Metra Home Theater Group

As technology advances and becomes more available in the home with personal home theaters, we must continue to evolve to meet our customers’ desires and resolve the issues that are bound to arise. For both dealers and customers, HDMI matrixes represent one of the most creative solutions for home theater, but can also be one of the most expensive single item devices in a system. However, the investment in Ethereal’s matrix switches will be well worth it due to the added features we’ve designed into our products, providing a hot plug interrupt and additional setup options to avoid device incompatibility issues.

Hot Plug Interrupt Feature

The CS-44MHDBTS and CS-88MHDBTS HDBaseT HDMI matrixes eliminate the clutter of multiple devices and enable you to scale video content at different resolutions to different displays through one device. The CS-44M and CS-88M are non-HDBaseT solutions that provide quick switching. However, as good as even the best HDMI matrixes are, life and the real world can cause issues. This is, of course, why we created the HDM-AIO2. The HDM-AIO2, HDMI All-in-One Correction Tool, instantly fixes most of the common issues installers see in today’s home theater projects. When an HDMI signal is initiated there is a 5V trigger sent from the source to the display to wake up the screen, the display responds with the hot plug return trigger to let the source know that it is there and ready to negotiate. However, this process can get sidetracked quite easily by several factors. The HDM-AIO2 provides a quick, easy and efficient solution and repair the issues instantly. Unfortunately, installing the HDM-AIO2 on every input of a matrix can be expensive and is not really practical for most customers. The solution? Taking a page from the HDM-AIO2, we designed Ethereal’s matrixes with built-in units that force a hot plug interrupt via serial or IP commands. This means the installer can reduce the events of systems failure/lockup as well as provide an “as needed” single button resolution during the programming of their customers’ control system.

A Solution for Potential Device HDR Incompatibility Issues

One problem that has come to our attention as we help our customers navigate their HDMI system setup is related to CATV boxes and 4K AVR/TV systems being incompatible on EDID, specific to HDR. (Please note that currently the Sony AVR’s are exempt from this problem as they allow input specific selection for the enhanced EDID, [HDR]. However, other brands appear to be global in this application.) In all of the cases we encountered, both the TV and AVR were set into the enhanced (HDR) mode. This enhanced mode changes the EDID stream by adding another info stream on top of the other streams. Since the CATV box cannot decode this added stream, it does not know what to do and then shuts off the picture/sound. The solution we have found thus far is to turn off the enhanced (HDR) settings on all products. This will allow proper EDID communication with the CATV box, but it does reduce the “what is possible” picture quality, and you must deal with all the devices in the system. With one of our matrix units inside your system, you can now remove the “enhanced (HDR) mode” issue by going to the matrix IP setup page options and turning off the “enhanced (HDR) mode.” Problem solved right within the setup of the matrix itself!

Metra Home Theater Group strives to provide practical and cost-efficient options that stand out in the home theater industry, recognizing problems and resolving them with efficiency. Our goal is to engineer products with both the installer and end user in mind, based on real world feedback from the field. With these added features, we are proud that our Ethereal Home Theater HDMI Matrixes are among the most forward-thinking products available in the market today.


Watch our unboxing video to learn more:

Unboxing the 8X8 HDMI® Matrix and the 8X8 HDBaseT HDMI® Matrix