Originally Posted by wkearney99
Ok, so I'm looking to set up a 4x4 matrix for distributing HDMI between several rooms, two of which will have their own AVR (home theater and a family room). Technically I'd like to have more than 4 outputs but the price of switches goes through the roof beyond that.
Anyway, what I'm discovering is the hassle of lowest-common-denominator and EDID issues. As in, the TV with the crappiest set of features forces everything else using that source to downgrade too. One work-around I'm considering is use of Gefen HDMI Detective boxes to at least force all the sources to use a certain feature-set. Granted, this means four of them, one for each input source. But that'd be money well-spend if it stamps out the insanity of dealing with crazy EDID issues (fodder for a whole other thread, perhaps).
But this leads to the question of how to get the 'better' audio format downgraded to support a lower-end TV. Like a behind-the-mirror TV in the bathroom, for example. I'm guessing some sort of 'HDMI to other' converter is going to be required. This to retain the quality of audio for the theater while still letting the low-end TV 'hear' it too.
So, school me a bit here about dealing with how distributing HDMI has to be 'worked around' to avoid losing flexibility or better quality.
You want me to "contribute" to your thread, here it goes. DONT DO IT!!!!!! Save your time, money, hassle, and endless threads of asking 'dealers' whom may or may not help the industry how to keep it working. Go component matrix, spend a few bucks more up front (since they cost more than the discount 4x4 hdmi matrix your looking at no doubt) and enjoy the fruits of your work. They do not have a standard for HDMI yet. Standard speed vs. high speed, 1.2,1.3,1.3a 1.4a, heck I can't keep track of it myself. By the time you get it going, they update it then 1 piece freaks out. If you have dish network, don't do it. If you have a cable company like one here it'll last a few weeks then it'll stop working. They are downloading software updates like crazy. Then if you wanna add 3D, you MUST make all tv's 3D if you wanna share that player with other units as standard def player (which you will since you have limited inputs). Then, there are the licenses. The cheap matrix has a single license on the front end, so if you have 2 units watching the same input, you change inputs on one and the other drops off to regain a new license agreement if it wasn't the one that initiated it. Then you take into account how the signal is getting from matrix to the unit. If you are using any type of balun, if the voltage on that balun fluctuates much at all, it drops enough packets to cause the source to get pissed off and shut down the stream. Sometimes it's just the video, sometimes it's the audio and some times it's both.
You guys have had some great technical posts regarding these issues, but take a look at the whole picture. There are a hundred factors in running a 4x4 to capacity, much less beyond. And if you address each one perfectly, you covered your butt and are at the mercy of updates, new equipment, different protocols, etc. So what works perfectly this month might not next. There in comes companies like Crestron whom in my eyes lead the way in pushing forward with hdmi switching. But what they offer, while its incredible, is out of the reach for a majority of consumers. Especially DIY ( and I classify DIY as anyone not currently a CI) as programming and avail is limited. I've installed a few dozen homes with hdmi switching and routing over the last few years. It's been the last year in a half since I've re-installed one. I have at minimum several hundreds of hours working with these dang things and what makes me angry is all of it. How and why we have it. Who is behind hdmi, and what is the long term plan. Why is it an evolving protocol? I know most of the answers so no need to try to school me on it. The point is its geared to an easy 1 wire hookup for the end user, and was never designed to go over a few feet, much less be part of a matrix. So everytime someone gets close to getting it lined out perfectly on a matrix, they change it. The only ones whom convinced me they are close to staying ahead is Crestron, but I wouldn't count my chickens before they hatch. Just a little while ago the big powerhouse and leader in media servers was Kaleidascape. We know how they are faring as of a couple days ago. So although you can make the matrix work for a while in a more simple arrangement, is it really worth it for just a very little noticeable enhancement in video from a blueray? Until everyone else outputs 1080p as well ( or what they are planning next) im ok with 1080i. You watch mostly non blueray usually, and you can always have a local source. It's a pain to always walk to the head end to put in a movie. And the audio you can take care of also as you always have. If you really want an hdmi matrix, do not go cheap. Get the best gefen has, or intellix, heck the new snap 300 is good too. These will marginally reduce your pain, but make the wound no less severe. And I have SEVERAL manuf reps who sell me. All I have to say is I hope your " billing for services" is more hands on. I love my reps, but God help them, they know enough to introduce the products to us. With the exception of a couple, I'm not sure any of them could install a simple single room controller. So your comment about dealers was as a whole, same as me saying all my reps are incompetent. I know they arnt, and you know we arnt all that way. So my point was it was a silly and childish remark, and one qualified several times in other posts on this board by not being able to have or get access to things you desire or want since it's dealer only. So therefore animosity. That's it! I have no disregard for you or anyone on this board, as Is why I'm here. I just got rubbed the wrong way, and probably on the wrong day. For that I'm sorry.