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RV AV Idea: Add / Enhance TV with a Simple Audio/Video System Upgrade

This article was contributed by ThruthewireUSA, subject matter experts on RV AV technology. Edited for content by DoItYourselfRV.

Traveling by RV can often be considered one’s true home away from home. Others may even consider it their permanent home. RV owners should be able to relax in style with a premium entertainment system. The definition of premium certainly varies by the person but let’s face it: most onboard audio/video systems direct from the manufacturer leave much to be desired. If you have an high end RV with a $20,000 RV AV system then chances are your all set. But what about the rest of us? Why spend the extra tens of thousands of dollars on a higher end RV when you can give your rig some of the same functionality by installing an RV AV upgrade kit. Many will find that it much less daunting than it sounds.

Is This The Onboard RV AV Entertainment System In Your RV?

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Most older RV’s and even some current base model versions are equipped with two television displays and in some cases just one. Some of these standard equipped TV’s are usually low resolution and quality televisions using older video formats such as RCA cables or cable connections. When it comes time to add a TV or connect a new device it can be a challenge when your RV AV system is using a older format. In addition, the increased weight and energy consumption of older TV units in addition to the accompanying equipment can be significant.

How To Upgrade Your  Audio Video Entertainment System.

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A RV AV upgrade kit may be something worth considering. One interesting feature of current generation audio-video signals is you can actually view the same video signal at up to 1080p(HD) resolution (depending on the video format you choose) on four extended displays and one local display. The kit we are referring to will consist of one splitter unit and four receiver wall plate units. These receivers are available in passive (non-power) or active (A/C powered) versions. If the distance from splitter to receiver does not exceed 50ft, a passive receiver is recommended as the best low-cost solution. For distances exceeding 50 ft but less than 150 ft, an active receiver is recommended.

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How it Works

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A video splitter using passive or active receivers is primarily UTP based.  This indicates that the connection between the splitter unit and receiver units is made using a networking UTP cable. UTP is a fancy acronym for a Ethernet cable which is the same type of that plugs into the back of a PC so it connects to the internet. These cables are usually inexpensive and sold in large spools or by the foot cut to lengths as needed.

Why Use UTP Audio Video Extension?

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Simply: it just makes more sense in an RV. There are many video splitters that do not use any sort of extension technology. However, when going over any distance over 15ft, there will almost always be video signal decay. Consider for a minute the cost of actually buying an HDMI cable of lengths of 25ft, 50ft or even 100ft, and then purchasing that cable for each display in your RV. The cost would be outrageous and the bulk of all those cables would be overwhelming. A UTP extended splitter is simply a more cost effective solution. Not to mention that the UTP cable is much lighter, thinner and flexible; an ideal cable for running through RV panels and walls.

Types of Extended Splitter Sets

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Splitters usually come in 1×2 or 1×4 and generally come with a local output to view your video close to your player in a central location. These types of splitters can be found in HDMI, VGA, DVI and Component/Composite video formats. The splitters appearances are the same, but there are some variations on the receiver side. The most popular version for RV use would be a wall plate type receiver. They also come in box or pigtail versions.

Installation

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This technology is simply plug and play. First, you should power the splitter with its included cable. Then you connect a cable from your video source/player’s output to the splitters video input. If there is a local output on your splitter that is used for a local display. Next, you will have to plug in the UTP cables into the splitters UTP output ports. Then run the cable through the paneling to the desired location. Now if you’re installing a wall plate receiver, you will have to cut an opening in the desired area of your wall to mount it. Otherwise, you should be able to run the cable through a small hole. Then all you have to do is plug the UTP cable into the back of the receiver. Lastly, on the front of the receiver will be a video output port where you connect your TV/monitor.

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For most RV’s the setup above is a more realistic depiction of how this type of upgrade would look. This would require a splitter as well as a switch (which may already be installed in your RV) that connects to the splitter. The good news is companies like ThruTheWireUSA.com manufacture variations of this unit to accommodate all types of video formats such as VGA, composite cables, component cables, and others.

Conclusion

You don’t need to buy a brand new RV to get that luxury feel. Upgrading the RV AV experience does not have to have a huge dealer price tag along with it. With minimal cost and some do-it-yourself handy work, you can have top of the line RV AV setup with the option of adding additional TV’s inside or outside the RV.  This is one of the most cost effective methods of adding or upgrading your audio-video system in your RV.  You can easily enjoy a more modern and custom entertainment system experience for a fraction of the installation cost. If we cross our fingers you may even enjoy installing it!

A big thanks to http://www.thruthewireusa.com for taking the time to put this information together especially for our readers. If you want more information you can contact them at [email protected] or their Customer Service/Tech Support: (702) 518-0590.




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