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Whole house video - HDMI over IP/CAT5

kryten

Established Member
OK, time for a major revamp of a/v stuff and remote control - not sure if this should be here or in DIY forum.

My pronto broke some time ago and I bought a Harmony900 as a replacement, but its RF performance is pathetic and doesn't work outside the living room, so I need another control mechanism.

Also, we're redoing Bed1 and Ensuite so will be putting a 40" TV in the bedroom and replacing the old 15" portable in the en-suite with a 22" widescreen. An RF feed and composite input won't look good on a 40" TV!

Sources are all in separate cabinets in living room (so I could RF control the SkyHD and Sky+ boxes separately):
SkyHD, Sky+, PopCorn Hour C200 (DVDs and BluRay) plus Games consoles: PS3, XBOX360, Wii.

Currently all the above sources have Video outputs connected into a Lumagen HDQ whose output feeds an Octavia HDMI splitter which then feeds the two display devices in the Living Room and I have profiles setup for 720p output (for Sony VPL60 Projector) or 1080p (for 40" Sony TV) on the Lumagen.

In addition, the composite output of SkyHD is fed into a Keene CAT5 system to send composite+audio over CAT5 and an aerial feed is looped through offering poor quality viewing of SkyHD or Sky+ elsewhere in the house.

All audio is fed into an Arcam AV9 - mostly using Optical/Co-ax (but no video so its Video switching is unused).

I also have a Sonos system for audio and am happy keeping that.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to watch any source elsewhere on any TV with the ability to remote control the source from that location.

However, I do NOT want to end up with a reduction in quality of the picture/audio on the main screens in the living room. Also, I could probably get away with viewing only the SkyHD/Sky+ and Popcorn at other locations though I really do need a way of controlling the SkyHD/Sky+ another way as the Harmony is useless.

My other zones are:
Conservatory - currently fed via Component from SkyHD box only (plus aerial) but the box is on its way out and most no longer have component output
Kitchen - Keene CAT5 only
Office - aerial only
Upstairs:
Bed1 - Keene CAT5 and aerial (SkyEye use to control SkyHD box using original remote)
En-suite - aerial only (audio fed to ceiling speaker)
Bed2 - aerial only (plus own Sky+ box)
Bed3 - no link - (own Sky+ box)

So, am open to suggestions on what to do. Getting additional CAT5 runs done is possible though we have recently decorated so won't be too popular (I guess a cable pulling system might be an option to help with that). I have ethernet everywhere and using managed Cisco switches in most locations (2960s) but I'm confused on how the HDMI over IP systems work.

I guess the entire upstairs could be fed as 'one' as we would rarely watch different things on those TVs - one of the CAT5 runs goes upstairs through the loft so I could feed a signal to the loft and split it there to distribute to the entire upstairs.

There are various AxB matrix switches about, but I'm worried about controlling them and the whole system being wife/kids friendly.

No fixed budget - am happy to pay out for a systems that works if it gives me a good quality picture and sound throughout the house, plus a working remote control from all rooms!

I'd prefer to install myself as I'm a fussy bugger and want to know how everything works if I need to change it, however I am really busy so might be looking for someone to do the install...
 

cjwood555

Established Member
If you can find the budget then the ideal system may be something like Crestron Prodigy with their new Digital Media system (HDBaseT matrix). Either that or Control 4 with e.g. Vision HD / Octava matrix switchers.

Prodigy or Control 4 would give you very user-friendly controls over such a system and both have reliable RF remotes.

But are you looking for an installed solution or something you can put together yourself?

Chris
 

kryten

Established Member
Well, my issue with an installed solution is that I like to know how its all setup and configured and if I decide there's a better way to do something once its in, I wouldn't want to wait for someone to come back and reprogram it.

However, I'm really busy so its an option - I need the new system in place (or at least the cabling for the en-suite/bedroom side) by mid-January.

Looking at Prodigy, it looked wireless though?

What's a likely figure for a Prodigy/Control4 system then?
 

cjwood555

Established Member
The Prodigy DM kit isn't due till next year so won't be around in time.

Control 4 wise, you be looking at:
1x Control 4 HC300
1x Component to HDMI converter (to get c4 gui into matrix)
1x Vision HD or Octava 8x8 hdmi->catx matrix
8x Matching receivers
?x SR150 remotes

Anywhere with surround you'd need to run optical or coax for audio from the sky box.

Depending on bits and bobs and how much installation work is required, anywhere from 10 to 20k, at a guess. Someone like Linx08 who is an experienced C4 dealer could probably give more accurate info.

Chris
 

Linx08

Established Member
Hiya,

A HC300 main controller would probably be the way to go it comes with an SR250 remote control and list price is £750 Plus vat. If you already have a Sonos system in place around the house for your music distribution you can interface this to Control 4 system with some third party software allowing full control of your Sonos system. This is a good way to keep your costs down as you don't need to buy the most expensive bit in a Control 4 system the multi channel amp. :)

I've seen good results with Connectivity UK's HD over IP system, it uses a managed switch and only needs one cat 5/6 cable to send the signal to each TV, but it is pricey. Again it can also be controlled directly from the Control 4 system.

The system can control all your AV equipment including TV's providing you can get or have got a cat 5 at each location to use for IR sending.

It uses Zigbee pro wireless to get its commands to the main HC300 and providing you have a good wireless network it should be ok. Its best to create a mesh netwrok with Zigbee repeaters, this is usually done with Control 4 light switches in each room not only can they control the lighting they also create a mesh network. But there are other ways of doing this, it really depends on the size of the property and where the equipment is located, etc.

SR250 remotes are £250 plus vat each, the system will do a huge amount for you and can be added to over time to include lighting and curtain/blind control, plus many other cool features.

All in all its a very flexible system that is easy to use and most importantly wife friendly. :smashin:

I hope this has given you a start in your thinking.

Check out Control 4's website as it has loads of information on there to let you know what and how it does everything.

Kind regards

Linx
 

Linx08

Established Member
Hi Chris,

The 7-inch is the only one available at the moment and its out the door at £935 plus vat, you need a back box which is about £13 too.

There is a 5-inch on the way, its very cool saw it at their head office earlier this year but its not available yet, my rep thinks it will be around £750 rrp but they haven't got a confirmed price yet. Good thing is they both mount onto the same back box so if you wanted to swap them over at a later date you just disconnect and away you go.

Cheers Linx
 

phil5366

Banned
Kryten,

Get Linx08 in to do the install for you, he knows his stuff and is very good.

Phil.
 

kryten

Established Member
OK, been absolutely manic with work setting up new office and totally forgot about this until the bedroom TV arrived earlier!

Having looked at how they work, I think I'll have to rule out doing it over IP - they work by putting each separate video signal on a separate VLAN so all are broadcasting all the time. However, the issue is that you seem to need to change the VLAN allocation ON THE ETHERNET SWITCH - I have Cisco switches so the delay in that isn't going to be family acceptable.

So I need to find a matrix solution. In reality, I could get away for now with just an HD solution to send SkyHD around the house (with IR control back to the main SkyHD box) with expansion options for other inputs later.

Going to add extra Sonos S5 for music (as that's easy!)

Suggestions of what definitely works and is available, erm, right now - not sure the new HDbaseT is freely available yet.

If anyone is available to install, right now, might be interested too... (subject to forum sponsor rules etc)
 

pipston

Established Member
as cj wood said earlier, id definitely recommend the VisionHD matrixes, they work with Control4 and are HDBASET ready so ticks all your boxes there. If you wanted to just use the matrix for now and add home automation at a later date u can get some cheap input selectors for the matrix (remote with 4 buttons for the 4 sources, which would be wife and kids friendly) and use the IR beads and IR feedback for getting your control back to the boxes...

if you wanted someone to come and take a look and give you a price for the work then id be happy to, Lime Green is a registered Control4 and Crestron Prodigy dealer.

You can get in touch with Lime Green here: email, telephone and address

thanks,

pip
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Octava are finalising its HDMI with HDbaseT (1.0) 4x8 and 4x4 Matrix solutions – the 4x8 is targeted for release late Feb/early March 2011.

Configuring the best feature set is a bit of a juggle with HDbaseT promising so much it’s tempting to add in features that end up pushing the cost too high for many folk!

The Octava Matrix will integrate with Control4 and other control gear via RS232.

With dual CAT5 (preferably CAT6) in place the Octava HDMI over Twisted pair are a good option and more affordable than the HDbaseT solutions and gives you routed IR for Source and Matrix control from each zone.

The Octava HDMX44CAT and HDMX48CAT units have just been upgraded with ‘always on’ HDMI and dual RJ45 ports (A, B, C and D on the 4x4 – A and B on the 4 x 8) and upgraded IR signals paths within the Matrix.

Joe
 

Member 515014

Standard Member
It would be worth looking at Vision HD. You can install it yourself and it will achieve most of what you want. Have a look here: Habitech Ltd - Vision HD. We've used this on several installations and its a really good solution. Also, if you wanted to replace your Pronto then its worth looking at Nevo, its quite different but very much of the same ilk.

Bryan
 

IMAB

Standard Member
Also, if you wanted to replace your Pronto then its worth looking at Nevo, its quite different but very much of the same ilk.

Bryan
Sadly UEI have ceased production of Nevo now, so unless you get one currently in the supply chain you will have to rule them out as well.

Pronto and Nevo both down, hope no more follow :(
 

kryten

Established Member
as cj wood said earlier, id definitely recommend the VisionHD matrixes, they work with Control4 and are HDBASET ready so ticks all your boxes there.

How are they HTBaseT ready? From all the online manuals I can find, they all need two CAT5e cables?!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor

kryten

Established Member
Looking at the pricing of the frame based units, I don't think I'll be going for one!

Seems for now I'm stuck with a 2xCAT5e matrix then. I've spent a while going over a possible layout - need to drill some holes to see if my guesses at where things connect is correct.

However, in drawing it out (is there an app that's any good for that? been using A4 and coloured pens!) I've found a couple of issues.

Firstly, I currently use a Lumagen VisionHDQ to scale/correct the various inputs in the lounge. Currently SkyHD (Input1) and PS3 (Input2) are connected as HDMI and I don't want to route them into the Matrix and then to the Lumagen and lose the per-input calibrations. Looking at the Octava, it does HDMI output on the first two, so could I connect TWO outputs from the Matrix to the Lumagen ie Output1->Input1 which is always SkyHD and Output2->Input2 which is always PS3??

Are there issues daisy-chaining outputs? I have two reasons for asking:

1) The output of the Lumagen goes into an Octava 1x2 HDMI distribution amp so I can feed one to the Lounge TV and the other to the Projector.
2) I (stupidly) only have one CAT5 in the kitchen and can't get a second to the TV - could I take the output of one zone back to HDMI and then use a stand-alone HDBaseT device (I see Octava do one) to push the signal to the kitchen only?
3) Can I use yet another 1x2 HDMI dist to get a ninth zone out of the x8 Matrix - if I double up connections into the Lumagen then I need another connection.

Erm, think that's it for now. Off outside to see if the allocated drill through point for 8xCAT5 is going to work...

Are any of the HDMI->Component converters still available? One zone only has a component feed and it would be a pain to do anything else.
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HDMI to YUV – were down to the HDFury2 where you need to connect an HDMI Source to an HD capable analogue only Display.

Octava HDMX48CAT-UK (Jan. 2011 and onwards)– Outputs A and B now have 'always on' HDMI and dual RJ45 sockets.

Cascading devices – it is possible to cascade 1x2 and HDbaseT units on the Output side of the Matrix.

Pen and Paper – along with a scanner I still find is the best option when doing lots of redesigns as you go through various iterations of your pans.

Joe
 
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kryten

Established Member
Octava HDMX48CAT-UK (Jan. 2011 and onwards)– Outputs A and B now have 'always on' HDMI and dual RJ45 sockets.

Ah, so they'll output on the HDMI and dual RJ45 simultaneously? Looks like I'll be needing the pens again ;)

Do you know (roughly) how much extra the HDBaseT products are likely to be when released? Whilst I need to cable now, it won't be completed until mid-Feb so not too far off.

I only have one location that _has_ to be fed by a single CAT5 so if they're going to be much more then an existing matrix plus one HDBaseT unit might be cheaper...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HDMI twisted pair Matrix – yes both HDMI and dual RJ45 now always active – keep in mind it'll be the same Source on the mirrored Zone outputs!

HDMI with HDbaseT Matrix – I suspect it's going to be double the price of the non HDbaseT unit. We're looking to add in a few other features (addressable RS232 on the In-room receivers, firmware updates over IP etc.)

Joe
 
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kryten

Established Member
Double - ouch! Does that go for the receivers too? I'll be needing six of those by the look of it.

Has anyone compared the two suggestions - Octava 4x8 and VisionHD 4x8?

It appears that the VisionHD is significantly more expensive but I can't see much difference in the capabilities/operation of them?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The HDbaseT Transmitter and Receiver chips are expensive so yes the In-room receivers will likely be a fair bit more than the current units; though again they will have enhanced functionality.

Joe
 

vex

Prominent Member
I have gone the HDMI Matrix and then convert them to HDBaseT to rescue a couple of client locations where they wanted to upgrade a couple of rooms to 3D Sky and BluRay.

Works really well. The stuff i used had HD, Netwroking and IR in both directions.

HTH

V.
 

Lentek

Established Member
I have gone the HDMI Matrix and then convert them to HDBaseT to rescue a couple of client locations where they wanted to upgrade a couple of rooms to 3D Sky and BluRay.

Works really well. The stuff i used had HD, Netwroking and IR in both directions.

Hi I'd be interested to know what kit you used as I'm looking setup something like this soon and can't afford to buy the wrong kit

Tnx
 

vex

Prominent Member
I have another one to do in a couple of weeks time, so let me install it and double check its function, control etc and I'll post again when I am certain on the configuration.

V.
 

Lentek

Established Member
I have another one to do in a couple of weeks time, so let me install it and double check its function, control etc and I'll post again when I am certain on the configuration.

V.

Cool thanks, but what hardware have you tried so far?

I'm particularly interested in the HDBaseT H/W
 

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