AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
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We use Crestron, AMX, and Extron in our company and at the moment Crestron is leading the pack as they are on, more or less, their 5th+ generation of HDMI matrixing. They have included a CEC capable engine for years, but offer remote extenders with RS232 control as HDMI CEC is pretty much worthless as it has been implemented.
It also gives you an all-in-one solution with a configurable chassis that currently runs up to 32x32 with reports of a 64x64 frame being out around the end of the year.
Things I like:
HDMI input card with integrated DSP so if you have analog stereo zones to feed, it can be fed from a HD audio source, into the HDMI matrix, and retain HD audio while simultaneously delivering a 2-channel downmix for the audio distribution.
Zero blanking as more displays, sources, etc. are turned on/off across the system. This is a huge issue with mid-grade and lower systems which will blank displays as HDCP is renegotiated. It is a non-issue in the Crestron, AMX, and Extron world.
Scaling receivers... In a 1080p world, there are still some lower resolution displays that pop up and the scaling receivers allow you to ensure an accepted resolution makes it to the final destination.
EDID management... If you don't know what this is, you should. In fact, for proper HDMI implementation across a top dollar installation, some level of EDID management is basically a must.
On top of that, they have a 3-year warranty on their stuff and have a history that is decades old with current support on products which are 10+ years old.
I swear by AMX and Extron as well, but at the moment, Crestron is just a step ahead of others.
They aren't inexpensive, but are similarly priced to the other top dogs (AMX/Extron).
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.