HDMI Splitter/Capture Card vs Android Grabber pros/cons

  • Hey all,

    I'm somewhat newer to Hyperion, but after having my Hue Play Bars and Hue Play Gradient Light Strip on my TV for a while only to finally get a Hue HDMI Sync Box that was a complete dud it was an easy switch. The sync box was defective, everything worked fine, it would even "sync" with my devices--only the whole point of the device didn't work: changing the lights... at all. They'd just turn off (or stay off) once syncing started. Tried every possible thing I could find out there to fix it, factory reset things (some of which I didn't even need to), etc. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Anyway, a thankful refund for that (and I got to keep it, yay a free brick!) and some looking around landed me on stumbling across Hyperion. I already have a Debian 11 media server, so I just installed it on that and the setup/configuration was surprisingly easy (granted I'm pretty familiar with hacking away at setting up Linux server apps). Add on to that finding the Android Grabber app and that put me mostly in heaven vs. where I was, as far as display syncing goes, as my main streaming device is a NVIDIA Shield TV.

    Unfortunately the Hue gradient light strip doesn't act exactly as it should with gradients in Hyperion at the moment it seems, just single color transitions for the whole strip, which hey-- that's better than what I was getting... and It seems like getting the gradient aspect working/integrated is either a no-go or a work in progress/feature request pending still, and that's ok. (Please let me know if I'm mistaken and there's a way to make it work though!).

    My main question though: would I still be plagued by occasional DRM non-starter issues in certain streaming apps if I switched from using Android Grabber to using a HDMI Splitter/capture device instead?

    4K Dolby Vision and HDR content is something that I watch a good amount, so obviously I'd want a splitter that's capable of handling them. I've also got a ARC/eARC 5.1 sound bar setup I'd like it to be able to handle as well if at all possible. I've seen some posts that this splitter may be a less expensive option that is compatible with Vision/HDR, can anyone confirm if this would work for me in my scenario? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WR7KP1B

    I'm obviously not looking to spend close to as a much as I spent on the brick of a Hue Sync Box, so I'm hoping there is something cheaper out there than the HDFury Diva that can handle it right.

    Also (and forgive me if this is a dumb question) but is there a way I could use my GeForce GTX 960 gfx card in my Debian media server (where Hyperion is) as the input/capture device from the splitter? Or is that a separate device I'd have to get as well in this scenario? (the card currently isn't utilized too much, as it's a headless server)

    If not, are there any recommendations for a capture card that would be compatible as well?

    And lastly, just looking for opinions on this one, is it even worth waiting to see if the gradient aspect of the Hue Dynamic Light Strips will be able to be utilized? Or should I just chalk it up as a lost cause and either use it for something else or re-sell it and get some compatible LED strips? (They're cheap enough that I'll probably get some regardless). Currently the back of my TV is setup with the gradient light strip on left side, top and right side, and then the two Hue Play Lightbars on either side of it towards the top pointing back at an angle. So currently with the gradient strip being pigeon-holed into being just a single color transitioning light strip it's "washing out" much of the area on the lower sides that the Lightbars don't cover so it makes it appear as if things aren't syncing exactly quite right colors in certain places sometimes (which is especially apparent with the rainbow pinwheel test).

    Thanks to anyone that takes the time to read my short little novel here, and also thank you in advance for any advice/guidance anyone can offer me about any of this!

  • My main question though: would I still be plagued by occasional DRM non-starter issues in certain streaming apps if I switched from using Android Grabber to using a HDMI Splitter/capture device instead?

    You shouldn't, although i don't use Netflix or such, but i use my setup with a PS5, and some games has DRM sections (usually cut scenes) and those work with the splitter setup.

    I can't comment on Hue Sync Box, the only advice i can give you is related to Hyperion (HyperHDR).

    So I have a 2019 Nvidia shield, a RPi4 which is connected to an Adalight compatible controller+lightstrip. Initially i was using Android Grabber, but i give up on it for multiple reasons. The main one, it couldn't handle HDR, it eat up CPU processing, but the most annoying is that the service randomly crashed so i had to manually restart it.

    So a couple months ago i switched over to a Capture card setup. I bought this: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08D3…7091401_487024491_TE_item , this has HDMI passthough. Which works, kinda, CEC is not supported. And since i'm pretty used to CEC, i had to by the same splitter as you mentioned. That has a perfect passthough, including CEC.

  • Well, turns out I may be getting lucky and be getting the Hue HDMI Sync Box RMA'd for me, despite me not still having the receipt for it. So that's good news I suppose.

    I still really like Hyperion though and may end up using some light strips for behind the couch lighting, etc.

    S0und - The splitter that I linked that you got, do you use that standalone? Or rather I assume in conjunction with the capture card you linked?

  • I have the same splitter and CEC works flawlessly with Dolby vision and atmos with my Apple TV 4K. The output 2 of the splitter connects to a capture card, that then goes to a raspberryPi. However, I use HyperHDR instead of Hyperion, for the HDR tone-mapping.

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