HDMI Matrix Switch - Why is this so complicated???? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So, if the reading I have been doing is correct the situation is thus:

When using an hdmi matrix switch:
  1. The sources will see only the least common denominator capabilities of the sinks
  2. If a non 3D sink is connected, none of the sources will think 3D is possible
  3. Cheap matrixes provide no EDID spoofing
  4. Expensive matrices will have built in spoofing, but this may result in a source trying to send incompatable signals to a sink
  5. Why is this so effing complicated?!?!?

Essentially what I would like is a matrix that never tries to output a source to two sinks simultaneously, so I don't need least common denominator semantics for the EDID, I just want it to act as if I physically detached the cables from the devices and rerouted them. Why should this be so complicated? Shouldn't the matrix connect input A with output B and then let them handshake?

Isn't all this LCD EDID stuff predicated on the (in my case, false) assumption that we will need to output one source to two sinks simultaneously? I just want a box that will let me connect a set of 4 devices to either one tv or the other, but not one source to both simultaneously.

I can very easily achieve this manually by rerouting the cables by hand every time I want something different on each tv, but shouldn't there be a little black box that does this for me?

As I understand it, even the expensive matrices will result in a source sometimes trying to send signals that a sink can't understand. Or is there one that goes: Oh, you are trying to connect A to B, I know what is the correct EDID to use in this instance! That would be grand.

-Graham
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post #2 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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On a related note, anyone know of ANY matrix switch that only does least common denominator for the EDIDs if you output one source to 2 sinks simultaneously and o/w just reports the exact EDID of the routed sink?

Is the problem here that the manufacturers don't want to bake in the functionality to have each input port report a different EDID depending on how the routing is configured?
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post #3 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_graham View Post

So, if the reading I have been doing is correct the situation is thus:

When using an hdmi matrix switch:
  1. The sources will see only the least common denominator capabilities of the sinks
  2. If a non 3D sink is connected, none of the sources will think 3D is possible
  3. Cheap matrixes provide no EDID spoofing
  4. Expensive matrices will have built in spoofing, but this may result in a source trying to send incompatable signals to a sink
  5. Why is this so effing complicated?!?!?

Essentially what I would like is a matrix that never tries to output a source to two sinks simultaneously, so I don't need least common denominator semantics for the EDID, I just want it to act as if I physically detached the cables from the devices and rerouted them. Why should this be so complicated? Shouldn't the matrix connect input A with output B and then let them handshake?

Isn't all this LCD EDID stuff predicated on the (in my case, false) assumption that we will need to output one source to two sinks simultaneously? I just want a box that will let me connect a set of 4 devices to either one tv or the other, but not one source to both simultaneously. Even if you switch one source between two TVs, there is eventually a small amount of time where that source is going to two TVs during ths switching.

I can very easily achieve this manually by rerouting the cables by hand every time I want something different on each tv, but shouldn't there be a little black box that does this for me?

As I understand it, even the expensive matrices will result in a source sometimes trying to send signals that a sink can't understand. Or is there one that goes: Oh, you are trying to connect A to B, I know what is the correct EDID to use in this instance! That would be grand.

-Graham

Easy question - it is so complicated because HDMI is only capable of sending one video and one audio signal at the same time over a single HDMI cable. So, the designers tried to make a very rigid standard that only permitted the most compatible signal to be sent. Remember multi-drops was not HDMI's original goal - protecting the uncompressed content was the original goal.

And, no matter how many sources and sinks you have on a switch, they all have to ready to accept the signal.

Switch manufacturers are usually at the mercy of the chipset's they use to implement the HDMI switching. It again goes back to how many people would want the capability?
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post #4 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 12:29 PM
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HDMI is built on a standard for connecting a monitor to a computer. Everything else was just tacked onto it. That should explain everything.
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post #5 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any good solution though for something that emulates physical level wire switching? I have two wires coming out of the switch and at least two wires going in. If I never want a signal going into the switch to be broadcast on both wires coming out simultaneously than I don't need the switch to downlevel the incoming signals to match the capability of ALL the output devices.

It should be possible to have two separate channels through the switch with separate capabilities so that it can properly emulate what would happen if I moved all the cables around by hand.

The only reason I can see for doing any of this least common denominator stuff is that most matrix switches let you ouput one source on multiple outgoing wires simultaneously. This is a nice to have, but really I'd just like to, at any given time, select which device I'd like to connect to which screen, and not broadcast a single signal to both (the TVs are both in the same room, so there is little reason to do this).

But, from what I can tell, there is no good way to do this if one of the sinks is 3D and one is non 3D. And even with an expensive EDID spoofing switch, it could end up tricking my PS3 into sending 3d content to my 2D device, which may not behave gracefully.

Isn't there any device that supports mechanical level 4x2 switching (but has IR)? All this business of the switch being a repeater and allowing for multicast is just getting in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish.

The only solution I've been able to come up with so far is to just put a darn port saving cable on all the devices and swap the cables around by hand when necessary, which is so inelegant it kinda makes me want to puke. I guess another solution would be to buy a second 3d TV to make sure all of my output devices have the same caps. But I don't think that really falls into the "solution" category....

Pretty frustrated
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post #6 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Unfortunately in this case, that is the way the standard was specified. I know of no mechanical HDMI switch that can also be switched with IR. With a constantly switching EDID, I have seen source units hang-up, which may be one reason you don't see your scheme implemented.

I'm confused about one thing - why wouldn't a matrix switch that forces 3D mode EDID work with the two TVs? It will run you upwards of $200, but the 2D TV should just report back that it has an invalid signal.
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post #7 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well for starters, I'd rather not spend 200+ on the switch, but it seems I may have to.

My concern is this scenario. Let me know if this is a realistic fear or not. I haven't tried out any of these switches in person, I'm just trying to determine feasibility based on reading reviews and tech details.

Input devices:
PS3
Cable box
XBox
PC

Output devices:
3D TV
Non-3D TV

So if I got a switch with EDID spoofing, or an HDMI Detective I could fool the PS3 and the cable box into thinking that all the sinks are 3D capable. This should allow them to direct 3D content to the 3D TV, but what about when I want to direct them to the Non-3D TV? Will they send an incompatible signal and I just get a blank screen on the non-3D TV? Or will they only try to send a 3D signal if I'm trying to play 3D content (on the wrong device).

I'm unsure of the protocol. Will the PS3 go: "Ok, you can accept 3D content, confirm that for me, will ya, though I'm not going to send you any, just yet." And then hang up if the answer is no?

Essentially I just want a smooth way of directing the content from any of the 4 devices to any of the 2 sinks, and be able to display 3D content from the 3D sources only to the 3D sinks (obviously) when required. And I want to do this without having to physically walk to the switch and reset it or remove any cables running to the non-3D sink.

With something that operated at the physical transport level, this doesn't seem like it would be complicated, but from what you are telling me all HDMI matrix switches operate at the HDMI protocol level (rather than the wire level) and all obey the laws in the HDMI spec that add up to being a big headache, requiring expensive EDID fakery. That right?
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post #8 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 02:11 PM
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you can easily "tested" your "theory" on how difficult your "dream" is at the "physical layer". Buy a cheap mechanical hdmi switch, (4X1 forget the remote part), plug in a few "things" to the inputs and in all likely hood only one output. Try switching from a 720p source to a 1080p source and see what happens. Yep the "wires" may be connected / switched but there is a bit more to it than that... especially IF you understand "high speed transmission constraints" and the HDMI protocol. You might even get lucky and will work. Take switch apart and look at the switches.... remember you aren't playing with just 2 wires. Now try and figure out how to make a manual 4X2 "matrix".... good luck... and make it work all the time. :-) It certainly ain't going to happen for $50... you will be lucky if it will happen for $200 as a "sellable product".
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post #9 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you implying that the devices won't re-handshake if the wires are disconnected and reconnected? I haven't perceived this behavior before when hot swapping a cable between devices that are on before.

And I don't mean the device needs to be mechanical, I just want it to work at wired switching equivalence level rather than being something more fancy that broadcasts on all or some outputs at once.

Do many devices have issues with their wire being hotswapped between sinks?
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post #10 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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If so that would help explain to me why all these switches need this kind of always on behavior where they are pretending to one side that only one sink exists and pretending to the other that only one source exists...

Because o/w that seems needlessly complicated.
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post #11 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_graham View Post

Well for starters, I'd rather not spend 200+ on the switch, but it seems I may have to.

My concern is this scenario. Let me know if this is a realistic fear or not. I haven't tried out any of these switches in person, I'm just trying to determine feasibility based on reading reviews and tech details.

Input devices:
PS3
Cable box
XBox
PC

Output devices:
3D TV
Non-3D TV

So if I got a switch with EDID spoofing, or an HDMI Detective I could fool the PS3 and the cable box into thinking that all the sinks are 3D capable. This should allow them to direct 3D content to the 3D TV, but what about when I want to direct them to the Non-3D TV? Will they send an incompatible signal and I just get a blank screen on the non-3D TV? Or will they only try to send a 3D signal if I'm trying to play 3D content (on the wrong device).

I'm unsure of the protocol. Will the PS3 go: "Ok, you can accept 3D content, confirm that for me, will ya, though I'm not going to send you any, just yet." And then hang up if the answer is no?

Essentially I just want a smooth way of directing the content from any of the 4 devices to any of the 2 sinks, and be able to display 3D content from the 3D sources only to the 3D sinks (obviously) when required. And I want to do this without having to physically walk to the switch and reset it or remove any cables running to the non-3D sink.

With something that operated at the physical transport level, this doesn't seem like it would be complicated, but from what you are telling me all HDMI matrix switches operate at the HDMI protocol level (rather than the wire level) and all obey the laws in the HDMI spec that add up to being a big headache, requiring expensive EDID fakery. That right?

Looks at these in terms of what the device "sees". The PS3 sees a 3D TV since you've changed the EDID going to it. It has no idea who did that or if the EDID had been changed. Now if you send it an invalid EDID, then you might have trouble.

The TVs just send out their normal EDID, so they don't know anything has happened. When they get an HDMI signal that they don't recognize, the TVs are supposed to report an invalid signal.

Of course, how well each device handles that is up to how well the firmware programming was implemented. The PS3 seems pretty bullet-proof to me.

My method for solving your problem short-term on a 4x2 switch was to just leave the 2D TV disconnected when watching 3D programming. The longer term solution was to have only 3D TVs hooked up to the switch.
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post #12 of 143 Old 01-03-2012, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice guys
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post #13 of 143 Old 01-04-2012, 08:36 PM
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I used the new binary 4x4 with 2 tv's and 6 sources. Yes, used a switch to split one input between a few sources. One source is a MacBook pro, then sat receivers with hd, cable box with hd, ps3, and 3d blue ray. It works extremely well for being a lower priced matrix. 3d works great now that both tv's are 3d capable. Before we added the second one, we had to turn 3d off on blue ray cause it freaked out the non 3d tv. But these are the reasons I so dislike hdmi.
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post #14 of 143 Old 01-04-2012, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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what about AVRs that can output on multiple outputs simultaneously? Do they, in general have the same lowest common denominator behavior? Presumeably they already modifying the EDID to announce the audio formats they support.
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post #15 of 143 Old 01-05-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_graham View Post

what about AVRs that can output on multiple outputs simultaneously? Do they, in general have the same lowest common denominator behavior? Presumeably they already modifying the EDID to announce the audio formats they support.

The new 3d tv we added runs thru pioneer elite receiver first. We upgraded the receiver to the new elite that's 3d capable. Once we did that we had zero issues.
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post #16 of 143 Old 01-11-2012, 02:02 PM
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HDMI matrix switches are a pain, but I've found something that works for me.

Here's my situation. I only use one output at a time.

Inputs
Cable box (1080i)
PS3 (1080i & 1080p)

Outputs
LCD (1080i)
Projector (1080p)

I use a powered 4x2 matrix switch and basically it allows me to send any one input to any one output. I don't do any special EDID spoofing. I've confirmed that while the switch will use the lowest common denominator when using multiple outputs, when I use only the Projector and turn off the TV, the switch will not detect the TV and will send a 1080p signal. This is similar to your 3D vs. non-3D situation.

I discovered that the cable box is always passively "on" and really screws things up. Sometimes after watching the cable box, you can't switch to the PS3 because the switch gets stuck on the cable box signal. Best way I can explain it. I learned that the switch applies a preference on inputs when multiple are "on". To help the situation the PS3 is on Input 2 and the Cablebox on Input 3. This seems to help. So when both the PS3 and the cablebox is "on" the PS3 will be the winning input. If I turn off the PS3, the cablebox is the winning input. If that makes sense.

The other accommodation I had to make was that I manually switch the PS3 from 1080p to 1080i when I turn off my projector. That way when I watch TV, I can use the PS3. Otherwise, the PS3 will send a 1080p signal to my TV and will not display.

It's a pain, but it is better than manually switching cables and works 95% of the time. There are still some WTH! moments.

You may have to buy and try to see if it is really going to work for your situation. If you have amazon prime, that's a good option for picking up a switch and returning if it doesn't work out for you. Good luck!
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post #17 of 143 Old 01-11-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_graham View Post

what about AVRs that can output on multiple outputs simultaneously? Do they, in general have the same lowest common denominator behavior?

yes, they do...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #18 of 143 Old 01-11-2012, 05:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_graham View Post

what about AVRs that can output on multiple outputs simultaneously? Do they, in general have the same lowest common denominator behavior? Presumeably they already modifying the EDID to announce the audio formats they support.

Right - so, the AVR has to understand the EDID coming from the sink well enough that it can properly modify it and then send the modified version to the sources. That's the reason (I believe) you see so many AVR firmware updates that "fix" HDMI issues. If the AVR doesn't read the EDID correctly or modify it properly, the HDMI I/O stops working. A firmware update would fix something like that.
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post #19 of 143 Old 01-12-2013, 11:12 AM
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I use a Gefen HDMI detective to fool a splitter as I'm sending Multi PCM to the receiver (it does not do TrueHD etc) and to a JVC RS40 projector, otherwise the minute the splitter see's the PJ is downgrades the audio to stereo.

http://www.amazon.com/Gefen-EXT-HDMI-EDIDP-HDmi-Detective-Plus/dp/B001RIMZUW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358017818&sr=8-1&keywords=gefen+hdmi+detective
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post #20 of 143 Old 01-12-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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The problem with that, of course, is then your TV gets audio it can't decode. It's exactly why the EDID is included. It is a valid way to force a particular format.
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post #21 of 143 Old 01-12-2013, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

The problem with that, of course, is then your TV gets audio it can't decode. It's exactly why the EDID is included. It is a valid way to force a particular format.

Ah, yes true...In my case I'm going from a switch to a splitter which goes out to the PJ and the Denon.
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post #22 of 143 Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 AM
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And (until now) you haven’t even touched on HDCP eek.gif

Getting your Sources to auto detect the ‘active’ Sink is a bit of a lottery – some combinations of Source and Display will work the way you would want via some Switch gear, many wont!

Making a Matrix work like a two channel Switch which won’t ever let you select the same Source to both Sink’s becomes a functionality of your Control system – you set ‘rules’ within the Control system which won’t allow you to send some Sources to multiple Sink’s simultaneously.

Keep in mind too that it’s the Sink which initiates the various handshakes so once you shift some of the functionality to the Matrix things can get complicated!

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post #23 of 143 Old 01-21-2013, 07:13 AM
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I have been really trying to understand all of this.....


My recievr (Pioneer VSX 917V) has two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. This has worked fine for me for just a way to get HDMI to my TV but now that I have a new Projector (Optoma HD33) that recieves an HDMI signal, I wanted to have a way to have a choice between TV (Vizio VL 470M) or Projector so I bought a cheap powerHDMI Splitterter of of Amazon and thought this would do it for me.... NOT!!!!

Instantly, I could tell that the picture was washed out. I always thought that digital, was digital, was digital, was digital....Also they picture would turn purpleish if one device was on before another... If I bypass the Pinoneer (AVR), then the picture would seem ok coming from the splitter but if I go into the Pioneer then the splitter, things get a little funky so I thought hmmm, there has to be something that allows you to switch from muiltiple HDMI inputs to two simutaneous outputs?.....

My needs are a little greater than this because I would also prefer something that extracts that digital audio signal from the HDMI cable and send it to my reciever via optical or spdif for each HDMI input.

I am from the Professiona Audio World and this stuff seems like a comman request. I love my reciever becuase it sounds freaking awesome but, I cannot keep going back and switching cables just to choose between TV or Projector! If I am going to pay +$200 for a switch, I would rather upgrade my AVR that can do it all.

So I was gothisto buy this device because it seemed like EVERYTHING that was on my wishlist but I wanted to check with the very knowledable people over her at AVS! What do youViewHD Premium 3D HDMI 4x2 Matrix v1.3 for HD 1080P with SPDIF Digital Surround or Hi-Fi Stereo Audio Output Audio Output
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post #24 of 143 Old 01-21-2013, 08:36 AM
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I have been down a bunch of these roads to, without spending a bunch on money on matrix switches. My system worked fine by using HDMI form the Direct DVR to the 3D set and component to the non 3D set on the other side of the wall, until the HBO's started with the copyright protection. We were redoing a lot of things in that end of the place so I pulled out the component cable and replaced with a HDMI and a matrix switch from Monoprice. worked great until 3D. I was needing to place a set in my shop so I got a new 3D thinking that would work, one matrix switch with 1 sources, 2 outputs and both the same make of 3D would work but no. Went back to Monprice and found a 2 way 3D compatible splitter for about 40 bucks and that works. Ran into a great deal on a blue ray 3D player, and some months back I got a little 3 X 1 switch of ebay for 5 bucks with shipping from china just to see what it is so I tried it out with input 1 from the direct box and input 3 from blue ray, out put to splitter. It works and is automatic staying on 1 until the next source turns on. Turns out the best 5 bucks I ever spent.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Switcher-Splitter-1080P-Splitter-Audio-Switch-Hub-for-HDTV-PS3-HD-DVD-/261158730904?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3cce45fc98
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post #25 of 143 Old 01-21-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
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I have been down a bunch of these roads to, without spending a bunch on money on matrix switches. My system worked fine by using HDMI form the Direct DVR to the 3D set and component to the non 3D set on the other side of the wall, until the HBO's started with the copyright protection. We were redoing a lot of things in that end of the place so I pulled out the component cable and replaced with a HDMI and a matrix switch from Monoprice. worked great until 3D. I was needing to place a set in my shop so I got a new 3D thinking that would work, one matrix switch with 1 sources, 2 outputs and both the same make of 3D would work but no. Went back to Monprice and found a 2 way 3D compatible splitter for about 40 bucks and that works. Ran into a great deal on a blue ray 3D player, and some months back I got a little 3 X 1 switch of ebay for 5 bucks with shipping from china just to see what it is so I tried it out with input 1 from the direct box and input 3 from blue ray, out put to splitter. It works and is automatic staying on 1 until the next source turns on. Turns out the best 5 bucks I ever spent.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Switcher-Splitter-1080P-Splitter-Audio-Switch-Hub-for-HDTV-PS3-HD-DVD-/261158730904?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3cce45fc98

Only thing is, this does not solve the two output problem....
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post

Only thing is, this does not solve the two output problem....

If you mean by "two output problem" that the unit only has one output, that's because it is a simple switcher.

If you mean by "two output problem" that there is no way to send independant HDMI signals to two different displays, you would need a matrix switcher (more money).

If however, you mean by "two output problem" that because you hook up a 3D and a non-3D TV together, you only get a non-3D signal, then that is by design in the HDMI spec. The intent is that no source can send out a signal that cannot be successfully received by a sink (TV in my example). As long as HDMI only allows one audio and one video stream at a time, that will always be a limitation. Unless one display gets an invalid signal (which is outside of the spec), there is no way to work around that.
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post #27 of 143 Old 01-22-2013, 08:11 AM
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'there is no way to work around that.' - you can create a 'workaround' if the system owner understands the 'limitation' they are putting in place and will be happy that when they want to view 3D on their 3D-enabled Display they will received a garbled image or an 'image out of range' message on the non-3D compatible Display if they select the 3D enabled Source.

If you can 'shift' the EDID the Source receives to within the Matrix and set the Matrix to a 'forced' 3D EDID mode you can create the above workaround – it may not suit everyone but does the trick for lots of folk with a mix of New and ‘legacy’ Display gear.

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Joe, yes but my intent was to show that even if you provide a workaround, one TV doesn't get a picture that is desired. If you want 3D and don't change the EDID, then the 3D TV won't get 3D. If you change the EDID, then the non-3D TV doesn't get a picture. As you said, there are trade-offs.
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post #29 of 143 Old 01-22-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

'there is no way to work around that.' - you can create a 'workaround' if the system owner understands the 'limitation' they are putting in place and will be happy that when they want to view 3D on their 3D-enabled Display they will received a garbled image or an 'image out of range' message on the non-3D compatible Display if they select the 3D enabled Source.

If you can 'shift' the EDID the Source receives to within the Matrix and set the Matrix to a 'forced' 3D EDID mode you can create the above workaround – it may not suit everyone but does the trick for lots of folk with a mix of New and ‘legacy’ Display gear.

Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Joe, yes but my intent was to show that even if you provide a workaround, one TV doesn't get a picture that is desired. If you want 3D and don't change the EDID, then the 3D TV won't get 3D. If you change the EDID, then the non-3D TV doesn't get a picture. As you said, there are trade-offs.
.[/quote]

As long as I can receive the 3D signal on the 3D capable projector, I don't care if my TV can't read the signal, truthfully, it doesn't have to be on at all! I just want to be able to have the ability to switch from multiple HDMI sources, extract the multichannel audio and send it to spdif or optical and output the HDMI signal to two sources all at the same time. After reading further, it appears that the Matrix box I listed earlier will do this but will not send the same source signal to two displays at the same time. It appears that it will only do 2 sources to 2 separate outputs at a time. frown.gif I am even ok with this because my projector screen will be pulled down over my TV so I can only watch one a time anyway but would still like the ability to have both "sinks" display the same 2D information.

Any recommendations for a device like this?
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post #30 of 143 Old 01-22-2013, 01:29 PM
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I thought this an interesting read on the unit I listed above. It turns out that it is a 4x1 and 1x2 matrix. It will do two separate 4x1 switching or one 1x2 splitter. It will also extract the 5.1 audio from the HDMI source and send it spdif in 5.1 mode via channel out A. They have a prosumer version of it that I will be buying and will report my finding here for all but I believe this is the unit that I have been looking for and answers the OP original request. And it's under $100!!!!


You can view the comment here:

How Audio Works in this ViewHD 4X2 Matrix

Since there are multiple negative reviews having difficulties understanding how audio works in this ViewHD 4x2 Matrix unit, this writing is to explain the technical story behind and the right way to use this product regarding audio in particular.

HDMI splitter, switcher, and matrix, ...etc, do NOT change audio format; 2CH audio comes in, 2CH audio goes out; 5.1CH comes in, 5.1CH goes out. It is the video source unit decides what audio format it will pick to send out. How does video source know what audio format is good? It is the audio code in the EDID (please google EDID to understand what is EDID) memory chip placed at the HDMI inputs of your display units. It tells video source the acceptable audio format that it can take, so video source will send audio in the correct format for your TV to have sound.

Most TVs can only take 2CH stereo sound, so in order to use your receiver to get 5.1CH surround sound from the SPDIF output of this ViewHD matrix, the audio EDID from TV has to be hacked to tell the video source to send audio in 5.1CH instead of 2CH. We use this ViewHD matrix to intercept the EDID code from the TV, modify it then send to the video source, this is what the "audio" button on the remote does. Every push of that button will switch the audio EDID between 2CH and 5.1CH.

The optical / SPDIF audio outupt has the same audio copy of the audio in output A. The audio for output B is still carried by the HDMI cable from output B.

Now, how do you know whether you are in 2CH mode or 5.1CH mode, there comes the "reset" button on the unit, the unit will always be set to "2CH" mode after reset.

When the matrix is in 2CH mode, it will tell all the video sources connected to this matrix to send audio in 2CH; when matrix is in 5.1CH mode, it will also tell all video sources that it can support 5.1CH audio. The video sources should ALWAYS send the highest audio and video formats if they are supported, so as long as the source material has 5.1CH audio content, it will send audio in 5.1CH. But if the source content does NOT have 5.1CH, it will still send 2CH audio even if the matrix asks for 5.1CH.

Because the matrix has two outputs, so this special 5.1CH surround sound supporting feature has its consequence. In 5.1CH mode, you can get the 5.1CH audio from the SPDIF output to go to your receiver, but if you also use output B to go to a TV, but if that TV can't take 5.1CH audio, then you will not get sound. Because there is no way to tell the video sources to send 2CH to get to output B and send 5.1CH to get to output A, (also, at any time, the video source unit will only send audio in one format, not both) so if you need to use both output A and output B AT THE SAME TIME, and one of them can't take 5.1CH audio, then you can't have sound for both, to solve this problem, you have to return to the 2CH mode. Just use that audio / reset button to solve this problem. (Please don't complain about this if you want to enjoy surround sound.)

Also, the 3.5mm stereo analog audio output can only have sound if the audio format coming into the matrix is 2CH, it WILL NOT have sound if the audio is in 5.1CH format. The SPDIF output will always have sound, identical to the audio coming into the matrix, either in 5.1CH or 2CH.

So, if someone complains that the matrix only pass 2CH sound, and couldn't get 5.1CH or the other way, their complains / reviews are completely wrong. Becasue these units don't have the capability to modify audio format, they simply pass. If somebody gets 2CH audio, that is because the audio coming into the matrix is 2CH. If someone complains of no audio, it is because the speaker unit doesn't understand the incoming audio format, so it can't produce sound (assuming video source does send audio). Always use that "reset" button to RESET this unit if you don't get audio, then go from there.

Regarding more advanced audio formats, such as Dolby TrueHD, HDMI output has the bandwidth capability to carry them, but the SPDIF optical audio does NOT have sufficient bandwidth to support Dolby TrueHD bit rate. This apply to all SPDIF optical link on earth. Most Blu-ray DVD allows user to select available audio formats, so if you want to enjoy Dolby TrueHD, you can use HDMI output B to connect to a AV receiver if output A goes to the TV directly in a 1x2 splitter setup; in this case, HDMI output B becomes the audio output port to get the most advanced audio formats, which the SPDIF can't support.

+++++++

About Video:

For 3D application, unless both the TVs connected to output A and output B are 3D capable, then please do NOT share the same 3D video source; if you do, the 3D video source will not send video in 3D. So, if someone complains that he doesn't get 3D video, and only gets 2D video instead, and blame this unit not passing 3D content, it is incorrect. Because this matrix can not modify the incoming 3D content and convert it to 2D, it is the video source senses a 2D TV out there, and it will not send video in 3D, because if it does, that 2D TV will not have picture. This is HDMI protocol. Please do not complain. Appreciate it, because it offers the best compatibility.

This is why all HDMI matrixes are designed to not have the smart switching / jumping feature (found in HDMI swtich); any input can go to any output, so that user can assgn the 3D TV to a 3D source and AT THE SAME TIME assign the other 2D TV to another input, to not interfere with the 3D input (even if the only active input is the 3D input).

4x2 Matrix can be used as a 4x1 switcher, in this case, every output picks different input, there should not be any problem in this operation. But 4x2 matrix can also be used as 1x2 splitter, when it is in splitter mode, both outputs share the same input signal, in this mode, switching speed is determined by the HDMI protocol processing time of the video source unit.

About the 1x2 splitter mode, it is when one display is switched to join the other display to share the same input: for example, output A is on input 2, and output B is on input 3, then output B switches to input 2 as well, in this move, the matrix is now working in 1x2 mode, as both displays are sharing input 2.

In some random and rare cases (depends on display units and video source compatibility tolerance, timing overlaps), one of the two displays may not have video, this is because during the switching window, one of the displays did not send its EDID info to the matrix in time, which misleads the matrix to believe that the display is in off mode, so it will not send video to that display (power saving feature); the simple fix is to push the remote button / selection again. For example, if both output A and B are sharing input 2, and output A does not have video after the switching, just push the input A2 button for output A once more, this will fix it, as it tells the matrix that output A needs to be on.

To reduce compatibility related issues, it is always better to connect output A to the newer TV (1080P) and output B to the older TV (1080i).

No reset is needed.

Hope this can reduce the numbers of negative and misleading reviews.

Thank you for reading.

This entire writing above is copyrighted by J&R Galaxies, and we never, do not and will not manufacture fake positive reviews anywhere.

+++++++++++++

For the best HDMI 4x2 Matrix on the market, please check the following item:

ViewHD Prosumer 3D HDMI 4x2 True Matrix Full Size Metal Jacket Construction (The BEST HDMI 4x2 Matrix on the Market!)

Why it is the best?

1) Full size, with all the input / output / power / audio connection placed on the back panel, makes your setup and entertainment center look much better.
2) Its 3.5mm audio output for headphone applicaiton is a true amplified output
3) Its SPDIF auido output uses higher grade, newer ICs, delivers higher fidelity audio output
4) It has a much better, more functional and easier to use remote control
5) Comes with other advanced features, such as the supporting features for remote extender and RS232 control
6) Prosumer grade product at unbeatable price! Nothing else comes close in price, feature and quality.

========== Copyrighted by J& R Galaxies ====

The SPDIF link supports 5.1CH audio to a receiver ONLY if the HDMI output of the matrix is NOT connected to the receiver.

The right way to get the right sound is

1) Only the SPDIF output goes to the audio receiver, and the HDMI output goes to TVs

or

2) Use the HDMI output to get the audio if the HDMI output goes to the receiver

If you have both HDMI output and the SPDIF go to the receiver at the same time, the SPDIF output will be stereo, and the audio in HDMI will be whatever the audio format sent by the source unit. Show Less
HDMI answered on December 6, 2012
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