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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a house and I have mapped out how I would like for my AV setup to look and operate from a physical perspective. Any suggestions(brand) for my 8x8 Video HDMI matrix? I am also looking for a way to control my system that will play nice with the video matrix? I would like for the system to be scalable so I can add lights and cameras in the near future. Crestron and Control 4 have been recommended, but is there any other solution out there if I decide to DIY? I have a .pdf for you to review however it is too large to upload to the forum, if you would like to review it please let me know and I will email it to you. Thanks!
 

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You sure you need an 8x8 matrix? What are you distributing, source-wise?

With the whole-house DVR solutions these days, in most cases you're better off using the set-top boxes in most rooms, perhaps combining infrequently-used spaces onto a splitter / HDMI extender arrangement. That will likely give you a better and much cheaper solution. Especially if you have both AVR/surround and "TV only" zones in the mix.

Just host your PDF on dropbox or other public cloud storage site and post a link here...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Jeff

Yeah I believe I would need the 8x8 HDMI splitter, because I have (3) Direct TV DVR's, (2) Apple TV's, BluRay DVD, Media Player (type is undecided). I know Direct TV has the Genie solution, however I still want the option to view other sources in multiple rooms. I want to try to keep the look as clean as possible in the rooms and have all cables home ran back to the AV closet in the basement. I also plan on building out a media room in the basement but that probably wont be right away (scalability). I have uploaded my .pdf to dropbox for you to review. Let me know what you think? Thanks!

AVSForum says I have to have 5 posts or greater before I can post any links...
 

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Yeah I believe I would need the 8x8 HDMI splitter, because I have (3) Direct TV DVR's, (2) Apple TV's, BluRay DVD, Media Player (type is undecided).
Spending $1000's to distribute $69 streaming boxes - make sure you really need to do this... If you can reduce that to a 4x4 or even a pair of 4x4's, you'll save quite a bit.

I know Direct TV has the Genie solution, however I still want the option to view other sources in multiple rooms.
Are you going to go to a closet to put a BD in a player for another room?

I want to try to keep the look as clean as possible in the rooms and have all cables home ran back to the AV closet in the basement.
There's a big difference between centralizing / remotely operating AV equipment and using a matrix solution. Placing equipment in a remote closet is relatively inexpensive and doesn't run into all the problems that a matrix switch introduces.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spending $1000's to distribute $69 streaming boxes - make sure you really need to do this... If you can reduce that to a 4x4 or even a pair of 4x4's, you'll save quite a bit.



If I use (2) 4x4's how would I manage the switching between sources? For instance, if I am in my bedroom and I am watching Direct TV and I want to switch over to Apple TV, or play music from a Media Server?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you going to go to a closet to put a BD in a player for another room?


I very rarely play BD, so this would be rare occasions if someone had something they wanted me to see or an occasional trip to Red Box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's a big difference between centralizing / remotely operating AV equipment and using a matrix solution. Placing equipment in a remote closet is relatively inexpensive and doesn't run into all the problems that a matrix switch introduces.

I guess my biggest question would be, if I have all my equipment located in a remote closet, what would be the best solution to avoid a matrix? And if so, how to control it? I want to make this as pain-free as possible.
 

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Tbrown - I went the Control4 route and for a IP Video switch vs a fixed 8x8 switch. It allowed more flexibility, you can add source inputs 1-2 at a time and add outputs (baluns behind the TV) 1 at a time. You can have a 6x4, 7x2, 4x9, etc, whatever configuration you can think of, you can do.

Control4 is not 100% DIY, but once the hardware is entered into the project, you can program it on your own. It was enough of a compromise for me. It had dealer support if I was stumped, 10,000's of products work in its ecosystem with C4 or 3rd party drivers, but if I wanted to sit down and program I have the ability.

I do agree that a fixed matrix or IP Matrix are expensive, so just make sure it makes sense in your case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tbrown - I went the Control4 route and for a IP Video switch vs a fixed 8x8 switch. It allowed more flexibility, you can add source inputs 1-2 at a time and add outputs (baluns behind the TV) 1 at a time. You can have a 6x4, 7x2, 4x9, etc, whatever configuration you can think of, you can do.

Control4 is not 100% DIY, but once the hardware is entered into the project, you can program it on your own. It was enough of a compromise for me. It had dealer support if I was stumped, 10,000's of products work in its ecosystem with C4 or 3rd party drivers, but if I wanted to sit down and program I have the ability.

I do agree that a fixed matrix or IP Matrix are expensive, so just make sure it makes sense in your case.
Thanks for the info. Do you have a specific brand that you used for your IP Video Switch? That route seems like it allows for more flexibility instead of being locked in to a specific 8x8 video matrix.
 

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Just Add Power - JAP - is the largest IP Matrix I know of. I went with Netplay by Video Storm. It is a bit newer on the block, maybe a year or so old, but Video Storm has been around much longer.

There were 1-2 features I liked from JAP but another 3-4 I liked from VS that I weighed more heavily, so I went with VS. I dont know anyone who has either that complains about them.
 

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If I use (2) 4x4's how would I manage the switching between sources? For instance, if I am in my bedroom and I am watching Direct TV and I want to switch over to Apple TV, or play music from a Media Server?
Split the server so it feeds two matrix units. And then you group and place duplicate sources on each matrix. So a minimum of one DirecTV box, one AppleTV and a split/shared server feed per matrix. Only downside is if you wanted to have multiple rooms in sync that lived on separate matrix units - but you can minimize that by intelligently grouping them... Cuts down the cost considerably and also can help avoid some of the HDMI common denominator issues by grouping "like" display setups together - for example, putting all "2-channel TV speaker" zones on one matrix so they don't force the sources to downshift to stereo and lose 5.1 surround...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Jeff,

Makes lots of sense, I have been reading where people have had issues of downscaling for 2 channel audio. I could definitely come up with a way to divide the sources. What do you suggest for control? I am strongly leaning towards C4, any other suggestions?
 

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I had some HDMI Handshake issues out of the box. My dealer called VS, gave them my model AVR and told them the issues. Within 5-6 days they released a firmware update. Been rock solid since. The Handshake issue impacted audio and video, but nothing since the update has impacted either video or audio.

You can also watch the same thing in various rooms, but if one room is 5.1 and the others are just using the TV for audio that is fine. It controls audio at each location.
 

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Do you have 8 screens or fewer?
How many live in this home?
Ages?
What do they watch?
How many screens are multi channel audio?
Is direct tv the only video provider or can you cable or fios?
Do you have any desire for 4k today or in the next 2-3 year's?
How often do you 're-watch shows?
What is your budget?
What is your control4/Crestron objection?
What is the objection to genie? Either in a deep box behind tv or remote?

Any multi channel audio zone should have its own sources imho.

You want to distribute DVD/BD then comment this is a rare source so spending $$$$ to distribute or $20 to own on VUDU / Apple in digital form.

I read this as a solution looking for a problem.

My thought, like Jeff

AVR zone with dedicated sources (x AVR zones)

Deep box in drywall behind each tv with atv / genie (or TiVo mini) / media decoder all hooked to tv. Cat6 drops to these.

Decide which additional tv's must have bd and bake in solution.

Run a cat6 shielded to each tv location from the closet and an HDMI to those under 50 linear feet and if the proposal above does not work. Go install a matrix.
 

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VTX100 goes in your central AV Rack and sources go into this switch
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=VTX100

You can get 2 or 4 inputs in a 1 RU model. I have 4 inputs in a 1 RU model. I have cable boxes, blu ray and a Control4 controller plugged in all centrally located in my AV Rack.

VRX010 goes behind the TV - takes the ethernet in and its HDMI out to the TV (or in 1 case for me, an AVR)
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=VRX010

They have a full distributed audio solution too - those are the NBX products. That said, the VRX models have all the features of the NBX plus the tv function. For the audio stuff you can stream and play these various services: http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=NBX100

I liked how with JAP you could add anything located anywhere to your matrix since they have small 1 input type devices that can sit anywhere in the house, so all your stuff did not have to be centrally located. With VS I liked the text and picture options upon actions (if someone rings a doorbell I can have a front camera image pop up on screen with text saying front door) and I liked how IP cameras can be added as sources without using up any inputs. So with my control4, should it be after 10pm at night and before 7am (usual sleeping times) if my alarm goes off, my bedroom TV will turn on and all my security cameras will tile and show on the screen. Another feature (coming soon) is the ability to have "sling like" technology where VS will allow you to watch your content on mobile devices. To me that would be icing on the cake. NEVER buy something for a "coming soon" feature, I know, but there were enough other positives to swing me in the VS direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
VTX100 goes in your central AV Rack and sources go into this switch
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=VTX100

You can get 2 or 4 inputs in a 1 RU model. I have 4 inputs in a 1 RU model. I have cable boxes, blu ray and a Control4 controller plugged in all centrally located in my AV Rack.

VRX010 goes behind the TV - takes the ethernet in and its HDMI out to the TV (or in 1 case for me, an AVR)
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=VRX010

They have a full distributed audio solution too - those are the NBX products. That said, the VRX models have all the features of the NBX plus the tv function. For the audio stuff you can stream and play these various services: http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=NBX100

I liked how with JAP you could add anything located anywhere to your matrix since they have small 1 input type devices that can sit anywhere in the house, so all your stuff did not have to be centrally located. With VS I liked the text and picture options upon actions (if someone rings a doorbell I can have a front camera image pop up on screen with text saying front door) and I liked how IP cameras can be added as sources without using up any inputs. So with my control4, should it be after 10pm at night and before 7am (usual sleeping times) if my alarm goes off, my bedroom TV will turn on and all my security cameras will tile and show on the screen. Another feature (coming soon) is the ability to have "sling like" technology where VS will allow you to watch your content on mobile devices. To me that would be icing on the cake. NEVER buy something for a "coming soon" feature, I know, but there were enough other positives to swing me in the VS direction.
@ezlotogura
Thanks for the feedback, sounds like you really did your homework. My plan is to have everything centrally located for aesthetics. I like the option to have the IP cameras interface with the system without having to use inputs (VS). Looks like VS would be a good fit. I see that C4 gets another plus by allowing you to program the cameras from 10pm-7am to display on the bedroom TV if the alarm goes off. I will continue to do my homework so I can make sure I have a clear understanding. I cant reply to any PM's until I have 15 posts, but yes I would love to get that information from you.
 
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