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Distributed Video (Over CAT 6) via HDMI Switch

Black Noir

Established Member
Hey all,

In preperation for my upcoming new build, I'm trying to plan ahead and lay out some plans for the data/audio/video distribution.

I am intending on installing CAT 6 throughout, connected back at Node 0 in a dedicated space. The aim is that any display can be used to watch/use any source, no matter the location.. mainly, so kids (when we have them) can play the PlayStation / Xbox etc from their own room, and not "hog" the plasma :smashin:

Can someone in-the-know take a look at these drawings, to see if my ideas are on the right track. As you can see, all sources plug in to a HDMI switch, which are then distributed throughout the house via CAT6 baluns.. to minimise the need of re-patching the patch panel.

Thanks muchly..
 

Attachments

  • DATA DISTRIBUTION.pdf
    38.8 KB · Views: 627
  • VIDEO DISTRIBUTION.pdf
    26.2 KB · Views: 834

donaldson2121

Established Member
out of interest how will you be using the xbox/PS handsets from the bedrooms etc? will they be in wireless range or are you going down the route of using wired handsets to usb/cat6?
 

Black Noir

Established Member
out of interest how will you be using the xbox/PS handsets from the bedrooms etc? will they be in wireless range or are you going down the route of using wired handsets to usb/cat6?
To be honest I hadn't thought, but the range should be fine.. it's only going to be a small 4 bed dorma bungalow.

EDIT: Did a test last night, currently we live in an converted barn with 18" stone walls, with cavity breeze block inside them. I was able to turn on the PS3, navigate the XMB (blindly!) and turn off the PS3 from a distance of around 45ft, whilst standing outside. I'd consider that an extreme-case test.

I also did a "real world" test and took a controller in our master bedroom, which is 2 rooms and a kitchen away and it also word flawlessly. This is more than enough to accomodate the distance I had in mind, so I'm happy :)

Now on to the original question.. will my idea work? Can HDMI be switched like I propose??

I've read that the HDCP will not play well with the switch??
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello

Assuming all of your Displays will work with your various Sources at your favoured video resolution then on paper your plan is fine - in practice you can run into HDCP and EDID issues and even without those two potential headaches HDMI can still cause a few operational glitches.

We find some folk can live with the odd glitch others wont and on some installs/systems everything is converted to Analogue HD which tends to not have any of the hassles you can run into with HDMI.

Having your CAT6 cable infrastructure means you can test things out before you bolt everything down.

Our Octava HDMX44-UK (Media Factory - Octava HDMX44-UK, 4x4 HDMI Matrix switch) and four of the Octava HDMICAT (Media Factory - Octava HDMICAT-UK, HDMI over CAT5 extender) extenders will do everything you require and offer you RS232, Wired or wireless IR, Push Button and 'auto' source selection - we have many systems with that combination of kit working without any hassles.

Audio from the PS3 can be a niggle if your expecting multi channel in the main room and stereo to all other rooms as unlike most HDMI equipped source devices it can only deliver a single audio stream.

Joe
 

Black Noir

Established Member
Thanks for your reply :thumbsup:

Sounds like that's exactly what I need.. at first I only intend on having the plasma in the main room and a smaller LCD for the bedroom. Both will be able to display full 1080P, so I don't see a problem with different max resolutions.

Out of interest, do you have a larger picture of the HDMI matrix switch?
 

Black Noir

Established Member
Ok, so one last question before I go ahead and order.. although I fear this may be pushing the realms of what's possible a bit :devil:

Instead of running "Out 1" via balun/Cat 6 direct to the main room tv, could I insert an amp in the chain so I can get my 5.1 in the main room.

Here's what I mean..

4 AV sources
|
HDMI switch matrix
Out 1 - Out 2 - Out3 - Out4
|
Onkyo amp (only connected to Out 1 / 2,3,4 go direct to rooms via balun)
|
balun/Cat6
|
TV

I'm not bothered about output 2,3,4 but this idea would allow me to hide the Onkyo in the rack, give me 5.1 in the main room (regardless of source).

Thanks so much. I'm going mental trying to plan this out before the first fix :suicide:
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Again Yes and No - nothing is simple with HDMI :)

The Octava Matrix can sync with an AV Amp on the Input or Output side of the Matrix - though its not always plain sailing.

If you set your Source to send multi channel audio via HDMI to the AV Amp your TV's on Outputs 2, 3 and 4 of the Matrix wont then be able to decode the audio stream - they generally only decode 2.0 LPCM 'stereo' via HDMI.

SKY HD is only ever 2.0 LPCM via HDMI so always requires the Optical connection for 5.1.

Whatever way you go your likely to need a bit of manual reconfiguration to optimise things depending on where you are viewing/listening.

Joe
 

Black Noir

Established Member
*puts card back in wallet*

Looks like I'll just route everything in to the amp, and distribute it to the main room only. Doing this via CAT 6 & baluns, obviously.

The other rooms will have to make do with an RF2 output from the Sky via coax splitter.. old school as it were.

Just ruin my dream of multi-room video though!!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Way too drastic :eek:

I find if folk don't want the 'hassle' of using HDMI + Optical/Coaxial to the AV Amp plus the odd visit to the cross bar menu on the PS3 they at least want a decent SKY image in each room and a suitable HDMI Distribution amp on the HDMI output of sky is a good 'compromise'.

Media Factory - Octava HDDA34-UK, 3x4 HDMI switch/distribution amp.

Joe
 

Black Noir

Established Member
Now I see what you meant when you said HDMI is never straightforward! :rolleyes:

How about this.. Split Sky HD via distribution amp, output 1 of the distribution amp goes to the input 1 on the Onkyo amp, output 2, 3, 4 go direct via CAT6/baluns to their desired room.

This would mean only the sky box gets distributed, but it would be viewable on multiple screens at the same time, and without audio woes.. I can live with that.. it also means I can hook up the remaining sources directly in to the remaining Onkyo inputs as normal, and send the master output to the main room in glorious 5.1/7.1

E.g.

Sky
¦
4 way distribution amp
¦
Output 1 - Output 2 - Output 3 - Output 4
Onkyo - Room 2 - Room 3 - Room 4
¦
Main Room

Only question remains, does this look feasible and how is IR passed back?
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
That configuration is quite common and SKY HD delivers simultaneous video + 2.0 LPCM over HDMI + DD over Optical.

By the end of the month we will have our V2 Octava HDMI CAT5 extenders which include IR pass back over the CAT5 cables.

Joe
 

Black Noir

Established Member
I can't thank you enough! :thumbsup:

For those wondering.. this is how I finally decided on doing it.
 

Attachments

  • NEW PLAN (VIDEO).pdf
    36.6 KB · Views: 465

dave2384

Standard Member
Joe are those V2 links definatly coming out this month, as i am really interested one as well, do you also make them for Component as well?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

We have a large stock shipment arriving this week that includes a few of our REV002 HDMI over CAT5 extenders - I'm out on site today and Thursday; hopefully the stock arrives on Thursday and I can post some images on Friday.

We already carry the SoloCAT YUV and VGA over CAT5 extenders by Zektor - Zektor

Joe
 

Member 381936

Standard Member
Our findings:

We used to use matrix switches and cat5/6 baluns consecutively and found that it made HDMI even more difficult than it already was, we found that if you wanted to use HDMI with IR baluns that the power provided by the switch/splitter sometimes wasn't enough to distribute the way we wanted.

Now we have matrix switches with inbuilt cat5/6 extenders with built in IR pass through and source control (Found here) so that you can have whole house distribution and control flawlessly without havign to worry about power consumption..

Be very interested to know how you got around this problem because it will allways be cheaper to use a standard matrix and sets of baluns! :)
 

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