Frequently Asked Questions

  • HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface
  • HDBaseT - Connectivity standard forwhole-home and commercial distribution of uncompressed multimedia content, including full 1080p HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals through a single LAN cable.
  • 1080i/p - 1080 horizontal lines on the screen made up of 540 odd and even rows of pixels.  In 1080i, or 'interlaced', each frame is displayed by alternating between odd and even rows every 30/1 second.  In 1080p, or 'progressive', the rows of each frame are displayed at the same time - progressively - resulting in a smotther looking image with less motion artifacts and jagged edges.  As a result 1080p requires greater bandwidth due to its higher quality.
  • EDID - Extended Display Identification Data
  • LAN - Local Area Network: computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, or office building using network media.
  • HDCP - High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection
  • TMDS - Transition Minimized Different Setting
  • Cat5ei - Category 5 enhanced
  • RS232 - Recommended Standard 232 control protocol
  • DTS - Digital Theatre System
  • THX - derived from Tomlinson Holmon's experiment (the 'X' is for 'crossover') and George Lucas's first movie in 1971 'THX-1138'
  • DIP (as in DIP switch) - Dual In-line Package
  • CEC - Consumer Electronics Control
  • SDI - Serial Digital Interface
  • DDC - Display Data Channel (refers to pins 17 and 18 in an HDMI plug that handle EDID and CEC)
  • UTP - Unsheilded Twisted Pair

 

AV receivers can be tricky pieces of equipment.  Check to ensure that yourss isn’t adding CEC (HDMI Control Protocol) to the outgoing signal, this can sometimes have an effect on the HDMI signal.

You may need to check through your AV receiver settings to make sure they are compatible with the source and the display.  Settings from the sources, the matrix, the AVR and the display must all match or the transmission will fail.  For example, if your AV receiver is trying to pass 7.1 channel audio but the system has detected a maximum capability of 5.1, the signal will have difficulty negotiating the transmission. 

Consult the AV reciever manual and the WyreStorm product manual before installation to ensure compatibility.

 

 

Firstly, ensure that the source is outputting 1080p and that the TV is Full HD 1080p screen.  If this is the case then the receiver Cat5ei or Coax may need setting up for long cable mode using the DIP switches.   This useful feature uses an alternative Equalisation method to re-sync the signal over longer distances.

We advise you to consult the instruction manual that came with your WyreStorm product, or download it from this website.  The manual includes details on DIP switch settings and a handy troubleshooting checklist to refer to if you are encountering installation difficulties.  If neither of those get you moving, please contact our tech support, who will be only too pleased to help.

 

 

HDCP (High Definition Copyright Protection) is a feature built in to HDMI devices to prevent theft of or illegal distribution of HD content.   Unlike some manufacturers products that try to block or bypass HDCP, itself an infringement of copyright regulations, WyreStorm Matrix switches are completely legal and fully comply with HDCP regulations.  They do this by assigning a “key” to every display connected to the switch. HDCP “keys” are assigned to a display when connected to a HDMI device normally. This doesn’t change when connected to a switch; it just assigns more of them.

 

When sending a signal point to point a TV will digitally communicate it’s capabilities to the source, with the source then responding by outputting compatible signal to be received bt the TV, such as 1080p and stereo audio, for example. 

The use of displays with different capabilities, such as picture resolution and audio, in the same installation can be problematic as each source can only send one signal at a time, even when using a matrix switch to mediate the signal.  A signal that tries to force its way onto a display that is incapable of receiving it will typically result in transmission failure.  

To avoid such a situation, the system will typically output for the display with lowest capabilities, so if the matrix installation includes three 1080p screens and one 1080i screen, the resultant image would be 1080i across all screens. The matrix switches do not scale per output but instead negotiate with the source a signal that all screens are capable of supporting.  Successful signal transmission is the objective.

HDMI 1.4 refers to a list of ‘features’ that a device is capable of supporting, including Ethernet channel, return audio channel, 3Detc. Due to the continuously evolving nature of the technology, HDMI Licensing LLC have now decided to simplify terminology by testing and referring to cable in terms of STANDARD or HIGH-SPEED rather than in generations 1.3, 1.4 etc.

STANDARD (or “category 1”) HDMI cables perform at speeds of 75Mhz or up to 6.75Gbps, which is the equivalent to a 720p/1080i signal – These HDMI cables are NOT recommended.

All WyreStorm equipment support HIGH-SPEED (or “category 2”) HDMI cables that have been tested to perform at speeds of 340Mhz or up to 10.2Gbps, which is the highest bandwidth currently utilised over an HDMI cable and can successfully handle 1080p signals including those at increased colour depths and/ or increased refresh rates from the source. High-Speed cables are also able to accommodate higher resolution displays, such as WQXGA cinema monitors (resolution of 2560 x 1600). 

Using the conventional TMDS transmission method as found on our PRO range, video and audio signals are sent along cable number 2 of the Cat5ei/6/7, with IR signals and HDCP data sent along cable number 1. 

When selecting single cable mode on a TMDS dual cable set up, IR signals are dropped and the HDCP data is transmitted along cable number 2 along with the video and audo signals, thereby negating the need for cable number 1.

However, if IR is required, this can be acheived by using our HDBaseT products, which make it possible to send audio (up to DTS Master), full HD video (up to 4k resolution), Ethernet connectivity for internet access (10/100), wide band control (RS232 & two-way IR) and even power down a single Cat 5e/6/7 cable.

Furthermore, HDBaseT transmission also benefits from longer transmission distances and signal stability, with distribution far less susceptible to exterior influences such as electrical interference, which can impact on transmission.

For the majority of our products local power is required at the display location, with our HD display receivers requiring a 5v power supply at the TV end to operate.  (On some models 12v is needed to maintain power necessary for longer signal transmission) 

It is important that these devices do not receive remote power from the rack as issues can be experienced issues resulting from voltage drop along the length of cable.

In instances where access to mains power at the display location is limited, the TV itself can be used as a power source for some of our extender products.  Using existing USB ports tyically found on most modern TV units, our USB to 5v power cable offers an inexpensive and reliable means of locally powering display receivers without a mains supply.  

Not only does this provide a constant and far more energy efficient power source for the receiver as the units only draw power when the display is in use, it also makes for a neater installation requiring less space and less power adaptors on site.  

New for 2013! - Power Over HDBaseT:  New to our extender range, our Power Over HDBaseT display receivers can now draw power directly from a PoH-enabled transmission device, such as matrix or extender, for full remote power capabilities via a single Cat5ei/6 cable without any local power required at display locations.

See here for more information on the full range of WyreStorm Extender products.

Virtually all our HDMI distribution products support IR pass-through, from point-to-point extender sets to AMP-001-010 digital audio amplifier, Pro and HDBaseT matrices, with the majority of our range now supporting wideband IR for compatibility with any IR device available on the market. 

Both our HDBaseT Pro Plus and full HDBaseT matrix ranges (Cat 5e/6) have IR pass-through from each outputs and discrete IR outputs at the switch end, thus enabling the connection of multiple identical sources, each with individual IR routed to the applicable source only.

All WyreStorm matrix switchers and the vast majority of our receiver, extender, splitter, switcher and scaler products are fully 3D compatible, defined as able to passthrough a full and reliable 3D signal from source to display.  

'Full 3D' is defined as being able to passthrough complete and reliable 3D signal as a direct mirror of the source to a compatible display device in both frame packing/frame sequential used for 3D Blu-ray and Interlaced stereoscopic found in 3D satellite/cable broadcasts.

Note: Our coax, DVI and 30m Cat5ei extender sets do not support frame sequential 3D but will passthrough 3D interlaced stereoscopic signals.   Please check product listings if unsure which WyreStorm product to choose, or alternatively you can contact our tech support, who will be only to happy to advise you.

WyreStorm equipment is designed to transmit signals various distances, depending on the chosen method of distribution, whether using HDMI, UTP, Coax, SDI or fiber. 

Under perfect transmission conditions our HD matrices, splitters, display receivers and extender sets distribute 1080p HD video and audio over Cat5ei/6 from 40m/131ft to 200m/656ft depending on the model, with our fiber solutions capable of up to 5km/3.1 miles.

Perfect transmission conditions denote straight cable runs without electrical interference, no bends or kinks and no patch panels or wall outlets.  Signal strength and bandwidth can be compromised if some of the above are factors in the installation.

If a cable run is reaching the upper limit of the device transmission capabilities, the signal can be boosted by using an extender set (RX-TX) to lengthen distribution or by simply using an in-line repeateTransmission signals can be repeated with WyreStorm equipment up to 5 times (250m/820ft) using a conventional TMDS signal or 7 times (700m/2300ft) using HDBaseT technology.  See product listing for details.

 

Although conventional transmission is considered to be two Cat5ei cables - one for audio and video, and one for IR signal - it is possible to send the signal down a single cable if necessary. All of our Pro matrix switches and UTP splitters support single UTP mode, however in this mode IR control of sources and matrix switching is not possible.

However, HDBaseT transmission only requires a single Cat5e/6 cable to pass all of the video, audio and control features as found in dual-cable transmission, with the added benefit of Ethernet, RS232 control and power to display display receivers on some models.  WyreStorm is one of the leading manufacturers of HDBaseT-enabled products in the AV industry, with ever-growing product ranges that offer arguably the most comprehensive selection of single-cable solutions on the market.

 

While all WyreStorm UTP-based equipment is tested and graded to Cat5ei cable standard; tests have shown that even better results are achieved when using Cat6 cable, with the lower gauge and thicker copper cores of Cat6 ensuring a significantly improved signal transfer and distribution capabilities.

This is even important given the increasingly larger capacity bandwidths required by ever higher definition digital content such as 4K and higher specification features such as power over cable and high-speed internet streaming offered by modern AV distribution and control systems.

Newly installed cabling should always conform to Part P Regulation and BS 7671 (17th Edition), and should be terminated to 568B standard.