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Labgear HDM4SMX4 HDMI 4x4 Super Matrix CAT6 Box - Review/Feedback

JJSmyth

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

Long time reader but first time posting :)

I have been toying with the idea of setting up a 4x4 htmi over cat6 matrix now for a while. I recently bought a new house and have had it wired up with cat6 data cables to every room with the idea of buying and setting up this device 4x4 HDMI over HDBaseT Matrix - HDanywhere Multiroom+ (SingleWire 100m) - Buy online from HD Connectivity but sadly, we the house being a new build, it's my initial budget is getting stretched to badly for my setup.

I know HDConnectivity have reps here so be nice to me with this next part :), I have spotted this device, which actually looks like the HDConnectivity device http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415XG2yUVjL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I was just wondering if anybody has used this before and has feedback on it? The price suits my budget as it is getting slashed on a daily basis by the misses lol

Thanks,

Joe
 

Member 319784

Prominent Member
It's very different to a multiroom+ system to be honest. It's like a fake Gucci handbag.

It is twin wire (not single) so uses 2x Cat5 (max 30m) instead of 1x (max 100m) distance, and it does not have the discrete IR functionality. The HDanywhere IR board is unique and something that is added in the UK. This allows for control over multiple devices without the fear of IR conflicts (i.e. 2 of the same source device changing channel at once)

It also does not have the Ethernet channel, which is great for Smart TVs.

But, I've not used it personally. So it could be awesome!
 

JJSmyth

Standard Member
Thanks Techie, you've given me plenty of food for thought.

Was just thinking, when moving into my new build will the Sky engineer have any issues setting up my sky in my new server room away from any tv? Will I need my matrix already in place.

Thanks,

Joe
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Make life simple for yourself and the SKY Tech – ensure you have a working phone line in place and connected to the SKY Box (though at a push they will install it without one) and take a small HDMI equipped HD Ready TV into the server room so you can see the SKY box.

Joe

PS And don’t forget we have a nice 4x4 system too ;)
Media Factory - Octava HDMX44CAT-UK, HD44CATMX-UK 4x4 HDMI CAT6 Matrix switch
 

JJSmyth

Standard Member
Very much appreciate your feedback, Joe.

I've the Octava 4x4 on my list ;) I have a few months, well the end of May till the house is completed, so I have a little bit of time to save and research more until making my decision. The AVForums has been an excellent source for reading up on this with yourself and HDC Techie giving advice going back a number of years.

Another thing, if you don't mind Joe. I have read it's best to avoid the use of a switch when setting up your matrix, so it would be best to have the ethernet output directly to the patch panel?

Thanks again,

Joe
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi JJSmyth

With our dual CAT systems we aim where possible to avoid any unnecessary breaks in the CAT6 cable run – it can (and does) work with a Patchbay and faceplate but ultimately they could end up being a ‘pinch’ point in the system.

Joe
 

rishfern

Standard Member
Thought i would add some feedback on the Labgear matrix if you still are yet to purchase a matrix. Firstly there seems to be some variation between the model you receive , they all seem to do the same function but the one i received does not have ears to wall mount the receivers and the ir rx/tx modules are different to the ones listed on amazon. FYI amazon is actually quite expensive compared to what i paid.
As has been said these kind of matrixs are a bit hit and miss in regard to patch panels.Initially all 4 of the displays went into a patch panel in the server room and them into a wall module in the applicable rooms. Of the four displays the shortest and longest run were unable to sync (10m and 35m) but the other two were able to and work perfectly. By terminating the cable directly into a cat6 jack in the other two rooms (still keeping the feed in the server room through a patch panel) they then synced and are running without any issues.

Currently there are no 3D capable displays connected so have yet to run into the much discussed issues with 3D and non 3D displays.
Also in regards to IR and multiple sky boxes i purchased a device from Keene electronics and converted the IR to RF and as such have no clashes.

Overall the system is not as tidy or advanced as the Octava or the HDanywhere devices however with budget constraints this does what I need it to.

Hope this is of help.
 

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stevieghealy

Standard Member
Hi guys,

Either I'm missing something out of the box or i need something else but my labgear 4x4matrix lets me so everything it says on the tin except actually change source at each display. I have matrix out in shed with 4 HD devices plugged in going out over twin cat5. I can watch a source no problem. I can flick through channels etc but if I want to change to a different source from that display, I have to go out to the shed and manually change it with the buttons on the front if the labgear!!! Pain in the face. Matrix remote provided but nothing to plug into the "ir ext" on the front of the matrix.

Anyone got a solution for me please??

S
 

rishfern

Standard Member
Hi
What I have found is that to change source the ir blasters provided have to be able to "see" both your sources and the matrix which has a small ir receiver on the front.
How have you got yours set up?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
It sounds like the Matrix is not stripping off its own IR commands internally and you have to provide a dual head IR blaster from each Zone Output :eek:

Joe
 

rishfern

Standard Member
Hi
I can confirm that that's correct. However for the price still can't go wrong.
I use a Keene sky ir controller with ir to rf as a more accurate way of controlling sources.
 
If the model is the one i think it is, it doesnt have discrete/routed IR so if you have multiple Skyboxes or any sources from the same manufacturer then IR commands will change both sources. Possibly why they are so cheap!

ie if you have two sky boxes and one TV location wants to change channel it will change both SKy boxes channels.

Slightly more expensive but has routed IR 4x4 HDMI Over Dual Cat5e 6 Matrix
 

ab1385

Established Member
Aclass Technology - can I ask a few questions about your model above?

Firstly, what does it come with? I'm assuming the main box and 4 receivers, but any IR receivers/blasters?
Does it have a way of transmitting IR over HDMI or only via Cat5? I'm assuming that there is IR back from the outputs to the unit, which is then sent on the the sources?
Does the unit strip out IR signals for itself? And does it have discreet source codes for each output? I only ask as the remote in the picture looks like it cycles rather than having a discrete code for each output-source.
Is there a minimum distance for the Cat6 outputs?
 
Hi

I will try and answer all of these questions in order

The system comes with the matrix, four receivers, 5 remotes (1 for each receiver and one for the main matrix) , 4IR Eyes for the recievrs, 4 IR emitters for the main matrix to control the sources, 1 ir eye for the main unit. 5 Power Units and a manual.

Unfortunately no way of transmitting IR over the HDMI cable outputs just the cat5/6 outputs, HDMi spec doesn't allow for IR transmission in the cable (though I do realise some units do perform this function it is not strictly within spec).

Yes there is IR transmitted from each receiver back to the sources and also to the matrix for changing which source you are watching at a receiver location.

Not sure what you mean by "strip out the IR signals. The main matrix unit handles the routing of the IR signal from a receiver to the correct source. ie if Receiver 1 is watching source 2 then any IR commands are only routed to the IR emitter for source 2. This is why I prefer the term routed IR rather than discrete IR though they do generally mean the same thing. I hope that is what you meant.

Minimum distance is around .5m but id stick at 2M to be safe.


If you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact me.



If you are looking to purchase soon before the end of July I can offer a 5% discount and 8 x 2M High Speed HDMi Cables free of charge.
 

ab1385

Established Member
Thanks for the offer of a discount, but I'm planning for 8 months or so away. Things may change with technology by then, I'm just at a planning stage for now!

I think you've answered the question about stripping out the signal - all I meant was the IR signals from the eyes are read by the matrix before being output, so that the matrix is controlled by eg a harmony remote.
How long are the cables for the eyes? Can they be extended?

Finally, just to check, about the discrete codes for the matrix IR system, and just checking is there a code 'output 1 next' or, as I'm assuming, 4 codes for each output 'output 1 input 1', 'output 1 input 3' etc. I hope that question about is clear, but may not be!

Thanks
 
Last edited:
the IR cables are about 0.8m

I'm still not getting the question regarding the discrete codes. You choose the source at the receiver just for that receiver so it has 4 "codes" .
 

ab1385

Established Member
It's probably me missing something then explaining the question badly. All I wanted to check is this:

I'm assuming that the matrix itself has 16 options, 4 potential inputs for each of 4 outputs. All I wanted to check was that there was a remote code for each of these, so that each of the inputs can be changed to any output from any room.

What I think this does, and why I got confused, is to sense which IR input is sending the signal, and then use that to decide which input-output it needs to change, meaning there are only 4 IR codes, and it knows which input-output to change depending on which IR input senses the signal. Is that the case?

The reason for asking is that I would probably want to be able to control this with an IP2IR type device. I appreciate I could achieve this with the built in RS232, but what I wanted to know was whether I could have a whole house system that doesn't depend on sending the signal from the right room, but could work with IP2IR. I think the answer would probably be to use RS232, if using one of these.
 
Ok, think I get it now.

Yes there is command for each input and output but will have to check if this true for the IR commands as only ever been asked for the RS232. Fairly sure there is as a different remote for the main matrix control but late now and cant remember .

Only relevant at the matrix itself that is why I was getting confused.

Sorry it was me not understanding what you were asking but get it now
 

stevieghealy

Standard Member
Wow guys, that was my first post and can't believe the interest shown. Aclass mentioned ir routing and he's right. I have 2 x vu+ duo's (sat receiver) and when I change one of them the other one changes also. Pain!! The first reply I got was have inset it up yet?? Answer is no. I have it stacked on top of each other and its working except from being able to change source from the display.

I have just got a new av cabinet so I'm going to attempt set it up in a way the it's can 'see' both the source and the matrix it receiver. Dunno how especially now that I know it doesn't have that ir routing thingy!!

Will look up the sky Keene or to rf device to see will that simplify thing. By the way , I also have a bit of control4 to throw in also. So plenty more trials and tribulations ahead.

Thanks all for your replies
The AV enthusiast...
 

electricseamus

Established Member
Hi guys, sorry to drag up a slightly old one. I hope I can get my question across in a way it can be understood. I will have 4 x Sky+HD boxes, HDMI CCTV DVR, Apple TV and Blu-Ray all in a cupboard. 4 HD TV's around house. I was planning on having two 4x4 matrix to avoid the massive cost of an 8x8 and running two HDMI's cables to each TV (one for each matrix). Also running a coax with magic eye for Freeview and Sky control with SPC4. I realise there will be opinions on the choice of two matrix, HDMI and the like, and I welcome feedback. My question however, is two part, what is the RS232 all about? What can I do with it and do all matrix have one? Secondly are all matrix different in operation with regard to control? The main thing I need to know is can you control the matrix itself (input selection) from each of the four rooms? Also, if for example I had four Apple TV remotes can I control the Apple TV from each room?

To summarise, I'd have a 4x4 dedicated to Sky available on four TV's controlled via SPC4 and magic eyes. A 4x4 for all other devices with control options to be decided here! I realise I'd probably have to have two different matrix brands so as to not conflict with control? One last thing, the matrix has long cables with eyes on the end? How long are they normally and can they be extended?

Thanks for any help.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Combining two Matrix is tricky at the best of times - trying to then use multiple Matrix to control multiple Apple TV or similar will be a nightmare.

Where you have the 'same Source' on multiple Inputs you require Routed 'targeted' IR or you end up controlling all of the same devices.

You would need to talk with SPC about having two sets of four handsets controlling 4 SKY box's.

RS232 allows bi-directional control and status updates - unlike with IR where you have no idea what state a device is in with RS232 you always know where you are at and just like everything else in the world of AV it is never as simple as it sounds and no there is no common way of doing things.

RS232 allows you to add in a control layer using additional hardware and software to automate your system.

There is no 'normal' with IR cables and extending may/may not be possible - again no one rule fits all devices.

Joe
 

electricseamus

Established Member
Its a minefield with no real answers then basically.

What would be the issue with 2 different matrix?

I didn't mean multiple Apple TV just one with a remote for each room.

Sounds like its best to either leave well alone or jump in with both feet and take the gamble.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor

neilball

Prominent Member
If you are doing this as a "paying" job for a customer then I'd suggest either a single fixed matrix as Joe has suggested or a modular matrix where you can mix and match the IO to suit the project.

HDMI is temperamental enough when using single devices to manage sources and displays, using several devices cascaded I. the distribution chain only makes things less reliable. If it was for your own use then you might be prepared to live with a more complicated/less reliable setup at a cheaper price, but a customer is going to expect 100% reliability and keep calling you back if it is not meeting their expectations. So you'd be better explaining this situation to your customer and hopefully they got for the reliable, if more expensive, approach or explain that you would not be prepared to offer an untested combination of equipment on the hope that it works! Better to walk away with good relationship with your customer than take it on as a cheap job, have it not work properly, and lose money in unpaid callbacks to fix it.
 

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