someone plugs in, it will output what your projector can handle and scaled to fill the 1080/2160 imager while retaining aspect ratio. Just use shielded CAT cable. Extron, naturally, recommends their CAT cable but there isn't anything particularly special about it other than it is 475MHz cable so if you are going with your own brand and you are going to be on the longer side of things, then you want the higher bandwidth cable and SHIELDED (have I said that before?). For typical 100-150-foot runs, I've had zero issues with 350MHz shielded CAT cables (CAT5e) even from the lowly likes of Monoprice.

I guess, the only other "downside" to the Extron XTP line is that you have to source them from an Extron dealer and they are prohibited from selling them via the internet (at least in the USA). Extron, a privately owned company, does NOT sell through box-stores (e.g. no Amazons or B-H Photo and that sort). They want their DEALERS to provide the right products and support. "Level-1" tech support is supposed to be the dealer themselves.

There is an entire XTP product family and was original conceived to be used with their XTP matrix switchers (think universities/government applications) where classrooms and even buildings can be connected up together (naturally, there are entire fiber optic families in the XTP line to be able to extend it as far as needed)

The XTP line puts in their "Key Minder" technology so the transmitter is the sink for the HDMI device so you don't get the handshaking crap that has to be rechecked all of the time or if you have a switcher in there. You can have an Extron matrix switcher in there and have mixed HDCP compliant/non-compliant displays and it will output perfect images on the compliant displays and green screen on the non-compliant displays simultaneously without effort. Though, it is probably getting tough to find non-compliant displays now. Their HDCP technology is pretty rock solid.

I can also testify that the Extron DTP line is also very reliable but, for whatever reason, Extron does not make a scaling receiver for it. That is, unless you connect it up via one of their DTP matrix switchers. They put the scaler in the matrix switcher so you make an expensive matrix switcher, even more expensive. But again, it is quite the reliable system. I'd say that DTP is pretty close to HDBaseT technology (Extron claims it is better, of course) and most Extron DTP transmitters now have an HDBaseT compatibility switch (since many A/V devices, including projectors, can take HDBaseT directly, it would make sense).

Again, the DTPs stuff works with all of the forms of HDMI audio too. Many A/V devices out there will just call for "Stereo" audio because that is what A/V works with. Extron's HDMI stuff will work with just about everything up to DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD audio and everything below. Often with the audio de-embedder (for stereo) built into the receiver.

I've had reasonable success with Atlona's HDBaseT products but I'd think most companies HDBaseT products would work equivalently on the getting the signal from here-to-there part since HDBaseT is a bit of a standard and everyone is shopping at the same HDBaseT store. All various companies can do is put their features at the endpoints (what sort of inputs/output, switching, scaling...etc.).

But if I'm in a situation where I'd have the least bit of concern about the signal, Extron XTP is going to deliver, every time. That whole family is just so rock solid.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2082
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-18-2018 07:20 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Clickshare image is good for podium uses. Video looks decent, sound is good. If you're projecting a 4K Blu-Ray from the podium... that's entirely nuts so there's not much to say... but obviously you need a cable extender.
Cables or extenders have issues as well. Someone with a laptop sending 1600x900 video isn't going to get a picture from any cinema projector I've seen.
Geeks with Linux laptops won't be getting connected to a Clickshare, either.
Some sites are not amenable to adding cable, both the "historic" ones where the architecture can't be compromised and modern ones where there's just no affordable route available. A wireless solution like Clickshare has its place.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-18-2018 07:36 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave,

The Extron XTP system I listed above would handle the 1600x900 resolution just fine. By using the scaling receiver, it will take pretty much whatever they throw at it.

We have MANY sites where they do indeed run a Blu-ray from the lectern area and some, in fact, put a Blu-ray in there. Theatres seem to want to get away from having an employee attending to events as much as possible so by putting technology in such that user can plug in THEIR stuff and run THEIR show, it is cheaper to pay more for a little more technology in the theatre than to repeatedly pay for employees to tend to such rentals. I'd say about 10% have had us put a Blu-ray player in the lectern. The vast majority just want the input plate by the screen somewhere so that whomever can plug in whatever they brought. The XTP line provides for having Ethernet come down the same single cable too. In those sites, I provide a "dirty" internet connection that has no connectivity to any other part of the sites network.

I agree that the "Clickshare" technology has its place and I could easily see where it would be a nifty product for some. I'm not plussed about having to issue a dongle to an outside entity but it is no more "dangerous" than handing them a microphone (Cost wise) though a microphone is less likely to walk out than the widget plugged into their computer (how many adapter cables have left venues with computers?)

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