There's a revolution happening in the world of HDMI distribution, says Steve May
If you want to pipe Full HD around your home, the pro way of doing it has been via HDMI over Ethernet, utilising paired network cables book-ended by an HDMI transmitter and receiver. But now a new, more versatile standard is finding its feet. Known as HDBaseT, it allows a single Ethernet cable (Cat5e upwards) to carry lossless HD video and audio, plus 100BT internet and control, over 100m without any signal problems.
The system here comprises everything you need, including a full complement of cables. The main unit features four HDMI inputs and four Ethernet outputs. These each terminate at a small HDMI receiver. Just connect your HD sources to view them on any of the four output feeds. With support coming from some of the consumer electronics majors, you can expect to see compliant Ethernet jacks popping up on everything from TVs to Blu-ray players.
Simple to install. IR repeaters for each source allow remote control of any transmitting device from the remote receiver.
This distribution club isn’t exclusive. The matrix can connect to a router, using additional Ethernet jacks on the hub, thereby injecting network and internet connectivity.
HDMI delivery is completely transparent, which means no artefacting. Lossless audio is also delivered intact.
Simple domestic setups might be better served by a wireless HDMI TX/RX system.
The hardware is clearly intended for a boot room, given the industrial-style display.
HDanywhere 4x4 Multiroom+
Price: £1,500 Approx
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