Which equip brand should I look at? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I want to find a distribution piece of hardware to put out a video source TV or movie to 4 TV's

I'll have a AVR running 5.1. (I didn't buy it yet)

I would like to have each point select it's own source is that possible or does it have to be the same as the HT room.

I saw stuff from $100 to $1000.

Can someone point me in the right direction.

Or suggest other ways to do it.
Jimbo2012 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 08:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 7,938
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 186 Post(s)
Liked: 360
You are looking for an "HDMI Matrix Switch". Probably a 4x4 (4 input, 4 output) model. There is a wide range of prices, many folks here have had success with the inexpensive models from Monoprice.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

jautor is offline  
post #3 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I see monoprice has models that range from about $150-$300, the one that's $150 looks like it will work on shorter runs so all I need to do is run an hdmi cable, the $300 for longer runs with cat 5/6.

Great, thanks
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #4 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 10:46 AM
Member
 
Vyrolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo2012 View Post

I see monoprice has models that range from about $150-$300, the one that's $150 looks like it will work on shorter runs so all I need to do is run an hdmi cable, the $300 for longer runs with cat 5/6.
There's a lot of potential caveats with the Monoprice switch. If you plan on using it's IR capabilities for control, note that it does not support dual-band IR which is a lot of devices these days. It's also known to be somewhat slow switching inputs (10+ seconds reported by some people). Some users have also reported a variety of syncing issues when multiple displays share inputs. Sometimes it can be out of sync enough that you just have to turn everything off and back on to get it work properly. Most problems can be worked around, but it depends on your pain threshold (and that of your family) to deal with such issues.

If we knew more about your system, what devices you have, and what goals you're trying to accomplish, we could probably give a lot more detailed info.
Vyrolan is offline  
post #5 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ok I'm building a new home so can prewire easily, I'm planning a 5.1 HT room.

I then want to have a TV and music in 4 other areas, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and outdoor porch.

The use is primarily just two adults and guests from time to time.

Not sure what other info you are seeking.
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #6 of 25 Old 11-04-2012, 07:43 PM
Senior Member
 
AceCannon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The most important consideration, IMHO, is to run plenty of wire while your walls are open.

I ran cat5e x 4 runs to my video locations (in addition to speaker wires) and am currently distributing video using an Extron 200 matrix switch and component video baluns over cat5e. Excellent HD quality.

But HDMI can also be run over cat5e/6, as I'm sure you know. At some point I suspect I will switch to HDMI, but it is still $$ and erratic. I'll stick with component video for now. Works great.

My biggest regrets from my new home build (we've been in the house 3 years now) include not running cat5e to some additional locations where I now want to locate displays. I.e. a projector in the mancave, video signal to the MAME to dual-purpose it for football Saturdays, etc.

I heard someone say cat5e/6 is the Swiss army knife of wiring. So true. I am using it for all sorts of stuff including security, audio, video, 12v DC devices. . .
AceCannon is offline  
post #7 of 25 Old 11-04-2012, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
All my runs will be less than 50', I read if that's the case the HDMI cables are fine. Agree?
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #8 of 25 Old 11-04-2012, 08:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 7,938
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 186 Post(s)
Liked: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo2012 View Post

All my runs will be less than 50', I read if that's the case the HDMI cables are fine. Agree?

No. Runs lots of cat5e/cat6 instead. Even 25' HDMI runs can be an issue, but more importantly, we don't know what will replace HDMI in a few years. What is more likely is that whatever we'll use for A/V distribution, it will either be something that runs native on category cable (like 1Gb Ethernet), or something that will be adaptable to it - because it's already installed in millions of homes...

If you really want to run HDMI, go ahead, but run at least 2 category cables along with it. I'd recommend a minimum of 3 cat5e/cat6 runs per display location, and skip HDMI cables altogether.

Jeff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

jautor is offline  
post #9 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 03:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Depending on your budget, you may want to install 1.5 inch empty conduit to your display locations, to help futureproof. But, 2-3 category cables would probably suffice.

I have a feeling, like jautor, that most video will be distributed over Ethernet, in 10 years.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #10 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I can run the conduit easy,

But if I run the cat wire it needs to plug each end into a converter to go cat/ HDMI right?

Any suggestion on wall plate exit boxes near each TV?

Looking at the Monoprice switch there have been issues with it, what other brands without breaking the bank are worth looking at?
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #11 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 10:19 AM
Member
 
Vyrolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AceCannon View Post

I ran cat5e x 4 runs to my video locations (in addition to speaker wires)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Runs lots of cat5e/cat6 instead. ... I'd recommend a minimum of 3 cat5e/cat6 runs per display location, and skip HDMI cables altogether.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

But, 2-3 category cables would probably suffice.
Overwhelmingly agree...quoting for emphasis. In a totally new construction, I'd probably go crazy and run like 6 cat6 cables everywhere. As AceCannon said, it's literally a swiss army knife and you can use it for pretty much anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo2012 View Post

Any suggestion on wall plate exit boxes near each TV?
Monoprice and some others sell wall plate extenders...they're pretty good. However, most matrix switches also support cat5/6 extension built in...so cat5/6 comes straight out of the matrix switch and there's just a receiver at the TV that converts it back to HDMI. They're small boxes so can easily and cleanly be mounted behind the TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo2012 View Post

Looking at the Monoprice switch there have been issues with it, what other brands without breaking the bank are worth looking at?
When it comes to matrix switches, "you get what you pay for" is pretty true. The Octava 4x4 is pretty good and not too expensive (but it is compared to Monoprice). It supports full resolution and 3d...also has cat5/6 extension built-in...also has IR routing. The SnapAV 4x4 is also good...it does the video and IR on a single cable (the octava needs two). It's dealer-only though so can be difficult to find as a DIYer. I don't know of any good ones beyond that which aren't getting into the crazy expensive range...
Vyrolan is offline  
post #12 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 10:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79







Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #13 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 10:29 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79
search terms for those wall plates: cable, pass through, wall plate, nose, scoop, brush

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #14 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyrolan View Post

Overwhelmingly agree...quoting for emphasis. In a totally new construction, I'd probably go crazy and run like 6 cat6 cables everywhere. As AceCannon said, it's literally a swiss army knife and you can use it for pretty much anything.
Monoprice and some others sell wall plate extenders...they're pretty good. However, most matrix switches also support cat5/6 extension built in...so cat5/6 comes straight out of the matrix switch and there's just a receiver at the TV that converts it back to HDMI. They're small boxes so can easily and cleanly be mounted behind the TV.
When it comes to matrix switches, "you get what you pay for" is pretty true. The Octava 4x4 is pretty good and not too expensive (but it is compared to Monoprice). It supports full resolution and 3d...also has cat5/6 extension built-in...also has IR routing. The SnapAV 4x4 is also good...it does the video and IR on a single cable (the octava needs two). It's dealer-only though so can be difficult to find as a DIYer. I don't know of any good ones beyond that which aren't getting into the crazy expensive range...

The Octava 4x4 is $1400 that's a big difference to $160 for a Monoprice. (unless I'm looking at the wrong one)

Surprised there's nothing in between?????

I'll take the advice and run the Cat 6's, the wall plates above are perfect nice and clean.
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #15 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 11:24 AM
Advanced Member
 
Gerry S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 504
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
After weighing everything I decided to forego HDMI and get a component video matrix. I got a 6x4 on EBAY very cheap (no one bid on it). There were others out there too for about $100. Lots of cables to run with component (since I currently dont have any baluns) but I think it was a good trade-off for me.
Gerry S is offline  
post #16 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 11:36 AM
Member
 
Vyrolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo2012 View Post

The Octava 4x4 is $1400 that's a big difference to $160 for a Monoprice. (unless I'm looking at the wrong one)

Surprised there's nothing in between?????

Well, the Monoprice one that had built-in extenders I think was 300 (here)....but yea I agree that's still a big difference. Unfortunately I don't really know of anything in between. Do note that there is a decent difference in quality between the them. You're getting dual-band IR support (the single-band on the Monoprice is nearly worthless IMO), Power Over Cable (no need for another power outlet at the TV), faster switching, fewer sync issues, and better EDID handling (the true fun of HDMI matrixing).
Vyrolan is offline  
post #17 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 11:37 AM
Member
 
Vyrolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry S View Post

After weighing everything I decided to forego HDMI and get a component video matrix. I got a 6x4 on EBAY very cheap (no one bid on it). There were others out there too for about $100. Lots of cables to run with component (since I currently dont have any baluns) but I think it was a good trade-off for me.
Gerry makes a good point...if all your sources support it, component switching is much cheaper and more reliable than HDMI.
Vyrolan is offline  
post #18 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 11:46 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Keep the future in mind - prewire accordingly. Install category cables (and maybe empty conduit) to the display locations.

Retrofitting cables can be an expensive PITA.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #19 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Your next Blu Ray player won't have component outputs, new AppleTV doesn't have component outputs. Future HD broadcasts may only be visible in standard def over component. Some Blu Ray discs will play at SD over component.

Distributed component video's days are numbered; maybe 2 years, may be 10, but I'd definitely run additional cables as backup, if they will be difficult to add later.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #20 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Jimbo2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I can get into the attic to run additional cables thru the conduit that will be accessible

I see a bunch of units on Ebay but don't know what the hell I'm looking for????

Just looking this over I think I can use 2 inputs and 4 outputs, 2X4 rather than 4X4
Jimbo2012 is offline  
post #21 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 05:05 PM
Senior Member
 
AceCannon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11



I have these installed at my display locations and am quite happy with them.

Search for "dual voltage" and maybe "three gang". Carlon.
AceCannon is offline  
post #22 of 25 Old 11-05-2012, 08:40 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 79
I wish I installed a scoop behind my last TV install. More difficult to make changes, with keystones.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is online now  
post #23 of 25 Old 11-06-2012, 06:45 AM
Member
 
Vyrolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AceCannon View Post


I have these installed at my display locations and am quite happy with them.
Search for "dual voltage" and maybe "three gang". Carlon.
As an aside, when doing these yourself, make sure you check on local codes about power. I've also seen some of these that are generically multi-gang but designed for all of them to be low voltage and it would be a bad idea to put power there. Depending on where you live and your level of knowledge, it may or may not be a big deal.
Vyrolan is offline  
post #24 of 25 Old 11-06-2012, 08:39 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 7,938
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 186 Post(s)
Liked: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyrolan View Post

As an aside, when doing these yourself, make sure you check on local codes about power. I've also seen some of these that are generically multi-gang but designed for all of them to be low voltage and it would be a bad idea to put power there. Depending on where you live and your level of knowledge, it may or may not be a big deal.

Good point - and it's easy to tell which ones are designed for both low-volt and line voltage. The line voltage area will be an enclosed box (as opposed to an open-back ring), and any box may have a divider to separate a double-gang area into a line-voltage and low-voltage half...

Both Carlon and Arlington Industries make the correct products for this application. I'd go with a 3 or 4-gang box if possible, it give a lot more room behind the display. Just make sure the whole plate will be hidden by the display.

Jeff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

jautor is offline  
post #25 of 25 Old 11-06-2012, 10:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
Gerry S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 504
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Your next Blu Ray player won't have component outputs, new AppleTV doesn't have component outputs. Future HD broadcasts may only be visible in standard def over component. Some Blu Ray discs will play at SD over component.
Distributed component video's days are numbered; maybe 2 years, may be 10, but I'd definitely run additional cables as backup, if they will be difficult to add later.

All true. The fact that it is a dying technology is what makes the switches affordable if you are installing on a shoestring budget. You just have to decide if the trade-off works for you.

There are still some blu-ray players available for purchase with comp out if yours does not already have it. In addition to component, I am also running an additional coax cable and two CAT-6 cables to each end point.
Gerry S is offline  
Reply Home A/V Distribution

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off