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How an HDMI Matrix Switch Simplifies Audiovisual Distribution

Eugene Makarenko • July 22, 2019

TV Display’s have become a very important aspect of our daily lives whether at home or work.  The fact is the majority of folks now have at least three to four Flat Panel Displays located throughout the home. While other applications including business establishments such as Sports Bars, Medical Facilities, Malls, Dealerships, etc. have anywhere from 6-30 TV Displays for entertainment, games and digital signage apps. Curious what makes this possible? 

Well, all this magic occurs thanks to the creation of the HDMI Video Matrix Switch. This device permits the audio/video equipment, cabling and sources to be remotely consolidated in a closet, utility room, garage or even a basement, essentially centralizing the system for aesthetic and structural convenience.  

There are multiple options available when it comes to the vast selection of HDMI Matrix Switchers available on the market. The primary concern is getting the Matrix Switcher that suits your budget and application requirements to accommodate the overall scheme for the A/V design.

Some important aspects to consider when searching for an HDMI Matrix Switcher are; how many TV’s and Sources do you have? This will determine whether you require a 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 8x10, 16x16 or an HDBaseT Matrix Switch. This numeric representation means “Sources X Displays”. Basically a “4x4” Matrix Switch equates to 4-Sources/4-Displays. Note, if the cable runs exceed 40ft you will want to consider using HDBaseT technology. This involves using Cat 5/6/7 cabling to send the Video and Audio signals over long distances using Baluns/Receivers, with limitations typically up to 328ft.  

Another consideration to take into account is Audio? Do you have Audio Sources? How are the audio “Sources” going to be distributed. Are you planning on using the local TV speakers or are house speakers part of the design? HDMI Matrix Switchers offer a variety of connections for whole house audio systems as well home theater surround sound receivers. Many Switchers offer Analog and Digital Audio De-embedding for sound, but some will not. To ensure compatibility with your audio amplifier make sure the one you choose has the proper style of audio connections that will match the Video/HDMI Matrix Switchers style of audio connections.   

One last critical question is how is this equipment going to be controlled? Are you interested in touch panels, wireless control from your tablet and phones? A major deciding factor of course will be the budget. This will help determine the extent of control provided by home automation systems like Crestron or Savant. Alternatively a less expensive solution would be Universal Remote Controls  coupled with a “RF” Radio Frequency or “IR” Infra-Red Relay System. Prices typically range from $500 - $50,000 in parts and labor. 

Before deciding on an HDMI Matrix Switch, BZB Express recommends checking with our Sales Team or an A/V Integration Professional regarding these concerns and solutions to be certain your desired design and overall outcome is that of a positive experience.

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