We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Wi-Fi and Networking Reviews
15,669 Reviews

HDanywhere 4x2 HDBaseT Hybrid Matrix review

£500 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HDanywhere

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The HDanywhere 4x2 HDBaseT Hybrid Matrix is the pared-down, more affordable answer to connecting every room in your home with high-def video, audio and network data.

UK audio-visual distribution specialist HD Connectivity was an early advocate of HDBaseT, the new multi-signal networking technology. Its wincingly-expensive HDanywhere 4x4 Multiroom+ system was released last year, and now its latest wizard wheeze is the altogether more affordable HDanywhere 4x2 Hybrid matrix.

 See: more networking reviews.

This brings what was a tool of the posh custom install crowd squarely into get-your-hands-dirty territory for the first time. For £500 you get a HDMI matrix switcher and a single Multiroom+ receiver.

For those not yet up to speed, HDBaseT can simultaneously carry high-definition video, multi-channel audio, network data, power (up to 100W) and control data via a single wire.

Boasting a bandwidth of 10.2Gbps, it can handle uncompressed HD video and audio, is 3D-ready and even theoretically compatible with 4K Ultra HD (although unsurprisingly we haven’t tested that). In short, it’s just what you need for a relatively future-proof home entertainment network.

The Hybrid receiver is certainly well made. It has a pressed aluminum chassis, with fins that can be used to secure it to racking or perhaps the wall behind your TV.

To the rear are four HDMI inputs and one HDMI out, along with an HDBT RJ45 output to feed a separate receiver in a remote location. Network cable, either Cat 5e or Cat 6, is effective up to 100m, which for most homes is going to be fine.

There’s also a phono stereo audio feed and an optical digital audio output on the main unit, plus a 100Base-T Ethernet loop-through.

The latter enables a network connection to travel the same HDBT route as your AV, and this can then be poured out from the receiver into a Smart TV, games console or other internet doohickey. IR blaster inputs are available to each source.

The Multiroom+ receiver is a smaller affair, sporting a single HDBT connection, plus HDMI and Ethernet outputs. No local power supply is required, as it draws juice down the line.

HDanywhere 4x2 HDBaseT Hybrid Matrix: Setup and use

The system doesn’t take long to get up and running – although fine tuning the configuration can take hours if you have to massage handshaking and EDID (Extended display identification data) issues. By incorporating HDMI into the system, there’s potential for DRM digital restrictions to throw spanners into the distribution works as we discovered.

To get started, simply connect your source(s) to the matrix, run network cable to the receiver and then hook that up by HDMI to the secondary display. When powered up, the units handshake and you’re good to go.

The front panel of the matrix allows you to cycle through sources for both the HDMI output and the HDBaseT channel to the extender, while a simplistic remote also allows you to direct the inputs to each output. The system supports CEC control.

The overall performance of the system is excellent. The transmission process doesn’t compromise the image quality of any selected feed, and there is only a minor transmission lag.

The piggybacked networking also works a treat, proving ideal for bringing a wired internet connection to a remote smart TV.

That said, we did experience the occasional oddity. An older Pioneer Kuro plasma induced a few headaches, as the Hybrid box was unable to handshake because of HDCP issues, resulting in a sporadic green screen. It seems if your display is of a certain vintage, you may well come unstuck.

HDanywhere 4x2 HDBaseT Hybrid Matrix Expert Verdict »

HDBaseT transmitter: 100m claimed range
remote control
4x IR blaster
4x HDMI inputs
1x HDBaseT RJ45 output
2x ethernet
317 x 27 x 155mm
HDBaseT receiver: 1x HDMI output
1x HDBaseT input
2x ethernet
110 x 23 x 23mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

This HDBT package should be considered an incredibly useful piece of kit. While this box isn’t completely domesticated – the piercing LED fascia lights have to go for one thing – it’s the most persuasive option we’ve seen yet if you want to route HD video and internet around the house.

  • HDanywhere Multiroom+ review

    HDanywhere Multiroom+

    HDanywhere Multiroom+ is an HDBaseT distribution system. Here's our HDanywhere Multiroom+ review.

  • Sanyo Xacti VPC-FH1 review

    Sanyo Xacti VPC-FH1

    The Sanyo Xacti VPC-FH1 is a hybrid camera and camcorder, with 1080p video capture.

  • Pure Jongo S3 review: a portable multiroom wireless speaker

    Pure Jongo S3: a portable multiroom wireless speaker

    A Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless speaker with 360-degree sound that's battery powered and weighs less than a laptop. Move over Sonos: it's the Pure Jongo S3.

  • MESH Matrix II 5870XT Windows 7 PC review

    MESH Matrix II 5870XT Windows 7 PC

    Fitted with the latest ATI Radeon 5870 HD graphics card and powered by AMD's flagship CPU, the MESH Matrix II 5870XT is a supremely fast gaming PC costing less than £1,000.

  • Dell Studio Hybrid PC review

    Dell Studio Hybrid PC

    The aesthetically pleasing Dell Studio Hybrid PC has a terrific compact design, but it sacrifices performance for miniaturisation.

IDG UK Sites

OnePlus 2 / OnePlus Two UK release date, price and specification rumours: When is the OnePlus 2...

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor