VGA Distribution

Discussions around the satellite system and video distribution.
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VGA Distribution

Postby shanebankhead » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:44 pm

We just moved into a brand new stake center which is equipped with the standard "bare bones" A/V installation. One of the many limitations that I need to overcome quickly is how to get VGA to the rear screens in the cultural hall, and maybe even the overflow rooms. Our stake frequently uses powerpoint or video clips in meetings and firesides, so this will be a problem for us.

I'm looking at several options, and am just curious what others are doing, or if you have any experience using any of these methods:

Hard-wired VGA distribution from a jack on the podium to locations in the cultural hall? GC wired our old stake center like this, which was nice. But the cable runs were very long, and even with the DA in the middle they are probably at the hairy edge of VGA capability. As a result, the picture quality is not as good as it could be. We also did not have any drops in the RS or Primary room for overflow, which was often an issue.

VGA over twisted pair: There are many different solutions to do this, but I don't have a lot of experience with these devices to know which ones work well.

I'd just need to be able to get up into the mezzanine and install some temporary jumpers on the cat-5 patch panel. (most of the drops are not actually connected to the LAN anyway, so it wouldn't interfere with anything). This solution is attractive because it would allow us to use existing cabling without modifying the physical facility.

VGA over LAN. I've been looking at some devices that will encode video for streaming over a LAN. One device in particular would be able to deal with multiple video formats (VGA, composite, and component). This looks like the most versatile solution, and would be the least invasive to the physical facility. But I suspect there would be a fair amount of latency with this kind of device, which could be a problem in this application.

Scan converter from VGA to composite video: This would allow us to simply input video into the camera jack. This would be nice because it also does not require modifying the physical facility, and could take advantage of the existing building distribution system. However, the video would suffer a significant loss of quality and resolution, so presentations would have to be designed for low resolution (which most people just don't get). It would also be a hassle getting the wire from the podium to the camera jack in the back.

I'm just curious what other stakes are doing, since I'm sure this is a very common issue. Thanks in advance for your comments.


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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:04 pm

Well, in our stake, no one with Power Point has ever had a overflow audience. The only time we have meetings that large is Stake Conference and our annual Christmas concert. So far, I don't think anyone has had Power Points for the general stake meetings. The PH leadership, yes, but not the general.

That said, it will be interesting to see what you come up with. While VGA is common enough now - both on computers and projectors, I have to wonder how long it will last.
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Postby schester » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:53 pm


My best suggestion for you is the twisted pair. If you consider what you'll pay for a VGA DA and decent cables, you'll probably be at about the same cost as the video baluns. The great thing about running twisted pair though is that you are future proofing yourself. Today you want to run VGA, but in the not too far future, someone will want HDMI or DisplayPort and all you'll need to do is switch out the baluns at each end and you're done.

If you're distributing to multiple displays, there are baluns that have DA's for the head end so you can feed in your video signal once and it will split it for you.

I have lots of experience using these in the professional a/v world, so would be happy to give you product recommendations or answer any questions you may have.


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Re: VGA Distribution

Postby roblad » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:35 pm

In two years the main laptop vendors will no longer provide VGA connectors on their products. I believe the future will be all HDMI or DisplayPort. HDMI can be taken to 150 feet when using two CAT-5 cables and breakout adapters. This is a really nice solution. Both active and passive HDMI splitters are available. I’d avoid using the passive ones.

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