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Octava 4X4 Matrix Dilema - Advice Needed

Grimaldi

Established Member
Hi All,

I have just received the keys to a new house and am in the process of wiring it with CAT6 cables for HDMI over CAT.

I want to be able to use the Octava 4X4 matrix for 4 displays, including a projector mounted on the ceiling. In addition, I want to be able to use the AV amp in the same room as the projector to do the sound decoding and to drive the speakers.

My problem centres on the ability to use one output from an Octava 4X4 matrix to provide video to the projector and sound to the AV amp at the same time. Is this possible? Are there any workarounds? Or is my only option to use the toslink out from the converter at the projector end and wiring it back downstairs to the AV amp?

In addition, does anyone know when the 4X8 switches may be available and how much they will cost?

Edit: Just noticed that UKHDMI.com have Octava switches listed on their website and state "optical audio output for integration with surround sound system". They state this for all the switches, whether over CAT or just plain HDMI, however per the images there are only HDMI outputs on the box. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Edit 2: 4X2 plain HDMI switch has toslink on output B, but none of the other switches which claim to have toslink appear to have it per the images. Does anyone have the 4X4 CAT switch and can confirm whther it has toslink out on at least one output?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Grimaldi

Forget any potential brand or model of HDMI Matrix for a minute and look at the basics.

The Outputs from a Matrix connect to various Sync devices - AV Amp, Display, Projector.

If you wish to view any of your Sources simultaneously across two or more of your Sync devices the Source will interrogate the various connected Sync devices and then output a signal format that all of the Sync's understand.

If one or more of your Sync devices is only capable of 2.0 LPCM 'stereo' audio then that is likely what the Source will output - no matter if you have an all singing all dancing AV Amp on one output of the Matrix!!!

Depending on how your chosen Matrix handles EDID you may be able to manually override the audio selection the Source has made to enable you to deliver TrueHD/DTS-HD or DD/DTS when you want to get that signal into your Amp - though at that point any 'Stereo only' Sync devices (Displays) will loose audio as they generally cant decode the multi channel codecs.

There is no simple answer to this conundrum - until someone delivers a decoder box that lives beside the 'stereo only' Display!!!

Also keep in mind that some Source devices (SKY HD being one) only ever deliver 2.0 LPCM over HDMI - and deliver 5.1 DD via Optical (its never simple!!!).

Octava HDMX44CAT-UK - specifics.

Not a problem to have one of the outputs of the Matrix going to an AV Amp - as above there are limitations to how the system will operate when your wanting to view on two or more Displays simultaneously + retain multi channel audio.

Octava In-room receiver - when used in conjunction with the 4x4 Matrix the Optical output is non functioning. The Optical Output is only used when the Receiver is used in conjunction with the Transmitter in the HDOCAT-UK pair.

Octava HDMX48CAT-UK - were running final testing/de-bugging and aim to release the product during Feb 2010. Were a bit behind schedule as a few 'custom build' projects had to be completed over the past three months plus we added an enhanced IR routing option to the Matrix design relatively late in the design stage. We'll have a web page up in the next 48 hours with some images and a feature list.

Joe
 

Grimaldi

Established Member
Hi Joe,

Thats very enlightening, thank you very much.

Sounds like perhaps the best option for me will be to use the Octava as a video/stereo matrix and then use SPDIF over toslink or coax to from each device to a switch which will then be wired to the av amp?

Will something like SkyHD be able to output audio from both toslink and HDMI at the same time (i.e. so that I can still have audio over HDMI in the upstairs bedrooms and over toslink/coax in 5.1 to the AV amp at the same time)?

Thanks

Grim
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Most (though not all) Sources can be configured to do Video + 2.0 LPCM over HDMI and DD/DTS 5.1 simultaneously via Optical or Coaxial.

SKY HD is pre configured as above.

Its a pretty common configuration these days with either a 'local' AV Amp switching and processing the various DD/DTS signals via multiple Optical and Coaxial or an Optical switch feeding into a Cinema System with a single Optical Input.

Joe
 

Grimaldi

Established Member
Cool, thats good news. I think I will use an digital audio switch in the AV cupboard and then link it to the remote amp with one cable. I think this will be easier that holding the amp in the AV cupboard as I don't fancy having long speaker cables - plus I am likely to use my existing hifi amps in the same room to drive the front speakers.

The distance is likely to be 10m or so, would you recommend coax or toslink over that distance?

Secondly, can you recommend any reasonably priced digital audio switches that I could use that could handle 4+ inputs, preferably with a spdif toslink and coax outputs?

Thanks!
 

Grimaldi

Established Member
Also wondering - if I use spdif then I won't be able to receive HD sound at the receiver.

I was thinking I could take the HDMI signal near to the projector using CAT6, then use an HDMI splitter and pass one HDMI cable from the splitter to the projector and the other part back to an HDMI to CAT6 converter and then send it back downstairs to the AV amp to a CAT6 to HDMI receiver.
- would this work (or is that too many links in the chain and am I just asking for trouble - would I have sync/HDCP problems)
- would the audio sync with the lowest supported number of channels of an output device connected to the Octava switch OR would it sync at 5.1 if the output being fed to the projector/av amp was the only one linked to the particular input being watched on the projector (i.e. is the lowest sync based on the devices connected to the switch or switched to that particular input)?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The more links in the HDMI signal path the more chance for HDCP and EDID hiccups.

As you say Optical or Coaxial wont support the uncompressed HD audio codecs - though optical from a BD is an improvement over optical from a DVD player.

You could include the AV Amp between the Matrix and the Projector - that way you could toggle the sources between 2.0 and 7.1/5.1 depending on where your viewing.

It might be simpler if you drop me a proposed wiring plan to have a look at.

Joe
 

Grimaldi

Established Member
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the reply. I didn't get a chance to do any wiring diagrams as spent the whole weekend drilling holes in walls and floors for the CAT6 cable.

I managed to shorten the distance between the AV cupboard and the projectors by turning the hall upstairs into something resembling swiss cheese, however it now means that a 7m HDMI cable can now be dragged to the AV cupboard.

I am now planning to use one of the outputs from the Octava and then split it into two:
- 7m high quality HDMI lead to projectors
- 10m lower quality HDMI lead to the AV amp (for audio only)

I figured that the lead to the AV amp does not need to be as good as I am only using it for audio, and the audio signal is much lower bandwidth than the video one - can anyone comment on whether the video signal is mixed with the video for transmission or whther it uses a specific TMDS pair within an HDMI cable?

Also, would a switch such as an Octava downgrade a signal coming from say a BD player to 2.0 even if:
a) all the output devices connected to the matrix are 5.1 capable
b) some 2.0 output devices are connected to the matrix but none of these are currently switched to the BD input
c) all the output devices switched to BD input on the matrix are 5.1 capable
d) or only if there is a device connected to the BD input which is only capable of 2.0 output

Thanks
 

suddee

Standard Member
hi guys, first post here, id like to deviate from the original question if possible.

ive ordered the 4x8 matrix, and will be connecting two sky hd boxes to it. my question is regarding a logitech harmony one remote. can i control both boxes through the cat6 receivers. also as i am looking to have 5 tvs to the device do i really need 5 harmony remotes.

i only ask about this as i think the harmony remote is shown to the octava promo youtube video

will let you know how the whole thing works
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The Octava HDMX48CAT-UK and HDMX44CAT-UK both have ‘Routed’ IR.

Say SKY+ HD was on Input 1 and a second SKY+ HD was on Input 2 you can control the two box’s independently from any of the Output Zones without having to do any ‘special’ programming of the programmable remote.

If you were in Zone A and select Source 1 only Source 1 receives the IR signals from Zone A.

In terms of the number and type of remotes some folk would go for Harmony or similar programmable units in all Zones others may have a Harmony in the main Zone and use the OEM remotes in other Zones.

Assuming SKY was you main concern you would want a SKY+ remote plus possibly an Octava remote in each zone (additional Octava remotes can be purchased as an accessory).

You may have some Zones where folk can view SKY but not change channels – so won’t require a SKY remote in that Zone.

It really depends on how you plan for you, the family and guest’s to use the system.

Joe
 

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