Official Audio Authority AVAtrix Q&A Thread (AVX-661 and AVX-561) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 504 Old 02-15-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I have started this thread to provide a unified location in which to locate discussion, Q and A, and information about the Audio Authority AVAtrix.

For those of you who do not know, my name is Trent Davis, and I am an Account Manager for Audio Authority Corp. I have been posting on AVS for several months, with the intent of answering questions about Audio Authority products and other issues that relate to our company.

I will monitor this thread for questions, suggestions, problems, and other random AVAtrix-related thoughts.

I have avoided creating an official AVAtrix thread until now because of the potential perception that it would be using this technical forum as a sales channel. However, there are now dozens of separate threads including information about the AVAtrix, and posters are demanding a unified location in which to talk about the product, so I feel it is warranted. Please do respect forum rules, however, by NOT posting any sales-related messages under this topic.

If you have suggestions for Q&A topics, please PM me. Please note that (unfortunately ) posting on AVS Forum is not my primary job responsibility, so if you have immediate questions or pressing issues, please email me at tdavis@audioauthority.com.

Reference Information:

AVAtrix and MainLobby Thread

Firmware Version Change Log - Information on what changes are made in each Firmware revision.

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post #2 of 504 Old 02-15-2007, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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How many inputs and outputs does the AVAtrix have?
The standard AVAtrix packages can support 6 inputs and 7 outputs (6 wallplate outputs, and one "local" output on the main device).

So what if I need more than six outputs?
Using expanders (Model 1176), the AVAtrix can support up to 6 inputs and 37 outputs (36 wallplates, and 1 local output). To handle more than 3 1176 units, you will need a Model 802-568 Bus Cable as well.

How many Cat 5 cables need to be run to each wallplate?
The AVAtrix requires two Cat 5 cables per wallplate. This is because of the wide compliment of signal types supported on the AVAtrix system.

Can I use just one Cat 5 with the AVAtrix?
In short, no. Though theoretically it could be achieved, using a single Cat-5 with the system would void the system's warranty, and could cause damage. Also, not all signals could be transmitted over a single Cat 5.

Can I/should I use Cat-6 instead of Cat 5e?
The AVAtrix does not use Ethernet, so there is no real benefit of using the higher-speed data cabling standard of Cat 6. It will not impede the system's performance, but it won't help either.

Will Audio Authority be introducing an HDMI version of the AVAtrix?
It is possible - however, HDMI is still such a challenging format from a distribution perspective, and there are so many difficulties preventing significant distribution ranges with HDMI, that an HDMI AVAtrix isn't a very feasible product at this time.

I don't like the stainless steel, dual-gang wallplates. Do you have another receiver I can use instead?
A single-gang, decora-style plate (Model 9879), and a "breakout box" that can be surface mounted, hidden in a wall, etc. (Model 9880) are now available.

What Control Methods Do You Recommend for the AVAtrix?
The following are companies we are aware of, that have our codes in their databases:
  • Control4
  • Cinemar's MainLobby
  • Universal Remote Co.
  • Logitech Harmony
Our enclosed IR remote can be used to program any brand of learning remote. We publish our serial command database for RS232 control near the back of the manual.

What's the deal with DVI on the AVX-661? Can DVI or HDMI inputs be distributed to the component video wallplates?
The DVI switching capabilities of the AVAtrix (more accurately, of the 1166 device that makes up part of the AVAtrix head-end) are limited to the "local" output of the 1166. HDMI and DVI signals are very difficult to transmit over long distances, and Cat 5 solutions for doing so are generally ethernet, which would add a new complexity and much higher cost to the system.

Component video, which provides virtually identical (and sometimes superior, depending on the application) picture than DVI or HDMI is much easier to transmit over Cat 5, while achieving long distances.

A main concern with converting DVI to Component is that most DVI (and all HDMI) sources are HDCP encrypted. Converting a digital, copy-protected signal to an unprotected analog output like component is explicitly illegal. Making the opposite conversion is okay, but once encrypted, content must stay protected.

Where is the AVAtrix manufactured? Where do you ship from?
The AVAtrix is manufactured in Lexington, Kentucky, in the United States of America. We build, engineer, ship, and answer the phone in Lexington.

Does the AVAtrix convert audio signals to other audio formats?
The AVAtrix cross-converts digital optical and digital coaxial signals, but does not convert analog audio to digital audio, or vice versa.

Is the AVAtrix rack mountable? Are rack mount ears included?
The AVAtrix is rack mountable in a standard 19-inch AV Rack. Rack ears are NOT included, and can be purchased separately. An AVAtrix system requires (1) 1191, and (1) 1192 rack ear set. One additional 1191 is required for each 1176 or 1172 added to the system.

How can I connect a whole-house audio system to the AVAtrix?
By utilizing the Model 1172 Audio Interface, you can use a third-party whole house audio system, or dedicated AV receivers with the AVAtrix.

I want to send IR commands from the equipment closet out to the rooms through the AVAtrix's IR network. How?
The 1109 IR Injector allows the three wires that are used for the AVAtrix's IR network to be utilized for sending IR either to or from the wallplate locations. However, utilizing this IR Injector prevents signal from reaching the AVAtrix's internal IR network, meaning the IR routing capabilities of the AVAtrix cannot be utilized.

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post #3 of 504 Old 02-16-2007, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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More Q&A to come.

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post #4 of 504 Old 02-21-2007, 10:58 AM
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Trent,

Thanks for starting the Q&A thread in the AVS Forum.

I'm preparing to move into my new house and am very interested in AV distribution but have very little knowledge about the subject.

These are my display devices:

Projector and 50" plasma in great room
43" plasma in the master bedroom
26" LCD in the office

These are my sources:

D-VHS player
Directv HD DVR
Blu-Ray player
HD-DVD (XBox 360)

What Audio Authority product would you recommend for this setup?

Thanks
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post #5 of 504 Old 02-21-2007, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like the AVAtrix would be almost perfect for you - your display devices all seem to be HD compatible, and your sources are all component based, so you won't need any converters.

You could use our 9870 product for some savings in cost, but you would only watch a single source at a time, and would need to add a switcher in front of the driver units.

Either the AVX-661 or AVX-561 would fit your needs and provide six source inputs and six remote outputs, plus the local output, so you'd have room for future expansion. You could watch any source in any room, without interfering with what someone is watching on another TV.

Trent

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post #6 of 504 Old 02-23-2007, 08:43 PM
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Does the wiring have to be CAT5e or will standard CAT5 work as well?

Jay
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post #7 of 504 Old 02-26-2007, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwin838 View Post

Does the wiring have to be CAT5e or will standard CAT5 work as well?

Jay

Either should work, but we recommend Cat-5e. It's pretty hard to find standard Cat 5 these days, and the cost difference is typically negligible.

Trent

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post #8 of 504 Old 02-26-2007, 07:41 PM
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The reason why I was asking, is that my house had structured wiring installed 5 years ago and I believe they used standard CAT-5.
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post #9 of 504 Old 02-27-2007, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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You should have nothing to worry about - the system isn't ethernet based, so data speed rating of the cable isn't as important.

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post #10 of 504 Old 03-04-2007, 09:49 AM
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Can I control my AV equipement through the IR from the wall plate?
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post #11 of 504 Old 03-04-2007, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flapbreaker View Post

Can I control my AV equipement through the IR from the wall plate?


Do your research on this site. You'll see (as I have) that not all brands of IR components work.
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post #12 of 504 Old 03-04-2007, 11:02 AM
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I placed an order last week for a avx-661 from smarthome.com and they are on back order until mid-April. Is there still a product shortage?
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post #13 of 504 Old 03-05-2007, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flapbreaker View Post

Can I control my AV equipement through the IR from the wall plate?

Hello,

Yes - using the 1108 IR routing system and IR receivers and emitters (not included), you can control the AVAtrix and your individual source devices.

Trent

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post #14 of 504 Old 03-05-2007, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emillika View Post

I placed an order last week for a avx-661 from smarthome.com and they are on back order until mid-April. Is there still a product shortage?

AVAtrix orders placed directly with Audio Authority are generally shipping within a week of order placement. Our shipments to online resellers like SmartHome are no different. The product is still extremely popular (it's growing, really), but production is spun up to the point that we're staying even with the tide, all while continuing to build in the USA.

Trent

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post #15 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 09:47 PM
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I have a regular Series 2 Tivo that has S-Video out ( I think it also has composite but..). I also have an AVATrix 561.
What I'm looking for is the cheapest way to get the Tivo connected. I need an s-video to component converter but I'm hoping not have to pay more than the tivo is worth to get there!
I've seen a couple of upconverters around the $200 mark, but is it possible to do it for less? I'm assuming there's not way to convert the signal passively, given the lack of obvious links to cables.

Also, I have a question regarding the audio going through the system.
I thought that the 561 would convert my digital coax or fiber so it also came out the stereo ports (as just stereo) but it appears not.
So, if I connect a coax AND and left-right audio to the same input, will both those signals go over the wallplate?
Or, have I got something switched around and should all the audio outputs be avaliable regardless of what I plugged into the source ports?

Overall I love the system (I'm still trying to get my channelvision IR's fixed!) I've just these couple of 'old parts' connection issues to solve and it'll be perfect!
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post #16 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foriegnbody View Post

I have a regular Series 2 Tivo that has S-Video out ( I think it also has composite but..). I also have an AVATrix 561.
What I'm looking for is the cheapest way to get the Tivo connected. I need an s-video to component converter but I'm hoping not have to pay more than the tivo is worth to get there!
I've seen a couple of upconverters around the $200 mark, but is it possible to do it for less? I'm assuming there's not way to convert the signal passively, given the lack of obvious links to cables.

Also, I have a question regarding the audio going through the system.
I thought that the 561 would convert my digital coax or fiber so it also came out the stereo ports (as just stereo) but it appears not.
So, if I connect a coax AND and left-right audio to the same input, will both those signals go over the wallplate?
Or, have I got something switched around and should all the audio outputs be avaliable regardless of what I plugged into the source ports?

Overall I love the system (I'm still trying to get my channelvision IR's fixed!) I've just these couple of 'old parts' connection issues to solve and it'll be perfect!

I've got a cheap ($135 last year) upconverting dvd recorder that I am planning to use for my SD DirecTiVo when I finally get everything setup. It will take the S-Video and convert it to component. I will rarely use this as a DVD player/recorder, but that will always be an option.

I imagine if you look hard enough you will be able to find something like this for less $ 1 year later.

Murray
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post #17 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 10:17 PM
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I need to post 5 messages to send links, but I found some interesting cables
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post #18 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 10:19 PM
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So I'm sorry for the multiple posts.

I found an S-Video to Scart, and then a Scart to Component.
Assuming the s-video to scart is component video not rgb, just how crap would this solution be?!

for the price of the 2 cables, something like 30 bucks it's tempting to try them out unless someone who knows more about this than me (which isn't hard!) can shoot this solution out the water?!
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post #19 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 10:19 PM
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Murray, I think otherwise you're correct - I guess I need to find the cheapest upconverting *black box* that I put inline. It seems that kind of recorder is cheaper than AA and others dedicated upconverting boxes.
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post #20 of 504 Old 03-06-2007, 10:19 PM
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here are the links to the cables:

I found this: http://www.svideo.com/svideoscart.html to get s-video to scart
and this: http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tv...RGB-SCART.html
to get scart to component
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post #21 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, a passive converstion, whether from s-video to SCART to Component, or otherwise, is not going to work - an active transcoder is needed.

The S-Video signal is a Y/C signal - luminance and modulated chrominance. A component video signal is YPbPr - Luminance, sync, Blue, and Red. No passive cable can achieve such a conversion.

Trent

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post #22 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foriegnbody View Post

Also, I have a question regarding the audio going through the system. I thought that the 561 would convert my digital coax or fiber so it also came out the stereo ports (as just stereo) but it appears not.
So, if I connect a coax AND and left-right audio to the same input, will both those signals go over the wallplate?
Or, have I got something switched around and should all the audio outputs be avaliable regardless of what I plugged into the source ports?

Trent,

This seems like a really good question that hasn't been answered yet.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

John
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post #23 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jkseger View Post

Trent,

This seems like a really good question that hasn't been answered yet.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

John

Hi everybody,

The AVAtrix cross-converts digital audio to either Toslink or digital coax, but it does not convert to or from analog audio. That's actually a fairly complicated process, because it would require the ability to decode Dolby and DTS streams and reencode them as analog signals. I'll add this question to the Q&A.

Trent

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post #24 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 11:19 AM
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Trent,do ALL the signals go over the cat5 though?
if I have coax AND left-right connected to input 1 on the 561 and the outputs of the wallplate connected , coax to a 5.1 system and l/r audio to tv speakers (for example) would both audio controllers reciever their input?

if not, if I have both coax and l/r connected at the wallpate, input 1 taking coax and input 2 taking l/r in when I switch between inputs, will the wallplate outputs work correctly?

I guess I'm asking if the wallplate will output the correct audio regardless of the fact that ALL outputs go to something.
I'll have to deal with switching my 5.1 system between coax input and standard l/r audio as I switch between digital and non-digital inputs.
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post #25 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 11:26 AM
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Trent, thanks for the heads up on the s-video to component. in PM's with Murray it looks like I'll go for the same upconverting dvd that he uses (the samsung DVD R-130). Seems like a cheap solution to the problem if you check on ebay ;-)
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post #26 of 504 Old 03-07-2007, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foriegnbody View Post

Trent,do ALL the signals go over the cat5 though?
if I have coax AND left-right connected to input 1 on the 561 and the outputs of the wallplate connected , coax to a 5.1 system and l/r audio to tv speakers (for example) would both audio controllers reciever their input?

if not, if I have both coax and l/r connected at the wallpate, input 1 taking coax and input 2 taking l/r in when I switch between inputs, will the wallplate outputs work correctly?

I guess I'm asking if the wallplate will output the correct audio regardless of the fact that ALL outputs go to something.
I'll have to deal with switching my 5.1 system between coax input and standard l/r audio as I switch between digital and non-digital inputs.

Yes, component video, digital audio, and analog audio are all active at the same time over the Cat 5 (assuming they're all connected on the head end).

You can use both sets of audio outputs simultaneously without a problem.

Trent

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post #27 of 504 Old 03-13-2007, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Authority View Post

I don't like the stainless steel, dual-gang wallplates. Do you have another receiver I can use instead?
Around April, Audio Authority expects to release two new "receivers" to be used in addition to, or instead of, the current 9878 wallplate. They will be a single-gang, decora-compatible plate, and a "breakout box" that can be surface mounted, hidden in a wall, etc.

Any word on these?
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post #28 of 504 Old 03-14-2007, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I saw a first article of the 9880 and the 9879 yesterday, so that means we're progressing - no updates on a release date, though.

Trent

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post #29 of 504 Old 03-22-2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Authority View Post

Hello,

Yes - using the 1108 IR routing system and IR receivers and emitters (not included), you can control the AVAtrix and your individual source devices.

Trent

Any recommendations on IR receivers and emitters as far as manufacturers go?
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post #30 of 504 Old 03-23-2007, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flapbreaker View Post

Any recommendations on IR receivers and emitters as far as manufacturers go?

We have had good success with Xantech's IR receivers, especially the 291-xx series. We've also had reports of Niles receivers (without the feedback wire) working nicely.

The most compatible receivers seem to be ones that don't demodulate and then remodulate the signal upon receiving it, and instead just pass it on through to our system.

Trent

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