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HydraConnect Reboots HDMI Matrix Switching

HydraConnect LLC announced that it will introduce five new audio/video switching systems at CEDIA Expo 2013.

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Unedited press release follows:

HydraConnect LLC Reboots HDMI Matrix Switching With Dolby Digital DSP, Debuts 5 New SKUs at CEDIA 2013

• New DSP internally down-mixes extracted HDMI Dolby Digital to stereo.
• Matrix internally selects surround or DSP’s stereo for each HDMI output as required
• Extracted HDMI is down-mixed to analog audio outputs for distributed audio systems
• New models include 16×16, 8×4, two 8×8, and HDBaseT 330′ extenders.
• New product naming simplifies function recognition.

CEDIA EXPO 2013, DENVER (9/20/13) — HydraConnect LLC, the Denver-based manufacturer of digital audio-video switching systems noted for their automated setup capabilities, will introduce five new models at CEDIA Expo 2013. Several of these models will include a proprietary HydraConnect DSP that provides a unique HDMI Dolby Digital-to-stereo down-mixing solution. This technology has the ability to extract, or ”strip,” audio from HDMI, and convert those signals from Dolby Digital to stereo. This provides the ability to internally send analog stereo signals to a distributed audio system while simultaneously delivering a choice of stereo or multichannel audio to each HDMI/HDBaseT output. Prior to the development of this technology, the audio in all output zones was constrained by the source’s audio mode, since HDMI is only able to carry a single selection of audio signal (i.e. stereo OR surround).

“The new DSP audio board is truly a revolution in switch technology!” said David Schanin, President, HydraConnect LLC. “For the first time, you will be able to feed Dolby Digital 5.1 into a switch and it will automatically send 5.1 or stereo output separately to each HDMI or HDBaseT output. This means stereo in the kitchen from the TV via the HDMI/HDBaseT cable while simultaneouslysending a surround feed to your theater from any other output port, and all with a single HDMI connection to the source.”

This exciting new DSP technology processes Dolby Digital surround audio stripped from each HDMI input. In the HMA-16x16BT, each source’s analog stereo down-mix is output to an RCA pair for use in a distributed audio system or in the case of the HMA-8x8BT it is available to the internal 16×16 audio matrix. This solves the issue where many new devices have only an HDMI port and no analog audio output (i.e. Apple TV, Mac Mini, new HDMI-only cable boxes or BluRay players).

HydraConnect continues to innovate by solving another major limitation of HDMI, where a single HDMI cable from the source can only supply stereo OR surround, but not both. By using the same down-mix signal created for use in distributed audio systems, the DSP’s digital stereo signal is internally available as an option to each HDBaseT output.  On all new HydraConnect HM and HMA matrix processors, each output zone will independently and automatically select the correct stereo or surround audio signal based on each zone’s output device capabilities thereby bypassing the source signal limitation mentioned above. This new technology prevents the source EDID from degrading to the lowest common denominator in mixed stereo/surround environments.

“In short,” Schanin continues, “we finally have the solution that the integration world has been waiting years for. In our new integrated audio matrix products, the new DSP audio capability has some great additional benefits such as lip sync control, remote volume control for CEC TVs that do not support volume commands, and tone controls.

“We have also significantly expanded our product line, technical capabilities, and launched an aggressive sales program since last year’s CEDIA Expo,” said David Schanin, President, HydraConnect LLC. “Over the past 12 months we have been demonstrating our products and automated integration technologies to installers and integrators, both nationwide and internationally. The installers in the trenches love what they see. Now we are responding to dealer input by adding some key new models with features like HDMI audio stripping and Dolby Digital DSP capabilities. We have also adopted a new model-naming scheme that makes it easier to quickly identify the capabilities of each SKU.”

At CEDIA, HydraConnect LLC will introduce two HDMI Matrix switches that will include the new DSP processor. The HydraConnect LLC HMA-16x16BT will have16 HDMI inputs, with outputs for 16 HDBaseT, 4 HDMI, 16 Analog Stereo, and 16 SPDIF connections. The company is also adding the DSP to its the 8×8 configurations of its earlier HSS-3 model. The new HMA-8x8BT will have inputs for 8 HDMI, 6 analog stereo, and 2 SPDIF, with outputs for 8 HDBaseT, 2 HDMI, 16 analog stereo connections.

HydraConnect is also introducing the HS-8x4BT to provide a less-expensive switching solution without the DSP for lower-density installations. It has eight HDMI inputs and four HDBaseT outputs, one of which can be configured as a single HDMI output. Another value-focused new product without DSP will be the HS-8x8HD, which will offer straight 8×8 HDMI switching.  The company is also showing its new HEXT-21b third-generation HDMI extender, which was announced to the press September 10.

While not all of the announced products have the new DSP, all of the switches include HydraConnect LLC’s core matrix switching processor features — CEC control, automatic setup, and dynamic EDID management — that have made these products so popular with custom installers.

HydraConnect LLC’s products differ from competitors’ matrix switches by providing advanced system automation, automatic set-up, and interface processing through the use of an onboard LINUX computer. The integrated web-based interface allows installers to use a laptop, tablet or smart phone to automatically setup and test all the connected devices. HydraConnect products that are connected to the internet are part of the company’s “Cloud”– when software updates are available, they occur automatically without user intervention or dealer visits. Remote access capability enables a technician or the factory to troubleshoot the system from anywhere in the world. HydraConnect’s patented CEC Control software functions as a ‘universal translator’ among the many HDMI hardware control implementations to eliminate IR flashers. HydraConnect’s patent-pending Dynamic EDID manages 3D sources with mixed 3D and 2D TVs.

The HMA-16x16BT will be available in October, the HMA-8x8BT will be available in December, and the HS-8x4BT will be shipping by CEDIA. All of HydraConnect’s switching products are proudly made in Denver, Colorado, USA.

About HydraConnect LLC
HydraConnect LLC manufactures and sells systems that integrate HDMI and audio distribution, and connectivity into the home automation systems of many different manufacturers. The company’s signature HSS & HS Matrix processors are manufactured in Colorado. HydraConnect LLC was founded in 2010 by David Schanin and Tony Anzelmo, two A/V professionals with over 60 years of combined electronics design, development, and manufacturing experience. For more information, visit or call 720-583-4364.