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Gefen GTB-HDFST-848 HDMI Matrix Switch 8x8 v3.1G now with web interface

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am installing this 8x8 HDMI Matrix switch in my HT

Thought I would post some observations here in case anyone is considering it

this is a new model just released by Gefen: the Toolbox series wall mounts which is great for my install

This is the only 8x8 matrix switch that has no fan: totally silent in operation

I had some trouble getting RS232 commands to work properly: a bad command will lock up the switch. Figured out the code has to exactly like this:

for input/output switching 19200/8/n/1 example is input 2 to output 5: r 2 E /r /n (each command must be followed by carriage return and line feed): note spaces in between must be preserved. I added 1 ms delay in between characters

this switch accepts IR, serial, and Ethernet commands

Pros

Switching is FAST (with FST set) and clean: perhaps the fastest HDMI matrix switch I have tested

silent, no fan

Cons

the switch has a very bright LED display which is always on: no way to dim it or turn it off that I can see: worse is significant light leakage from the display through vents on both sides of the switch
post #2 of 17
did nu have any problem with the remote control or the firmware?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
with the remote? no problem

firmware has not been updated since I got it: I don't think there are any updates for this model

I still have the switch and it is still working well for me: occasionally it locks up and requires a reboot
post #4 of 17
Just stumbled on this, looking at this item as an addition to our C4 HC-800 and 16amp3-b. Are you working with any C4? Also when you mentioned << occasionally locks up >> what are we talking in terms of up time?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
^^^

I work with RTI : the lockups were largely due to my own learning curve with this piece: I still have it in the system and it is working great: fast switching

once in a while it may have to be rebooted if there is an HDMI glitch with connected devices: I programmed a button on the remote to reboot it (they provide a serial command for that)
post #6 of 17
Okay. Perfect. Perhaps someone has dealt with this device and C4. Going to give it a shot. Worst case scenario, have and/or build drivers via RS-232 commands in product manual. Thank you again.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
there is a firmware update available for this matrix switcher

http://www.gefen.com/support/download.jsp


GTB-HDFST-848 - Firmware
3.1g
GTB-HDFST-848(v31G)(PACK).zip
508KB

you download the file, extract it, then upload it to the Gefen via Ethernet: takes about 5 minutes

after the update, the switcher IP address appears to have changed: will have to see what happened (reset IP address via RS232/ telnet)
had to default all ethernet settings and renter: confirmed it updated to v3.1G

screen shots below are logged in as operator: if you log in as Administrator, you get several more screens the default password is Admin

Also note with this upgrade the device can now accept RS232 commands over IP: same commands (manual rev A4)
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 



with the Gefen FW update to v 3.1G network control via Web GUI is enabled: and it works well so far; fast
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #11 of 17
Hey Mark

This might be a little off topic, but outside of the Matrix switch and HDMI cables, what other components are needed for Video distribution to work?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
^^^^

all you need is to connect your HDMI sources (up to 8) to your displays (up to 8)

most users of a matrix switch will use a remote control system like Crestron or RTI to control the switch, but it can be controlled by the IR remote that comes with the Gefen, or the web based GUI
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

^^^^

all you need is to connect your HDMI sources (up to 8) to your displays (up to 8)

most users of a matrix switch will use a remote control system like Crestron or RTI to control the switch, but it can be controlled by the IR remote that comes with the Gefen, or the web based GUI

I'm still a novice when it comes to understanding A/V distribution, but does this Matrix switch solve the issue with having some sources being 5.1 and others being 2.0? I read in a thread on here saying that was one of the main issues with AV distro since the EDID will cause the switch to output audio in lowest common denominator.

Similar to what's stated in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1398328/distributing-hdmi-via-matrix-and-dealing-with-audio/0_100
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
^^^

that is kind of the nature of HDMI: the switch is doing what it is meant to do by the guys that dreamed up this terrible idea of EDID

this switch does have EDID management so it may be possible to set the EDID to a display that accepts 5.1 (similar to using the Gefen HDMI detective) but I have not tried it

One thing that helps is to make sure all your connected gear has the same HDMI level (for example HDMI 1.4) which can get very expensive and may still not solve the issue

I feed a Marantz 8801 processor for HD audio: all the smaller displays just get 2 channel which is fine for what I do but I understand the frustration

I hate HDMI....
post #15 of 17
Good thing I found this thread...

Long story short, I was about to pull the trigger on an octava 4xn(8) hdbaset matrix when I started to explore other options, namely hdbaset 5-play (especially, pass through ethernet over the same single cat6). The matrices with them built in are few and ridiculously expensive. Then I explored buying a plain 8x8 hdmi matrix and 8 baluns that had the hdbaset 5-play in it and if I buy this Gefen 8x8 toolbox and get 5-play baluns in the $400 per range, I'd be coming out WAY AHEAD. Octava 4x8 = $4500. Toolbox + baluns = $4700 but with better functionality and more inputs.

So I started looking at the toolbox to see reviews and if it's a good product. This thread answers most of the questions. Only question I have is, what's the difference between the gefen toolbox 8x8 and the gefen crosspoint 8x8 that's approx. $500 more?
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by labfm View Post

Good thing I found this thread...

Long story short, I was about to pull the trigger on an octava 4xn(8) hdbaset matrix when I started to explore other options, namely hdbaset 5-play (especially, pass through ethernet over the same single cat6). The matrices with them built in are few and ridiculously expensive. Then I explored buying a plain 8x8 hdmi matrix and 8 baluns that had the hdbaset 5-play in it and if I buy this Gefen 8x8 toolbox and get 5-play baluns in the $400 per range, I'd be coming out WAY AHEAD. Octava 4x8 = $4500. Toolbox + baluns = $4700 but with better functionality and more inputs.

So I started looking at the toolbox to see reviews and if it's a good product. This thread answers most of the questions. Only question I have is, what's the difference between the gefen toolbox 8x8 and the gefen crosspoint 8x8 that's approx. $500 more?
The tool box doesn't have IR routing. That is the main reason I didn't go with it.
post #17 of 17
I have been using the same Gefen for about 6 months, but finally got cat6 runs done for extenders (also Gefen) a few weeks ago. Everything seems solid.

I wrote a driver for my control system, but can't get the device to respond over UDP. I changed the driver to TCP (telnet) to get it to work. I am still working with Gefen, to see what the problem is with UPD (I have several other UDP drivers I have written working fine).

When some devices are powered on, the output sometimes blanks for 2 or 3 seconds. I don't know if copying the EDID information to make the outputs 'identical' would fix it.
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