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Using one receiver for two TVs?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by dpusa, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. dpusa

    dpusa Cool Member

    Oct 8, 2010

    We are building a new house and will 'want' TVs in our family room, office, bonus room, and master bedroom. We are not finishing our basement but wanted to put a treadmill there and put another TV there too to watch too - is it possible to have two TVs supported from one receiver?

  2. rmmccann

    rmmccann AllStar

    Apr 16, 2012
    ND, USA
    I do this with an RF modulator and setting the remote to RF mode. I have to disable "HD" video modes on the other TV since it's SD and the HD GUI complains when broadcast in non-HD, but it works alright.
  3. Rickt1962

    Rickt1962 Legend

    Jul 17, 2012
    Since your building, Find a central location that you can set the Reciever in the middle of the House and get a HDMI Splitter like a 4 way you can buy upto 50' HDMI cables at LOWES you can also Use Cat 5 or 6 wire for HDMI but since its new I would use cat 6 you must run 2 cables for each HDMI jack if you go this route. I would still Run RG6 and Cat5 cable to each location anyways. Since all the new TV's coming out have Web on them
  4. dpusa

    dpusa Cool Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    Our 'wires' panel will be downstairs in the basement where we want the treadmill.

    Ideally, we would like that basement TV to have a HD signal and be able to control the receiver elsewhere. We are planning on getting a Genie system at the time but do not want to pay for yet another receiver fee for the basement one.
  5. Newshawk

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 3, 2004
    Yes, it can work. It's called "slaving" and can be accomplished in a number of ways. If you are using a SD receiver, you can hook one TV up with composite (A/V) cables and the other one with a coax cable. You can also use the RF output of the receiver with an analog splitter to feed both TVs from the "OUT TO TV" connector on the back.

    As noted before, with HD it is a bit more complicated. If they are both HD, you can connect one TV with component cables and one with HDMI cables and they will both have HD. If the TVs are both SD, you can connect them with either composite cables or through an RF modulator. In either case, you'll only get 480i resolution out of the HD receiver.

    If one TV is HD and one is SD, it get very complicated. Again, as mentioned before, if the HD receiver detects any SD connection being made (even if it is not in use on the opposite side) it will limit output to 480p, which forces the use of the SD version of the HD GUI. You could still display 16x9 content, it would just be in enhanced definition (ED). The problem would be that those channels would be vertically stretched on your 4:3 SDTV. If you put the receiver into 4:3 mode, then the 16:9 HD channels would be letterboxed on the SDTV and window boxed ED (large black border all around ) on the HDTV. The best choice is to avoid that at all costs!
  6. HinterXGames

    HinterXGames Godfather

    Dec 20, 2012
    It is possible, but is not supported (tech support, etc) by DTV in any way, so do be aware of that.
  7. dpusa

    dpusa Cool Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks all.... both TVs will be HD.

    Does that mean if I connect one TV via HDMI and the other with component cables both TVs can be on at the same time? Also I assume I just need an extra remote?
  8. bnwrx

    bnwrx Icon

    Dec 29, 2007
    I have this exact setup. HDMI to the basement,component to the bedroom. I set the HR to RF and use a Directv remote at each location. It works great. I have whole home, and can view any program in the basement and yes the basement and bedroom tv's must view the same program.
  9. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Apr 21, 2007
    Elizabeth, CO
    One other option not mentioned is a HDMI splitter. With that you can have 2 or 4 (depending on splitter) HD sets hooked up to one output. For a HD/SD mix you can use an external component/composite convertor and watch HD on one set and SD (with menus) on the other. You will probably get a squeezed picture with this but I believe there are higher end convertors that will letterbox
  10. lesz

    lesz Legend

    Aug 3, 2010
    Another option is to use a wireless HD transmitter, such as this one.


    I have a room where I want to have access to a TV signal, but the TV in that room is only watched very rarely. As an alternative to getting another DIRECTV receiver and also having to pay the monthly fee, I've been using the Actiontec My Wireless TV transmitter for about a year and a half now. Its performance and video quality are excellent. Mine is transmitting the DIRECTV signal across the house and up a flight of stairs through several walls, and the signal strength is still quite strong. The other nice thing is that the transmitter can, besides the DIRECTV signals, transmit signals from a BluRay player or any other HDMI capable device to the remote TV (with HDMI capability). The only downside is that the remote TV can only view the same programming that is being watched by the local TV, but, for a TV that is only infrequently being watched, it is not an issue. I've seen reports of people buying them on Amazon and on eBay for well under the manufacturer's list price.
  11. thomas_d92

    thomas_d92 AllStar

    Nov 29, 2004
    I am running 4 tv's in HD by using an hdmi 4 gang splitter and run another set with component video and one more sd set with composite video out. So I have six tv's running off one HR20-700. I live alone so this is not a problem. I am able to save on box fees to help off set price increase.
  12. synpse

    synpse Cool Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    DIRECTV2PC - I use this all the time. HR-24 in the Living room with HDTV. Computer room with regular TV, RCA-to-Coax (or RF, whatever.. it's regular tv cable) to the 2nd tv in the computer room. I can record something on the HR-24 receiver, and watch it on the computer. Or, I can watch the same thing that's tuned on the SD TV. But if I want to use the guide, I have to hold EXIT for 3-5 seconds to re-set the HR-24 to standard-def mode, so that I can get rid of the error message on the SD tv and see the guide.

    Sorry, that's alot of setup in a little space. 2 RF DirecTV remotes, because you can't mix/match RF & IR remotes. (DUH! stupid.)

    I have 2 computer screens, so I use the 2nd screen for TV sometimes. and 5.1 speakers on the computer.. nice to get HDTV on the computer.

    Oh, and the new Android App is AWESOME!! I can finally watch Live TV over WiFi. It streams from the internet, but only if you're on the same home network as your receiver.
  13. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    It used to be a snap to share a receiver with multiple TV's by simply adding a powerful RF modulator and running it's output through a splitter to all TV's. In addition, you would either get an IR extender setup or RF remotes (the IR sender scheme is used in many whole-home audio setups).

    But now with HD there are all kinds of new problems.

    If an HD DirecTV box notices an HDMI cable plugged into it but the device at the other end isn't communicating (like an HDTV that is turned off) it blocks programming from the other outputs on certain channels due to copyright software. In the past, you could hook up a DirecTV HD receiver to an HD TV and then hook up an RF modulator to the composite output to send an SD signal to other TV's. But then DirecTV decided we all needed to see the program guide and their silly icons in HD. Customers who had the setup described above were surprised when they pressed "guide" on their remote and got a blank screen on their remote SD TV's. After endless complaining, DirecTV came up with a solution. You now get a nasty message on the SD TV's telling you to change the resolution on the receiver to SD!!!

    Case and point-you can spend all kinds of money for HD senders or splitters or lengthy HDMI cables or you can just spend $6 per month for another HD receiver. In the case of SD, it's still a snap to share a receiver. Just add an RF modulator and split it's output to the various TV's. Or if your DirecTV receiver has a built-in modulator (channel 3/4 output) like most of their SD boxes, just use that.
  14. dpusa

    dpusa Cool Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    Just to clarify if both TVs are HD, then I can connect one with HDMI and the other with composite correct? Do both TVs have to stay on, I am confused?
  15. lesz

    lesz Legend

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Actiontec MyWirelessHD transmitter that I wrote about in a post above works with no problems with HD, including the premium channels. I can turn on either the local TV (connected via HDMI) or the remote TV (connected wirelessly) separately or can have them both turned on, and the handshake is completed without issue.
  16. thomas_d92

    thomas_d92 AllStar

    Nov 29, 2004
    I also have no handshake problems using a Monoprice 4 gang hdmi spliter. I can run all four tv's or just one.
  17. paulh

    paulh Godfather

    Mar 17, 2003
    You can also use an IP based DirecTv Remote app (as long as your shared receiver has an Internet connection) instead of 2 DirecTv remotes or an IR repeater.
  18. Vin

    Vin Legend

    Mar 29, 2004
    I'm not sure if you mean composite since you said component in an earlier post. Either one comes with it's own set of problems as others have explained. Assuming you mean component which is capable of 720p/1080i, the problem you'll run into is if the HDMI connected TV isn't turned on, the component connected TV won't be able to display premium channels due to HDCP...the reason being is that the HDMI handshake can not be completed. I've experienced this and found that if the HDMI connected TV was turned on, the component connected TV would then be able to receive a signal....the other solution is to disconnect the HDMI cable from the HD DVR. Obviously, neither one of these solutions is ideal.

    The simplest solution, as already suggested by others is to get an HDMI splitter so each TV can display HDCP channels independently, i.e., one TV can be on at a time without running into HDCP issues. I have this exact set up so I can feed an HD signal to the small HDTV in front of the treadmill and it works perfectly.

    Wireless, which has also been suggested will also work and it just so happens I have another DirecTV DVR feeding a 2nd location with the same wireless device mentioned by lesz...this has worked quite well for me too.

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