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HDMI Matrix - Cat 6 Cable

johg10

Novice Member
Hi, been reading a while but first post....

I moved into a new house 2 years ago and had 2 X coax, 2 X cat 6 and 1 X HDMI run to 4 screen points in the house, I purchased a HD Anywhere HDMI 4 X 4 matrix with IR. This has SKY, Apple TV, PS3 and Bluray player going to 4 TV's. The system works great I use HDMI and not the Cat 6

I am now moving into another new build and they builder is more strict on allowing access to the house and getting the wiring in, they use a specialist (very pricey!) hifi company.

He won't run HDMI due to length issues and I have now paid (£175 per cable) to have 2 X Cat 6 cables run from a central point to 4 TV points

My question is what do I need to purchase so that I can continue to use my 4 X 4 HDMI matrix? It looks like I need to purchase extender TX / RX so that i can go from HDMI to CAT 6 on the output on the matrix and back to HDMI at the TV points.

However this is really confusing as there are so many some have need 5v power and some don't?, some have IR, some only need 1 Cat 6 cable and not 2. Does Cat 6 carry the power that is needed for the IR, they currently take their power from the HDMI cable?

Any help comments, advise on what to buy would be really appreciated

Thanks....
 
I will try and help

To continue to use your matrix and it's IR will be very tricky. Once you convert the HDMI output to Cat6 then you will lose their IR over HDMI cable facility (though it must be noted that HDMI was never designed to carry IR and it is a work around that certain manufacturers use to get this to work).

Any extender requires power so I'd rule out any that don't have an external power supply, at least at one end.

Single Cat6 extenders should be HdBaseT standard or otherwise they will be proprietary types and may not have all the facilities you need.

HdBaset extenders can provide HDMI, IR and Power between the transmitter and receiver via a single Cat6 cable. Power is generally only required at the Transmitter end.

HDBaseT Extender Set with IR POC and 4K2K Support

However as I said in the first paragraph your problem may well be IR routing, as the IR signal will just go from the extender receiver at the TV end to the transmitter at the Matrix end. So you then need to ensure that this signal only goes to the source you are watching (sky/PS3/AppleTv/BluRay). Your old matrix probably used to handle this for you internally.

It would be a lot easier and less trouble in the long run to use a new matrix which has Cat6 outputs and handles the IR routing for you, than combining the existing matrix with extenders.

Professional 4x4 HDBaseT Matrix with 4 Receivers - Lite Version

We now only recommend HDBaseT Single Cat6 solutions due to the increased range, reliability and stability.

Also with Smart Tvs also needing a Cat6 Cable to enable them to link to the internet/network you really need to keep one of your two cat6 cables pare for this.

On a related note I hope the builder also ran Coax Aerial points as well to each TV point as you just never know when you may still need freeview via an aerial.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
You don't need a specialist Hi-Fi Co. to pull cables you need an experienced cable installer - most builders would hand the task to the Spark - I hope for £175/cable the builder is providing a certificate to prove each cable has been tested and documented.

Ideally you would replace your current setup with a single wire solution based on HDBaseT/HDBaseT-lite with Routed and Broadcast IR, PoC Zone Receivers, USB for firmware updates, fast switching and no blinking between zones - HDBaseT: Octava HD4XSTPMX-UK Review | AVForums

The alternative would be to try adding HDBT Extenders to your current Matrix and shift from using IR via the Matrix to some form of 'control' using Wi-Fi with an App running on iOS or Android.

Joe
 

johg10

Novice Member
Thank you both for your replies,
All my TV's are wireless so have never bothered using the installed cat 6 cable , I know wired is better than wireless but never had any issues when using my has box.

The installer is suppling coax to each TV point back to a central point and then 4 from the loft for SKY / aerial.

The building company (Dandara)are extremely strict with regards to access to the house, otherwise I would use the same guy I used on my current house (he installed all cabling and ceiling speakers including 5.1 for £1000) Dandara take advise from the specialist and then use their own electricians to install, it would be good if they installed in a conduit but don't think they will.

The only good point with my new my new installation is that the central point is in a store cupboard upstairs, this means that I have only had to pay for ceiling speaker cables downstairs as it will be easy to install upstairs via the loft, also means I could also add some more cat 6 to other upstairs TV points at a future date and for that reason I may consider a 8 X 8 matrix, or 4 X 8 as don't really need anymore sources.

I wanted to keep cost down and use my existing system but its looks like I may have to go for the single cable HDBT matrix and sell my old matrix, my wife would just not get use to not using the sky remote!

Just a couple more tech questions:
1. I notice on the matrix there are LAN inputs, does this mean that they carry the internet signal to each tv? meaning that the second cat 6 cable would not be required, I may still be able to get my money back for just running 1 cable saving me over £500

2. Having spent over £2k on cable I am on a budget so have seen other solutions like this one on ebay HDMI Matrix Switcher / Splitter 4x4 by UTP CAT5/CAT6 3D | eBay this matrix looks like it would do the trick and has IR so what are the main advantages of HDBT?

3. How much better will HDBT be than my current system run with HDMI cables

4. What is the difference between HDBaseT/HDBaseT-lite?

5. What is the POC (power over cable) used for?

Sorry for all the questions but I want to get this right, I will purchase soon and set up in my current house so that I am ready to go when I move into my new house.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HDBT is a 'complimentary' Transmitter/Receiver chip set you use to allow you to extend HDMI over a single CAT cable.

HDBT supports HDMI, 10/100 Ethernet, Comms and Power up to 100m.

HDBT-lite supports HDMI, Comms and Power up to 70m.

We see a lot of customers wanting to create a Gigabit backbone (not supported by HDBT) so prefer to go with 1CAT cable for AV and a second for IP.

Compared with Dual CAT solutions HDBT (both variants) has proven to be more stable /reliable.

Many Matrix 'appear' to offer a full range of features - though are nowhere near as simple to live with as other designs.

The 'front end' of the Matrix (the bit before HDBT gets involved) is also very important to ensure Fast Switching, Non blanking between Zones, EDID management, HDCP Management, Firmware compatibility, Routed IR, Broadcast IR...

PoC allows the Matrix to power the multiple Zone Receivers over the CAT cable - our Matrix has separate PSU's for the Matrix and PoC (they both plug to the Matrix) - we also include a Zone Standby power saving mode (HDBT runs hot so we minimise power draw/heat generation when you are only using some of your Zones).

A kit cupboard is good as the Matrix includes temp controlled fans - though you will need to ensure the cupboard has good air circulation/air intake/exhaust to protect all of your kit.

Joe
 

johg10

Novice Member
Thanks Joe,

Much appreciate your time, I think I will have a look at a new matrix, HDBT lite, and use the other cat 6 to connect TV's to the network.

Any recommendations of matrix's would be appreciated

Thanks again
 
I think it would be a false economy to go with the lower cost dual Cat5/6 matrix and I am saying that as someone who sold a similar one to the one you linked to for many years.

We now really only sell HdBaseT matrixes as they are more reliable, stable and support more features as Joe has said.

A 8x8 matrix is a large investment but here is ours just in case!!
Professional 8x8 HDBaseT Matrix with 8 Receivers - 4K2K Version

and a link to the two 4x4 versions we currently supply
Professional 4x4 HDBaseT Matrix with 4 Receivers - Lite Version
Professional 4x4 HDBaseT Matrix with 4 Receivers - 4K2K Version
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Our Cardframe linked to in Post #3 is available as a 4x4 with the option to add in Zones 5 through 8 at a later date (takes ten mins to add in a new Output board).

Joe
 

johg10

Novice Member
Been spending some time reading!

Joe, excellent review on your the HD4XSTPMX, the ability to add new output sources is a big advantage and I would run one TV via HDMI so would be able to have 5 screens with no upgrade.

Can I ask AClass if there any reviews on your 4 X 4 lite version?
 
I can give you the contact details of a few customers who i am sure wouldn't mind you asking them for their opinion on the box. I will obviously send you these details via a private message rather than on open forum. I'll do this tomorrow when I can get their permission
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Johg10 - the HDMI Output may disappear on the next production run, drop me a note ASAP if that is an important feature for you.

Joe
 

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