Understanding Video Distribution in Smart Homes: Benefits, Functionality, and Considerations
Are you tired of limited entertainment options in different rooms of your home? You can enjoy hassle-free entertainment throughout every corner of your smart home with professional video distribution installation. In this article, we will explore video distribution in smart homes and answer the questions you have been seeking. We will discuss its advantages, functionality, and key factors to consider, including cost considerations. Audio video distribution is a must-have for homeowners who want hassle-free entertainment throughout their home. The problem with traditional systems is that they rack up high costs, especially if you have a large house with multiple locations for TVs and speakers.
Factors affecting costs
When considering video distribution, it’s crucial to evaluate individual requirements and budget constraints. The cost of implementing a video distribution system should be assessed based on the desired setup and the estimated budget range per room. Let us help you understand more about what you may or may not need regarding video distribution in your home by contacting us today!
When it comes to distributing HDMI/4k signals to multiple displays, there are several options available, each with its own advantages and cost considerations. The following are four popular system options to compare: HDMI Splitter Over HDBaseT (Single Cat5e/6), HDMI Modulated Over RF/Coax Cable, HDMI Matrix Over HDBaseT (Single Cat5e/6), and HDMI Over IP. By examining the cost implications of these systems for various configurations, we can gain a better understanding of their affordability and suitability for different scenarios.
HDMI Splitter Over HDBaseT (Single Cat5e/6):
For a setup with 1 source and 2 TVs, the cost is £729.
For a setup with 1 source and 4 TVs, the cost is £915.
For a setup with 1 source and 8 TVs, the cost is £1999.
- This system offers a straightforward HDMI splitting solution using HDBaseT technology. The costs increase as the number of TVs or displays connected to the system increases.
HDMI Modulated Over RF/Coax Cable:
For a setup with 1 source and 2 TVs, the cost is £199/£629.
For a setup with 1 source and 4 TVs, the cost is £199/£629.
For a setup with 1 source and 8 TVs, the cost is £199/£629.
- This system utilises existing coaxial cable infrastructure to distribute HDMI signals. The cost varies depending on the specific modulator used, with prices ranging from £199 to £629. The range reflects different features and capabilities of the modulators available in the market.
HDMI Matrix Over HDBaseT (Single Cat5e/6):
For a setup with 2 sources and 2 TVs, the cost is £1349.
For a setup with 2 sources and 4 TVs, the cost is £1349.
For a setup with 2 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £1349.
For a setup with 4 sources and 4 TVs, the cost is £3299.
For a setup with 4 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £3299.
For a setup with 8 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £5699.
- This system provides matrix switching capabilities along with HDBaseT transmission. The cost remains relatively consistent across different setups, except for configurations with more sources and displays, which can increase the price.
HDMI Over IP:
For a setup with 1 source and 2 TVs, the cost is £1331.
For a setup with 1 source and 4 TVs, the cost is £1829.
For a setup with 1 source and 8 TVs, the cost is £3225.
For a setup with 2 sources and 4 TVs, the cost is £2178.
For a setup with 2 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £3923.
For a setup with 4 sources and 4 TVs, the cost is £2876.
For a setup with 4 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £4272.
For a setup with 8 sources and 8 TVs, the cost is £5668.
- This system offers the flexibility of transmitting HDMI signals over an IP network. The cost varies depending on the number of sources and displays, with higher costs associated with larger configurations.
Limitations of HDMI matrixes and Video over IP
Both HDMI matrix and Video over IP present district challenges and drawbacks that need to be considered. Compared to HDMI matrix switching systems, HDMI over IP offers lower quality and their cost can be significantly higher. HDMI matrix switching systems, however, have significant limitations when it comes to scalability, potential rewiring requirements, but they do not suffer from potential network interruptions.
HDMI over IP:
- Lower video quality: HDMI signals need to be compressed to travel over a Gigabit network, leading to a compromise in video quality compared to uncompressed signals.
- Network interruptions: Any activity on the network, such as printing or internet access, can interrupt the HDMI stream, causing visible glitches on the screen.
- Bandwidth limitations: Sharing the network bandwidth between multiple HDMI sources can further decrease the compression quality of each stream.
- Coexistence issues: Regular IP network and IP network dedicated to HDMI traffic need to be physically separated to avoid conflicts, eliminating the advantage of using an existing network.
- Cost: Compression devices for HDMI over IP may be more expensive compared to HDMI extenders.
HDMI matrix switching using an HDMI extender:
- Limited scalability: HDMI extension-based systems typically have a fixed number of input and output ports, making it more challenging to expand the system beyond its initial configuration.
- Cable limitations: HDMI extension-based systems require dedicated point-to-point connections using CAT6/STP cables, which may necessitate rewiring in some cases.
- Higher cost for large installations: Adding more input and output ports to a matrix switching system increases the overall cost.
- No network priority issues: Unlike HDMI over IP, HDMI matrix switching does not face interruptions or priority conflicts caused by network activities.
Comparison of Video Matrix and Video Over IP:
There are two video distribution approaches commonly used: HDMI matrix and video over IP. HDMI matrix provides a fixed number of inputs and outputs, suitable for a predetermined number of TVs and video sources. This solution works well for those who know exactly how many displays they will want in their house and know exactly how they want their design to look.
On the other hand, video over IP offers scalability, allowing for the easy addition or removal of devices and displays without extensive system changes. We recommend this to people who prefer variety and enjoy adapting to their stylistic choices or interior design preferences over time.
The distance between the boxes is also a crucial factor to consider as it can potentially have a considerable impact on the overall cost of the project. Why is this? Because traditional HDMI matrix’s / AV are restricted, this leads to the rise of installation costs because extension is needed throughout the home. This is why many opt for IP-based systems because they can be transmitted over copper cable and fibre optics. Thus, due to its ability to overcome both distance, source and destination restrictions, AV over IP can greatly enhance flexibility and convenience for the homeowner.
Our Recommendation For Video Distribution:
We recommend the VINX-110AP-HDMI-DEC AV over IP multimedia extender designed for Gigabit Ethernet networks because of its scaling capability and USB extension.
Its key features include:
- Scaling and Video Wall Processing: The device can scale video signals to match the properties of the target display and offers video wall setup capabilities, reducing installation time.
- Extension Distance: It supports extension distances of up to 100 meters using CAT5e or CAT6 cables, allowing for flexible deployment in various setups.
- Audio and USB KVM Extension: The extender supports audio de-embedding and USB KVM (HID) extension, providing seamless integration of audio and keyboard-video-mouse functionalities.
- Control and Configuration: The device offers multiple control options, including command injection on RS-232 and IR ports, intuitive control software, and a built-in website for device configuration.
- Advanced Features: It includes advanced EDID management, bi-directional RS-232 extension, support for various audio formats, and the ability to switch signals across connected encoder and decoder units.
- Compatibility and Compliance: The VINX-110AP-HDMI-DEC is HDMI 1.4, HDCP 1.4, and DVI 1.0 compliant, supporting a wide range of devices and systems.
- Mounting and Design: The extender features a compact and silent design, offering mounting options for racks, furniture, or truss installations.
- Power Options: It can be powered remotely through CATx cables (PoE PD) or with an external universal power adaptor.
What Is Video Distribution And Why Is It Important In A Smart Home:
Video distribution plays a significant role in enhancing the design, aesthetics, and functionality of smart homes. By implementing video distribution, homeowners can achieve a clean, clutter-free appearance by minimising cable clutter and eliminating the need for multiple media cabinets to accommodate multiple televisions throughout the house.
Pros and Cons of Video Matrix and Video Over IP: While HDMI matrix systems are generally more cost-effective initially, they lack scalability. Expanding the system in the future would require replacing the entire matrix. On the other hand, video over IP systems provide scalability, allowing for seamless integration of additional devices without major infrastructure changes. However, they may come at a higher initial cost.
In a video distribution system, the source refers to a device that generates video signals, and distributes them throughout your home. Devices like these serve as central control points for managing and distributing video signals to various displays, like TVs and projectors. Examples include Blue-ray players, Apple TV and media servers. By connecting video sources to a distribution system, you can watch your content from any connected display or project the same display throughout the house. A source device plays an important role in delivering high-quality video content and ensuring that you have a wide variety of options and genres to choose from. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can connect multiple channels such as streaming services and other media content to satisfy all your needs.
Advantages of Video Distribution:
Video distribution offers several benefits. It allows homeowners to achieve a clean and clutter-free environment while personalising their viewing experiences throughout the house. Furthermore, video distribution enables the distribution of uncompressed content, ensuring exceptional picture quality, especially for high-resolution formats like 4K and 8K.
Determining the need for video distribution in your home:
Determining the Need for Video Distribution in Your Home:
To determine the need for video distribution, it’s important to assess individual content consumption preferences. If streaming services are predominantly used and live TV or external video sources are not required, video distribution may not be necessary. However, if live TV or external video sources are still utilised and the benefits of video distribution are appealing such as controlling multiple displays via one central control hub, it can be a valuable addition to a smart home setup.
How Video Distribution Works:
Video distribution involves the integration of TVs, video sources (such as cable receivers, streaming devices, and media servers), and a central video switch. The video switch enables users to route selected video sources to specific TVs, allowing for personalised viewing experiences in different areas of the house.
Video distribution in smart homes enhances the design, aesthetics, and functionality of the living space(s). By leveraging this technology, homeowners can enjoy a clean, clutter-free environment while personalising their viewing experiences throughout the house. Compared with traditional AV solutions, AV over IP boasts more flexibility and scalability for homeowners. The number of desired displays will not be limited, allowing for extensions or design improvements. Even if the maximum number of ports has been used, multiple IP switches can be connected to expand the input capability. Considering factors such as cost, scalability, and individual needs will help determine the optimal video distribution solution for a smart home. In case you require any more information or advice regarding video distribution in your home, we would be happy to speak with you.