While twiddling my thumbs waiting for the official Multi-Room Viewing (MRV) and TiVoToGo (TTG), I went ahead and cobbled together my own very nice MRV solution.
I’ve read online that the max distance for a non-amplified HDMI cable run may not meet my needs, but quite a few vendors offer long HDMI cables. So I took the plunge and paid $51.01 (including shipping) for Monoprice’s most expensive 35′ HDMI cable. That allowed the living room Series3 to power the 42″ plasma locally via component, while simultaneously powering the 30″ bedroom HDTV via HDMI (with the help of a $5 13/16″ drill bit) as shown below. Video and audio come through very well, and there’s no indication that the source TiVo is out of range.
The next challenge is remotely controlling the TiVo… And at the same time this plan was percolating, Monster offered me their Harmony-powered IR+RF remote (AVL300) for review (MSRP $400). I’ve programmed it to control the bedroom TV via IR and the livingroom Series3 via RF. Response through the walls and around corners has been instantaneous, again with no indication the TiVo is located somewhere else.
Overall, this solution is very nice. I’m enjoying the immediate playback from a remote DVR, including HD content… unlike TiVo’s Multi-Room Viewing which doesn’t always stream (standard def content) real-time without having to wait for the buffer to build. I also like the idea of having one DVR to manage, though I’m limited to recording on the two Series3 tuners. (I still have a Humax DVD-burning TiVo in the bedroom… for now.)
So what’s next… I haven’t tacked down the HDMI cable yet or dressed up the hole in the wall. I intend to explore more solutions for controlling the TiVo from another room, since not everyone is in the market for a $400 remote. Smarthome offers several possibilities, at lower price points, such as IR over Coax and the Powermid IR/RF set. Also expect a full review of the Monster remote in the next month or so. I can already tell you that I really appreciate the small five-way joystick and prefer the matte grip over the Harmony equivalent (890).