Hands On: Gefen 4x4 HDMI Cat5 Matrix
Todd Prose, account executive for Jeff Burgess and Associates Distribution (JB&A), San Rafael, Calif., lays hands on the Gefen 4x4 HDMI Cat5 Matrix.
Todd Prose, account executive for Jeff Burgess and Associates Distribution (JB&A), San Rafael, Calif. JB&A is a full-service distributor of high-end AV equipment for end users in various vertical industries.
MY PICK: Gefen 4x4 HDMI CAT5 Matrix EXT-HDMI-444
LIST PRICE: $3,999
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT: This model allows a direct connection of any four HDTV sources to four displays or projectors using the HDMI format. Our customers appreciate its ability to matrix switch between all eight devices using an infrared remote, and smart control devices can be connected through the RS-232 port. The best part is it makes the connection of multiple sources to multiple displays easy without networking, and you can access the same sources from each display, which cuts some equipment costs.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE: There's no local switching control on the unit. A local switch would be a nice complement to the IR remote control.
WHERE I USEDIT: In the home theater of JB&A namesake, Jeff Burgess himself, in San Rafael.
MY RESULTS: Jeff has a drop-down screen and projector as his main viewing display, with a plasma screen behind it. In the living room, he has a mounted flat-panel, which shares the same wall as the theater. The Gefen 4x4 HDMI CAT5 Matrix sits in his rack with his equipment, including a Blu-ray player, set top box, and Sony PlayStation 3 with Guitar Hero. Whenever he wants to access one of the players, he uses the Matrix to
route it to one of the three destinations: the screen, the plasma, or the flat-panel in the living room. So now he can have just one PS3, but three displays that can access it, though not at the same time. For HDTV users, the Gefen Matrix transmits full 1080p HD for all equipment so you're getting the best visuals available today. Another feature I like is that the Matrix does not require great technical skill to operate. I was able to connect the equipment to the matrix then connect the outputs to the projector and the two displays and it was working. Being able to integrate a system this easily and have it work for all the HD equipment makes it easy for me to recommend this product.