I'm going to relay my experiences with HDMI extension in conjunction with matrix switching. Iv'e finally gotten to a place I'm reasonably happy, and here's the ugly path...
I have 3 bedrooms and a livingroom I needed to share my cable provider supplied DVR, along with an XBMC box, and a couple more sources. A 4x4 matrix was decided upon because of the major pricing gulf between 4x4 and 8x8 solutions that really work.
I liked the value and performance of my Monoprice cables, so I started there even though a couple of 4x2 matrices I tried earlier did not work out (syncing issues, EDID issues, etc.). I chose this unit: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011310&p_id=8151&seq=1&format=2
I had earlier tried their 8x1 splitter over 2xCAT6 (each run, 4 runs), and that unit worked fairly solid except for the blanking and re-syncing of all displays whenever a new device came onlne. I was willing to live with that and a couple of other annoying glitches, so on to the 4x4 matrix over CAT6 from Monoprice I went.
What I trial of my sanity that was!! It was the same crappy experience I've had with my other Monoprice HDMI matrices, and worse. Problems like blank-out and re-sync of any of the destinations when another came on line when powered up, or switched from or to, and more than half the time things did not-re-sync correctly. Many of these failed re-sync to one or more (destinations) sinks during switching/powering events, required the cycling of power to the main matrix units or the destination CATx receiver units to get things working. Once everything was up and sync'd, then everything worked well... until the next switching even triggered a re-sync. This was maddening, but I lived with it until the main matrix finally stopped sending video to destinations about 9 months after purchase. Likely just a power supply, but I think I'll just round-file that POS anyway.
I'm sure some of you are thinking I could have cabling issues on either the cat6 or HDMI side of things. That is not the case. I'm using very good quality hight-speed HDMI cables, and I'm very experienced with CAT6 termination, and installation. I also tested out the CAT6 runs ,and they passed with flying colors, with the longest run of 70 linear feet reported by the tester. Also, it is important to note the pains I took to enhance my chances of success when trying to share HDMI sources to several destinations. There are no displays connected directly, and all destinations are late model Denon lossless-capable receivers with 1080p/24/30/60 displays connected. On the EDID lowest-common denominator playing field, I should be all good, and besides, it all sync'd up eventually with much fiddly work with power-cycling matrix components.
I ended up calling HDTV Supply to just relay my experiences, and see if their more expensive units would get me something more reliable, without costing the $3K that seemed common on their site. The guy told me that value-wise, it may be better to just go with a straight matrix and convert to CAT6 externally. A bit more equipment mess, but I can hide that. I ended up getting the 4x4 Shinybow HD-44 with the single CATx extenders you can select as an option when ordering. The whole thing cost me about $600 with 4 extenders. I thought he was exaggerating when he said it would all be rock solid like a tank with no glitches. That is a BOLD statement regarding HDMI extension and distribution. I guess I was biased from my experiences with lesser equipment, because I could have never imagined what I ended up with...
I installed the matrix, extenders, and all of my existing equipment, using the same cables I was all along. I was in utter shock that I was getting absolutely rock solid switching and extension of my HDMI sources. There was zero blanking or re-syncing of any of my destinations from other sinks coming online, switching in or out of any of the sources, etc. I mean no glitches at all period, on any of the destinations, regardless of what any other destination was doing. It was like all of the HDCP and EDID complications vanished from my HDMI switching/distribution experience, and I did not think that was possible, much less at the -$1K price point. Shinybow matrices seem to be solid beyond my wildest expectations, and the single catx extenders HD Supply provides with the HD-44 are sofar solid, even though they are not likely HDBaseT ($80/set).
I'm not trying to sell anybody of how I did things, or peddle HDTV Supply stuff, or bad mouth Monoprice. Just wanted to relay the path, and where I ended up. I still use Monoprice cables, but their matrix units have been "kind of works, with lots of quirks" at best, and downright maddening at their worst. Okay, so the solution I ended upo with was twice as much, but the experience (or lack thereof) is so darn worth it. I usually spend the real money where it matters, but sure went the wrong way at first on my HDMI distribution. I'm just happy for now, and will wait for solid 8x8 solutions come down in price before I change from the setup I have now.