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Building a computer to run 6 NFL games on 6 HDTVs

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 11, 2012 6:42:23 PM

Hey guys,

I'm putting together a computer that can run 6 HDTVs (already bought) through HDMI connections. I've looked around at video cards for some time now and all I can find is stuff for eyefinity. I don't need my TVs to share one big screen! I need them all to be independent of each other so I can watch different ESPN games on each TV.

Any help is appreciated.

I'm debating making either a Intel based PC or AMD, any advice on that too?

Thanks
July 11, 2012 7:14:18 PM

I think your getting the wrong idea about Eyefinity. Having Eyefinity on a card means that it CAN but doesn't have to run in a single resolution. Eyefinity just means that the card is capable of multiple monitors. remember most that can run 6 tv's will be mostly consisted of displayports and the HDMI will not work on it when using all the ports. You will need active displayport to HDMI adapters. this card is brand new and can run all the monitors MSI R7970 Lightning http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and you will ned some adapters that look like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 11, 2012 10:09:40 PM

Thanks for that,

I read some eyefinity FAQs and it metioned something about DP++ as well as for running 6 monitors I need an active adapter to passive adapter ratio of 1:2. Is this true of all eyefinity cards? Also can someone explain what DP++ is?

Thanks again
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July 11, 2012 10:21:33 PM

From the link you gave me it looks like that adapter is passive and doesnt transfer sound :( 
I forgot to give you a budget for the graphics card (up to 400) let me know if thats enough for what i need. thanks
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 10:29:16 PM

Displayport can transfer sound, but as to whether specific adapters do it or not I'm not sure. And, yeah, the one linked appears to be passive. You will need one marked as "Active" which are usually around $25-$30 each.

A 7970 is also extreme overkill for this. You could run a single 6-display AMD card (there's a bunch), or you could run any two AMD cards, like a pair of 5570s which will support at least 3 displays each.

However, you will need a TV Tuner card that can transmit 6 channels at once. I'm pretty ignorant on those, sorry.
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July 11, 2012 10:33:58 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

somewhat cheaper card and as for the displayport to hdmi I'm not finding much so I'm not sure. Also I'm not sure how you expect to get separate sound to each TV. The sound from the port will be the sound that is coming from all the monitors.
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July 11, 2012 10:38:17 PM

wolfram23 said:
Displayport can transfer sound, but as to whether specific adapters do it or not I'm not sure. And, yeah, the one linked appears to be passive. You will need one marked as "Active" which are usually around $25-$30 each.

A 7970 is also extreme overkill for this. You could run a single 6-display AMD card (there's a bunch), or you could run any two AMD cards, like a pair of 5570s which will support at least 3 displays each.


Yeah didn't notice the adapter was passive and as for 6 monitors driving 1080p HD video I'm not sure exactly what it takes to run, I'm sure what I just posted can handle it fine though for cheaper. As for your suggestion I'm not sure if hes looking for a single card or if multiple are ok and newer is always better so I'm not sure if 5000 series is the best choice. cheaper, but not as future proof and will have higher power and heat...
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 10:42:22 PM

Hmm as I think about it, there might be some issues with sound output. For the most part, if you are to play 6 videos simultaneously all the audio will overlap on a single source output. I have no idea how you can output 6 discreet audio outputs like this.
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July 11, 2012 10:43:45 PM

instead of a tv tuner is there a way to get NFL online streaming for cheap?
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July 11, 2012 10:47:16 PM

Smawell said:
Yeah didn't notice the adapter was passive and as for 6 monitors driving 1080p HD video I'm not sure exactly what it takes to run, I'm sure what I just posted can handle it fine though for cheaper. As for your suggestion I'm not sure if hes looking for a single card or if multiple are ok and newer is always better so I'm not sure if 5000 series is the best choice. cheaper, but not as future proof and will have higher power and heat...

i can work my build around multiple cards if necessary but one card is preferred.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 10:51:39 PM

Ok so right now here's my understanding. Using a TV Tuner card is basically impossible for this task. Streaming from internet you can get 6 discreet broadcasts, but there is definitely going to be an audio issue. You will need to pick only 1 game to have audio, and the rest maybe enable closed captions.

As for a single card solution, you're looking at an eyefinity 6 card, and they aren't cheap. A Newegg search brings up a couple of 7870s at over $400. Running a pair of 6670s or something, which supports 3 monitors each, will cost about $100. You also don't need to crossfire them (in fact, that would be worse for this use). So any motherboard with two PCIe 16 lanes is going to work, which is the majority of them.
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July 11, 2012 10:58:17 PM

wolfram23 said:
Ok so right now here's my understanding. Using a TV Tuner card is basically impossible for this task. Streaming from internet you can get 6 discreet broadcasts, but there is definitely going to be an audio issue. You will need to pick only 1 game to have audio, and the rest maybe enable closed captions.

As for a single card solution, you're looking at an eyefinity 6 card, and they aren't cheap. A Newegg search brings up a couple of 7870s at over $400. Running a pair of 6670s or something, which supports 3 monitors each, will cost about $100. You also don't need to crossfire them (in fact, that would be worse for this use). So any motherboard with two PCIe 16 lanes is going to work, which is the majority of them.

so what kind of processor would you recommend for this and would 8gb ddr3 1600mhz or 16gb work for this build?
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July 11, 2012 11:07:20 PM

Do you plan on building a whole new PC for this?
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July 11, 2012 11:08:12 PM

yes as my current one is about 10 years of age
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:11:57 PM

thenommer15 said:
instead of a tv tuner is there a way to get NFL online streaming for cheap?

I would guess that the NFL offers some type of package that allows you to watch all games that aren't blacked out locally. I have a hunch, however, that you will run into a bandwidth problem when you try to stream 6 separate games (I'm assuming in HD) to the same computer. You will need a pretty hefty internet connection to do that successfully.

Your better bet in the long run might be a TV Tuner option that allows for watching multiple channels like another user suggested...
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:14:43 PM

I would suggest getting 6 cable boxes or (sat boxes) and running the video through an A/V matrix so audio follows video to each display. Then all you need is a custom remote system so when you change a channel, it doesn't change all boxes at the same time.

What you're trying to accomplish with a computer will cost you thousands. It's an A/V solution, not a HTPC one, unfortunately.

- EDIT

This is what you need (or something similar) - http://keydigital.com/items.asp?ItemCode=KDHD8x8BT-7x9&...

Here's the schematic, from what I gather this is what you want to achieve...

http://keydigital.com/Downloads/KD-HDMS8x8/KD-HDMS8x8_A...
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July 11, 2012 11:17:17 PM

i dont like paying for cable tv and i want to start watching NFL without cable tv
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:33:15 PM

thenommer15 said:
i dont like paying for cable tv and i want to start watching NFL without cable tv


Well, then, I think your only solution using a computer is to build 3 computers with 2x 2 tuner cards in each. That way you will be able to record any of the 6 channels you want to record, while watching any of the 6 channels you want to watch, at the same time.

The issue is the audio. Each tuner card can only output one channel of audio at a time.
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July 11, 2012 11:34:57 PM

what about 3x2 way tv tuners all in pci slots?
or could i record full length games with 1 tuner and then post them all on my tvs?
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:43:00 PM

The audio is the issue with using a computer. Surely you can have 6 dedicated computers driving 6 displays, with dual tuner cards in each computer, switching inputs on the displays to check recordings/live broadcasts... but that's brain damage!

And don't forget about HD quality - you don't have it with a tuner card. Hands down, the right way to do it is how I suggested in my first response. Complete control and HD quality all the way.
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July 11, 2012 11:47:20 PM

how much would that cost?
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:50:34 PM

My guess is probably 6- 12 thousand, including labor - it's a job for a custom A/V company to do, if you've never done it. The remote control is the tough part, programming it.
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July 11, 2012 11:52:23 PM

well ***
what if i just have video capability?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 3:35:53 AM

Just video is much easier, like I suggested. But as mentioned, in HD, you need to get a pretty good internet connection for 6 streams.
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July 12, 2012 11:00:11 AM

what do you think my download speed should be? Do you think I could set up an online DVR solution and just play them offline when i have six?
The goal of this is to not waste too much time watching football and be able to multitask football games. I really just need to know whats happening visually.
I read about this Playon software that I might be able to use for this. What do you guys think?
http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/ways-to-watch-tv-witho...
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a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 1:27:11 PM

You can get Audio if you use one of the new 7 series video cards from ATI. My 7950 is capable of outputting audio over each connection indepenently as long as I use displayport / hdmi. My monitors have speakers built in, when setup properly whatever is on that screen can play thru the screens speakers (although I dont use any of my screens speakers since I have a receiver). Look at the 7 series cards and you can find out more about the feature and if it will work for your needs.
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July 12, 2012 2:13:24 PM

dont I need active displayport to hdmi then? If so then I have no idea where they can be found because I have searched forever and can only find passive ones that will only transfer video and not audio.
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a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 2:57:37 PM

thenommer15 said:
what do you think my download speed should be?

Honestly? I kind of doubt that even the fastest connection from a cable internet provider would be good enough. I'm thinking you would likely need a business quality internet connection like a T1.
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July 12, 2012 3:43:41 PM

dang. what about playon software?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 4:13:44 PM

I don't think the NFL streams any content with the exception on the one Thursday night NFL Network game. The set up you're looking for is having a dual ATSC TV Tuner card installed into your computer. I don't recall there ever being a situation where three NFL games are being aired simultaneously, so one dual-tuner should cover your recordings.

Next, you'll need 6 different media center extenders (XBox 360's or look into the Ceton Echo); each attached to a wired network connection and to each HDTV. Each extender will retrieve and play a recorded game.

So in my area, the least amount of games I could record would be three or four; my local game plus the two out of market day games and the Sunday night NBC game.

-Wolf sends
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a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 5:55:14 PM

thenommer15 said:
dont I need active displayport to hdmi then? If so then I have no idea where they can be found because I have searched forever and can only find passive ones that will only transfer video and not audio.


Sorry, misread the part saying you already bought the tv's. I was thinking you could simply get displayport screens with built in speakers.

As far as cable bandwith, if you have a local internet company that offers Fiber Optic you might be able to get the necessary bandwith. Here in TN where I'm located, the company does Fiber Optic all the way to the house (most companies go fiber to the curb in front your house then regular cable line from that point to the house) so the minimum speed plan is 30mbps each way with plans available that go up to 1gbps.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 6:02:52 PM

I'd say maybe the best bet is TV tuner cards/PVRs to record the games then playback either from PVRs or using a multi-monitor setup with Eyefinity.
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July 12, 2012 6:51:13 PM

wolfram23 said:
I'd say maybe the best bet is TV tuner cards/PVRs to record the games then playback either from PVRs or using a multi-monitor setup with Eyefinity.

PVR?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 7:40:54 PM

cable boxes with HDDs for recording... I know you said you don't want to pay for cable, but I'm not sure what other way there is to watch this many games.
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July 12, 2012 8:19:27 PM

damn... ill just have to settle for less games and just do other things on some other monitors
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July 13, 2012 10:56:39 AM

but for the 6 tvs could I try buying 3 graphics cards (each like 80$ or something) with each running two. I think I could do that to avoid finding active adapters and save some money. Because I know if you want to have more than 2 you need a displayport or active adapter. So tell me guys, would that work?
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July 13, 2012 11:15:17 AM

or could I find some graphics cards with just HDMI and DVIs? at this point I can just settle for video and audio on some of them. Should I get a MOBO with a HDMI port as well??
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July 13, 2012 11:29:10 AM

are there any flex edition cards that can support a good amount of monitors?
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!