Datapath Fx4 alternative

Hi,
I’m working on a 3x3 display wall. All screens are 1920x1080, so total resolution is 5760x3240. The idea is to use 3 outputs of a Quadro P5000 @5760x1080 to connect 3 Datapath Fx4 (using only 3 of the 4 outputs on each). I know Datapath’s products are very well regarded in the industry. However, I’m wondering if anyone knows or has tried a more cost effective solution.
Also, if anyone has any comments or recommendations regarding this setup, they are very much appreciated! :smiley:
Thank you!

Hey man…

You could try these, very high on my shopping list…

https://www.aja.com/products/mini-converters/ha5-4k

They do a 1080p@60 quad-split with what I assume is minimal latency. You would need 4x SDI-HDMI adapters to go back to HDMI at the telly though.

I don’t own one [yet] but I’ve heard good things so far… maybe someone who uses them can comment?

Nick

Hmmm, not so sure about getting the DP to HDMI though… it might all be a bit adapter-happy

Nick

If you have a DisplayPort output the most cost-effective solution is to use a Multi Stream Transport (MST) hub.

I’d recommend Startech for the brand but there are several manufacturers of MST hubs. You just need a DisplayPort 1.2 compatible GPU, the display devices you output to only need DisplayPort 1.1.

More info on MST:
blog.startech.com/post/connecti … s-for-you/

You’ll want to get three of these (might be even cheaper elsewhere) :
startech.com/AV/Displayport … MSTDP123DP

And this is a 4-port version
startech.com/AV/Displayport … MSTDP124DP

There are some that have HDMI outs as well, (so you don’t need adapters to the displays) but i think you have to get those from another manufacturer.

Oh, one more thing is if your displays support DisplayPort 1.2 and have DP in and DP out ports then you may not need the hub at all, you can just daisy chain the displays. I’m not sure if this presents any perceptible latency so if you need perfect frame lock (you are using a Quadro) proceed with caution on that solution.

But you can’t beat the cost! --all you’d have to buy are ~9 DisplayPort cables.

^ We’ve used daisy chaining a bunch of times on large video walls, helps cut down the cost of splitters and cabling. Can send a 4k signal to the first screen, then feed it into the next 3 screens, and have each one take a 1080p quadrant. Works with framelock both hardware and software.

I attempted to use this MST hub a few weeks ago (accellcables.com/products/d … ay-mst-hub) and discovered that once everything was connected, it would only allow me to use the same number of outputs that the GPU supported to begin with. So 4 outputs instead of the 6 I was hoping for. I was trying to use it with a GTX 1080Ti though…is this another one of those quadro / gtx differences?

Also, when daisy-chaining like you are talking about, how does the PC see those monitors? Does it only see the first screen in the chain, the one you are sending the 4k signal?

I’m not familiar with the hubs. The daisy chaining we’ve used was the DP1.2 daisy chain video wall features built into the screens (NEC ones in this case). It acted similar to a datapath, we would send a single 4k out, and the screens were grouped in fours so that each one would take a 1920x1080 quadrant of the 4k. This grouping and settings was happening on the screen side.

you should be good for more than 4 displays on a quadro via MST, but you are limited to 4 displays on geforce GPUs

Nick

This sounds like the perfect solution for someone who doesn’t already own screens. Do you remember which model of NEC display it was? Do you know any other brands that produce large displays with daisy chaining DP inputs?

Thanks.

I believe it was the X series, but I could be wrong. Been a while since that project.

That Startech MST hub might be worth looking into as well, I believe landoth has had some success with it since he mentioned it.

I would say just about every video wall manufacturer has a SKU that supports daisy chaining. I know Samsung does for sure but I bet you can get that feature from anybody - it might just be bundled into a feature set that isn’t precisely what you want.

I didnt find any more information on MST and GTX series graphic cards? Can you eventually attach more than 4 screens? Are they handled as individual screens or rather one large screen on the graphics card? landonth what graphic card did you use in your setup? thanks for helping!

Hi Everyone–
I have a straightforward goal to take a 3840x1080 HDMI output from my Nvidia 1060 card and “split” it for output on two 1920x1080 projectors. I’ve found the Matrox Triplehead’s too unreliable for gigs showing up where there’s just an hour or two for setup; I hear amazing things about the Datapath, but hoping for a more affordable solution.

I wanted to follow up on the suggestion earlier in the thread about using the AJA HA5-4K for this purpose - has anyone worked with this device / anyone have opinions or experience on using it for the use case I’ve described? I’d probably pair this with Blackmagic SDI to HDMI converters on the other end. I’m not terribly familiar with SDI other than what I’ve read briefly online - if there are any cautionary tales with it, please share.

thanks in advance!
-paul

@carloalan and others, I just found out about the SST boxes which is a bit different than MST. Whereas MST effectively daisy-chains your monitors and presents the GPU with more additional monitors through a single output, SST devices just groups monitors together into larger canvases and these are much cheaper than FX4s. This can help you get around the Geforce GPU limit of 4 monitors presented to the GPU as well.

So this box can present 4 HD outputs as two 3840x1080 screens to the GPU via 1 DisplayPort and it is about $180USD - 24h.pchome.com.tw/prod/DCAX8U-A90062JWP
(Don’t ask me where find these in your area, I just found out these things exist and am starting the search myself, anyone finding them elsewhere please post)

Now if you have the budget for FX4s, they are still recommended as the configuration is much more flexible and they have EDID control etc.

So the other tip for using these SST boxes, it is worth getting EDID dongles for every output as Windows will try to reconfigure your monitors everytime you connect/disconnect a monitor and its a real time waster.

Thanks to the wise @yeataro for showing me this cheap but effective solution recently.

I have used the HA5-4K quite a few times, with great results. We did a media server build with TD using 3 HA5-4K off a M5000 for 12 HD outputs. ( we mosaic all the displays, including a 4K UI monitor ). Also used them on a GX1 and solo Disguise servers.( on a pinch VFC cards replacement :unamused: )

Each Dp -> 4x SDI feed is basically lock’ed together and you avoid all potential tearing & disconnect issues ( if using a non quadro GPU ). The system always sees the same output9s).

For installation, it work even better for us as we could run HD-SDI straight from the rack to the projectors / displays.

I’ve always used club 3D active dongles (cac 1040 & 1080) and extron 30cm HDMI cables.

Thanks, Oliviano! This is really helpful. I was going to report to everyone that I went ahead and purchased the HA5-4K and several Blackmagic microconverters / found this solution to work excellently for my needs.

In addition, I was looking to save $ on 3G-SDI cables, and was able to run the blackmagic HDMI output into an HDMI->Cat6 extender, and it was AOK with that too. Very happy with all the options, and the stability.

AJA runs a little hot; considering adding a heatsink to the top of it.

Again - thanks and also to Dogboy23 for the original mention-

all my best-
-paul

Thank you for this information Ben. Lindy (based in UK) actually sell their version of this box called the 4k DP to 4x HDMI video wall processor. It’s around 450$CAD including international shipping and customs through amazon.co.uk (but was shipped from Germany)

It works really well. No messy USB configuration like with the triplehead2go. It even supports different monitors. At the moment I’m using two pairs, one is 1200p (3840x1200) and the other is 1080p (3840x1080).