Leaf Audio HDBaseT HDMI Matrix Switches for Control4 and Crestron - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-07-2013, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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For anyone who hasn't heard of us, Leaf Audio is a manufacturer or HDBaseT HDMI Matrix switches. Until recently, we have been available exclusively in North America through Control4 distribution. We've had great success here and a number of dealers who only use our products now and their go-to HDMI matrix pieces. If you haven't used out product before, and would like help with system design, please contact me and I'll be happy to help.

We are in the process of releasing a Crestron driver for our product line. This will enable our Crestron dealers to have a less expensive alternative to the DigitalMedia piece. If you are a Crestron dealer, and would like more info. Please contact me.

We'll be at InfoComm 2013 next week in Orlando. Come see us and our product in booth 1891!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-10-2013, 03:42 PM
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Can you send me a quote for a 4x4 and a 6x6 matrix? How does it compare to the Monoprice 4x4 HDMI Matrix?

AI Limited
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-10-2013, 05:30 PM
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We are installing your 20x20 matrix this week or next! It will be our first experience with Leaf. I'm looking forward to it.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-11-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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To AI Limited,

Please email us with your name, dealership name, and contact info. We'd love to give you a quote and fill you in on our product.

Email dwebb@leafaudio.com

Thanks
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-11-2013, 05:19 PM
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If these products work well, then great, but I certainly have a few issues that come up to me immediately...

Looking at the LTHDMI88...

1. The front of the unit has connections on it - this means that the front AND the rear of the unit requires cabling to be coming out of it. Make it 1RU taller if you need more space, but I'm not going to stick this in any equipment rack that I can imagine. At a basic level, it completely destroys the aesthetics of a quality rack. More significantly, client's like messing around with cables when things aren't working, and those cables hanging right off the front are an invitation for trouble in the system.

2. Not a standard IEC power cord - for no obvious reason. Well, not an internal power supply, which likely means a large external wall wart that must be placed somewhere in the rack, and then a proprietary power cord/supply which must be dealt with.

3. All receivers require local power without PoE or power of HD-Base-T as an option.

4. IR out on the receivers use a 1/8" jack, which means that a custom length IR cable will have to be custom made instead of using standard phoenix type connectors.

5. In the same context, the RS-232 output is using a RJ45 type connector instead of a standard DB9 type connection. Not very standard.

6. Do the actual receiver units have screen printing on them to indicate what the LED lights represent?

I like several things... Local HDMI input is great.
The control inputs are great - RS 232, IR, w/Ethernet on every channel along with both S/PDIF and HDMI audio local insertion.

I certainly wouldn't compare this to a DM product, which offers local audio de-embedding, downmixing capabilities, and a ton of other functions which are extremely unique in any format, but especially in their card frame format - but they cost a ton of money and are not necessarily appropriate for all jobs.

Of course, the inability to deal with multi-channel audio and analog audio or stereo audio simultaneously is a huge issue in the residential market, but you guys certainly aren't unique in not dealing with this well.

What is not shown (with this product) is the switching speed, need to blank displays as new connections are made, etc. This has been a huge issue as well, but may or may not be something you guys have addressed.

I've used AMX, Extron, Gefen, PureLink, and Crestron, and at this time the Crestron gear has proven the most reliable and functional in our systems. We continue to try new products, but the first issue with the front connections really is a deal killer IMO for commercial use. We have enough problems with client's touching things they shouldn't without giving them a free pass to do so right up front. smile.gif

cshepard - Please let us know how it goes!

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-18-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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To AV Integrated:

I'll be happy to go through your point 1 by 1.

1. The reason we put outputs on the front of our unit was that we found it testing, it performed better when the HDMI inputs and HDBaseT output were on the same board. While this may be esthetically inconvenient, it is functionally helpful. We understand that clients tinker with things, and that some racks need to be "showy" so we created a recessed rack kit. This adds 1U to the unit and recessed it a couple inches behind a nice, brushed, faceplate. Here is a link to one http://www.leafaudio.com/product_details.php?prodID=90. It should keep the client's fingers at bay!

2. Our competitors units seem to take up quite a bit of rack space. Especially the DM from Crestron. We understand that rack space is valuable and wanted to make our product as small as possible. That necessitated an external power supply. Also, in the event that a surge knocks out your power supply. An external piece is easy to swap out. As far as how universal our power cord is, The pigtail that plugs into our power supply is as universal as it gets in this industry.

3. Our receivers do require local power. We have found that when producing line-powered units, the functionality becomes less reliable. This may change in the future depending on demand. But for now, like many other baluns, ours has to be plugged in.

4. We went with a mini jack because we found that's what most of our dealers preferred. Also the reliability of using a factory cable instead of something made in the field factored into it as well.

5. We opted to use the RJ45 connection for serial pass through for several reasons. One, not may people were using that feature, and it saved on the cost of the unit as a whole to use RJ45 instead. Two, the space required to house that many DB9 connections on the back would have require adding another rack unit to the piece. We wanted to keep the unit small. RJ45 to DB9 adapters are readily and cheaply available online. You can purchase only as many as you need as well. Much less expensive than paying for DB9s on every unit.

6. We don't have screen printing to decipher the LED Status lights. Its definitely something we could do in the future if we get sufficient dealer feedback. I will pass that along, it seems like a great suggestion.

To answer the question of blanking displays, it isn't necessary to turn off or blank displays while making new connections. We typically just have the dealers unplug our unit while making new connections. We want to avoid "hot" plugging wherever possible.

Thanks for your interest in our product. We appreciate all feedback we can get, good or bad! This helps us create better and better solutions for our integrators. Thank you.
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