8x8 HDMI Distribution Switcher Comparison Chart - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-18-2010, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been doing a lot of research on HDMI distribution lately. I'm trying to find solutions that will work reliably with all of the HDCP/sync issues I've had in the past.

This chart includes info on 8x8 HDMI switchers manufactured by:
Crestron
Savant
Wyrestorm
RTCom
Purelink
ShinyBow
Atlona
Gefen
AMX
Extron
CE Labs
Siig
Avenview
JustAddPower

Here is the full comparison chart:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...RYWJiX1E&hl=en

If I've missed any 8x8 solutions, please let me know.

I was wondering if anyone has opinions on any of these pieces. I've heard the Crestron DM switchers work well, they are just very expensive. I do not have much hands on experience with these other ones.

All attempts at HDMI distribution in the past have resulted in various problems including the blinking video image, HDMI white static screens, or just plain blackness w/ no video.

Source <-> 8x8 switcher <-> TV
usually works ok

Source <-> Switcher <-> Amp <-> TV
does not usually work well.

When things don't work, switching back and fourth between sources, or powering everything down and starting over usually get it working again, but this causes lots of confusion and aggravation and is not wife friendly.

Does anyone around here have a combination of HDMI switcher, Amp, and TV that is known to work well with common sources (Apple TV, Song/LG Bluray player, cable boxes, Roku, etc)?

Some people have hinted that certain manufacturers have created HDMI switchers that can be tricked into a 'DVI mode' which eliminates the most of the common HDCP issues and would allow a Bluray DVD player with only 1 HDCP key to be sent to multiple displays. I've been unable to locate any real info on these due to the shady-ness of this solution. If someone 'in the know' can pm me about one of those, it would be appreciated. I don't want to duplicate copy protected content, i just want the system to work every time you select the source. Until then it's component video all the way...

Someone please help! Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
-Vince
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-18-2010, 01:29 PM
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Is Extron shipping their 8x8 yet ? Extron in the past has not supported the hdcp issues and is generally been mostly DVI (since they are commercial video). Dtrovision/purelink does is dvi masked as you mentioned. They are quite protective over how they are doing it. Good luck getting a piece from them as I haven't seen one from them in a production environment.

Not sure of the others, but the Crestron DM piece works, and works well. It isn't the lowest cost as the cards you need really ratchet up the price. It's also not the most end-user friendly - although very easy to use, it does need to be programmed by a crestron developer. That being said - it looks to work real well with hdmi/hdcp and hasn't really faltered. The advantage of the crestron piece is that its card based and you can run the outputs via cat cable or fiber to an end-box located a few to several hundred feet away. it's not just a "matrix switch" - its a matrix switch with a delivery mechanism. I have to say I'm actually impressed with the piece.

Gefen - I will /NEVER/ buy another gefen piece again. They have way too many issues and will not stand behind their product. I have 12 of their fiber optic HDMI extenders that were run pre-construction to handle hdmi, and after seeing constant sync issues between source and end point - their techs basically said "well these were designed to be in the wall". WHAT ? you build a product that was designed to extend hdmi 100-300 ft over fiber and you are suppose to lay this on the floor ? Well, basically all the units that were run are completely useless at a cost of over 12K. So, I will NEVER ever advocate using Gefen products as not only does it not work, their is no recourse with them.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-18-2010, 01:40 PM
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Here is a link to my postings regarding my Crestron DM 8x8 installation running over fibre.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-18-2010, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. I've added an 8x8 JustAddPower solution to the chart too.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 02:33 PM
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Thanks for posting this. It should make my life easier in the coming weeks.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-23-2010, 04:34 PM
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I have been doing this search as well and this chart helps out. What we need now is to start listing and real world experience with these and add the pros/cons to the spreadsheet. I too have heard of rumors of some switches tricking the source into think that the switcher is the display which eliminates alot of headaches. I have yet to see a real world example of this though.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-15-2010, 06:34 PM
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Any real world experience with any of these switches yet?
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-16-2010, 06:17 PM
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I wanted to mention that technically the Crestron Digital Media switcher could be used with any control system. A SIMPL program could be created that make it so the switch could be remotely controlled over IR, RS232, or IP.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-17-2010, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasamiller View Post

I wanted to mention that technically the Crestron Digital Media switcher could be used with any control system. A SIMPL program could be created that make it so the switch could be remotely controlled over IR, RS232, or IP.

Yes, but to do that, you'd have to have a Crestron processor anyway. Why not just go ahead and do control with that processor.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-17-2010, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasamiller View Post

I wanted to mention that technically the Crestron Digital Media switcher could be used with any control system. A SIMPL program could be created that make it so the switch could be remotely controlled over IR, RS232, or IP.

The DM systems (8x8, 16x16 & 32x32) do not have a IR or RS-232 port.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-05-2010, 11:39 AM
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Hi all,

What has your experience been with HDMI switching?

We recently got in an Integra 30.1, Integra 40.1, and Rotel RSX-1560 for testing. I have them hooked up to basic sources such as a LG DVD player and Apple TV via HDMI. The display is a brand new Samsung LED TV, also connected with premium quality short HDMI cables.

Switching from the DVD player to the Apple TV takes a painful 12-20 seconds where the apple tv image comes up for a second, freezes, then goes black, then has to resync and come back up.

This is completely unacceptable for our standards. Is this just the way it is? Are we using the wrong manufacturer's gear? Is this just a known problem with Apple's HDMI/HDCP implementation?

BTW, switching that same Apple TV on a Savant System 12 takes 1-2 seconds! Savant's switching speed beats anything I have tried so far. Unfortunately not every project has the budget for a System 12.

I am struggling to believe that this is as good as it gets with what I would consider to be 'high-end gear'. Solutions, suggestions, and workarounds appreciated.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-05-2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxHomeTech View Post

Hi all,

What has your experience been with HDMI switching?

We recently got in an Integra 30.1, Integra 40.1, and Rotel RSX-1560 for testing. I have them hooked up to basic sources such as a LG DVD player and Apple TV via HDMI. The display is a brand new Samsung LED TV, also connected with premium quality short HDMI cables.

Switching from the DVD player to the Apple TV takes a painful 12-20 seconds where the apple tv image comes up for a second, freezes, then goes black, then has to resync and come back up.

This is completely unacceptable for our standards. Is this just the way it is? Are we using the wrong manufacturer's gear? Is this just a known problem with Apple's HDMI/HDCP implementation?

BTW, switching that same Apple TV on a Savant System 12 takes 1-2 seconds! Savant's switching speed beats anything I have tried so far. Unfortunately not every project has the budget for a System 12.

I am struggling to believe that this is as good as it gets with what I would consider to be 'high-end gear'. Solutions, suggestions, and workarounds appreciated.

To answer your questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxHomeTech View Post

Is this just the way it is?

Short answer: Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxHomeTech View Post

Are we using the wrong manufacturer's gear?

No you are not. No matter what gear you use, unless it's a high end matrix switch like Crestron DM system, you will experience the same issues or sacrifice audio/video quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxHomeTech View Post

Is this just a known problem with Apple's HDMI/HDCP implementation?

This is not a problem with Apple or its HDMI/HDCP implementation. In short, what you are experiencing is the way HDMI/HDCP is suppose to/designed to work. Content protection rules over customer experience/satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxHomeTech View Post

I am struggling to believe that this is as good as it gets with what I would consider to be 'high-end gear'. Solutions, suggestions, and workarounds appreciated.

It is as good as it gets with out a high end solution.
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-08-2011, 02:14 PM
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Hello
I am looking for 8x8 hdmi matrix switcher with option to control it using iphone/ipod
any ideas?
Thanks
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceC View Post

I've been doing a lot of research on HDMI distribution lately. I'm trying to find solutions that will work reliably.

If I've missed any 8x8 solutions, please let me know.

The reports from the field still indicate that Crestron DM is still the gold standard, although even the most well executed DM installs still require some fine tuning to iron out issues.

Since this appears to be one of the best discussions of HDMI matrices on this site, I wanted to make you aware of two more for your list.

Zektor now has an 8x8.
I have notified Jeff at Zektor that this thread exists so that he can add info on their units. I know of a few of these that are installed now, so we can report back on real world experiences, including the sources and displays, whether the destinations are using native cabling or UTP/STP/Fiber extenders, and the approximated run lengths.

AutoPatch has an 8x8.
One caveat that I have heard from the field in regard to the AutoPatch units is that they will not pass the lossless audio codecs, only DD, DTS, and PCM.

Certified: Vantage InFusion, AMX A.C.E.
Lutron HomeWorks, Lutron RadioRa2 (Level 2)
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 09:26 PM
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