Pulse-Eight has always positioned the Neo:X as an audio and video matrix, although unless your audio source device supported HDMI, it wasn’t equipped to handle it. Thankfully, the company has just launched the Neo:X+, a matrix that is equipped to handle devices that output via either digital coax or optical audio – extending the matrix’s capability in the world of audio.
The Pulse-Eight Neo:X+ supports many of the features that has made the Neo:X so popular, including eight HDMI inputs, eight HDBaseT outputs, two HDMI outputs, and 10 zones of audio outputs. This model goes further in terms of audio inputs, however, with four audio input zones offering either optical or digital coax for each input zone.
When audio routing is set to Sink Mode, these additional inputs allow audio routing to any of the audio output zones, enabling the audio to be controlled completely separately to video. The system has an audio locking feature to enable continuous audio to an output zone regardless of switching video sources – perfect for house parties or commercial environments such as sports bars.
When audio routing is set to Source Mode, audio outputs 1-8 are locked to HDMI inputs 1-8 respectively, with audio outputs 9 and 10 linked to audio inputs 9 and 10. The audio routing mode is controlled via the Pulse-Eight web interface which offers full web remote control and source switching. Within the admin section of the interface, installers can fully setup the system on-site including the audio routing modes, audio delay (to fix lip sync issues), ARC settings plus the standard EDID, CEC, Alexa and many more settings featured within the interface.
As per the neo:X system, the neo:X+ has a built-in audio matrix and supports ARC (audio return channel) enabling audio to be sent back to the matrix from the output source – perfect for routing audio from smart TV apps back through the matrix to external speakers.
As with all Pulse-Eight matrixes, you can choose from multiple video control methods including CEC, IR, Alexa voice control and set top box IP control. Having these options allows the installer and the end-user to agree on what is best for their requirement including requests such as no sticky IR buds on the TVs or a hatred of multiple remote controls. The neo matrix range is also fully compatible with all major control systems including Crestron, Control 4, ELAN g!, RTI and URC. All CEC features are exposed in the drivers which allows you to ensure full compatibility with home automation products.