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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some hardcore "first world problems" in this thread. Building a house and the A/V installers are running multiple(4) solid core Cat6 UTP to my Living Room and Master BR. They're also running two Cat6 UTP to the two spare(i.e. unborn kids) bedrooms upstairs. Not too concerned with those just yet. I need to figure out the end pieces for the LR and MBR soon.


Requirements:

1. Centralized location in basement for A/V equipment(Comcast DVRs, Receivers, HTPCs, etc). Nothing in the rooms at all.

2. I would like to use HDBaseT for uncompressed video with IR control too.


The Rooms:

Living room will have a soundbar and have 5.1 surround sound. The MBR will only have a soundbar...not 5.1.


Current Sources:

(2) Comcast DVRs, HTPC(I'll build another if it makes the distribution easier), Gaming System(LR only as the MBR's distance will unlikely not support the controller RF distance).


Long Shot Requirements:

1. 4K TVs/Video. I think I'm a year too soon to consider getting everything to the 4K/60FPS specs. I mean, there are no HDMI 2.0 HDBaseT matrixes or even HDMI 2.0 receivers. I'm stuck with 1080P for now I think.


Questions:

So from my research, it comes down to a HDBaseT matrix or HDBaseT extenders. I am confused on a couple aspects:


1. What's with the "lowest common denominator" in matrixes? How can I get a 5.1 room to work with a non 5.1 room if they share a matrix? Even worse, what if one is a 4K TV and the other isn't?


2. I attached a ridiculous drawing of what I think my options are. I am probably way off. I guess I don't know where the A/V receiver goes with regard to the matrix(before or after), if I should just skip a matrix totally using just extenders while keeping the rooms totally separate, or some combo or matrixes, extenders and HDMI switches.


3. How concerned should I be with HDMI handshaking problems/video dropouts when switching inputs while using a matrix? I see Altona has a good reputation here with regards to stableness.



DistributionScenarios.jpg 1276k .jpg file
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingFeta  /t/1524961/need-advice-on-how-to-ha...th-different-audio-video-setups#post_24546867


1. What's with the "lowest common denominator" in matrixes? How can I get a 5.1 room to work with a non 5.1 room if they share a matrix? Even worse, what if one is a 4K TV and the other isn't?

You raise the common denominator. Get a soundbar for your master bedroom with HDMI in/out so that you have a DD5.1 decoder in the HDMI chain.
Quote:
2. I attached a ridiculous drawing of what I think my options are. I am probably way off. I guess I don't know where the A/V receiver goes with regard to the matrix(before or after), if I should just skip a matrix totally using just extenders while keeping the rooms totally separate, or some combo or matrixes, extenders and HDMI switches.

Yes, you should skip the matrix completely. With two Comcast boxes (which should have a networked DVR feature) and only two TVs, just dedicate one to each.


Use an HDBaseT extender from one Comcast box to your bedroom. Connect the rest of the sources to an AVR and then use another HDBaseT extender to the family room. Now, since you've got ample wiring to both locations, you could use the less-expensive 2-cable HDMI extenders - but HDBaseT is an excellent choice.


If you want to see the HTPC content in the bedroom, I would either split its output and use another HDBaseT extender for it (and you'll still have the common denominator issue - but perhaps not very often), or get a small HTPC to stream content from the 'main' unit.


But all of that to avoid the audio issues of not having an AVR for the master bedroom - for a house under construction? The best way to solve this, especially since you were already planning a soundbar there, is to run the speaker wires for a 5.1 setup in the master bedroom, put in an inexpensive AVR, and then use a "speakerbar" for audio. A couple of in-ceiling surround speakers and you'd really be set (or at least run the wires for them so you can add them later).



Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. So a modified "scenario 3" is the best option. Get an AVR for the bedroom, build another cheap HTPC to put behind it, and use HDBaseT extenders from the two AVRs into each room...correct? Must I wire the room for speakers or is that just future proofing? 5.1 in the MBR has a low wife approval factor...


I assume the built in IR control from the HDBaseT extenders will be able to blast all my IR commands to the AVRs and the sources behind them?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingFeta  /t/1524961/need-advice-on-how-to-ha...th-different-audio-video-setups#post_24550061


Thanks for the advice. So a modified "scenario 3" is the best option. Get an AVR for the bedroom, build another cheap HTPC to put behind it, and use HDBaseT extenders from the two AVRs into each room...correct?

Yup.
Quote:
Must I wire the room for speakers or is that just future proofing? 5.1 in the MBR has a low wife approval factor...

A soundbar passes the test, but adding two in-ceiling surround speakers is unacceptable? Wire for them, bury them between the joists and document their locations for later.


I use a Definitive Tech LCR speaker (a "speaker bar" - unpowered) and two in-ceiling speakers over the head of the bed that serve double-duty as either surround channels (from the hidden, cheap AVR), or as stereo from the Whole House Audio system. Paint the grills to match the ceiling color, and you don't even see them...
Quote:
I assume the built in IR control from the HDBaseT extenders will be able to blast all my IR commands to the AVRs and the sources behind them?

Yes.
 

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‘I'm stuck with 1080P for now I think.’ – pretty much the way for all of us for a few years yet with no readily available content on the near horizon.


HDMI Matrix – is definitely worth considering, as is Jeff’s solution.


HDMI audio – as Jeff suggests the simple option is to ensure all Zones can cater for the same Audio options, so a Soundbar or Soundbase with HDMI and HD audio processing in all secondary Zones is a great option.


HDMI video – again the ideal scenario is to ensure all Zones can cater for the same Video formats. Where you have one Display with addition format support if you utilise a Matrix with EDID management you can ‘force’ a Source into that higher mode as an when required for playback in that Primary Zone.


Keep in mind for now most 4K Display owners will simply be up converting 1080i and 1080p content within the Display.


HDBaseT – is very reliable in either the Extender or Matrix configuration, we go with HDBaseT-lite and suggest folk run a separate CAT cable for their home LAN.


IR – a Matrix can offer Routed (for your Sources), Broadcast (for an AVR) and Internal (for the Matrix) IR management and can greatly simplify your multi-zone control of your Sources and AVR.


Inter-source and Inter-zone Video blanking – is a bug bear for many and whilst it is how HDCP pretty much dictates things happen when you make a change in the system ‘state’ you can work around it within a Matrix, though it takes a bit of extra time, circuitry and programming!


Have a look at our HD4xSTPMX CardFrame – it ought to tick all of your box’s.

http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI_Matrix_HDbaseT_HD4xSTPMX_over%20CAT6.html


Joe
 
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