Octava. Specialist in HDMI video distribution          

FAQ and Support

Support Related
TheOctavaTube See Octava Youtube Channel for demos, support
Serial Commands ( hex) back to top
3x4 HDMI Distribution Amp download (46KB)    
3x8 HDMI Distribution Amp download (30KB)    
4x2 HDMI Matrix download (29KB)  
4x2 HDMI Matrix - 7.1 Audio download (29KB)    
4x4 HDMI Matrix download (21KB)  
4x4 HDMI Ethernet Matrix download (31KB)    
4x8 HDMI Ethernet Matrix download (32KB)  
4x1 HDMI switch ARC Pro (HD41-ARC) download (29KB)    

Why use HDMI or DVI


HDMI and DVI is ALL digital!. Both audio and video are transported in the native digital format. Using an ALL digital format minimizes the D/A and A/D conversion needed. Each conversion adds some degree of "distortions" to the picture due to the resolution of the A/D. Going ALL digital ensures that you get the purest signal to your monitor. This is the advantage of HDMI or DVI compared to regular analog component video. Vast majority of the HD monitors are inherently digital in nature, so it only makes sense to use a digital link such as DVI or HDMI.

In addition, HDMI is a smaller physically ( about size of USB connector) and carries both digital Video and Audio in a single connection.


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What are the different versions of HDMI  

The most recent available version of HDMI is HDMI 1.3. HDMI 1.3 specification has provisions to eventually double the bandwidth of equipment from 4.95Gbps to 10.2Gbps. HDMI 1.3 is completely backwards compatible with previous versions of HDMI. For example, if your display is HDMI 1.2 and your sources is HDMI 1.3 capable, then the system will arbitrate so the correct version/features are implemented.

Vast majority of HD players prior to 2007 support 8 bit color depth. Some of the newer HD sources such as the Playstation 3 and second generation of HD DVD/Blu-Ray now supports 12-bit color and can output up to 6.68 Gbps bandwidth.

HDMI 1.0 - Initial HDMI version release

HDMI 1.1 - HDMI 1.0 with support for DVD audio

HDMI 1.2- Supports SACD audio

HDMI 1.3 - Increase bandwidth, offers support for 16 bit color, offers features for auto lip synch correction, adds support for True HD and DTS-HD Audio.


What is the main difference between HDMI and DVI back to top

Fundamentally, the video portion is same as DVI. The main difference is that HDMI also carries multichannel digital audio. DVI only supports video. HDMI is backward compatible with DVI


What is HDCP back to top

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital content protection developed by Intel. HDCP allows the Content providers ( movie, tv studios) to encrypt the digital content over the DVI or HDMI interface so that unauthorized device, non-HDCP device can not view the content. In order for one to view a HDCP protected video source, both the source ( dvd player, settop box) and the display must be HDCP licensed. HDCP protocol is carried over 2 lines, SDA and SCL of the DVI or HDMI connector and uses I2C physical layer protocol. HDCP is a robust encryption algorithm that help content providers combat piracy and unauthorized distribution of the HD content.

HDMI inherently implements HDCP, therefore your display must also be HDCP compatible or the video sources will not be viewable.

What is the difference between HDMI DVI and regular component video back to top

All 3 formats transmits video in component format, R,G,B. The fundamental difference between HDMI DVI and the 3 wire component video is that HDMI DVI carry the RGB signals in native digital format. The 3 wire component video carry the RGB in analog format. Since all new DVD, Settop box MPEG decoders fundamentally outputs in digital format, it is ideal to transmit digitally from the source to the monitor. In theory, this gives you the best performance since the Analog to Digital conversions needed to support the analog component video is eliminated. Put simply, if you are buying a HDTV it is fundamentally a digital device like a computer monitor, so it makes sense to keep all signals in native digital format.


Is HDMI backward compatible with DVI back to top

Yes. HDMI is backward compatible with DVI. You must remember that DVI only supports digital video only. HDMI supports both digital video and audio.


Can I use a HDMI switch to share a HD monitor with 2 HDMI sources back to top

Absolutely. The 2 port switch allows you to switch between 2 HDMI or 2DVI sources to a HD monitor. We allow you to select the type of cables in case you have a DVI / HDMI mixed system.

HDMI switch application

show me the HDMI switch selections


Can the HDMI switch pass digital audio

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Absolutely. The 2 port switch is designed to pass digital audio through the HDMI connector. You will be able to view video and listen to the audio if you have a HDMI system. You must keep in mind that DVI can only support video.


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I have a DVI monitor, but video source is HDMI. Will my system still work
Yes. Lots of the newer DVD players have HDMI connectors, but you may still have a DVI monitor. You can still view digital video all you need is to use a HDMI to DVI cable or HDMI to DVI adapter if you already have a cable around the house. However, no digital audio can be passed to the DVI monitor through the DVI connector. Either a RCA stereo or a Toslink connector for digital audio can be used instead.  
What is DVI-I vs. DVI-D

The 2 most common DVI connectors are DVI-I and DVI-D. The -I stands for "integrated" the -D stands for "digital". The difference between the 2 is that the DVI-I has 4 extra pins to carry analog RGB signals. DVI-I female type is the most common type that will be found on back of DVD players and monitors. Either a DVI-I or DVI-D cable can physically mate with this. However most users will want to use a DVI-D cable because digital signal is superior and cost can be reduced ( don't need the analog lines). It simply does not make sense to have analog if you have digital.

All of our cables are DVI-D single link as these are the most common type.

The connector shown below is what most of the connectors on the back of DVD players and monitors will look like. Since it is DVI-I type, it includes the "holes" to accept the 5 analog pins ( C1-C5). Therefore this is a "universal" DVI connector that can accept either DVI-I or DVI-D cable

DVI conector pin out


What are all the pins in DVI
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DVI Pin Outs
Pin Name Pin Name Pin Name Pin Name Pin Name Pin Name
data 2-
clock DDC
hot plug
data 5+
Analog Red
data 2+
data DDC
data 3-
data 0-
serial clk
Analog Green
Analog vert. sync.
data 0+
clk +
Analog Blue
data 4-




clk -
Analog Horiz. Sync
data 4+
data 1+

Analog Gnd


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What are all the pins in HDMI

HDMI Pin Outs
TMDS CLK shield
TMDS 2 shield
TMDS clk -
TMDS 1 shield
TMDS 0 shield
hot plug
TMDS clk+
What is the HDMI Extender
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The HDMI Extender allows you to extend the length of HDMI cable used in your theatre system. It is especially useful in DLP projector systems where the source and projector are far apart. The unique circuitry automatically provides compensation for DVI, HDMI cables by equalization, buffering and de-jittering the TMDS signals which degrade over long cable runs. The HDMI Extender "cleans" up all signals to ensure error free transmission.
Where should I place the HDMI Extender
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The HDMI Extender should be placed as close to the Projector or Monitor as possible to realize its full capability. In other words, HDMI Extender should be placed so that the LONGER cable is at the HDMI Input.
What is Smart Scan back to top

Have you ever been frustrated that you need to operate multiple remotes before you can view your favorite program? Smart Scan is designed to intelligently selects the HDMI inputs to make your viewing experience more enjoyable. For example, you have a Set Top Box connected to HDMI 1 Input and your Upscaling DVD player connected to HDMI Input 2 of the HDMI switch. Lets say on Friday, you want to watch a DVD movie with your family. When you turn on the DVD player, Smart Scan will sense that the DVD player has been activated and switch to the DVD Input. When you are finished with the DVD and power it down, the HDMI switch will automatically sense that and return you to the Set Top box for effortless viewing.

I have 2 HD Displays, how can I switch between the 2 displays back to top

You can easily switch between the 2 HD Displays by using the 4x2 HDMI Cross switch. The 4x2 HDMI cross switch has 4 Inputs and 2 Outputs. The 4x2 HDMI Cross switch has the ability to let you watch 2 different programs simultaneously. For example, you can watch a HD Sports event on your projector and a DVD or Computer can be displayed on a secondary HD display all at the same time! The Cross switch does not split or show the same program on both outputs. The advantage is that you can watch 2 different programs on 2 displays or simply switch between both displays. A huge benefit is for viewers with a projector and a LCD/Plasma who then can use the cross switch to view the projector on "special" events in order to save wear and tear on the bulb life.

4x2 HDMI Cross switch

Can I split HDMI and watch the program on 2 HDTV back to top

HDMI can be split and distributed to multiple HDTV using a 1x2 HDMI splitter Distribution Amp. There are some HDMI "Y" cables that can physically connect 1 HDMI source to 2 HDTV, but that will not work. You must use a 1x2 HDMI splitter Distribution Amp. A passive "Y" cable will not be able to process the HDCP content protection protocol and will cause the HDTV to shut down. The 1x2 HDMI splitter Distribution Amp has internal HDCP keys that can independently handle multiple HDCP sessions and allow 1 single HDMI program to be displayed on multiple HDTV.

HDMI splitter distribution amp

How do I distribute HDMI to more than 2 HDTV back to top

As the quality of HDTV and HD content continue to improve, electronic retailers need to clearly demonstrate the incredible picture quality that is achievable. Traditional cabling methods such as composite or component video simply do not fully exploit the capability of the HD video.  Using HDMI assures that the best picture quality achievable is displayed.  

The Pro HD series 3x8 HDMI Distribution Amplifier distributes Full 1080P video streams to 8 HDTV’s simultaneously. The 3x8 HDMI distribution amps is fully scaleable and  can distribute HDMI to more than 8 HD displays by cascading multiple units. 

3x8 HDMI switch splitter

3x8 HDMI splitter cascade

Cascade for Multiple HDTV Displays


How to distribute HDMI over standard Ethernet Cables back to top

It is possible to distribute HDMI over a pair of standard Ethernet cables by using HDMI to Ethernet converters. The HDMI Ethernet converter enables transmission of 1080P HD HDMI digital video and audio over a pair of standard Ethernet CAT5/6 cables.
Using HDMI over Ethernet Transceiver allows installers to use standard CAT 5/ 6 cables for ease of installation.

Ethernet cables and connectors are easily field terminated thus allowing installers to easily install the proper length cable needed for ultimate flexibility and eliminate logistics problems of having custom length HDMI cables.  No need top pre-measure and customer order cables.

Allows transmission of 300ft (1080i) and 150ft (1080p) over Ethernet cables.

CAT 6 cable is recommended for 1080P and best performance






How do I get surround sound to my Audio Receiver from HDMI back to top

There are several ways to connect sound from your HD source player to your Surround Sound System.

If your Audio Receiver has HDMI audio processing capability- Simply connect the HDMI source to your Surround System via the HDMI connection.

If your Audio Receiver only has Optical Audio surround sound input- Octava HDMI distribution amplifiers provide HDMI to Optical audio ( 5.1)conversion. You can connect your HDMI sources to the Octava HDMI Distribution Amplifiers and audio will be converted to Optical format AND will be available on the HDMI output and the Optical output. This allows you to get audio directly to the HDTV AND/OR thru the Surround Sound Receiver.

HDMI to optical audio



I have a PS3, how can I get 7.1 Analog Audio to my audio system back to top

The PS3 can decode 7.1 LPCM. However it does not have any 7.1 Analog Audio Outputs for integration with Audio systems requiring 7.1 Analog Inputs. The HDSA71 can take the decoded 7.1 LPCM from the PS3 and convert to 7.1 Analog Audio outputs so you can connect to your high end 7.1 audio receiver.

The HDSA71 also has an additional Auxiliary 5.1/7.1 Analog Audio inputs that allows you to switch in a secondary 5.1/7.1 Analog Audio source.

HDMI switch with 7.1 Analog Audio conversion

My HDTV only has DVI. How do I route HDMI/DVI video and Stereo sound to it. back to top

Switching Multiple digital video and Stereo Audio to a DVI input HDTV may be difficult because only 1 set of L/R stereo Audio Input is mapped to the DVI input.

If you have multiple HD sources that need to be shared with a DVI input only HDTV, you can use the HDDA31 which integrates HDMI/DVI video switching with 3 sets of L/R Stereo Inputs. This allows easy switching of 3 HDMI/DVI sources and L/R stereo with your DVI input HDTV.

3x1 HDMI switch stero audio application


I have a Wii with component video output. How can I connect to my HDTV with HDMI

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If you have a video source with only COMPONENT video , for example the Wii, you can use a Component to HDMI converter to send the video to the HDTV via HDMI. The component video to HDMI converter also has a L/R audio input that will convert the audio to HDMI. The advantage is that you can consolidate all your HD video connections to HDMI and run 1 single cable from the converter to the HDTV. Great for Projector systems.

component to HDMI conver

Can I send HDMI, Infrared and Optical Digital Audio over long distances from source to HDTV. back to top

If your HD sources and HDTV are far apart and you need to control the source equipment via I.R. You should use the HDMI Ethernet+I.R. Extender. This device allows you to carry HDMI, I.R. and Optical Digital Audio over 150ft using a pair of standard Ethernet cables. Now, you can locate your source far from your HDTV and have complete control with I.R. using one simple solution. Optical Digital Audio can also be carried from source over 150ft to a remote Surround Sound System.

HDMI IR Optical Digital Audio Extender



HDMI over CAT 5/6 Demo Video back to top

Are Octava products compatible with Logitech Harmony Universal Remotes back to top

Octava products work with Logitech Harmony Universal remotes. Most Octava products will work with the remote listed under the Logitech Harmony database:

Amplifier-->Audio/Video Switch--> Manufacturer= Octava---> Model = SW-4A

How can I control Octava products over the RS-232 ports  

Octava Pro Series Matrix and Switches include RS-232 ports for system controls. The RS-232 protocols are listed in the users manual and can be easily entered into 3rd party control systems.

Alternatively, Octava provides FREE Control Software for controlling several of the Pro Series products from your computer. See below for Free downloads.

Control Software for 4x2 Matrix ( HDMX42) DOWNLOAD(737KB)  
Control Software for 4x2 HDMI switch ARC Pro( HD41-ARC) DOWNLOAD(758KB)  
Control Software for 4 x2 HDMI Matrix switch with 7.1 Audio( HDMX71) DOWNLOAD(494KB)  
Control Software for 4x4 Matrix ( HDMX44) DOWNLOAD(574KB)  
Control Software for 4x4 HDMI CAT Matrix DOWNLOAD(856KB)  
Control Software for 4x4 Matrix ( model HD44CATMX only) DOWNLOAD(1099KB) Jan 10,2012
Control Software for 4x8 HDMI CAT Matrix DOWNLOAD(931KB)  
Control Software for 4x8 HDMI CAT Matrix ( model HD48CATMX only) DOWNLOAD(986KB) Jan 10,2012



Ethernet CAT Cabling Recommendation for HD video back to top

When using Ethernet CAT cables to transmit HD video there are few simple steps to follow to ensure quality connection.

1. Cable Selection: It is recommended that you use the best quality cable available as shown in the table below. CAT 6 shielded and CAT 7 yields best performance and most immune to interference. CAT 6 UTP is good however may be prone to interference. if cables are routed near other electrical sources or cables. CAT 5 should be avoided when possible. EIA/TIA-568-B termination (T568B) recommended.

Link Quality


poor for short links
CAT 6 UTP good for mid links , minimal EMI interference environment.
CAT 6 shielded excellent mid to long links, where there are potential EMI interference
CAT 7 best for BEST performance
EIA/TIA-568-B termination (T568B) only

2. Cable Installation :

  • Whenever possible, use a well terminated cable and a direct connection ( no patch panels, no wall plates, no couplers in between). Using a passthru wall plate as shown below is recommended to minimize interconnections.
    pass thru wall plate
  • Do not use "punch down" terminals to terminate ethernet cables. "Punch down" terminals will degrade cable performance and should be avoided.
  • Avoid using in line couplers to connect 2 ethernet cables. Couplers introduce discontinuities and should be avoided.
  • Keep ethernet cables as straight as possible. Avoid loops and sharp bends.
  • Keep ethernet cables from other cables and other electrical sources to avoid interference.
  • EIA/TIA-568-B termination (T568B) should be used.


What is PoC back to top

Power over Cable, PoC, enables DC power to be distributed from Octava matrix or Octava extender transmitter to the In room Zone Receivers directly over the CAT 5/6/7 cable. With PoC, the in room Zone Receivers do not need to be connected to additional 5V power supply. This enables quick, compact installation of the in room Zone Receivers.





Contact us by email at info@Octavainc.com


Octava Inc.
7078 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 300
Norcross, Ga. 30071

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No part of this web page shall be reproduced without permission.

All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. All trademarks are the sole property of their respective companies.HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing L.L.C