Microsoft’s customer installer blog takes a look at how you can use Media Center Extenders to distribute audio and video around the home. They show how you can put all your AV equipment, PC and Extenders in the same rack and then each Extender’s video and audio is connected to a switcher and then sent to a display and speakers in each room. Obviously it would need some kind of IR repeater to enable the remote controls but it’s an interesting solution for whole home entertainment, personally I prefer having the Extenders in the room with the display and use the network to distribute the content, what do you think?
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In this design approach shown above, all five Extenders are located in the rack with the Windows Media Center PC, with the Extender’s video output connected to dedicated, in room, displays. This connection can be done via one of the various methods used to extend video between rooms that exists today (primarily baluns, and in-wall wiring) In addition, the audio from each Extender is routed to an audio switcher and amplifier, then on to speakers in each room.
For the user who simply wants a display with speakers (and no distributed audio speakers) in each room, traditional A/V or cat 5 wiring can be used to bring the audio and video signals to the displays. We highly recommend using HDMI or component video to ensure HD performance on the display. For distances over 25 feet, an HDMI or component video extender can carry the signal up to 150 feet or more (depending on model/mfg used).