HDMI Matrix Switchers
Home automation and sound distribution is no longer in the realms of science fiction – nowadays it is possible to have complete control of lighting, media systems, home audio, heating/air con, security systems, all nicely integrated into an easy to control software available at your fingertips anywhere throughout the home.
For those not ready to take a massive leap into a fully integrated system, the bare essentials would probably be enough.
Lighting, security systems, the garage door… why not leave these to their traditional control systems, like a switch or remote, and invest the money where it counts – sending HD Audio and Video to your second lounge, bedrooms, media room, etc.
Sending Sky TV, Blu-ray, streaming/downloaded movies, Apple TV, Igloo, whatever the source, throughout your homes TV’s, from one central location, is quite simple.
What will you need to get started?
Many modern homes will the ability to distribute signals throughout the home via ethernet cables. Typically these could be for internet distribution throughout the home, but with the arrival of HDBaseT, you are able to send HD audio and video across the same cable using a HDMI Matrix Switcher.
If you are in a position to be able to install new wiring in your home, even better, as this could offer more flexibility, though does require some extra skill and DIY know-how. If in doubt its always best to contact an expert, there are plenty of AV installers which will be able to retrofit cables for you.
If running the cabling yourself I would recommend you take the time to research a bit about the do’s and don’ts for HDBaseT:
If choosing to go over HDMI cable only for distribution, some helpful hints – always test the cabling on the source before it goes into the walls, and if going over 10 Metre in cable lengths, ensure the thickness of the cable is at least 24 AWG.
HDMI Matrix Switcher
Once the cabling is sorted, you will need a way to share signals from all your source components to your TV’s. If you have HDMI only, then a matrix such as the one below should be fine:
If you are needing to use cat 5/6 cables then you will need a matrix with compatible receivers such as the one below:
Once the cabling has been run, and matrix set-up with your sky decoder, how will you change channels with your remote through-out the house? We offer a few separate solutions for sending remote signals wirelessly throughout your home which can be found here:
If you decide to go with one of our Matrix Switchers over Cat there is no need for a separate IR system – the IR forwarding is built-in, forwarding IR back to your components from the receiver at the TV end.
Installing the HDMI Matrix Switcher itself is simple enough, requiring only HDMI cables from your source components to the matrix, and the outputs assigned to the cabling within the walls. The simple diagram below outlines how a matrix is typically connected:
Helpful hints for a successful DIY HDMI Matrix implementation
– Check your HDMI and Cat5/6 Cables before installation on the source and display
– Don’t use cheap or substandard cabling
– Don’t go beyond the specifications of the matrix (max cable distance)
– Try to use shielded Cat6 cables with Shielded Plugs
– Keep Cat cables away from other signals – try to avoid running close to other types of cabling
– When connecting sources to a matrix, HDMI cable length must be at least 2 metres
– When using the IR forwarding, take extra care in placing the emitter eye on the IR window, correct placement is essential
– Check EQ level on all receivers are tuned correctly – if no picture or sound is coming through, most likely it’s just a matter of adjusting the EQ. (more details can be found in manual)
– Do not power on receivers or matrix while connecting cables