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Matrix Switch or....
#1
I was wondering what other people are doing for their TV's and if they are using matrix switches or are wiring directly to their TV. When I renovated my house, I ran 2 RG6 and 2 Cat5e to each of the five TV locations which each have PAC525 in the walls behind the TV. The PAC525 also have two recessed receptacles. All of my low voltage runs into a rack/closet where my other stuff is located. 

I do not have cable and have an HD OTA antenna and can distribute that throughout the house, which I do to the two TV's that are currently used. I also use an HDHomeRun (a hardware transcoder) that connects to my PLEX server for recording OTA content.

Currently, I can fit an Apple TV, Harmony hub, HotLink Pro, small switch, and an HDMI over Cat5e into each PAC525 box. I currently use the HDMI over Cat5e devices to distribute my Network Video Recorder (NVR) feed. In my closet I use an HDMI splitter coming off the NVR and then from there it goes to a HDMI over Cat5e. Because I ran home runs of Cat5e, I can patch stuff directly end-to-end.

I only have two rooms that have the full load out and the other three are empty with no TV's.

I am moving away from Harmony and am moving to CQC and the Global Cache GC-100 for TV control, among others. Because of this, I started rethinking how to distribute stuff.

Anyone using Matrix switches? If I did go with that would I not have to have separate Apple TV's for each TV? Is my current setup sufficient?



Is anyone using matrix switches to distribute stuff? Am I overthinking this?
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#2
The thing with the switch and centralized sources is that you can get more use out of the sources, but at the same time, you have to deal with contention for them, and that's not easy. Unless you have a source per consuming room/zone whatever, then you need some way to deal with multiple consumers wanting to control the same zone.

And, the thing is, if you are going to do that, you'd maybe end up better just having the sources with the TV and leave the matrix out of the picture.

OTOH, for music, the matrix allows you to do things like party mode with the same music source going to multiple rooms without any sync issues. Or even 'sports bar' mode with the same TV source going to multiple rooms.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#3
Until I moved to Dish as cable is not available in the new location, I was using an HDMI matrix switch with long HDMI cables where they would reach and extenders where they would not. I refused to pay what the cable company wanted for each STB (extra charges for both DVR & HD) when we only ever used a couple TVs at one time. Additionally, having DVRs that required watching a program in the "right" location made it much less desirable to do that. Personally, the centralized DVR makes the HDMI matrix switch worth every penny in my mind. We almost never watch anything live so being able to sit down and pull recorded material at will is big.

Re: Dean's party mode, my HDMI matrix switch outputs were not synced. You could hear a program in a neighboring room playing at an offset from the local feed.
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#4
Yeh, I was just thinking of the matrix itself. If there's any timing issues (buffering, for example) downstream, then it may or may not work. I was also sort of thinking in terms of analog audio which might be archaic these days.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#5
(07-09-2019, 11:51 AM)zaccari Wrote: Until I moved to Dish as cable is not available in the new location, I was using an HDMI matrix switch with long HDMI cables where they would reach and extenders where they would not.  I refused to pay what the cable company wanted for each STB (extra charges for both DVR & HD) when we only ever used a couple TVs at one time.  Additionally, having DVRs that required watching a program in the "right" location made it much less desirable to do that.  Personally, the centralized DVR makes the HDMI matrix switch worth every penny in my mind.  We almost never watch anything live so being able to sit down and pull recorded material at will is big.

Re: Dean's party mode, my HDMI matrix switch outputs were not synced.  You could hear a program in a neighboring room playing at an offset from the local feed.

Thanks for the insight. I don't have cable so have never thought about this aspect (Cable company monetization with "STB fees")
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#6
I had a multi-input matrix switch and finally retired it last year (B&K HD-6).  I guess you can say I still use one, it is  J-Tech 1x4 HDMI switch - think it was around $200 -  that allows me to watch DirecTV on 5 TV's with distribution on one Cat5e.  Since the DirecTV will work on RF, you can program each remote to control the DTV box via RF but also control the TV's IR locally.  They also have an IR distribution system built into that, but I don't use it.  You might consider doing that with Apple TV.

I am not sure what Apple TV costs, but you can get a 1080P Roku box for $30, and the hassle of connecting everything via cat5e/HDMI and then keeping it working would make me just buy multiple boxes if it is that cheap.
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#7
(07-13-2019, 09:56 PM)kblagron Wrote: I had a multi-input matrix switch and finally retired it last year (B&K HD-6).  I guess you can say I still use one, it is  J-Tech 1x4 HDMI switch - think it was around $200 -  that allows me to watch DirecTV on 5 TV's with distribution on one Cat5e.  Since the DirecTV will work on RF, you can program each remote to control the DTV box via RF but also control the TV's IR locally.  They also have an IR distribution system built into that, but I don't use it.  You might consider doing that with Apple TV.

I am not sure what Apple TV costs, but you can get a 1080P Roku box for $30, and the hassle of connecting everything via cat5e/HDMI and then keeping it working would make me just buy multiple boxes if it is that cheap.

I assume with this set up that only one TV at a time can "watch" the DirecTV?
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#8
All can watch it, but the same channel. If someone changes the channel, they all watch the new channel. .
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#9
(07-14-2019, 07:52 AM)kblagron Wrote: All can watch it,  but the same channel.  If someone changes the channel,  they all watch the new channel. .

Thanks
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