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octava 4x4 matrix with cat5/6

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I' going to pull the trigger on this component, Is there someone who is already using it, any issue or is it working flawless? tks Marco
post #2 of 47
I know there's someone else using that matrix switcher. I am about 4-5 months out from having a new house, and the Octava switcher is on my "to buy" list. If you get it up and running I hope you do update this thread with your feedback of it.
post #3 of 47
I've used Octava products before and I am very satisfied. If I ever get sick and tired of my Monoprice matrix I will probably upgrade to this. Their customer support is good to.

I know this doesn't help with the question you asked, but I am confident their matrix switch is good, based on past experiences from them.
post #4 of 47
I have had an Octava 4x4 HDMI Cat5 matrix for several months now (got it right when they first offered it back in September I believe).

My setup is as follows:

Inputs 1 & 2: DirecTV HD DVRs
Input 3: Popcorn Hour C200

Output 1: Yamaha receiver feeding 5.1 surround speaker setup and Panny P54V10 plasma
Output 2: Pioneer-PDP 4270 plasma (TV speakers only)

Will be adding TVs sometime in the future, so the additional outputs are there when I get to them and I still have space for one more D* box if need be.

Okay, that's the setup... how does it work?

In a word, GREAT.

Basically, it's been plug and play since the get-go. I have 2 CAT6 running to each of the TV locations for video use (plus a couple of other CAT runs for network and IR use). All of the source equipment is consolidated in the basement. Since I'm using CAT6 runs from this consolidated space, I did need to purchase an extra Transmitter unit from Octava so that I could keep the receiver in the basement. My runs end up as follows:

Switch Output 1 >HDMI Cable>AVR>TX Balun>CAT6>RX Balun>HDMI Cable>TV
Switch Output 2 >CAT6>RX Balun>HDMI Cable>TV

The CAT6 runs are about 50' and 80-100' in length and I've had no picture issues whatsoever. Changing sources is practically instantaneous (less than a second) and unlike the Monoprice switch this replaced, changing sources does not cause ALL displays to go blank. With audio - again no real issues. I have a 5.1 system in the family room and just the regular TV audio out in the bedroom. No issues playing any source in either place or the same source in both at once.

You can set each output to use EITHER (not both unfortunately) the HDMI output or the CAT5/6 outputs simply by holding the output switch on the front down for a few seconds - it toggles between CAT/HDMI mode. In addition, there is a set of dipswitches to control EDID functionality, but since I haven't had to do anything with them, I can't really comment on how well they work.

The matrix includes IR passthrough functionality, but I can't really comment on it as I haven't been using it. Since each piece of my equipment has distinct IR codes, I've got a simple Xantech IR distribution system with a connecting block pulling in remote IR from around the house via Dinky Links and transmitting those signals on to the sources.

Speaking of IR though - the IR control is pretty bog standard... although a LOT better than the Monoprice units (they seem to have rather weak IR sensors). I set up everything to use my Harmony One and it works great. One thing to note if using the Harmony software; IIRC, it did find the switch in its database, but the codes it used for the sources didn't work for me. So I manually taught each command into the Harmony (all 8 or 9 of them!) and had each activity perform the desired two-command operation as appropriate (e.g. Display 2, Source 1 etc.) No additional changes for interkey delays etc. were required and the remote works great in activity mode. In Device mode, the Harmony can be a bit picky making sure you click the Display button and then the Source button in a short enough time, but it's rare that I have to do that so I'm not too concerned. Eventually, I'll move everything to RS232 control and it's good to know that Octava have this covered too, including an RS232 port on the unit.

Octava are VERY helpful indeed and I've had several e-mail conversations with them discussing the best ways to set up the equipment I have and also just talking about HDMI issues etc. in general. Definitely a company that likes to look after their customers.

Bottom line is that for a mid-range switch and relatively new equipment, this has worked great for me. I haven't tried hooking up the Blu-ray player yet and probably won't since I use the Popcorn Hour for movies etc., so you might want to check with Octava themselves to see if they have any recommendations along those lines (I hear some BD players are quite painful to integrate into HDMI matrix setups). All in all, I'd recommend this setup to anyone interested. If you don't need the CAT5/6 functionality, they also offer a cheaper (~$499) 4x4 HDMI only matrix which I would presume handles the switching duties as well as this one.

UPDATE: Although my overall opinion hasn't changed with the switch, I have come across one area of concern. If I'm watching a source with 5.1 audio (or better), I can't view that source on my Pioneer TV (or more specifically, I can view it, but can't hear anything!) I hadn't noticed that before since the D* boxes are set to output non-Dolby Digital and we watch the PCH content (i.e. movies) on the 5.1 surround system anyway. *IF* you have a TV that can decode 5.1 then this is a non-issue. If your TV can't decode 5.1 then you may run into issues. This is more an issue with HDMI than the switch, but there is a (albeit somewhat costly) solution. You can either run each HDMI output via a receiver that can decode 5.1 or you can use the combination of Octava's 1x1 HMDI Audio/Video splitter (~$160) and Gefen's DD decoder (~$130). That will allow you to split off the audio, decode the 5.1 signal and then provide an output for your TV's audio input. It's not perfect, but it works. Like I said though, if you have a TV which can handle Dolby Digital audio input (and a LOT of recent TVs do apparently), this isn't an issue.
post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 
What a rewiew! Tks for the info, it help a lot.

Any other using it?
post #6 of 47
JMark,

That was an excellent review, thanks for sharing! Why did you choose to not use the built in IR pass through? Did you want to control more sources than just the source connected to the matrix?
post #7 of 47
I had the Xantech distribution system already setup when I got the matrix switch so really it was laziness more than anything else! I may revisit it at some point, but right now everything works, so I'm a bit loathe to change it
post #8 of 47
Hi, is the octave 4x4 matrix supporting 24p ? I can't seem to find that info anywhere.
post #9 of 47
I'm not sure to be honest - but drop the guys at Octava a line - they're typically quick to respond and will likely be able to help you out. I've had many an e-mail conversation with them and they've always provided top-notch help.
post #10 of 47
Let me know what the outcome of that conversation is please as I am planning to purchase this matrix in a few months when the house is ready enough
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanjer View Post

Hi, is the octave 4x4 matrix supporting 24p ? I can't seem to find that info anywhere.

The switch has nothing to do with whether you can send 24p or not. That depends upon the sender and receiver in the chain. The switch just passes the signal on through. Since 24p is lower frequency than 60p, if it passes 60p it will pass 24p.
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
I ordered it, it has arrived in ny and I'll be picking it up in 2 days, I'll give you my impression asap, Marco
post #13 of 47
And just to confirm, I talked to John from tmfsolutions and he told me the same as crutschow.
post #14 of 47
The Octava Matrix will carry a 24p signal - though keep in mind you then require Displays that are 24p compatible on all outputs otherwise some Displays will simply show an 'out of range' message.

Where you do have non 24p compatible Displays in your system those Displays may try and force your source to not output a 24p signal - the various EDID modes on offer from Octava can be handy in those circumstances.

Joe
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by airliner View Post

I ordered it, it has arrived in ny and I'll be picking it up in 2 days, I'll give you my impression asap, Marco

Did you have a chance to try it out? Has anyone had a chance to verify whether it properly passes lossless audio (TrueHD or DTS-HD) if receivers are connected to the outputs? I've had issues with other matrix switchers only passing 2 channel PCM (even with only a single receiver connected to an output).
post #16 of 47
Thread Starter 
Actually not, you know xmas and holidays......
should be able to do it in a few days
post #17 of 47
Thread Starter 
Installed today, handshake problem with samsung bd1500 blueray (unable to keep the image running) and hdsat rec (same problem). With a dvb tv is worrking properly. I'm using a benq w5000 and blue jeans hdmi cables. I tryed to call them but there is an answering machine and at the moment did not receive any reply via mail. Hope to find a solution becouse i need it, Marco
post #18 of 47
I am glued to this to see the outcome. I want to out put all of my source components from my theater to the rest of the house via HDMI. I seems nothing has more that one HDMI output (BD players, Sat IRDs, etc) so I need a Matrix switch that pushes full HD audio formats to continue to pass to my processor to decode.
post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
Ok, This mornig made some tests, and with an hdmi short run all the equipment are working properly, next will be with cat6 long run, yhe problem could be tath despite i'm using a good hdmi cable, 35ft are too much for the matrix. I have to say the guys from octava are really helping me with this.
post #20 of 47
If you continue to have problems with longer cables, you may want to try a voltage inserter: http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-4222...2328743&sr=8-1
post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Tks for the help, I wonder to know if is posible to have problem with a specific source, I'll try to use a signal amplifier on the long run, hope it help with the Benq.
http://www.thender.it/index.php?page...=20&cat_id=289
post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was going to test it with the signal amplifier, but when I reistalled the Matrix I had all the displays flashing zeroes on the face plate and it was blocked. Waiting for info from Octava.
post #23 of 47
Thread Starter 
What a customer service!!!
Octava staff has been in touch with me, calling overseas and trying to help to solve the issues i encountered.
They are fantastic, also offered to send a replacement switch matrix before getting back the previous one.
I reccomend them!!
post #24 of 47
airliner,

what's the status on this? I'm in a similar position and have been looking at the Octava unit. I'm curious if you got your stuff working.
post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 
I had to send it back becouse it did not work with my VPR, Benq w5000, I think it was due to the fact the benq use HDMI 1.2. I had no problem with a couple of 1080p samsung TV.
post #26 of 47
I ordered the Cat6/HDMI 4x4 matrix switch on Thursday, ran Cat6, received the equipment 24h later Friday afternoon, and had it set up and in use by late evening. The simplest install I've ever done!

My setup is as follows:

Component Room: 72" rack holding all equipment
Control via Universal Remote Control MX-3000 RF remotes to URC's MRF-250 RF-to-IR converter

Source 1: Bell ExpressVu 9200 PVR
Source 2: Apple TV
Source 3: Sony BDS-350 BluRay
Source 4: Sony 400 DVD MegaChanger

Target 1 via HDMI: Yamaha RX-V2700 Receiver - Video (DVI) to Hitachi 55" Plasma Monitor and Audio to Bose 5.1 speaker system
Target 2 via Cat6 Pair: Samsung 46" LED TV
Target 3 via Cat6 Pair: Sharp Aquos 32" LCD TV (to be completed)

Comments:
Everything worked amazingly well first shot.
For each source will only output to the lowest common compatible resolution on the displays showing that source at that time (as expected).
The only problem I am having is teaching my high-end MX-3000 the IR codes. I have never before had this problem learning an IR signal.

If anybody happens to have the individual frequencies for the Octava remote, please provide them here. I can just enter the numeric frequencies into my remote programming software. Thanks!
post #27 of 47
This is great to hear... As I ordered the Octava unit last week too... We're about to move into a new house, not hooked up yet, however I did go over and mount my new 55LH40 (LG) and some in-wall speakers in the Great room today. Can't wait to get things hooked up.
post #28 of 47
Update: I hooked up the 3rd room to a Sharp Aquos TV (32"), and it has been fraught with problems. I brought my new 46" Samsung LED TV up there to test, and the Samsung worked perfectly. So, I went out and bought a new Samsung 32" LED TV. Better, but audio still not working on either my Bell ExpressVu HD PVR's HiDef channels or my Sony 400-DVD MegaChanger. It works perfectly on my AppleTV and my Bluray DVD player...

I'll call Octava's tech support tomorrow. They're supposed to be top notch, and now that I have all new equipment, I hope that they'll be able to resolve quickly. I will next try two new Cat6 cables I guess, but a huge pain to route them through my house. If anybody sees any pattern here that I am not seeing, please feel free to comment.

Thx...
post #29 of 47
Without all my stuff at the house yet, I brought over my HTPC and Octava matrix.

After quite a bit of fussing, I got a signal (but very unstable). I'm 99% sure now it's a connector issue.

I'm having a heck of a time getting good ends with these RJ-45 connectors that have the little inserts. I've made 100's of cables in the past and only VERY rarely messed up a cable. I'm at a loss as to why I'm having so much trouble.

I also found out my HTPC (desktop style) case does not fit on my rack shelf... guess I've got some tweaking to do.
post #30 of 47
OK, problem solved. I just set the matrix to mode 1 for "scan for best audio signal" or something. Everything works perfectly now.

Dmlation: I had the same problem. I redid all 4 connections once, and 2 twice. My error was not cutting the wires right at the outside of the connectors. I was using the 1/8" indicated on a youtube instructional video. I never had a cat5e fail, just these cat6's. Now it's perfect. I hooked one end to a router and the other to a notebook, just to speed the process of determining whether the cable was good.

Very happy with Octava 4x4 HDMI Cat5e/6 matrix now!
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