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HDMI Distribution Amplifiers

As the digital sunrise continues and we see less and less of VGA and more HDMI devices, the need for distributing HDMI signal to multiple display devices has become evident. 3/31/2014 8:10 AM Eastern

HDMI Distribution Amplifiers

Mar 31, 2014 12:10 PM, By Christopher Maione, CTS-D, DSCE, DMC-D




As the digital sunrise continues and we see less and less of VGA and more HDMI devices, the need for distributing HDMI signal to multiple display devices has become evident. In the early attempts to “distribute” HDMI, the copyright police did not understand the legitimate use of HDMI distribution in the AV industry and the AV industry didn’t understand how to legally get around the copyright protection—known as High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), also referred to as High-definition Copyright Protection (HDCP)—and how to effectively use the handshake information— known as Extended Display Identification Data (EDID)—being sent to the display. Most of these issues, at least in the current versions of HDMI and HDCP, have been resolved and AV equipment manufacturers are producing stable HDMI distribution devices. However, depending on the HDMI source, the HDMI distribution amplifier, and the connected display devices, there are still occasions where the display will “go black” because it does not adequately receive the distributed HDMI signal, make the HDCP handshake, or recognize the EDID signal. The following devices are simple yet useful tools for taking a single HDMI signal and distributing it (in most cases 1x4) to four display devices.

Altona AT-HDDA-4

Altona AT-HDDA-4

The Altona HDDA-4 is a 1x4 HDMI distribution amp that provides high-definition signal passing at resolutions up to 4K. EDID learning on the first output automatically supports connected devices’ highest quality resolutions and audio formats, and replicates on other outputs. It can pass 3D signals and supports audio passing of up to Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio quality formats. It is HDCP compliant. The front panel contains LEDs to show signal, power, and EDID learning statuses. Firmware can be updated via a single mini USB on its rear panel. Dual-purpose rack or wall-mounting ears come standard with the HDDA-4.

Aurora Multimedia’s ASP-14H distribution amplifier transmits HDMI 1.3 signals to displays in four different locations. It handles up to 1920x1200 PC resolutions, 1080p, and 2K. It is enabled with EDID learning capability and supports 12-bit deep color and high-definition audio. The housing incorporates predrilled rack ears for easy mounting. LEDs and a toggle switch on the front panel tell signal and power status. Its video output bandwidth is 6.75Gbps and it is HDCP 1.2 compliant.

BlackBox AVSP-HDMI 1X4

BlackBox AVSP-HDMI 1X4

The Black Box AVSP-HDMI 1X4 HDMI splitter allows signal mapping to four independent outputs from a single source. It supports up to full HD 1080p resolutions and can distribute them up to 16.4ft. Audio is passed via either the HDMI connections or over independent 3.5mm jacks. It offers EDID and HDCP management and has LED indicators on the front panel to show signal status on all ports. It has an automatic power-saver mode that kicks in when the input signal is dropped. An accessory mounting kit is sold separately.

The Comprehensive Cable CDA-HD400 is the four-output version of its HDMI signal splitter suite. It is HDCP 1.2 and HDMI 1.3 compliant and supports resolutions of up to 1920x1200, including all standard and high-definition signals. It is a RoHs-compliant plug-and-play unit with signal and power status LEDs.

Extron HDMI DA 4

Extron HDMI DA 4

The HDMI DA 4 is part of Extron’s HDMI DA series of distribution amps, sitting between the DA2 and DA6. Offering signal distribution via powered HDMI outputs, the DA4 supports data rates up to 6.75Gbps, has 12-bit color, and Extron’s constant EDID and HDCP verification technologies. The DA4 can accept 1080p @60Hz, 2K, and WUXGA (1920x1200) PC resolutions. Any of the four output signals can be muted through RS-232 control capability. Configuration and maintenance is managed through connection by USB or RS-232 to a PC. LEDs provide signal status on the front panel. Options include four different mounting/placement accessory products.


HDMI Distribution Amplifiers

Mar 31, 2014 12:10 PM, By Christopher Maione, CTS-D, DSCE, DMC-D




The DV-HAD-15 by FSR offers signal routing to five displays, up to 60Hz 1080p resolution support, 36-bit deep color, Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD. It is HDMI 1.3 and HDCP 2.1 compliant on the input and all outputs. Its front panel houses an LCD display for ease of setup and resolution confirmation, a toggle switch to control power, and two hard keys for settings adjustment. Front-panel LEDs give visual feedback as to where signals are distributed. It accepts up to 1920x1200 input resolutions. The FSR unit amplifies signals for cable runs up to 33ft. without signal loss. The unit is rackmountable and takes up one rack unit.

Gefen 1:4 Splitter

Gefen 1:4 Splitter

Gefen’s 1:4 Splitter replicates a high-bandwidth HDMI 1.3 signal across four outputs, supporting 1080p and 2K resolutions. It is equipped with EDID management. It features 3D signal pass-through and EDID management for quick integration with various sources and displays. LEDs for power, EDID selection and signal confirmation comprise the front-panel display elements. It is possible to achieve larger video displays by using two or more splitters working in conjunction with one another. Signals may also be passed via Cat-5 through use of Geffen’s accessory extender product.

Hall Research SP-HD-4A

Hall Research SP-HD-4A

The Hall Research SP-HD-4A 1x4 HDMI video splitter supports up to WUXGA PC resolutions and up to 4K HDTV resolutions to recreate images on four displays. The unit is HDMI 1.4 compatible and HDCP 1.1 compliant, can pass deep color and 3D images, and supports the gamut of HDMI audio formats available with 1.4. The unit boasts a 10.2Gbps bandwidth rating and has two LEDs, one for power and the other video. DVI adapter cables can be used to route non-HDMI HD signals from source to monitor. It is serviced via a mini USB on the back panel.

The KanexPro ProBar 1x4 1x4 HD splitter has full 1080p 3D and 4K support with a bandwidth rating of up to 10.2Gbps. It employs EDID management and is HDCP 1.3 compliant. HDMI 1.4 allows it to pass 12-bit deep color, 5.1 and 7.1 digital audio formats, and LPCM uncompressed audio. The input is located on the unit’s underside, while the front face displays the four female HDMI ports. Brackets flank the ProBar for easy wall mounting.

Kramer VM-114H

Kramer VM-114H

Kramer ElectronicsVM-114H 2x1:4 switcher/amplifier accepts signals via HDMI and twisted copper pair sources. It houses four HDMI output ports, one input via HDMI, and one RJ-45 jack. The 114 is HDMI and HDCP compliant, and allows 3D pass-through. Plug-and-play operation is ensured by EDID processing technology. Using Kramer’s proprietary twisted pair cables, the distribution range maxes out at a lengthy 330ft. Within 270ft. power can be sent via Ethernet instead of via the accessory power supply. Control is managed via an included remote, RS-232, or IR. LED indicators adorn the front fascia for confirming IR communication, power, input and output signals.

TV One 1T-DA-674 4K HDMI

TV One 1T-DA-674 4K HDMI

TVOne’s 1T-DA-674 4K HDMI 4K distribution amp can send four independent signals from a single HDMI source. It supports the HDMI 1.4 spec and therefore 12-bit video and 3D resolutions. It is HDCP compliant and can move up to Ultra HD 4096x2160 (4K) pixel image at 24Hz. Signal equalization allows for longer cable runs. Monitor discovery is made possible through the unit’s EDID feature. LEDs decorate the front panel while the rear houses in and outputs, a mini USB service jack and toggle switches for power and EDID settings.

Christopher Maione is a recognized leader and expert in the AV industry with more than 28 years of audiovisual expertise. His forward-thinking and progressive approach to business led him to found and become the managing partner of one of the world’s leading AV consulting firms, earning the company accolades as a leader in AV solutions and technologies. Well versed in all aspects of AV, IT, integrated technologies, AV industry standards, green AV, and best practices and protocols, Maione is an adjunct InfoComm faculty member and an accredited CTS RU provider, and serves on a variety of key industry standard committees. Contact him at info@chrismaione.com and www.chrismaione.com


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