[SOLVED] HDMI-over-IP/HDBaseT-over-IP? Anyone can share experience?

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tinfoil3d

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Hello

I've never personally built an advanced network, but recently my homelab has grown significantly and I'd like to move those noisy racks to the nearby house.
I would need networking which is easy, but I would also move my two desktops which both require AT LEAST 3 displays, usb2 switch for keyboard and mouse and usb 3+/something hubs for faster stuff like usb ssds etc. So, we're talking about at least 6 separate channels of data that I need(3 4k display links, 1 slow usb2 switch link, 2 usb3+ links). And that is likely expected to grow.
Ideally I would love to pack everything, networking, video, usb devices into just one single fiber cable(well, actually two because of LC duplex connection). I'll probably have 2 dedicated server systems for that with 2-port 100g mellanox5 cards that will do most of the vlan and such magic to split it onto the further network appliances in their respected locations.
During this week I did a lot of research essentially ending up with idea that I need something like HDMI-over-IP or HDBaseT-over-IP solution. For 1080p there seems to be some cheap solutions on amazon which do work over regular switches(or rather, I expect them to work in my case, if I'd just properly route them through isolated ports on the managed switches on both sides or something like that), but for 4k I don't know if I'd find anything.
Do you think it's possible to combine all that stuff into just one fiber connection without a need to buy way too many converters and mikrotik switches..? Those things do get darn hot. Do you think it's at all possible? I'm rather new to this field.
If so, can you recommend some HDMI/DP, USB extenders for this job that you've tested? I've already contacted FS dot com on their HDMI 4k30fps extenders but they don't talk ethernet so only direct connection is possible they said. That's extra fiber link I don't need.
While my budget is broad and I do have quite some leeway to consider broad amount of options I'd like to at least keep it as simple as possible, with as less "heaters" as possible.
Can anyone share their experience with any particular extenders which work over ethernet and therefore can be routed/switched normally using managed ethernet switches?
The reason I want to do it this way is pretty simple - VNC and likes would not permit me to offload the processing, I would need powerful machine just to use VNC for displaying something like 8k desktop and watching youtube, and there are security considerations for the VNC client machine which further complicate things. A/V signal like HDMI/DP carried over an isolated ports on a managed switches appears to be a safer and simplier and faster solution with near-zero lag.
Thanks
 

BlueFox

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IP based ones are not going to have great image quality seeing as they're limited to 1gbit. They're really intended for commercial use where that isn't a huge concern (digital signage or projectors). There is also lag.

If you're looking to relocate your workstation to a different part of your home, you won't be satisfied with the results.

I have my projector setup with HDMI over fibre, but it's not IP based. It will do full 18gbit bandwidth HDMI 2.0 however. 3 of those + USB extenders would be comically expensive (which aren't going to be USB 3.0 anyway). You should probably get sound-proofed rack instead (APC Netshelter CX for example).
 

tinfoil3d

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I can't soundproof or anything, it's already making my room damn hot and I'm not even installing my SSDs yet. And my ram is running at 55C + all the time, I really need to cool things down but it doesn't make my room quieter or cooler. And there's just a bunch of servers waiting to be installed and turned on to run at all time. I want to move all this stuff over to the other location but be able to work from both places. Pulling 6 cables instead of just one sounds like a stupid idea. Are you telling me IP-based solutions are really that bad? They're lossy and laggy? I mean, isn't there an ethernet-speaking extender that can do this the same way those units from FS do, just over normal regular ethernet switches?
 

Rand__

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Why not use VMWare Horizon or a similar setup? Sure VMUG is $180/y but lots of homelabbers have that anyway...
 

tinfoil3d

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Why not use VMWare Horizon or a similar setup? Sure VMUG is $180/y but lots of homelabbers have that anyway...
1. Im running full Linux environment...
2. Why would I buy another desktop to view two other computers I already have?
3. Offload from CPU?
4. Would it gobble 3x4k displays at 60fps when I watch movies?
5. Security issues mentioned in my post? Basically it covers all of reasoning why I don't want a software solution.

That's why I want something simple but efficient, lossless and as small latency as my setup would give me.
 

Rand__

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Sorry let me reread - too long, too unstructured, just skimmed over it;)

Edit - ok there is one sentence re security in relation to VNC, thats not necessarily applicable to my answer.

1. Ok, - does that mean that the "2 dedicated server systems for that with 2-port 100g mellanox5 cards" need to run linux or could they also run vmware?
2. Why would you need a desktop for that? VDI's very idea is to move heavy computing to the server. You need a Thin or Zero client on the user's end, in your case probably the former since you want USB3
3.Sure
4. Potentially need a GPU passed through to the VMs for that unless your Server CPU is beefy enough
5. " there are security considerations for the VNC client machine which further complicate things. " not talking about vnc, so not sure this applies - Its o/c a valid concern, but an isolated VLAN and encrypted traffic should do well enough if you're sensitive about this.

But I am not looking into talking you into that. Just mentioned it as an option, if your opposed to that, totally fine. Just looking to help.
 
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tinfoil3d

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Again, just to clarify for people who'll answer, I know there is a vast number of devices that USE RJ-45 twisted pair coax cables as a carrier but they don't speak ethernet, so they require direct connection which increases difficulty, scalability and cost of the setup, once done I won't be able to increase a number of data links for peripherals and displays. With ethernet-speaking solution, if anyone used anything like this, it really seems like a simple and scalable approach.
 

tinfoil3d

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I saw that on LTT 6 yo video, is that what you mean or there is an ethernet-speaking flavor of it rn? Do you have any experience with any particular devices?
 

apnar

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I agree TB over fiber is likely the only reasonable approach for the scale you're looking at.

I recently did something similar at a much smaller scale, single 4k screen at 60Hz and USB2 only accessories (keyboard, track pad, web cam, yubikey). It's working great at ~32m. Used these:

For video direct connected over shielded CAT-6a:
4K HDMI 2.0 HDBaseT Extender, Supports HDCP2.2, HDR10, 2-Way IR, PoE & RS232

For USB direct connected over CAT-5e:
USB Extender 60m/196ft , 4x USB2.0 Port, Plug & Play, Supports All Operating Systems
 

tinfoil3d

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apnar, "TB over fiber" is that an ethernet based technology that i can use in a regular ethernet switches?
 

apnar

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apnar, "TB over fiber" is that an ethernet based technology that i can use in a regular ethernet switches?
No, TB is ThunderBolt (or USB4 these days). But it could theoretically handle multiple monitors and USB3 connections over a single cable.

I'm not aware of any products that can route over IP without compromises in both latency and/or fidelity. Just that single 4k stream I'm sending is 18 Gbps, and you want 3 of them :)

Edit: changed "ethernet" to the more accurate "IP"
 

tinfoil3d

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Oh and yes, one of the systems is really legacy and I don't plan on doing anything else with it. And it's already out of free pcie gen 2 lanes. No TB possible there. So I'm looking for really something like HDMI/DP over ethernet class device
 

BlueFox

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I can't soundproof or anything, it's already making my room damn hot and I'm not even installing my SSDs yet. And my ram is running at 55C + all the time, I really need to cool things down but it doesn't make my room quieter or cooler. And there's just a bunch of servers waiting to be installed and turned on to run at all time. I want to move all this stuff over to the other location but be able to work from both places. Pulling 6 cables instead of just one sounds like a stupid idea. Are you telling me IP-based solutions are really that bad? They're lossy and laggy? I mean, isn't there an ethernet-speaking extender that can do this the same way those units from FS do, just over normal regular ethernet switches?
Yes, they will not meet your needs. What you want doesn't exist for a myriad of technical reasons. You will need to make compromises somewhere.

On another note, 55C is nothing to be concerned about.
 

Blinky 42

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The pure HDMI to IP stuff has to transcode the potentially 48Gb data stream down to 1Gb and will add lag that makes it unacceptable for interactive use. I have a lot of HDMI encoding hardware but it is at best 1/2 second lag and the cost is high. You will quickly surpass the cost of buying another desktop. HDBaseT is closest but it isn't Ethernet, they run different signalling on the pairs. You need to buy dedicated hardware for the send and receive side and find some sort of mux and de-mux options to combine the multiple HDMI streams down to a single fiber pair.

It sounds like everything is Linux - that makes things much easier since X was designed to have the display split from the CPU.
How about a mini desktop (like the TMM nodes they have been reviewing on the site) put your monitors and IO on that, then ssh back to the existing equipment you have in the other building. Tunnel the X sessions and start whatever app you want you want. As long as it isn't games or video editing then 1Gb will be fine, if it is then go faster and you'll be fine. Run remote desktop clients to windows boxes if you have that to tunnel the desktop and sound. I do the same between the office upstairs and computers in the basement, and in a colo 50mi away and it works just fine. I even just bring a little lenovo AMD desktop and 3x 21" moniors and use that as my main workstation interface while at our summer place 8h away from home with 1G internet and connect to the full stack of home and colo things just fine.

I don't think you will find a cost effective way for lossless, low lag conversion to switchable IP Layer 2 so it can be trunked over a single 200Gb fiber pair with 200Gb switches on each end, and find a switch that is less noisy than a mini desktop for your main workspace. It is technically possible (e.g. use of a FGPA with HDMI and 50Gb Ethernet) but I don't think there is a huge market for it so the costs are going to be high if you find a commercial product available.
 
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tinfoil3d

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Thanks Blinky 42, this explains it all. I was pretty sure there are ethernet-encapsulated solutions for lossless 4k(you can do it over 10gbe maybe with lower fps right, 3840*2160*10*60/1000/1000/1000 gives me 5gig/s for say 10 bits and 60 fps, add some ethernet and protocol overhead that won't make it to 7-8gigs anyway). Can't believe there isn't a device like that. I really thought I'd just build a custom "router" computer that would take care of everything before sending it over either directly out of NICs or more likely out to managed switches, but what, now it sounds like I'd really have to pull those fixed, extra cables between the locations that would forever stay there and not permit me to grow or replace if necessary...
 

BlueFox

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Your math is off. It's 10 bits per colour, so you need to triple that. There's zero demand for such a device because it would take an incredibly beefy ASIC to do that and digital signage that requires higher quality will just have an embedded PC in it (which is the only real market for such a thing). It would be comically expensive. A pair of IP based HDMI extenders that support 4K (but still 1GbE like everything) from a reputable manufacturer (say Gefen) already cost $1k retail.
 

tinfoil3d

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Oh, right, 3 colors, yeah. Still, divide it by 2(30fps) and that's within 10gbe capabilities. OK, I think I'm getting the overall picture now.
 

Blinky 42

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If you really want to go down that path and are pulling a new line between 2 locations, pull a cable with 12 or 20 strands of single-mode fiber. Then you have enough fiber to do a mix of KVM stuff plus dedicated high speed Ethernet between the sites
You can do something like this for each monitor pair.
 
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tinfoil3d

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Oh, right. That does make sense to use a multi-strand cable, I didn't think of that. That way even fs.com devices would work.