Video Tiling HTPC Build with 4K Output and Multiple HDMI Input
About a year and a half ago, I was looking for a way to take multiple feeds and display simultaneously on the same screen.
While there are some reasonably priced ($1k range) commercial solutions, they don't allow for a few things I want/need:
- 4K Output
- 1080P input
- any number of simultaneous screens, from say 1-8
The solutions for the above (for example, upscale sports bars have these commercial systems installed) are more than $15k, far outside of my budget.
However, it seems like a reasonable Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) should accomplish what I want to do, as was noted in the thread.
Before my questions, please note that I am not concerned about HDCP on any HDMI input feed. In other words, any HDMI feed would be free of HDCP coding such as personal HDMI camcorders or some other source without HDCP.
Also, while I know a bit about computers and electronics, I'm generally of beginner level, so please excuse my neophytism
Questions, numbered for easy reference:
- Assuming I have non HDCP protected input coming from HDMIs, how can I take multiple HDMI signals into the computer? I mean, physically, what are good cards that will allow me to plug an HDMI into the back of the computer and see that feed?
- What kind of graphics card(s) will I need to take, say, four 1080p feeds and then output on a single, 4k monitor? I assume I will need a graphics card for the output capable of driving 4k, but what other specs will I need? Is it possible or is there any benefit from using more, less powerful cards over a single high-powered one?
- What other specs should I look for, specifically for RAM, processor, etc.? Are these very important if all I'm doing is taking feeds in and kicking them out?
- Would I be better off taking HDMI feeds, turning them into some other plug, and then plugging that into the back of the computer?
- Does anyone know of a good program that I can use to watch each feed, individually? For example, can I open 4 instances of a given program and select each one to play a different feed in its own window? or am I better off getting four separate programs and running them each concurrently, with appropriately sized windows?
- Is there an off-the-shelf solution that would allow for recording of each feed, perhaps in conjunction with the above?
- I was thinking of just using Windows 7 or something to run this, is there a better OS for this kind of application? Eventually, I would like to run a script that takes the various windows, sizes them automatically, and outputs them. I have had good experiences with Windows 7, but not so much with 8 and definitely not with 10. I would be open to a Linux/Unix but want to design the system to be as user-friendly as possible in case family/friends want to operate.
- Assuming I need multiple input/output cards, what kind of MoBo will I need to have all these input and output cards? what kinds of slots and how many?
- What kind of case will I need to accomodate the MoBo? I assume the form factor will dictate, but if there's other considerations like cooling, recommendations are helpful.
For the purposes of this thread, let's assume a budget of about $2-3k for the build, but obviously the best situation is the minimization of cost that would fit the need. Note that the computer would probably only be used for this purpose and perhaps some internet browsing, so no need for extreme gaming, video editing, etc., although I imagine that those applications will be within the capabilities based on the types of graphics cards I'm imagining I'll need.
Thanks in advance everyone, I'll be lurking to answer questions and probably ask a few more!