Question HDBaseT Matrix or Not - In The Current Real World

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by CreativeVision, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. CreativeVision

    CreativeVision
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    We are half way there ... and think (hope!) we have got it mostly right. Now is the time to start choosing and buying the equipment, so any advice would be highly appreciated!

    Like many on here, we are using the opportunity whilst our house is being fully renovated to completely rewire...with a view to having a 'nice' system in the house when we move in and equally importantly, for the house to be wired for easy future expansion.

    The builders have agreed to install our choice of cables and this is what has been done so far:


    1. Using a utility room/storage area (which is centrally located in house) for all incoming external feeds (ie. Virgin Media, Freeview Aerial)

    2. From this same point, the following cables have been installed to various points all over the house:

    - 2 x Cat 6 (TruHD HDBaseT Cat 6)
    - 2 x Coax (TV 100 Shotgun 75 Ohm Digital 350)

    To each room where one of the double wall power sockets are being installed.

    Also have run the Cat 6 to a projector area in ceiling in one room as well as to 4 other points in ceilings around the house (to install wireless access points).

    3. Also have speaker cable going to 4 separate rooms for in-ceiling speakers.


    Absolutely critical is not having source devices on display. The plan when we move in is actually to start off with a very simple set up:

    1. Family room to have UHD TV with Sonos Playbar. This should somehow be connected to various unseen sources to allow us to:

    - watch terrestrial freeview TV
    - watch Virgin TV (ideally in UHD when broadcast)
    - watch the TV's own SmartHub options (with wired high speed connection) and in UHD if broadcast
    - watch BluRay
    - watch one other device (e.g. Apple TV)

    The sound for all above should come through the Sonos Playbar (which I assume is a simple as the connecting the PlayBar directly to the TV?)


    2. Separate Reception Room (c.20m away), where we plan on installing a discreet cinema. This will probably comprise of:

    - inside the room: fully recessed 8ft projector screen (tab tensioned and acoustically transparent), a ceiling mounted non-4K projector, 5.1 speakers (in-wall and in-ceiling).

    - inside the separate utility room: the sources referred to above (except perhaps terrestrial) plus the AVR to drive the 5.1 sound

    We are not sure about running a HDMI from projector cable to utility room as it will be about 16/17m distance in total once you include the distance up and down walls etc.

    3. In-Bathroom small TV connected to same sources as above.

    4. For multi-room sound, we plan following:

    - kitchen in-ceiling speakers being driven by Sonos Connect + existing amplifier both placed in the central utility room rack

    - bedroom in-ceiling speakers being driven by Sonos AMP placed in the central utility room rack

    - reception/cinema room front L/R speakers being driven by Sonos Connect + cinema AVR

    - lounge Sonos Playbar situated in room

    - other bedrooms, individual Play1 placed directly in room as needed.


    The Questions!

    1. Given we only have one 4K display, does not sound like a HDBaseT matrix is the way to go? Overkill for our current needs and would not even send 4K as the other display (projector) will not be 4K?

    2. Control system? Want a simple and reliable control situation, e.g. Logitech but could consider something better and more reliable (e.g. wifi based) if total cost was c.£1000.

    3. Want to be able to watch Lounge TV and Cinema at same time with different sources. So the idea of running both through a simple switch on an AVR won't work, as if someone is watching a film in cinema room we definitely want to be able to watch e.g. Virgin Media in lounge. What's the best way to set up and what do we need to buy?

    We were thinking about the HD Matrix from HDAnywhere but the thing that is really putting us off now is the apparent issue/complication once you have a mix of 4K and non-4K screens!

    Firstly and most importantly we very much want to avoid any conflicts etc which lead to things not working properly (we have heard that sometimes when matrix switches between 4K to non-4K sources you lose sound) and second it seems a waste to lose the 4K we have on one device.

    We will upgrade projector to 4K but only when they drop below £2k. Not willing to pay more than 4K for 4K ;)
     
  2. Member 319784

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    Hey @CreativeVision thanks for posting your plan in such detail. I've just had a chat over with our technical guy:

    Our first question is this:

    My first question is do you have any 4K sources.... from the list you've given I think not (we think your max res is 1080p) unless the BluRay player is a Samsung 4K BluRay or the Panasonic 4K BluRay. Right now Virgin is not 4K... and that seems to be the only source you want to share throughout your home?
    Also it is not that our systems specifically have an issue with a mix of 4K and 1080p TVs. This is a limitation of absolutely any product that uses HDBaseT technology (wyrestorm, Aten, Octava, Blustream and so on). A HDMI source device can only output 1 format of resolution at a time 1080p or 4K- not both - if you have a 4K source device you can set it to output a maximum resolution of 1080p and then it will be sent to all your TVs and PJs (even the 4K ones in 1080p), allowing you to avoid problems like picture dropout and hdcp errors. Some 4K TVs have on board scalers so can upscale the 1080p signal back up to 4K.

    For your control we'd recommend Demopad or simple control – work with app and global cache devices

    Are you free to give me a call on 01684 576 348 to chat over your options or we can message privately if that suits you? There are a few options that we can help you out with. We offer 10% off for AVForums members and also allow you to pay for any HDanywhere system over £500 in monthly installments, with 0% interest available up to 18 months.
     
  3. Member 581642

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    I'll echo what Dee says, the mix of 4k, UHD and 1080p is not an issue with the matrix but the source, though many UHD devices have dual HDMI outputs (UHD and 1080p) so you could potentially use two inputs for 1080p and UHD 4K, or use scalars than convert and split 4K into 1080p and 4K.

    Harmony is good both for physical remote and with the correct model also for Smartphone control.
    We also like Simple Control for a more professional IPad/Phone control system.

    Its not that you would lose sound but as Dee has pointed out more likely to lose Video.
    However the sound can also be an issue as in the same way as video HDMI can only carry one type of audio stream at a time so if each TV zone doesnt have the same audio capabilities then their is potential loss of sound. ie you are outputiing 5.1 but some TVs cant handle 5.1 then you will get no or incorrect audio.

    We now supply the Bluestream range of matrixes, splitters, scalars etc and if you want a chat just give me a call as we can also help with automation, CCTV, Audio , wifi etc.

    Seb
     
  4. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Quite possibly the worst piece of advice ive ever seen given.
    It is impossible to downscale content, then back again losslessly. There will be picture degradation.
    Note, a true matrix device has independant outputs and not a splitter. Therefore should be able to handle a 4k source unmolested to a 4 k screen alongside a 1080p source to a 1080p screen.
     
  5. Member 581642

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    Sort of agree but it would have to scale to deliver the same source to 2 screens with different capabilities. Thats where the problem lies
     
  6. Member 319784

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    Exactly like Seb says I am trying to find a solution for sending a 4K HDCP 2.2 source to a mix of 1080p and 4K screens without encountering error messages or blank screens, which is what would happen in his set up potentially. You cannot enjoy the same source in 4K and 1080p simultaneously in different rooms without signal management or scaling.

    Yes, there will be image degradation with downscaling then upscaling image. An alternative solution would be to set your 4K set top box to 1080p and send it to everything (the 1080p TVs and the 4K pjs / screens) and just enjoy the content everywhere in 1080p rather than 4K (don't upscale it on the 4K end). Another solution is to utilise scalers at each display location.... we can explain how these work within the chain if needed. Here is an example below though I am unsure of price.

    SY-4KS - HDMI 4K Scaler (Optional Up & Down Scaling) - CYP Europe
     
  7. Member 581642

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  8. mbmapit

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    I thought HDBaseT couldn't do 2.0A (HDR) & HDCP 2.2 4:4:4 @ 18GBps, or has this been sorted now?
     
  9. Member 581642

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    The new HDBaseT chipsets support the following

    • Supports 4K UHD video up to 40m (3840 x 2160 @30Hz 4:4:4, 4096 x 2160 @24Hz 4:4:4, and 4K @60Hz 4:2:0)
    • HDCP 2.2
     
  10. mbmapit

    mbmapit
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    Is that 2.0a and can it not handle 50/60Hz? That puts it out of the running for me if so :(
     
  11. Member 581642

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    60hz but not full HDR

    However over any distance over a few metres no HDMI cable is going to do that anyway unless HDMI fibre
     
  12. mbmapit

    mbmapit
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    Correct, I have found only 2 cable manufacturers that can do it at 5m & 7m lengths.
     
  13. Member 581642

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    Longer cables may well do it but will be very hit and miss

    Best to keep HDR devices local to the tv
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    'Absolutely critical' - ensure aesthetics don't result in a system which is a pain to use/operate.

    UHD - where you wish to view a '4K' Source simultaneously on a mix of UHD, Full HD and HD Ready Displays then HD over LAN is likely the only cost effective solution (ours have scaling built into the Zone Receivers).

    Control - your budget may mean you taking the time to learn a DIY product such as iRule or accept the limitations of the Control layer hardware vendors build into their kit.

    Projector - fibre HDMI is the only solution to ensure you are fully covered for UHD.

    Projector - ensure you understand that ultimately 'resolution' is not the big differentiator with a projector, none of them deliver '4K' once you factor in motion.

    Cinema Room - be careful with In-ceiling Spks if there are living spaces or bedrooms above the Cinema room, ideally In-wall or On-wall are a better option.

    Distributed Sources - in the 'real world' it tends to be Subscription services where you only have a single Output device which are being 'Distributed' most other devices are more cost effective where you use multiple devices.

    Plan - do you have a plan you can share/mark up?

    Joe
     
  15. CreativeVision

    CreativeVision
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    couldn't agree more ... the more we read about the increasing technology and pitfalls that several seem to be suffering in terms of conflicts, interference, dropping signals etc, the more I am considering whether having a 1990s manual push button VCR is the solution! I think some of them were just about big enough to allow us to put a cushion on top so it doubles up as the living room seat. Aesthetics, what aesthetics? It works doesn't it ;)

    Good idea about having a built in scaler as I am loathed to spend the £££s on a matrix only to discover that actually it wouldn't work very well in so many real-life situations (i.e. only one 'special' 4K output mixed with several much more sensibly priced 2K outputs for secondary zones). However, couldn't find who "ours" was, as your website had a holding message in place?

    Thank you for adding (yet another) factor into the increasingly confused equation which seems to get further away from balancing, each person we speak to. It will be our son's bedroom above. We had thought about getting speaker hoods (or enclosed ceiling speakers) but guess that is not going to cut the mustard. Is it really that bad, even if only the rears are ceiling installed? We have actually wired up for back wall speakers also if needed, but would rather avoid ... aesthetics, aesthetics, aesthetics.

    Good point re distributed services. I'm sure we could buy more than enough blu-ray players and Apple TVs for the price of a matrix! In fact, since we would have to go to the central location to load a blu-ray anyway, could just have a manual switcher next to the device, lol. The more I think about this point, the more I wonder how much we would actually use the distribution side. We actually watch hardly any Virgin Media TV now and almost all of it is Netflix or catch up TV. Of course, Netflix is subscription but they have kindly included free distribution within the service by way of a simple log in. I wonder whether the genuine solution for us is indeed just multiple devices ... what we are really after is getting the boxes out of sight (and that means really out of sight, not just into a dedicated cabinet inside the room, which is usually purpose built and therefore ugly too). We aren't really after much more than that!

    Plan attached ...

    Downstairs.png

    Upstairs.png
     
  16. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Another factor - best to learn about them during the planning stage rather than after :)

    Ceiling hoods - any noise can be distracting for some folk, others can sleep through just about anything. We use the Dynabox foam isolation kits.

    HDMI Distribution - have a look at octavainc.com

    Distributed Sources - it is definitely worth weighing up the options based on your viewing habits.

    Joe
     

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