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post #1 of 14 Old 01-23-2020, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Renovating Home - New Video Distribution Setup

Have been going through these forums and the available HDMI matrixes on the market to try and figure out the best setup for the house that I am just about to renovate. The situation / setup I have in mind is below. I'm looking for opinions and recommendations as to how to achieve this and any specific equipment the community would recommend.

Outputs
Living Room: 65" LG OLED 4k TV
Winter Living: 52" Samsung LED 1080P TV
Outdoor Entertaining: 32" Sony LCD 1080p TV
Office: 42" Bush LCD 1080p TV
I have all this equipment today. The 1080p TVs will be upgraded to 4k if I have any money left after the renovation
(Optional / Future)
Office: 42" LG 4k LED Computer Monitor
Master Bedroom: 4k OLED TV
Guest Bedroom: 4k or 1080p LED TV
Of this equiment the only one I have today is the LG Monitor.

Inputs
2x Foxtel IQ4 HDMI Output, capable of 4k, Bluetooth and IR remote
1x Chromecast HDMI Output (or similarly capable device for casting)
1x Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter HDMI Output OR some sort of Windows PC with HDMI Output
I have all this equipment today
(Optional / Future)
Some sort of Windows PC
Additional Chromecast
Additional Foxtel
I'm thinking 4 inputs might be one short but 8 is too many...

Location
All inputs and the HDMI Matrix will be located in a media / comms rack at the top of a broom cupboard in a passageway.
I do not currently have a HDMI Matrix nor have I yet purchased the media / comms rack.

Connectivity
Every location mentioned above will have at least two ports of CAT6a (or better?) and the two living rooms will likely have four.
The renovation has yet to commence (still in planning stage) so location, number and choice of cable are up for grabs.

I want to in each location be able to control using the one remote which input appears on the output and control the input itself (such as change the channel, scroll left/right etc). For remotes today I am just using the standard remotes that came with the Foxtel box and the TVs.

As I'm not big on just music or top quality sound I'm not planning on running audio to a separate speaker set anywhere in the house nor running any amplifiers or the like. If I really, really in the future want to get better audio in one of the living areas I'll just buy a top end soundbar and output from the TV.

I'm thinking a (ideally) 6x8 or 8x8 matrix with 4k capability over HDBaseT. To save money today I could settle for a 4x4. Ideally, I'd like to power the extenders over Ethernet but not a deal breaker if not as I can easily add more power points on the output side. For remotes I'm thinking I'll likely need a Universal remotes. I've used some of the low end Logitech Universal Remotes in the past and my experience was they were OK. Not as intuitive as I'd have liked but hey I bought the cheap one so what do I expect... And is it "bidirectional" or "IR call-back" that I need the matrix to support in order for the Universal remote to control the matrix input and the input source?

At last the ultimate wishlist item - which I know I'm almost no chance of getting - is the ability to control the outputs and matrix using Google Assistant/Home. I already have two Home Mini's and will be adding a Home Hub during the renovation (along with a bunch of Zigbee and WiFi home automation devices).

Would very much appreciate any advice or recommendations from the community. And feel free to poke holes in my plan.

Thanks in advance!
Dave
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-23-2020, 08:12 AM
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I use cat6a f/utp shielded and grounded. I am very satisfied with speed and quality. I get my cable and accessories from Blackbox.com including my equipment cabinet, jacks, connectors, cable and rack mounted patch panel.

I have avoided HDBaseT because of complexity when mixing formats and resolutions of displays and cost while I hope SDvOE may someday be cost practical.

You should give some thought to how you will integrate a blu ray player or players into you system as well as streaming.

Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
Display: LG OLED 65e6p, Player: OPPO UDP-203, AVR:Yamaha TSR 7810, Streaming: Comcast 60Mbps RG6 to Cat6a, Speakers: Mains Vandersteen IIC, Center, Surrounds, Rears Klipsch
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-23-2020, 09:19 AM
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Install conduit while you have the walls open. I use 2" conduit. Do not drill 2" holes in load bearing studs without reinforcing the stud. Label everything. Some day you will need to replace a cable or add a new one and conduit makes that job easier. You will need a cable snake and some conduit lubricant

Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
Display: LG OLED 65e6p, Player: OPPO UDP-203, AVR:Yamaha TSR 7810, Streaming: Comcast 60Mbps RG6 to Cat6a, Speakers: Mains Vandersteen IIC, Center, Surrounds, Rears Klipsch
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-23-2020, 10:02 AM
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Look at Netplay by Video Storm. Its DIY Friendly. You can buy your own hardware from basic stuff like Shield TVs or Android/Sony TVs and the encoders you can buy off Amazon. Its not a fixed matrix so if you only need 6 inputs/encoders then you buy 6 inputs. 1 year later you need another, you buy a 7th. Same with the decoders, buy as you need since the entire system is "BYOH" - bring your own hardware. That is the benefit of Video over IP - its modular, whereas traditional HdbaseT are fixed matrix in AxB configurations.

I am not sure if Google Assistant is available but I know it works with Alexa if you use their IRUSB https://www.video-storm.com/netplaycloud.php
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post
I use cat6a f/utp shielded and grounded. I am very satisfied with speed and quality. I get my cable and accessories from Blackbox.com including my equipment cabinet, jacks, connectors, cable and rack mounted patch panel.

I have avoided HDBaseT because of complexity when mixing formats and resolutions of displays and cost while I hope SDvOE may someday be cost practical.

You should give some thought to how you will integrate a blu ray player or players into you system as well as streaming.
Not sure I understand what you mean by saying you're using Cat6a but you have avoided HDBaseT. Do you mean that all your devices are HDMI rather than HDBaseT, you're using Cat6a cable for the runs but have a Cat6a to HDMI converter at each end? I'm not intending for my video to traverse my ethernet IP switch in either way. Perhaps I am using the term HDBaseT wrongly.

I can't see any reason why I would buy a BluRay player in the future - if I want to watch a move I will rent it on Foxtel or through a streaming service. Yes, I hadn't properly considered streaming - I should probably replace the Chromecast with a Nvidia Shield or something which supports most every streaming app and also acts as a Chromecast (I am in Australia BTW for streaming services).
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
Look at Netplay by Video Storm. Its DIY Friendly. You can buy your own hardware from basic stuff like Shield TVs or Android/Sony TVs and the encoders you can buy off Amazon. Its not a fixed matrix so if you only need 6 inputs/encoders then you buy 6 inputs. 1 year later you need another, you buy a 7th. Same with the decoders, buy as you need since the entire system is "BYOH" - bring your own hardware. That is the benefit of Video over IP - its modular, whereas traditional HdbaseT are fixed matrix in AxB configurations.

I am not sure if Google Assistant is available but I know it works with Alexa if you use their IRUSB
I am not sure if Google Assistant is available but I know it works with Alexa if you use their IRUSB

I had a look at Netplay and had a few concerns:
- I've read a fair bit about how much bandwidth is needed for a raw HDMI signal. Am I really going to get the same picture quality encoding the HDMI stream into TCP and transferring over 1Gb Ethernet? (They say even over 100Mb!)
- I'd need to buy and position a Shield TV or similar at every output - I'm trying to avoid devices other than the TV at the output side plus there's the cost of buying 4-8 devices OR replacing all my TVs with ones that run Android (as none currently do)
- Whilst I'm technically savvy my wife is not. I fear Netplay would be more complex to operate than simply turning on the TV and using a traditional remote to change sources and channels.
- Cost. The Netplay System Planner throws up a total cost of from USD2500 for 4 sources, 4 HDMI decoders and 4 IRs. Which is about AUD3750. I can get a Wyrestorm 4x4 4K for about AUD2600 and a 6x6 for about AUD3200. Whilst the flexibility to extend is good I think I've got a pretty good handle on my needs today and looking forward. There really isn't another room in the house to add another output and from an input perspective I can only see it decreasing as Foxtel's streaming service improves
- Can't seem to find much in the way of these being used in Australia nor dealers or local support. Most Aussies know from experience there is nothing worse than having an issue and having to wait overnight for the States to wake up to troubleshoot / assist. Every to/fro becomes a 24hr cycle

Having said the above I love the feature set of video wall, PIP and streaming to any Android device. But I don't think those features outweigh the concerns above.

Keen to hear if my concerns are off the mark or if there are differing perspectives from those running a Netplay system.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post
I use cat6a f/utp shielded and grounded. I am very satisfied with speed and quality. I get my cable and accessories from Blackbox.com including my equipment cabinet, jacks, connectors, cable and rack mounted patch panel.

I have avoided HDBaseT because of complexity when mixing formats and resolutions of displays and cost while I hope SDvOE may someday be cost practical.

You should give some thought to how you will integrate a blu ray player or players into you system as well as streaming.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying when you say you use Cat6a but have avoided HDBaseT? Does this mean you've avoided matrixes with Cat6a outputs and display devices with Cat6a inputs in favour of traditional HDMI outputs and used HDMI to Cat6a converters / extenders?

I can't see any scenario where I'll add a Blu-Ray player to the solution as if we want to watch a movie we just rent it on Foxtel or one of the streaming services available in Australia. Thanks for the tip re: streaming though, I'd forgotten a strategy for that - reckon I'll need to swap out the Chromecast for a Nvidia Shield or something which has apps for most of the streaming services in Australia and can act as a Chromecast receiver.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by daveb21 View Post
I am not sure if Google Assistant is available but I know it works with Alexa if you use their IRUSB

I had a look at Netplay and had a few concerns:
- I've read a fair bit about how much bandwidth is needed for a raw HDMI signal. Am I really going to get the same picture quality encoding the HDMI stream into TCP and transferring over 1Gb Ethernet? (They say even over 100Mb!)
- I'd need to buy and position a Shield TV or similar at every output - I'm trying to avoid devices other than the TV at the output side plus there's the cost of buying 4-8 devices OR replacing all my TVs with ones that run Android (as none currently do)
- Whilst I'm technically savvy my wife is not. I fear Netplay would be more complex to operate than simply turning on the TV and using a traditional remote to change sources and channels.
- Cost. The Netplay System Planner throws up a total cost of from USD2500 for 4 sources, 4 HDMI decoders and 4 IRs. Which is about AUD3750. I can get a Wyrestorm 4x4 4K for about AUD2600 and a 6x6 for about AUD3200. Whilst the flexibility to extend is good I think I've got a pretty good handle on my needs today and looking forward. There really isn't another room in the house to add another output and from an input perspective I can only see it decreasing as Foxtel's streaming service improves
- Can't seem to find much in the way of these being used in Australia nor dealers or local support. Most Aussies know from experience there is nothing worse than having an issue and having to wait overnight for the States to wake up to troubleshoot / assist. Every to/fro becomes a 24hr cycle

Having said the above I love the feature set of video wall, PIP and streaming to any Android device. But I don't think those features outweigh the concerns above.

Keen to hear if my concerns are off the mark or if there are differing perspectives from those running a Netplay system.
- I've read a fair bit about how much bandwidth is needed for a raw HDMI signal. Am I really going to get the same picture quality encoding the HDMI stream into TCP and transferring over 1Gb Ethernet? (They say even over 100Mb!)

>>>> 1000%. If you want to look at scientific data there is compression, etc. That said to the naked eye, no one can see the difference. Because you read there is a difference you think you see something (or dont see something) but the truth is you dont miss anything. My friends ask to come to my house to watch games, we host the super bowl for 20+ people. People come over for movie nights, etc. No one knows whats behind my walls pushing the signal through.

- I'd need to buy and position a Shield TV or similar at every output - I'm trying to avoid devices other than the TV at the output side plus there's the cost of buying 4-8 devices OR replacing all my TVs with ones that run Android (as none currently do)

>>>>Well if you go with an HDBaseT situation the balun behind every tv will be more expensive than a shield, it will be proprietary, and will have less features - because a shield can also supply you content!

- Whilst I'm technically savvy my wife is not. I fear Netplay would be more complex to operate than simply turning on the TV and using a traditional remote to change sources and channels.

>>>> Again - your post said you want to run a video distribution set up - so you'll likely need a decent control system, more than a harmony remote. That is why I did ask if you were running any control system

- Cost. The Netplay System Planner throws up a total cost of from USD2500 for 4 sources, 4 HDMI decoders and 4 IRs. Which is about AUD3750. I can get a Wyrestorm 4x4 4K for about AUD2600 and a 6x6 for about AUD3200. Whilst the flexibility to extend is good I think I've got a pretty good handle on my needs today and looking forward. There really isn't another room in the house to add another output and from an input perspective I can only see it decreasing as Foxtel's streaming service improves

>>>> How are you going to control the Wyrestorm? And yes if you are in AUS its probably pointless - Video Storm is a smaller US Based company. While cheaper than the bigger players here in the US, once you have to go overseas with their shipping and likely also the increased cost of your own hardware (not their fault) it may not make sense.

- Can't seem to find much in the way of these being used in Australia nor dealers or local support. Most Aussies know from experience there is nothing worse than having an issue and having to wait overnight for the States to wake up to troubleshoot / assist. Every to/fro becomes a 24hr cycle

>>>> yep - their support are their owners. They get back via email very quick. Anything super technical they'll jump on team viewer to help you out. So great support, but no local AUS support.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by daveb21 View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying when you say you use Cat6a but have avoided HDBaseT? Does this mean you've avoided matrixes with Cat6a outputs and display devices with Cat6a inputs in favour of traditional HDMI outputs and used HDMI to Cat6a converters / extenders?

I can't see any scenario where I'll add a Blu-Ray player to the solution as if we want to watch a movie we just rent it on Foxtel or one of the streaming services available in Australia. Thanks for the tip re: streaming though, I'd forgotten a strategy for that - reckon I'll need to swap out the Chromecast for a Nvidia Shield or something which has apps for most of the streaming services in Australia and can act as a Chromecast receiver.
I think I wrote that I do not have a matrix system and I need to explain that I only have one TV. LG65e6p, connected to an AVR, a blu ray player, a computer and the internet. I get my streaming audio and video from the internet and Netflix and other apps available on LG WebOS.

I designed the system in 2016 when 1080p was top quality and I was considering adding more TVs, computers and whole house audio which I have not needed since then. So, all my knowledge is limited about distributing multiple sources to multiple sinks.

I cannot comment from experience whether Netplay is equal to HDBaseT.

Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
Display: LG OLED 65e6p, Player: OPPO UDP-203, AVR:Yamaha TSR 7810, Streaming: Comcast 60Mbps RG6 to Cat6a, Speakers: Mains Vandersteen IIC, Center, Surrounds, Rears Klipsch

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 05:45 PM
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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying when you say you use Cat6a but have avoided HDBaseT? Does this mean you've avoided matrixes with Cat6a outputs and display devices with Cat6a inputs in favour of traditional HDMI outputs and used HDMI to Cat6a converters / extenders?

I can't see any scenario where I'll add a Blu-Ray player to the solution as if we want to watch a movie we just rent it on Foxtel or one of the streaming services available in Australia. Thanks for the tip re: streaming though, I'd forgotten a strategy for that - reckon I'll need to swap out the Chromecast for a Nvidia Shield or something which has apps for most of the streaming services in Australia and can act as a Chromecast receiver.
I use a system by Octava that sends audio and video over cat5 or cat6. It is super easy. You need a POE switch and an Octava box for each device you want to receive input from, and another box at each TV.

It is bulletproof. I can't recall his name, but there is a guy here that was super helpful who worked for Octava.

To Hell with Georgia...
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-24-2020, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I use a system by Octava that sends audio and video over cat5 or cat6. It is super easy. You need a POE switch and an Octava box for each device you want to receive input from, and another box at each TV.

It is bulletproof. I can't recall his name, but there is a guy here that was super helpful who worked for Octava.
Quick look at their website and Octava doesn't do 4K only 1080p
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-25-2020, 06:57 AM
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Quick look at their website and Octava doesn't do 4K only 1080p

4k compatible:

https://octavainc.com/blog/octava-4k...bution-system/

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post #13 of 14 Old 01-25-2020, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Yellow Jacket;59150982]
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb21 View Post
Quick look at their website and Octava doesn't do 4K only 1080p

4k compatible:

Ah yes sorry looks like some parts of their site still only reference 1080p. Doesn't look like they publish their prices on their site and their quote request form doesn't mention residential so I fear they will be expensive and require a specialist installation which only increases the cost. The other video over IP systems I've looked at are all pretty expensive compared to a HDBaseT system for 4-6 sources / outputs.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-25-2020, 05:22 PM
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I give up.

To Hell with Georgia...
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