4x2 Matrix HDMI switcher with optical

calibos

Active Member
Haven't been on the forums in a year or so and the time before that was a few years earlier. Basically been out of the game pretty much for a long while. Happened to pop my head back in to ask a question about OLED pricing but accidentally clicked into the Projector forum and happened to see a thread about the Epson TW5210/5300 for €700. Decided that it was time to upgrade from an AE900 from 2005 that had been mothballed years ago and get back into the projector game. Can't go wrong at that pricing!!

Needless to say the more I thought about it, a new PJ even a €700 one had knock on effects that'll cost. 3D PJ. I'll need to upgrade me Kodi Media player. Will need to upgrade to activity based Harmony from the bog standard Harmony 300. Do I need a new receiver with HDMI etc etc.

I've posted other threads in the relevant forums. Between the info I get in the Receiver forum and the info here about Matrix switchers will hopefully help me make a decision about which way to go.

Certainly the switcher is the cheaper option because a 4x2 HDMI switching amp is €500. I don't care about DTS MA or True HD, I'd really only need a new Receiver in so far as it would keep Audio and Video in sync with an integrated matrix switcher. Less chance of missed IR commands causing things to go out of sync and have other family members hollering my name all the time. Then I saw a 4x2 Matrix switcher with optical on Amazon . I reasoned that if this meant my old Sony DB1080 can be left on a single input and that it'll get 5.1 audio via the optical from the switcher from whatever source is connected, then there is nothing to go out of sync. (This Receiver stays on the last selected input when its switched back on)

So, I'd have a Virgin Media HD cable box, Kodi Media player and a NUC mini PC running windows(1x2 HDMI Switch between NUC and Monitor and Matrix Switcher) all plugged into the Matrix via HDMI and Outputting to a Projector and a TV. Audio will always be played back via Receiver and not TV speakers. Main user of room uses Wireless headphones plugged into receiver when not using 5.1 speakers.

So as long as the Harmony can control the Matrix switcher and as long as the Multi-channel audio can be fed from any source to the Receiver via the optical connection from the matrix no matter whether the image is being viewed on the TV or Projector then this £49 device will have done what I need and saved my €500+ for a new Reciever.

Does this Switcher fit the bill or if it doesn't which one would?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Portta-support-Digital-Optical-Outputs/dp/B00CQ3NVKU
 

Tony_Mac

Standard Member
I have a Neet 4 x 2 HDMI matrix which looks exactly like that product you linked on Amazon. I can't see a picture of the front of the unit but I assume (like the neet) it will have an LED/button on the remote to toggle between 5.1 and 2CH audio. I think what this does is tell you source whether you're going to accept a 5.1 (or possibly 7.1) or 2CH signal. So I guess it's a small bit of EDID mgmt built in. I have 4 sources that all send audio embedded in the HDMI feed to the Matrix and have the optical out on the matrix connected to a stereo DAC and then to a hifi amp (odd set up I know). As long as the toggle is set to 2CH and all sources are sending LPCM (downmix) i get the expected stereo audio.

One thing to be aware of with these HDMI matrix things (and I don't know if this is limited to budget models or includes the expensive ones) if you are unlucky (like me) you'll find that as you start switching input sources you eventually run into "snow" HDCP handshake issues which can be corrected by swapping to an alternate source and back again (if you're lucky) or more likely you have to power everything off (at the wall) and switch it all back on again....

I'm considering upgrading the Neet to a Bluestream 4x2 or potentially ditching the matrix altogether and getting an AVR with dual HDMI output. The thing is my setup is 90% for music and 10% for Movies so 90% of what's in a AVR is wasted on me (esp since I'd need one that has pre-outs so I can use my Arcam hifi amp for the fronts), but it if would solve the bloomin HDCP issues I'd be elated.
 

calibos

Active Member
I ordered all the bits 'n bobs including the matrix switcher I linked to the night before last. We'll see how it goes. If it doesn't work as expected in this scenario its not too much of a hit at €70 and I'm sure it'll come in useful elsewhere in the house at some point. Certainly it'll have a longer useful life than scart switchers and component switchers I purchased in the past :D It was always just going to be stop gap till next year anyway when I'll have the spare cash to replace my old receiver..
 

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