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HDAnywhere Multiroom in Australia

dcadam

Standard Member
Hi all,
Not sure how many will be interested in this but I'll post just in case!
I have recently been looking for an HDMI/ethernet matrix switch.
Obviously I live in Aus and there's not so much info about these (at least for us DIY'ers). Hence my post.
My desire was to have 4 inputs- Foxtel IQ2 x 2, PS3 and DVD player. 4 outputs to TVs of various types (1 via an HDMI receiver).

I ended up opting for the HDAnywhere for a few reasons:
1. Can share internet as well as video (saves me running 2 different sets of cabling thru house)
2. Only needs 1 cable rather than 2 to each receiver
3. IR repeater said to work with foxtel IQ2 remote
4. Reasonable cost (you can easily pay > $3000 AUD for a 4x4 matrix here). Sure its not cheap either though.
5. Seems to look OK, making it more likely to meet with spousal approval.
6. Power over ethernet eliminates the problem with plugs being the wrong type for Aus, or voltage issues with a US manufacturer.

So now that it's arrived, here's my impression:

Cost - AU$2350 including delivery. At first UK VAT was appearing on the invoice, but after a couple of emails this was rectified. I went for 3 of the standard receivers and 1 wall plate. The wall plate is a bit bigger than the Aus standard, but just cut as small a hole as possible and you could still cover it with an Aus wall plate at a later date if you took the HDanywhere out.

Response to emails/queries - Very good so far. Had a small issue getting VAT removed from order but was sorted pretty quickly.

Delivery - Pretty quick- arrived not much more than a week after order. Outside packaging box looked a little battered but inside that the units were very well packed/cushioned so now damage.

Appearance - The units do look nice, brushed aluminium. 1 quibble, the blue LEDs on the front could be a little dimmer. Will have to obscure it in some way.

Functionality - Here's the best bit, it just does what it's supposed to. Setup is very easy, just plug it in. No hassles with handshaking etc, it just works. At present my longest cable run is 15m over rather beaten up Cat5E stranded cable. The 1080p transmits fine. Should be better once I get my permanent solid Cat6A cabling in. The remotes work fine with foxtel IQ2, which had been a concern as apparently foxtel can be fussy with IR extenders etc. In terms of power, just needed to replace the UK power cable with an Aus variety, same sort as is used for PCs and laptop chargers so didn't even need to buy one as I had an old one lying around. Otherwise you could use a plug converter (UK to Aus) as the voltage is no different.

Overall - 10/10 - Very happy so far. Small quibbles are the over-bright LEDs, and less stickiness than I'd like on the pads to attach the IR transmitters to their targets. Pretty minor.
 

Member 319784

Prominent Member
Hi there,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write something about your experiences. We do appreciate it.

The VAT issue was a backend system error, easily rectified and it shouldn't happen again for anyone else. Sorry it had to be yourself that brought the bug out of the system! But I'm glad it was rectified quickly.

We have had our IR receiver and transmitter devices altered to cope specifically with Foxtel and BT Vision boxes. They operate on a frequency outside the range of most IR extenders and this is what will cause the problem for other manufacturers. We'd spotted and corrected the issue last year.

We should be appointing an Australian partner in the very near future. So hopefully you guys will see the product shipping locally and receive local support.

We'll look into the sticky pads, oddly enough, we had some people say that they were too sticky. So if they needed to move them whilst getting placement on their sources correctly, they had trouble moving them if they placed them incorrectly, leaving a stick residue behind. Obviously we have a balance to strike!

We should be shipping you with an Australian power cord. This will be a packing error. If you need us to supply one, please let us know.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write up a lovely piece for us.

It makes all the hard work worthwhile for the guys in the office.

Many Thanks!
 

dcadam

Standard Member
Cheers HDC.

I take your point re stickiness of pads- can't please everyone I guess, and I had to pick on something!

One correction- my original post under delivery should have read "no damage" not "now damage" but I think you'd have gathered that anyway.

I'm getting a little motion stutter with HD video watching sports with fast ball movement. Could be the broadcast, or perhaps most likely the suboptimal cable run? I'll repost my impressions once the system is fully configured.

Would be great to have a local distributor so long as they don't gouge on price (we get a bit of that down here, don't get me started on cars). I looked around pretty hard before purchasing and IMHO no one else is offering anything with the same combo of functionality and usability. Therefore your only barrier to selling more here would be people's reluctance to spend that amount of money without local support. Speaking for myself I was happy to take the plunge as I was impressed with your attention to your customers (eg as soon as I asked about IR frequencies you guys put 2 and 2 together and knew I meant the foxtel issue). Nonetheless you can imagine others might be more wary. Keep up the good work.:clap:
 

dcadam

Standard Member
OK last impressions now that the system is fully installed.
All working well. No IR issues, including controlling switch with Logitech Harmony Touch remote. Am now able to lie in bed with one remote which allows me to choose between free to air TV, pay TV, or even watch downloaded content stored on my PC hard drive via the Blu Ray/media player via the matrix switch, all seamlessly.
The motion stuttering I was experiencing turned out to be a problem generated by the TV (turning "Smooth motion" OFF on the TV fixed the stutter- go figure).
Only beef with the switch now is the fan noise. Not so bad when it is shut in a cabinet, that fixes the over-bright LED issue too! Still noticeable if the audio goes quiet. The receiver boxes do run rather hot, but I just make sure they are well ventilated. Lastly I wish the Ethernet was gigabit rather than 100 Mbit/s, but that's still not bad.
Bottom line- would happily recommend! :D
 

mapdirection

Standard Member
Hi dcadam,

Thanks for your comprehensive review of the HDAnywhere system. I am a fellow Aussie looking at purchasing this system, as it appears to be a very good option for sharing several devices (e.g. Foxtel, Bluray) to the various TVs around my house (as I can only be watching one TV at a time, so I figured that this will be more cost-effective in the long-term than getting 3x of everything!).

A few questions for you:

(i) Which HDAnywhere set/package/equipment did you purchase? I am looking at the HDAnywhere 4x4 Multiroom+PoE HDBaseT Matrix (SingleWire 100m) PACKAGE (HDanywhere 4x4 Multiroom+PoE HDBaseT Matrix (SingleWire 100m) PACKAGE - Matrix) which comes in at over AUD$3000. You mentioned that your order was quite a bit cheaper, so I am interested in what you purchased (since it seems quite similar to my needs).

(ii) My cabling will be going in specially for this project, so any advice regarding how to approach the cabling to get the best result from the HDAnywhere kit?

Also, two questions for HDC Techie (if you're still monitoring this thread):

(i) I noticed that the HDBaseT Matrix Hub has an RS232 port so that it can (presumably) interface with other controllers. Do you published the specifications for the controller, so that I can integrate this with my custom controller system? I have an RS232 interface.

(ii) Any idea when the HDAnywhere 4x4 Multiroom+PoE HDBaseT Matrix (SingleWire 100m) PACKAGE will be back in stock?

Thanks all for any help/advice!
 

dcadam

Standard Member
Hi mapdirection,
I bought the same package as you, I did get one wall plate and 3 receivers. FYI the wallplate is larger than an Australian standard but still works OK.

As for cost- I can suggest a few factors for the discrepancy. Don't forget there is a 17.5% UK VAT incorporated in the price which will be removed. Also, if you search AV Forums you'll find a 10% discount code you can enter- I assume this is still valid. Lastly, the Aussie $ was a fair bit stronger in April than now so that's going to cost you a few % extra! You should of course be charge 10% GST in Aus but if you're lucky they might forget!

Re cabling- I bought a 305m roll of solid (not stranded) Cat 6A cabling, a tool kit with crimper etc and some plugs to make my own. The general advice seems to be to put in the best cabling you can to futureproof as you don't want to have to redo it in 5-10 years (esp if the NBN ever happens). Also, run as much cabling as you can just in case you want to reconfigure. Cost me under $300 all up, bought it from 4cabling.com.au. Making the cables is not hard, must have made at least 10 by now and haven't had any failures. I've got about 200m spare, if you live in Melb and want to pick it up you are welcome to have some.:D
 

mapdirection

Standard Member
Hi dcadam,

Thanks for the follow-up information. As this is a new house I am looking at going all-in and installing Cat 6a SFTP for the runs which will carry HDMI - while this is quite a bit more pricey than standard Cat 6a I would prefer spending a bit extra and having shielded cable to avoid any potential crosstalk (I'm also going to make sure that the installer doesn't run them next to power, observes bend radius constraints, etc). For the rest of the network cabling in the house I'll be going standard Cat 6a solid core, since it probably isn't necessary to have SFTP for everything!

Thanks also for the offer of cable. Unfortunately I'm not in Melb, but I have managed to source some good quality bulk cable rolls at reasonable prices locally.

I've just posted a new thread (http://www.avforums.com/forums/hdmi...mendations-best-hdanywhere-configuration.html) asking for feedback on my proposed configuration, so I would certainly welcome any advice that you have too.

Cheers!
 

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