Cat 6 Home Refurb

p.burton

Standard Member
Dear all,

I know this is a well trodden track but I have done my best to try to answer my own queries and havent quite found what Im looking for - any information / help / guidance would be great.

Im totally rewiring my new house, which is currently being built. I am fairly savvy when it comes to electronics and an A/V enthusiast so I want to do the installation myself to save money.

From my research so far I have decided on the following:

There will be a central A/V Cupboard housing all the 'kit' and it will be distributed over Cat 6 cable from there. I may be very wrong but I want to do the following:

Each room and bedroom (3) will have 4 runs of Cat 6 from the cupboard, as well as a coaxial for TV. There will be twin coaxials running to the loft for sky and cat6 running to the front of the house for internet etc. This is all fairly self explanatory and bog spec.

This is where I get a little confused! The Cat6 accomodates data/TV etc. Data distribution (essentially internet) is simple to understand - switch in the cupboard.....in one end and distributed at the other ends. No problem.

How though is TV signal distributed? I have got a small hope that is a case of the same....a second network switch in the cupboard distributing the signal given to it by a HDMI - CAT6 balun and then a balun CAT-HDMI "receiver" at each end where Id like to distribute the HDMI source. Does this work or do I need seperate baluns...and network lines for each TV (and therefore no switch) (seems more likely to me...other option is too good to be true)??

Also....this then poses the IR issue...how do I control anything in the A/V cupboard from a room - is there a CAT6 solution for IR??!

Any help would be really appreciated. I am new to this but a very quick learner and conversant in 90% of computer 'speak' (I used to build HTPCs for clients) so no need to treat me like a total wolly!

Thanks in advance.
 

cjwood555

Active Member
Depending on the size of the place your options are:

1) Use a matrix (most of which have built-in IR routing); or
2) Use splitters combined with SkyRF2 and a code-set splitter thingy (allows different remotes to control each box over one RF link system)

and

A) Use CAT5e/6 UTP + baluns
B) Use HDMI cables

Most of us here would advocate 1 + A. Aerial installers tend to favour 2 + A, in my experience. SDI on here strongly advocates 2 + B. The are pro's and cons to each approach.

There are standalone CATx IR distribution systems, but they're no cheaper than an IR-routing matrix.

Have a little think about how you actually want to use the system, rather than in terms of kit, report back and I'm sure one of us will be along to advise :)

Chris
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Chris,

Thanks for that reply. Having done a bit more digging Im thinking the following - put a patch panel in the A/V cupboard and simply add/swap/mess about with lines as I go. Will give me the ability to change the fuctionality any of the 4 lines to any room and makes it a lot more user friendly.

With regard to TV distribution, would it be terribly old fashioned to forgo the matrix and use something like this for each envisaged TV (which would use two of the lines for the room its servicing obviously) but at the same time eliminate my IR issue?

HDMI CAT5 + IR Cable Extender Balun - 100M: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

As Im writing this Im now thinking for the price of say 4 of those I may as well go for a matrix that supports IR as well.....hmmmm.
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Ok will go down the 4x4 matrix route as it caters for the 4 rooms I may want a TV in. Any models I should be going for / avoiding? The prices seem to vary quite a bit.
 

cjwood555

Active Member
I will say this only once and without going into the long and sorry story: DO NOT BUY THOSE BALUNS!

I am not going to make recommendations on budget matrices / extenders. We always use HDBaseT and try to avoid using the product at the entry point to that market. This is because we are not paid to waste people's time and money. ;)

Without going so far as to recommend it, you could take your chances with a HDAnywhere 4x4 HDBaseT kit @ £1500. Non HDBaseT solutions I wouldn't even suggest an option, because they are flakier than my 5 year old's breakfast.
 

cjwood555

Active Member
Sorry you beat me to the post! Ideally, Wyrestorm or CYP. Wouldn't say you need anything more than that.

HDBaseT Lite should suffice also, which retains IR but drop RS232 and does 70m rather than 100m.

HTH
Chris
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Antiference HDBaseT HDMI Matrix Switch 4x4 Single Cable Kit

Seems to be the answer to my problem? Whilst also removing all need for 4 runs of Cat6 to each room....it would seem with that that 1 run is enough to the 4 rooms that require 'wiring up'. Too good to be true or a viable option?

EDIT: Just noticed its the same as the one you are suggesting...why do you say 'take your chances'.....not a great piece of kit?

Also, If I were still to run this through a patch panel / wall plates.....am I going to have issues? ie should the lengths of Cat6 be continuous between the receivers and the main unit or can they be broken by a panel/plates etc?

Thanks very much so far!
 
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stevelup

Distinguished Member
The Cat6 cables should be direct point to point connections - no patch panels or outlet plates.

Put in more cables than you think you might need. It costs pennies and the last thing you want is to find out in a few months time that you didn't put enough in.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
I would suggest looking at a matrix from HDConnectivity or The Media Factory if you are going to buy direct and self-install. They both offer excellent pre and post sales support. The former is important to make sure you've fully planned all of your installation effectively and are aware of any potential issues with what you want to do (quite likely with HDMI distribution!) and don't end up buying incompatible equipment or making poor installation choices. The latter is important because there can be many issues with EDID/HDCP management that can occur too, just take a look in the Interconnects forum at some of the common issues.

Just my 2p worth :)
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Thanks very much everyone. Really helpful. Much appreciated. Think I will go for wyrestorm 4x4 Lite and do the other data ports etc through a patch panel/switch.
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Final question. Am I right in assuming that the wyrestorm / HD Anywhere boxes are compatible with Logitech Harmony remotes for input switching?
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Not sure if the Wyrestrom uses IR for control of the matrix, but the HD Anywhere HDBaseT matrix certainly does so will support control of a Logitech Harmony once correctly programmed.
 

royal79

Standard Member
Logitech do them yeah no problem at all
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The 'trick' with IR via your HDMI Matrix is to ensure the IR is Routed (this avoids IR clashes between 'same type' Source devices plus where you have a central AVR connected to loudspeakers in your Primary Zone you will want a Broadcast IR port on the Matrix.

PoC (Power over Cable) and or PoH (Power over HDBaseT) may be another consideration - this feature allows you to power the Zone Receivers from the Matrix with no 'local' PSU or reliance on a USB port in the TV.

I'd be less quick to dismiss non-HDBaseT or HDBaseT-lite solutions as these can work very well and at a much lower cost!

Media Factory - Octava HDMX44CAT-UK, HD44CATMX-UK 4x4 HDMI CAT6 Matrix switch

Joe
 

royal79

Standard Member
Id Go with Wyrestorm to be honest, not saying there is anything wrong with your matrix Joe but wyrestorm have taken over the market where matrix are concerned and they are cheaper than most.
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Hi Joe. Could you please confirm that the Octava HDMI 'OUT's are essentially 'slave' outs (audio+video) for wiring to an AV Amplifier for example? This was a big attraction of the Wyrestorm piece of kit over the HD Anywhere unit....
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello royal79

‘not saying there is anything wrong with your matrix' – indeed :D

So what is the End User price for a similar spec 4x4 with HDBaseT from your favoured supplier?

Joe
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello p.burton

Yes on the Octava HD44CATMX-UK you have mirrored HDMI + dual RJ45 Outputs on all four Zones.

Keep in mind you have to understand what audio formats you will be getting if you are using HDMI Into your AVR?

Joe
 

p.burton

Standard Member
Plan is for the following in the AV Cupboard:

Sky Box 1
Sky Box 2
Apple TV
Bluray Player

These four will feed the Matrix (via HDMI) which will distribute 3 bedrooms and study over CAT6

At the same time the slave outs/passthru on the Matrix will feed an AV Amp (also in the cupboard) which will be the center unit for the home cinema in the Living room (no more than 10ft from AV cupboard so HDMI length wont be an issue from Amp to TV). Plan on using Harmony One (IR) remotes in each of the bedroom/studies and an RF Harmony in the living room (needed to control amp etc through walls where there is no IR receiver/sender setup).

Also in the cupboard will be the router, network patch panel & switch as well as various bits of Sonos kit.

Anyone foresee any big problems?! Joe I assume the slave outs will just be a throughput of whatever is going in? Be it DTX/Dolby Digital/Stereo etc?
 
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dj-dulux

Active Member
Plan is for the following in the AV Cupboard:

Anyone foresee any big problems?! Joe I assume the slave outs will just be a throughput of whatever is going in? Be it DTX/Dolby Digital/Stereo etc?
The matrix slave HDMI output will be stereo only as that is what the TVs will need and this is what the source will be instructed to deliver. If you want DD etc then you will need to connect the coax or optical from the sources directly to the AVR.

Dupe...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
‘Joe I assume the slave outs will just be a throughput of whatever is going in? Be it DTX/Dolby Digital/Stereo etc?’ – it’s going to depend on the capabilities of the Source devices and your Sink (Display) devices.

As DJ says for a lot of folk the system will be carrying Video + 2.0 stereo audio via the Matrix as the majority of TV’s only support stereo audio via HDMI.

If you plan carefully you can install TV’s which will support up-to 5.1 via HDMI – where you do you can then set your Sources to Video + 5.1 via HDMI and then use one of the HDMI sockets on the matrix to take 5.1 to the AVR.

If your TV’s ‘limit’ you to video + 2.0 via HDMI then you will want an Optical or Coaxial cable from each Source into the AVR (ensure there are enough Inputs on the AVR) and use the ‘Broadcast’ port of the Octava Matrix to ensure you ‘toggle’ the AVR in tandem with the relevant Zone Output on the Matrix to ensure you have the correct audio and video in the Cinema Zone.

Joe
 

p.burton

Standard Member
aaahh I follow now! Yeh that does make it a little complicated. Anyone got a list of TVs that support upto 5.1 in?!
 

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