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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hi all,

 

In advance, sorry for any ignorance in this post. I just recently started looking into HDMI switches and found some that could work, but I have a few concerns with them and I'd really appreciate if you could give your opinions on them.

 

Inputs:

- PS3 (slim)

- X360

- desktop PC

- laptop (Lenovo Y570)

 

Outputs:

- 2x BenQ GW2760HS (1 HDMI port per each; stereo speakers, 1080p)

 

Right now I'm cable switching (it's a pain) and I fear for the single HDMI slots on the monitors and the laptop.

Everything is packed very closely together, except for the desktop (3-4 meters away from everything else).

I'm using these HDMI cables ( OSD , Aurum ). Length varies, 6ft to 12ft, whichever needed.

It's just a small gaming corner that I'd like to make more user friendly.

 

Basically what I would like is to have the gaming equipment (PS3, X360 and desktop) to output to monitor A, and the PCs (desktop and laptop) output to monitor B. 

I also can't rule out the possibility of using the two consoles at once when the boyfriend is over, so I'd also like to have for example console 1 on monitor A and console 2 on monitor B. 

After some Googling I found the easiest solution (meaning least amount of extra devices) would be a 4x2 matrix switcher.

 

Additional requirements:

- HDCP compliant - for PS3 compatibility

- ability to output [email protected] - I'm not sure if switches can dumb this down or not

- do not introduce lag into the system (the monitors were specifically chosen for their low input lag value)

- digital audio output - SPDIF optical would be preferred, but coaxial (RCA) is fine if this is the only thing amiss (I can just use a powered converter)

                              - the consoles have their own optical cables, so this is mainly for the desktop

                              - I'm looking into buying a headphone amp and those usually take an optical toslink cable; and because of the two stereo TVs I expect the HDMI to default to stereo as well (lower common denominator?)

                              - I'm also looking into introducing a game capture device into the system (I'll probably opt for a card version though)

- separate headphone jack or analogue output

- remote control - I don't mind if the IR is external

 

Basic questions:

- is EDID automatically included in these switches? Do I even need if both of my outputs are the same?

- CEC - I assume I won't need this? I don't have (or need) a TV and won't have a home theatre system

 

Matrices that might fit the bill:

1. Firefold - 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch

- 1080p24fps in the HDMI resolution (HDMI resolution: 1080P24fs/1080P/1080i/720P/576P/576i/480P/480i) is for 3D only, is this correct? [edited]

- HDCP compliancy is written as 1.1 or 1.2 - as far as I know, PS3 is HDCP 1.3 - would they still handshake?

- only two reviews, Googling brings up this forum post here

 

2. Monoprice - 4x2 True Matrix High Speed HDMI® Powered Switch w/ Remote w/ 3D and x.v.Color™ support

- SPDIF RCA coaxial out (can be converted to optical via another Monoprice unit ( Coaxial (RCA) to Optical Toslink Digital Audio Converter )

- no headphone jack - is there such a converter that would allow me to convert the RCA to optical, while also outputting an analogue jack? I'd like to have both digital and analogue capability at once, which could be fixed by finding an amp, but I did not have much luck with that so far

- there are at least reviews of it - but they do mention a reset is needed every time it's switched on and some complaints on the HDCP

 

3.  AGPtek® 1080P 3D HIFI 1.4V 4x2 HDMI Matrix Audio Separation with Romote Control support MHL function 

- no reviews anywhere (I'd rather not have a wonky gadget frying my only HDMI ports)

- looks like a rebranded device, can't find anything about it on AGPtek's homepage

- reseller (BrainyDeal) has 1-star reviews for shipping refurbs and used products

 

4.  KanaaN HDMI Matrix 4 Input 2 Output (4x2) Splitter Switch - 3D - Full HD 1080p + Remote Control + HDMI 1.3b + SPDIF/ Toslink and 3.5 mm Jack Audio Output, HD

- looks like a rebranded device, identical(?) to  J-Tech Digital Premium Quality Most Advanced HDMI 4x2 Matrix Ver 1.3 Certified for Full HD 1080P Support 3D with SPDIF Digital Surround Sound or Hi-Fi Stereo Audio Output

- reviews mention non-existent customer support and glitchy switching and bad audio

 

5. Octava -  4 x 2 HDMI Matrix Amp with 7.1 Audio Routing

- a bit of an overkill and has things I don't need (7.1, RS232, USB)

- torn on the amplifier part - still deciding whether it's worth to have a "gaming" headset amp (controlling game sound and chat sound independently) and also don't quite get all the jacks on this device; but I gather it could output the analogue audio from any HDMI source, not just one input?

 

6. http://www.kanexpro.com/item/?id=HD4X2MXAUSW KanexPro - H DMI 4x2 True Matrix Switcher with Signal Equalization & Audio Support

- few reviews, some citing unreliable performance

- doesn't specify HDCP version

 

If there is another matrix that could be like these, I welcome the suggestions. I'm also open to a non-matrix solution (if one exists) that let's me do what I described in the beginning of my post.

 

I'd rather not bother with a "chinese" switch (even though I included two that I strongly believe is one) that could potentially kill my monitors' HDMI port or stop functioning after a few months, but I also don't want to spend more than I have to (I don't plan on expanding this setup, except maybe for the headphone amplifier). I'm not sure what is a realistic price for what I want, but I'd say the budget is around 200$. I'm willing to change this, however.

 

Thank you all in advance for any help you could provide (and sorry for the epic long post, hope it's not too TL;DR).
 

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i used a Monoprice 2x4 matrix switch until We went 3D. the one we had worked and the best thing anyone can say about it is you won't know it's there. The new one is three D compatible, and I wish I had got that the first time. We upgraded the whole system and with the new AVR's we did not need a switch. Are you sure you do? as for Chinese ones they are just about all "Chinese"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Thank you for your response.

 

I'm leaning towards the Monoprice 4x2 as well. 

Maybe I should just ditch the idea of an optical audio out on the matrix itself and use the Monoprice HDMI audio converter to get it from one of the outputs (as I saw matrices have their digital audio on one output only as well). I'm just really undecided because it's an unknown field to me. Same with AVRs, never needed to use one.

 

All I know is that I'd really like 2 HDMI outputs to have the ability to switch between my inputs independently on either of my two monitors. Did a quick search for 2 HDMI output AVR receivers and found a post here ; it's well in the 600-1000$ category and I can't justify the cost for that as I won't be using most of their abilities. I'm 100% sure I won't have any surround system, 3D devices, home theatre setup, cable TV, settopboxes or blueray players (save for the PS3, but I'm not using that either). 

 

The only additions I want are an ampifier (or rather, a way for me to not have to plug the stereo headphones I'm using into the different devices whenever I want to switch between them) and an audio/video capture device (but I might just get a PCIe card instead of an external one).

 

Sorry about the confusion on calling them "Chinese", I mean the ones that look alike, but each distributor brands them as their own.
 

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Re the Octava HDMXA71

The unit has just been updated to the Spec you see on the page you linked to.

Whichever HDMI source is selected on the HDMI A output is simultaneously Output via the HDMI, Optical and RCA sockets - assuming your Sources are set to Video + 2-Ch audio that would give you the required feed to the Monitor, Headphone Amp and Capture device plus have the same or different Source to the second Monitor.

EDID management is handy when you have a complex setup as there may be times when you want to dictate what your Sources Output vs. letting the system decide what to Output.

Joe
 
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