HDMI Matrix Switch

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by garyaxis, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. garyaxis

    garyaxis
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    Hi,

    Can anyone recommend a good HDMI matrix switch on a reasonable budget ? It will need to service the following

    At least 4 Inputs : sky+ HD x 2 , Blu-ray & Request IMC F Series Server. Maybe a couple more ports to future proof ?!

    From the AV head / rack I have Cat-5 run to every room in the house. Full HDMI lead to the cinema room, but the rest of the house is currently standard. Will need at least 4 , maybe 9 outputs.

    Probably best if anyone can recommend a 4 x 4 matrix, and then I can look at the bigger versions if required / supplied.

    All help appreciated

    Thanks
     
  2. Member 319784

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    OK we do 2 4x4 models

    1 model is 499.99 and the other 649.99

    All our matrix switcher models can be found on this page:
    HDMI Matrix Switchers - HDMI Products

    If you have any questions, let me know and I'll answer them right away.

    Thanks
    Jamie
     
  3. garyaxis

    garyaxis
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    Thanks for fast reply. Just had a quick look, and if I am being honest it is a little over my head. As the Installers have put Cat5 all round the house from the AV Head, do I not need the £1600 version on your page ? How do the cheaper versions distribute the signal ?

    Also , will I need receivers at each display / TV to convert back from the cat5 / RJ45 wall plates ?
     
  4. Member 319784

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    The Cat5 Matrix switcher would be the ideal solution really come to think about it.

    The other switchers use HDMI connections, so you would require a HDMI cable + a HDMI over Cat5 Baluns Kit for each output.

    The Cat5 Matrix switcher would allow you to connect the Cat cables directly into the switcher unit. The unit comes with x4 receiver units that you would have in the rooms where the displays are.

    Have x2 cat5 cables been run to each room?
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    How do you intend on controlling this set up? controlling 2 Sky HD boxes is not easy without high end remotes (pronto RTi etc) or a matrix with routed IR control. The Linked to matrix has no source control inlcuded.
     
  6. Member 319784

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    The linked to matrix has x4 remotes to control what source device is being viewed in what room.

    This remote cannot change the channel on the Sky box. It can only select the Sky box as a connected source device.

    Even though the infinius unit has an RS232 port, frustratingly Sky cannot be controlled via it's RS232 port.

    Remotely changing the Sky channels is notoriously difficult, this is true. Unfortunately there is not really an easy solution to this problem. It's an annoying element of the Sky box.

    The old magic eye way is what we find works best.

    Or you just make sure Sky is on the right channel before you move to that room.
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello garyaxis

    HDMI signal management/distribution can be fun.

    It is possible to output many sources to many displays - though it tends to get very expensive once you go above 4x4.

    We have units available up to 36x36 but we are talking funny money!!! (RT COM USA - Product Catalog).

    In terms of what makes a good/bad Matrix its all down to how well the firmware within the Matrix handles the various signal management processes involved when you start flicking through Sources and Displays.

    HDMI is a complicated signal to manage as its encrypted and each time you select a Source or Display there are some complex negotiations going on behind the scenes - which may or may not affect what you see/hear onscreen as any new negotiations between Displays and Sources are undertaken.

    A 4x4 HDMI In/Out Matrix (Media Factory - Connect, Control and Install your Audio Visual equipment!) + HDMI over CAT5 adapter sets (The Media Factory) on any of the Outputs feeding rooms that are 15m+ away from the Matrix is you most cost effective solution and no more or less relevant than an HDMI Matrix with embedded CAT5 transmitters.

    HDMI over CAT5 usually requires two runs of CAT5 cable - though it is possible (but more costly) to do HDMI over a single CAT5 cable (+:+:+ RT COM USA +:+:+).

    You don't say how you plan to control the Matrix and or Source devices?

    You can 'expand' the size of a Matrix by adding a Distribution Amp (DA) to any or all of the Outputs of the Matrix (this will only work with a Matrix that has HDMI Out not CAT5 Out) - though keep in mind each Display attached to the DA will see whatever Source is selected on that Output of the Matrix.

    Have a careful look at your viewing plan/habits - that will dictate how many discreet or shared Outputs you will require.

    Joe

    PS We are currently working on a cost effective 4x8 Matrix with integral CAT5 transmitters on Outputs 3 to 8 (HDMI on Output 1 and 2) and IR pass back from the remote zones.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Magic eye isnt ideal for controlling 2 sky boxes they end up mirroring each other making having 2 pointless. Also The IR remote you include wont work without adding an additional IR routing system.

    Re your RS232 comments I assume you mean the infinius cant talk RS232 to Sky it is entirely possible to control sky boxes via their RS232 port and get meta data back out from the box.

    There is no way anyone would accept this solution witout reliable control of source equipment, Multiple Sky boxes, DVD players, PC's and DVR's all of which can be controlled with other matrix solutions (they may cost a bit more but offer true solutions rather than video only distrbution.


    Power is nothing without control, neither is matrix switching....

    Matrix switchers with IR include Intelix.com - DIGI-HDMI-4X4 HDMI twisted pair matrix for HDMI for 4x4 video with built in IR and RS232 control Smart-e (UK) for mixeb signals 4x4/8x8/16x16 upto 128x128 (HDMI product coming shortly8+8x8 very clever) and AVAtrix AVX562 (UK) for 6x6 component video with built in IR matrix switching.
     
  9. Member 319784

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    Thanks for the info hornydragon

    Agreed, magic eye is not ideal for controlling x2 sky boxes in this instance.
    For a single Sky box, it is an acceptable solution, especially if the magic eye is already in place.

    Yes I mean that the infinius unit cannot talk to sky via its RS232 port and this is frustrating.

    At the price point of the infinius unit, some people find it a perfectly acceptable solution on a budget.

    The infinius unit can be connected via it's RS232 to another control device.

    Of course if you have a much higher budget, a more complex solution such as that suggested by horneydragon would always be far more desirable.
     
  10. mrm3

    mrm3
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    Could he not use a matrix for the HDMI video/audio and a Keene IR Commander or suchlike for the control(IR)?
     
  11. Member 319784

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    Yes it would work for the Blu-ray player etc. Good point.

    But I'm not sure about the x2 Sky boxes. The signals would control both boxes.

    Another downside would be that you would have to either carry around all the remotes with you, or have a programmed remote in every room where the remote displays are situated. But its not an impossible workaround.

    But its a good point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  12. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Thats a down side of a distributed system any distributed system, these considerations are built into the overall design of a distributed system. Unless you dont want any control in remote locations.
     
  13. Member 319784

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    Ah I see, very true.

    I guess the ultimate one box solution system would include x4 universal programmable remotes and something similar to the keene IR sender as part of the package.

    I'll let management know!

    This is a new product for us, I'm still learning about the whole multi-room HD arena, so I appreciate your comments horneydragon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  14. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Its not that simple as you will see if if you start to look at these systems as part of a solution not just a box
     
  15. Member 319784

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    When I say one box, I mean one complete package.

    A solution in a box, i.e. the matrix switcher with IR routing and x4 programmable remotes.

    As a sort of DIY consumer product rather than a Pro install product.

    Or do you believe that this is completely out of the realms of possibility?

    I can appreciate the channel hopping on Sky is a difficulty for a start.
     
  16. mrm3

    mrm3
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    The x 2 Sky boxes could probably be sorted depending on requirements if using harmony 895 where you can send RF to an extender down one IR output (eg A) to Sky box 1 and another IR output (eg B) to sky box 2 box.

    Gets messy but possible...ish.
     
  17. brolly

    brolly
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    I'm also thinking on buying a basic CAT5/6 matrix switcher, and this one looks very attractive due to it's price:
    HDMI Matrix over CAT5 Switch - by hdcable.co.uk – Free UK Delivery – Shipping Worldwide

    I mean 1,000£ is a bargain for a piece of hardware like this, all 4x4 CAT5 switchers like this I've seen are really expensive. So I wonder if this really works well and the image is distributed with good quality. I searched for a review, but couldn't find one.
    If this works well I'd probably buy one.

    Now on a technical side, I've seen some matrix switchers that use only 1 CAT5 cable, so seems technically that's possible. Why do this one (and many others) use 2 cables?
     
  18. Joe Fernand

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    Hello brolly

    There are not enough cores in a single CAT5 cable to carry an HDMI signal without first pre processing the Input signal.

    The majority of HDMI over single CAT5 solutions convert the Digital signal to Analogue Component video + Stereo audio at the Transmitter device and then rebuild a digital signal at the Receiver device before reapplying HDCP and outputting over HDMI; this results in varying degrees of quality loss and can cause handshaking issues.

    It is now possible to have a 4x4 HDMI over dual CAT5 Matrix plus In-room receivers (with IR Passthru) for sub 1K - Media Factory - Octava HDMX44CAT-UK, 4x4 HDMI CAT6 Matrix switch

    Joe
     
  19. brolly

    brolly
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    Hi Joe,
    Those are even cheaper than the ones I mentioned, is the quality good? All the ones I've seen so far are much more expensive so I'm quite surprised with those prices.

    The dual CAT5 cable will be a problem for me as I only have 2 RJ45 plugs on each room and I need one of them for internet and home-network access, so I end up with only a spare one. That would mean I'd need to add some extra cabling.

    Do you ship to other EU countries or only UK?
     
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello brolly

    Oddly enough our Octava switch gear is often perceived as being 'expensive' - never had to justify it being too cheap before :)

    The New Matrix gear is going through the same test and development process as the rest of the kit we produce - the In-room Receivers are based on our HDOCAT-UK so already well tested.

    As before single CAT5 can be an issue - for now Octava are sticking with Dual CAT5 solutions; our next product range is looking at IP based products so will work over a single CAT5 in an Ethernet network.

    We also supply products by RTComUSA - aimed at the Pro Installer market these tend to be higher cost/feature sets. It is possible to combine an Octava HDMI>HDMI Matrix with the UBHD single CAT5 extenders to achieve what you require.

    The UBHD keeps everything in the Digital domain - +:+:+ RT COM USA . COM +:+:+

    Shipping to mainland Europe is fine - we have Distribution in some countries so let me know where you are and I can best advise.

    Joe
     
  21. brolly

    brolly
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    Those UBHD extenders would do the trick, but at 600$ a piece those are really too expensive :)

    I suppose your next range of products won't be out for 1 more year or so?

    I guess if I want one of these in the close future I will need to add extra cabling then, what about transporting audio/video through 1 coaxial cable or optic fiber instead of CAT5 that should work right? Are there any swicthes on that range as well?

    I'm in Portugal btw, I'm not too confident that you will have a distribution center here, it's not easy to find this kind of gear around here. But getting it shipped from UK should be fine, any idea on how much would be the shipping costs?
     
  22. Joe Fernand

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    Hello brolly

    Our development period on the Ethernet product range will be shorter than a year!

    HDMI over Fibre is here now - though far more costly than over CAT5/6 - +:+:+ RT COM USA . COM +:+:+

    We can supply/support to Portugal from the UK - shipping is relatively inexpensive.

    Joe
     
  23. brolly

    brolly
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    That's interesting, so that means in less than 1 year you could have a single CAT5 cable transport solution?
    It might be worth waiting in that case.
     
  24. Nded

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    Actually less than a month is very realistic. The first shipment of HDMI over IP Right Sized Matrix devices are due to land on the island in September - I'll post more details when they are available for end users to purchase from the UK distributor.
     
  25. mjjensen

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    wake up thread. I want to hear more about the matrix over IP
     
  26. JayBird

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    Me too :thumbsup:
     
  27. Member 319784

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    HDMI over IP has arrived and is in stock and yes it is amazing!

    There are various matrix control solutions being developed - mainly software based.

    The iPhone control being my favourite.

    Crestron drivers are available now. However the most widely usable solution will be the browser accessible on any web-book, blackberry, web-enabled mobile etc

    It will be fully available in less than a month, and fully customisable for UK users.

    HDMI over IP - Internet Protocol
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  28. Joe Fernand

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    There is still a whole heap of knowledge to be gained on this one - early adopters best be ready for a fair bit of hair pulling!

    Joe
     
  29. Member 319784

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    Very True! However, so far all is going well. For those of you who are intrigued there is a demonstration video available on YouTube that shows us switching between HDMI sources at the CEDIA convention. The videos are posted at YouTube - TheSOHOShop's Channel (HD and SD versions available for your viewing pleasure). In this video you will see that we are able to deliver instant seamless switching between HDMI inputs at multiple resolutions. The first source in the seamless switching demonstration is a PlayStation 3 Blu-Ray disc that we were running at 1080p60 showing the Mummy movie. The second source was an Xbox 360 running at 720p playing the new Batman video game. The 3rd source was a Vudu XL running at 1080p24 showing a one of the Chronicles of Riddick movies. The 4th source was a Vudu BX100 running at 1080p24 showing The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe. The last source was a Sony HD Camcorder running at 1080i30. Because the Just Add Power HDMI over IP solution uses a SCALER in the receivers, we don't experience the delays in switching caused by the EDID negotiation that is inherent in most other companies offerings. As far as we know, no other company comes close the speed of the Just Add Power HDMI over IP solution.
     
  30. MarkTaylor

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    Jamie, do you have any details regarding the scaling chipset being used?

    People spend a lot of time and money either avoiding or acquiring specific scaling solutions so if the scaling is inherent in this product it would be good to know which chipset is providing the capability.

    Also, what options do you have for the scalers output? i.e. can you set everything to 1080p and will it then pass 24 or 60Hz depending on what it receives?

    Can you turn the scaling off or is it fixed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009

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