I. Product Setup Guides

VigorSwitch V1281 - Getting Started

VigorSwitch V1281
VigorSwitch V1281

VigorSwitch V1281 - Getting Started

Installing and configuring your VigorSwitch V1281 should be very straightforward if you plan carefully and are clear about your network and A/V topology.

Before starting, ensure that you know how many sources (Satellite Receivers, Blu-Ray, DVD, STB etc.) you will have and how many outputs (screens/projectors) you’ll be feeding to. You will need an HDMI-to-IP sender for each source and a receiver for each output.

This setup guide demonstrates how to initially configure the DrayTek VigorSwitch V1281 in the following sections, which should be worked through in order of their number - specifically, we recommend to connect up HDMI over IP hardware once the DrayTek VigorSwitch V1281 has been configured to know which ports will operate as video Sources and which as Outputs:

1. Principles of Operation An overview of how the VigorSwitch V1281 is used and the terminology used in this article
2. Accessing the VigorSwitch Locate the VigorSwitch V1281 on a network, then accessing its Web UI
3. Defining Port Functions Configure the VigorSwitch V1281's Source and Output ports
4. Connecting the Hardware Connect the VigorSwitch V1281 to HDMI over IP Extender devices
5. User Operation Using the VigorSwitch V1281 to select video sources

1. Principles of Operation

Although you may have used DrayTek switches for regular networking applications previously, the V1281 is different because it’s designed for switching A/V.

Sources and Outputs

Throughout this guide and also within the V1281’s admin interface we will refer to sources and outputs.

• A source is any device which is providing a video or audio output – most commonly a DVD/Blu-ray player, a satellite receiver or other set-top box or a CCTV system.
• An output is what you’ll be watching or listening on, such as a TV, a projector or an amplifier/receiver.

Also, in our setup guides and in the switch GUI we will generally colour code sources in red and outputs in green to aid with illustration and clarity.

HDMI vs. Ethernet Cabling

Like any Ethernet switch, the V1281 has RJ-45 sockets on the front, not HDMI. Although native HDMI switches do exist, cable lengths are limited and the cables themselves are more costly and complex to wire up.
Using Ethernet means you use low cost CAT5e (or higher) cable which often already exists in a location. If you use fibre optic cable, Ethernet can carry for many kilometers if needed; the VigorSwitch can support up to 4 SFP fibre modules.
Using CAT5e also means that the V1281 is very scalable – you can add as many or few sources or outputs as you need up to the maximum number of ports whereas with a native HDMI switch, it will have a fixed number of ports, which you pay for whether you need them or not. With the V1281 your AV signals can also share the network or networking infrastructure with your data networking for PCs or other devices.

Converting HDMI to IP – Using Extenders

The source’s HDMI output has to be converted into a TCP/IP stream which can be handled by the V1281 and to connect to CAT5e RJ-45 connections (or CAT6). For this you need an HDMI to IP adaptor (or ‘extender). These are available from many vendors, either as pairs or sender and receiver units<< individually. Prices vary considerable depending on features, brand/quality and resolution or picture quality.

A VigorSwitch V1281 might, for example, have two sources (e.g. two satellite receivers) and eight TVs around the premises, or it might have ten sources and just two screens – you can have any combination, providing just the right number of converters/extenders so you’re not paying for HDMI ports you don’t need – you just purchase the right number of HDMI-to-IP convertors.

As there are many similar looking products, it is essential is that the HDMI-to-IP adaptor/extender that you use supports IP. Some devices can send an HDMI signal over CAT5/CAT6 cable, but using a proprietary method, and not IP or Ethernet. That type of device will not work with the VigorSwitch V1281 and may even cause damage so please be sure that the device you connect uses IP and Ethernet (10/100/1000BaseT). Any additional functions or features, such as IR (infra-red) pass-through, RS-232 pass-through, HDMI loop-through, maximum resolution or the type of codec used will depend on your requirements and budget. Also consider how the extenders are powered and whether you need to rack mount them.

Setup Example

In the example below, a pub has with three source devices on the left and four output screens on the right:

For this example, you would need three HDMI-over-IP senders and four receivers. Any port on the V1281 can be defined as one of three modes (source, output or LAN) so it doesn’t matter which port you select for your sources or outputs. Later, when you configure the V1281, you will allocate each port’s function.

Coloured cables are used for illustrative purposes only – Red are our sources, Green our outputs and the Purple cables are LAN (networking connections) for PCs, routers, uplinks, wireless bases etc. Remember, any port can be set to any of those functions but we’ve grouped them in this photograph because it’s simpler (and looks pretty). Also, you won’t necessarily have 4+4+3 – you can have any combination.

2. Accessing the VigorSwitch

Connect your VigorSwitch V1281 to your computer network (we suggest using port 1). You can connect a PC to the VigorSwitch if you want to use that for configuration, or you can use a wireless laptop if you have WiFi on your LAN.

Your VigorSwitch V1281 is configured and controlled from its web interface. The web interface is ‘responsive’ which means it will dynamically adapt to different browsers, devices and screen sizes (e.g. phones, PCs or tablets). For the initial configuration it’s quicker and easier to use a PC with a keyboard/mouse.

If you have connected the VigorSwitch V1281 to your network, the V1281 will obtain its own IP address from your network DHCP server (your router or other device providing DHCP).

You will now need to locate the IP address that the switch has been given in order to access its web interface.

If you have Wireless LAN (WiFi) on your network, you can use the companion app for iOS or Android (Search for “DrayTek AV Switch” on the app stores).
Ensure that your phone is connected to the correct WiFi network.

Click the ‘Discover’ button in the app and will locate the V1281 and tell you its IP address (the app won’t do anything else yet).

You can also use the Windows “DrayTek Device Finder” utility (download from our web site) which will locate the switch on the network.
Either way, note down the V1281’s IP address.

If you can’t use the app and your router acts as your DHCP server, you can check the router’s ‘DHCP table’ to locate the switch (the VigorSwitch’s MAC address will start 00-1D-AA…). The DHCP table is typically under a diagnostics menu on most routers.

Note: If you are using a DrayTek router, you can use the [External Device] menu in the router's web interface to discover and show the switch’s IP address.

If your V1281 switch cannot get an address by DHCP, it will assume a default address of A PC connected directly to the switch, with a fixed/static IP address in the same subnet (e.g. will be able to access the switch’s GUI in order to set its IP address manually.

Once you know the switch’s IP address you can access its web interface. Open your browser (Firefox, Edge, Chrome, Safari etc.) and in the address bar, type (replace that address with your actual address located earlier). Note that we prefix with https to force a TLS encrypted connection. We recommend always using encryption to access network devices.

Note: As you are requesting an https (TLS encrypted) connection, your browser will try to validate the certificate against your switch’s dynamic LAN IP address, which will fail.

If you’ve entered the correct address for the switch, you can proceed past this message (which will vary depending on your browser).
You may need to press ‘Advanced’ to get to the ‘continue’ link and then permit access or add an exception. If you can’t use https, use http in the address bar instead.

The Login screen should now appear for your VigorSwitch. The default admin username is ‘admin’ and the password is also ‘admin’. You should change this immediately (you will be invited to do so by the switch).

Remember your new admin password – there is no way to recover it or access the switch otherwise.

After logging in, the main dashboard of the VigorSwitch V1281 will be shown and you can proceed to the next section to configure the port functions of the switch.

3. Defining Port Functions

The first task in configuration is to tell the switch what each port will be used for. You have 28 ports in total and any port can serve one of three functions:

Source Output LAN (Data)

When you receive a new V1281, all ports are set by default to be LAN/Data ports. The port(s) to which you have connected a PC, or the uplink to your LAN must always be set as LAN ports. Port 1 on the V1281 is always a data port.

For our example, we are going to have 4 sources and 3 inputs set as follows:

Port No.FunctionDevice/Purpose
Port 1 (GE1) LAN Network (WiFi Router)
Port 9 (GE9) Source Sky+HD 1
Port 11 (GE11) Source Sky+HD 2
Port 13 (GE12) Source Blu-Ray
Port 15 (GE15) Source Fire TV
Port 17 (GE17) Output Lounge
Port 19 (GE19) Output Playroom
Port 21 (GE21) Output Master Bed

On the left hand side of the router’s GUI, click the [Port Setup] menu.

For each port we want to use, we need to specify its function and give it a name. To edit each port’s properties individually, you can click the green spanner (wrench) icon to the right of the appropriate port.

We need to set the function of the ports, but rather than having to edit each individually, the top pulldown ‘Ports’ box allows you to select multiple ports and apply the same function to them all at once, so here we select ports 9, 11, 13 and 15, select the ‘Source’ button and click ‘Apply’.

Now you can do the same for the outputs 17, 19 and 21. Select those, select ‘Output’ and click ‘Apply’:

You may notice the ‘Allow LAN Access’ checkbox for output ports. Do not click this unless you need to share the output’s Ethernet cable with a data device.

Remember that the port numbers used in these images correspond to our example as shown in the original table. Your port numbers and the function of each will, of course, be completely different.

Now you can edit the ports individually to give them corresponding names.
Click the green spanner icon next to each of the 7 ports and name them all.

The example on the right is for Port 9, your Sky+HD box.

The Ports can then be selected from the [Source Selection] menu, or configured as presets from the [Presets Setup] menu and the HDMI-over-IP devices can now be connected physically to the VigorSwitch V1281.

4. Connecting the Hardware

Connect an HDMI-to-IP sender unit to each source device (Set-top boxes, DVD players etc.). The sender units will also need power (not shown). Connect the Ethernet end of the sender to your VigorSwitch V1281's configured Source ports. In the example photo below, we have used two satellite TV receivers as the sources:

Connect an HDMI-to-IP receiver unit to all output devices (TVs or Projectors) and connect an Ethernet cable from the receiver unit to the VigorSwitch V1281's configured Output ports (via your structured cabling or RJ-45 sockets around the building etc.). Receiver units will also need power (not shown):

HDMI-to-IP senders and receivers look alike so double check you have them the right way around. Senders connect to your source (e.g. DVD player) and receivers connect to your output (e.g. television).

Note down what is connected to each port on the V1281, especially if you won’t be able to see the switch from where you’re going to configure it. We also recommend that you label all cables and HDMI extenders which will make changes easier later.

5. User Operation

If the ports have been set up and all of your sources, output devices are connected, the VigorSwitch V1281 is ready to use. Remember to select the correct HDMI input on your screens/TVs/monitors.

You can now select any of your sources from any output device – your TVs or projectors around your home, office or other premises.

You can select sources either from the web interface (the same GUI which you used to configure the switch) or by using the DrayTek AVS app on a phone or other compatible mobile device.

Within the VigorSwitch GUI, you can use the [Source Selection] menu:

If you are using the DrayTek AVS app on your mobile device, that has the same function, allowing you to select your source for each output (room/TV).

Regular (non-admin) users should be given a username and password which does not have administrator privileges, otherwise they can log in and change the switch configuration. Only admins can disable a port temporarily (e.g. if it’s bedtime!). Users can share the same non-admin login, or you can set different logins for each user. Users can be restricted to controlling only specific outputs or be able to select only certain sources.

User Accounts configured on the VigorSwitch V1281 have access to either:

1. [Preset Selection] - Select the active Preset, which controls the selection of multiple Sources & Outputs, simply press the desired Preset option to activate it. Presets 1-11 can be configured from the [Presets Setup] section.

- or -

2. [Source Selection] - Select Sources for Outputs individually, go to [Source Selection] and click on the desired Source Selection option for an Output. Access to, and control of individual Sources and Outputs, can be limited on a per account basis.

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