Multiroom Video Distribution's Next Wave In CEDIA Spotlight

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Distributing Ultra HD content around the house is more challenging than distributing music around the house, but suppliers have come to the CEDIA Expo with new solutions to help out.

For retrofit installs, for example, new solutions from Metra let installers pump 4K video over existing coaxial cables or via wireless. And Wyrestorm is launching three HDBaseT 4K Matrix kits with HDMI inputs and HDBaseT outputs. HDBaseT supports some HDMI 2.0a features such as high dynamic range and Rec. 2020 and 4:2:0 color gamut up to 60Hz, though not 4:4:4 color gamut, the company said.

Here’s what the companies are launching:

Metra Home Theater Group: The company is targeting retrofit upgrades and installs with three new products that will ship Oct. 15.

One is the $399 Ethereal HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator, which lets installers upgrade existing in-wall passive 24-gauge HDMI cables up to 15 meters in length to support HDMI 2.0a capabilities such as 4K/60fps video, expanded color gamut, and high dynamic range. It also works with 26-, 28- or 30-gauge HDMI cables at lengths up to 10 meters Another product is the M3B (Metra Multimedia Broadcast) System, which comes in two versions to let installers add a multisource video-distribution system to a home using either wireless RF or existing coaxial cables and splitters.

A wireless version works up to 200 meters line of sight with full 1080p support and delivers through-wall transmission. Optional antennas are available to boost signals.

Transformative Engineering: The $749-suggested HDM-4x2 4x2 HDMI matrix switcher, shipping in October, lets users share up to four HDMI 2.0 sources supporting 4K/30Hz/4:4:4 and 4K/60Hz/4:2:0 between two rooms . It features HDCP 2.0 but not HDCP 2.2 copy protection. It also features a local HDMI output with audio return channel (ARC), plus a remote-zone HDBaseT output. That output delivers HDMI signals over Cat-5/6e cable to an included receiver module up to 70m away. Both HDMI outputs are 4K-capable.

Wyrestorm: The company is launching its H2 line of HDMI and HDBaseT matrices and splitters, its first to support HDCP 2.2 copy protection and the HDMI 2.0 standard to distribute protected high-dynamic-range 4K content at 60fps with 4:4:4 color packing from future 4K Blu-ray players and 4K set-top boxes.

The devices support 4K resolutions at both 3,840 by 2,160p (UHD) and 4,096 by 2160p (DCI) levels at 60Hz with chroma subsampling up to 4:4:4 for the HDMI models and 60Hz at 4:2:0 for the HDBaseT models at a distance up to 70 meters, or 230 feet.

The HDMI-only HDMI-H2 Matrix Switchers are available in 4-, 6- and 8-way I/O variations within a 1U chassis supporting full-speed 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 up to 60Hz with 4:4:4 color. Their HDMI chipsets also support HDMI 2.0a. They’re priced from a suggested $1,998 to $2,498.

Three HDBT-H2 HDBaseT 4K Matrix kits feature HDMI inputs and HDBaseT outputs and are packaged with HDBaseT receivers. The kits are 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 kits priced at a respective $4,238, $9,999, and $11,799 with included receivers. All feature 5Play to transfer video, audio, two-way IR control, RS232, Ethernet and PoH technology over Cat-5/6 cables.

All products ship in the fourth quarter.

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