Possible problem solver: Bit-Path AV™ HDMI® over Ethernet Extender Kit

I just wanted to point this out to those of you who still use traditional set-top satellite receivers with HDMI outputs.  Typically the issue is that the cable(s) from your satellite dish(es) come into one location in your home, and that’s where you put your satellite receiver and your TV.  But what if you want to send the HDMI signal from the receiver to another room in your home, or maybe even to another building on your property?  Or, what if you want to send the same signal to more than one screen?  As long as you have a local network connection available wherever you want to watch satellite TV, this product may be your solution.  To some it might seem a little pricey, but then have you ever priced an extra long HDMI cable (which often does not work all that reliably anyway)?

Bit-Path AV™ HDMI® over Ethernet Extender Kit

From the Monoprice description:

Monoprice Bit-Path AV™ is revolutionary new technology for transmitting HDMI® video over long distances. It features a proprietary IP-based network topology, which allows it to operate as a standalone system, transmitting the HDMI signal to distances up to 120 meters over a single Ethernet cable*. You can also plug it into your existing Ethernet local area network and use the existing network infrastructure to transmit the signal over any distance, without interfering with your LAN traffic. It supports the 1080p FHD resolution, 3D video, and multichannel, compressed and uncompressed audio. Best of all, it is a true Plug-n-Play solution, allowing installers and end-users alike to quickly and easily create an HDMI distribution system for home and business applications alike.

Basically this device can be used as a HDMI extender, and/or as a HDMI splitter:

By using an Ethernet switch** and multiple receivers, in either a standalone or existing network installation, you can split the HDMI signal to multiple destinations. Unlike other HDMI splitters, the system scales with your needs, from a simple 1×2 split using two receivers to an extensive, complex and unlimited split using multiple receivers. You can even use multiple receivers in conjunction with conventional splitters to further multiply the number of displays you can use.

Unfortunately there do not appear to be any reviews of this kit yet, but it comes from Monoprice, which has acquired somewhat of a reputation for selling items that would cost much more from other sources at very reasonable prices. It even appears to have IR Repeater support, so in theory you could use your remote control to control the receiver from another room:

Bit-Path AV™ HDMI® over Ethernet Extender Kit sending unit (connects to HDMI source)

Bit-Path AV™ HDMI® over Ethernet Extender Kit receiving unit (connects to TV or Display)

I have no personal experience with these units, but had they been around three or four years ago when I was still using a standalone satellite receiver (rather than PVR backend software and DVB-S2 tuner cards) to receive and record satellite TV, I could have put them to very good use. If you still prefer a traditional satellite receiver, but hate that it is tethered to one spot (and you have a local ethernet network at your location) you might want to give this a try – if you do, please leave a comment and let us know how it’s working for you.

Now in my wildest speculation, I have to wonder – would it be possible to set up a pair of these connected through a VPN (Virtual Private Network)? While you probably would not want to do this if your ISP imposes bandwidth caps, it’s an interesting thought experiment, since it means you could send a HDMI signal to a screen quite some distance away. And yes, I realize that there’s probably some similarity to a Slingbox in that regard, but I’ve never had a need for one of those, either, so I’m not at all sure how similar such devices might be.

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