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HDMI Matrix vs. Video Storm Netplay


atldunns

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Hi - I'm looking at upgrading my current 8x8 matrix (component video).  I was considering the C4 matrix switch but I ran across the Video Storm product.  My dealer doesn't know anything about it.

 

Looking for thoughts from anyone that has used either of these devices.  Will the C4 matrix be obsolete when 4K becomes available?  How is the pic quality and reliability of the Video Storm products?

 

Any thoughts or experiences are appreciated.

 

 

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I have Video Storm - any particular questions please ask.  So far I am 95% happy with the product.  Only glitch I am having is in 1 room with the a Denon AVR.  I got some occasional video artifacts and audio blips.  The VS people have recreated the problem on their end and the next software update will correct this issue.  I am going to change up the wiring to bypass the AVR until the firmware is released.

 

They have been releasing firmware upgrades every few weeks/month, so I am not concerned that this issue will be on the backburner much longer.

 

I picked IP over a Matrix due to scalability - you can add inputs/outputs as you grown, its not fixed in an AxB setting.  I picked VS over say JAP due to a few extra features such as Video On Screen display (example: door bell rings and a camera can pop up on the TV or if my alarm goes off the TV can turn on and show all cameras) or text on screen display (example: Doorbell rings and if you do not have cameras outside you can get Text on the screen saying Front Door Bell or when I hit the button we set as a timer to put the TV in sleep mode I get text on the screen saying 90 minute timer).  You can do PIP, or multi picture which is 4 video sources (cameras, cable, blu ray player, whatever) on one screen at a time.  IP Cameras that are h264 do not need their own encoder on the system, which is nice.  Its like a free input, and I have 4 cameras, so that saved me $$.  There is also a video wall feature (you can use 4 tvs to create one big tv) and some other features but I am not using them.

 

I am excited for other features to come such as the ability to do a firmware upgrade to handle 4k and ability to watch your sources when you are not on home network on a tablet/smartphone.

 

I think the product is headed in the right direction.

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thanks eggzlot - I have just 2 questions...  1.  Have you had any problems with audio sync?  I am using my whole home audio speakers for the TV audio in most rooms and have read some concerns with syncing?  I use the c4 audio matrix.

 

2.  I've read that video over IP is "lossy".  Do you believe this based on your experience?

 

Thanks!

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1) Audio Sync - ok here is where it can get complex.  I believe it depends on your sources, etc.  For me, I have no issues.  All of my audio is just sonos.  I do not distribute cable box/blu ray audio in my house.  that said, I do have a C4 Audio Matrix as well.  If I were to put the cable box/blu ray audio in there and say play the audio on my patio speakers outside, and the same thing is playing on a TV inside, I believe there may be a slight delay.  Netplay makes their own Matrix which can be tweaked so there is no delay.  Ask your dealer to be 100% sure.  That being said, its a non issue for me because my living room has a 3.1 speaker set up but a denon AVR local in the room, the other TV zones I use the TV built in speakers, so I am not broadcasting these audio sources.  1x a year I have a Super Bowl party, would it be nice to have the audio of the cable box/national broadcast on in the dining room (audio only zone where we have food and stuff for the party, but no TV) yes it would be nice, but instead I just play the SiriusXM broadcast of the game in that room.  Its once a year.   Not sure I answered your question, and you may want to contact video storm direct and ask, they respond quickly to emails

 

2) Lossy, I guess technically it may be...as mentioned my living room is my "nice" set up.  hi fi speakers, an AVR and a 58'' Panasonic VT Plasma TV.  I sit about 9' away.  Watching cable tv or a blu ray it seems no different than in my old house (components hooked up directly), vs the crappy $300 monoprice switch I had from the get go before I installed Video storm.  I am sure if one ran reports, pixel peeped etc they would have complaints.  no one has come over to complain about the video.  Again I have some video artifact issues due to the AVR and hdmi but they have noticed that issue and the next firmware update should have the patch/fix.  I am not a huge pixel peeping guy, I just purchased a new DSLR with "only 16 megapixels" and its not full frame, guess what, it has taken some great photographs and people ask me what camera I have...I sometimes thing we get lost in the sauce with #s and stuff, but that is just me.  

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Hi Atl - do not blame you for waiting.  If your component system is working, no need to replace per se.  If you have 4k content, it may be at only 1 TV viewing station for a while given how "fast" and easy it will be (not!) to get 4k content.

 

I will say the VS people are great, they released firmware updates within 10 days to address my problem - no joke.  VRX and VTX software updates released last night.  did the firmware upgrades and I *think* I am in the clear, though I got some more testing to do tonight.

 

Overall I am very happy with the product and service.  And I also had a need badly for this as my dealer wired everything for a central spot for all components, but then decided to use a $300 switch which was total rubbish.  Replaced it 2x in a year, and also replaced my dealer :-)  Nothing like spending 5 figures on home automation and not being able to sit down and watch TV :-)  The modular approach and other features (On screen text/video, PiP, multi screen display, h264 camera integration) is what sold me on IP (and specifically VS) over an HDMI matrix solution.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I have the VS and I really enjoy it. It was bumpy out of the gate but once you work out the kinks it works well. You need a good installer with knowledge of C4 and VS. Happy I made the choice

Sent from my LGLS992 using Tapatalk

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The modular approach and other features (On screen text/video, PiP, multi screen display, h264 camera integration) is what sold me on IP (and specifically VS) over an HDMI matrix solution.

I will be installing a new home automation system in several months time (when the house is built...) and am specifying the equipment now. Clearly there is flexibility to change this for a while and I am interested in the comparison between a HDBaseT matrix and an IP solution. We had been looking at a Wyrestorm HDBaseT matrix and I see Wyrestorm also offer HDMI over IP products. Given they offer both, presumably there are advantages and disadvantages to each?

As a I mentioned, this will be a newbuild house so we can put in whatever wiring and systems we need now. What would everyone recommend and what are the pros and cons of each system?

Can Control4 drive the on-screen text, PIP, etc? This type of integration would be great (and may be achievable in different types of products)?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, bdo21 said:

I will be installing a new home automation system in several months time (when the house is built...) and am specifying the equipment now. Clearly there is flexibility to change this for a while and I am interested in the comparison between a HDBaseT matrix and an IP solution. We had been looking at a Wyrestorm HDBaseT matrix and I see Wyrestorm also offer HDMI over IP products. Given they offer both, presumably there are advantages and disadvantages to each?

As a I mentioned, this will be a newbuild house so we can put in whatever wiring and systems we need now. What would everyone recommend and what are the pros and cons of each system?

Can Control4 drive the on-screen text, PIP, etc? This type of integration would be great (and may be achievable in different types of products)?

Thanks!

as far as I know Control4 cannot control onscreen text, PIP, overlays, etc.  There are two IP players I know of, JAP (Just add Power) and Video Storm.  I went Video storm for several reasons, mostly around ability to easily incorporate my IP cameras without using up inputs, Kodi/XBMC built in and a few other features.  I did not know about Wyrestorm's IP offering so cannot speak about it.

There are pros and cons to both - technically IP the signal is compressed then uncompressed.  I do not notice a difference.  Then again I do not sit 3' from my tv and stare at pixels.  No one has come to my house to comment.  I have a ~6-7 year old TV, the first 3d tv by Panny and it was the VT line so top of the line.  Its a great TV and the image is sharp.  There is also a little delay with pressing the remote control and having stuff operate, its called latency.  Video storm has it but with their low latency mode, within 1-2 days of using the system there is barely any noticeable lag.  Depending on how you want to distribute the audio (build in tv speakers, sound bar, 5.1 set up, an AVR, no AVR, etc, you may need the Video Storm audio matrix to help sync audio.

A fixed matrix may be a bit cheaper and the signal is not compressed and I do not believe there is latency.  The issues are its lack of modular growth, 8x8 is just that, its fixed, add another TV, want another input, need to swap out the switch..With IP just add another decode/encoder and off you go...I am not sure how many (if any) provide PiP, Text overlays, ability to add IP cameras without taking up input space, etc...

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Our system (NetPlay) is very flexible with wiring.  We just require 100mbps ethernet to every TV.  If you have your choice of wiring to install, so with a single cat6 cable to each room (back to a central location).  If not, our system can even run over existing rf cable using MOCA.

You can control the PIP, Tiling, and OSD in control4 using programming macros.  Many of our dealers tie these to custom buttons to make it easy for the end customers.  Please see: Tiling demo c4

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