AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
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There is certainly a lot to think about and, unfortunately, pricing is still fairly high.
I've looked into it and the Gefen Tookbox 8x8 HDMI matrix is about $1,700 online.
Add to that up to 8 local sources and some HDMI cables (cheap).
Then each remote TV location can get a direct HDMI cable if the distance is okay and you can run a cable.
Or, add up to 8 HDBaseT extenders from Monoprice for $200 a pop.
It's $1,600 to get 8 TV destinations, plus the $1,700 but it's still a fair bit less expensive than any integrated system I've seen so far and leaves you the versatility to change out your switcher or replace extenders as necessary.
I will say, as negative as I feel about some kludgy solution using a bunch of A/V receivers, it certainly may get away from the lowest common denominator issue, provides amplification to all in-ceiling/in-wall speakers, and gives up to 16 zones of audio amplification for what may have ended up being a fair price overall for all that would have been involved.
Still, the headaches that exist with HDMI make me worry more for your sanity than anything else. I feel, rather strongly, that you would have found the whole setup to be nothing short of a major disaster.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.