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AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

In no other aspect of AV manufacturing have more hardware and configuration solutions been offered in recent years than in controllers and connection devices that make them work 2/23/2011 7:00 AM Eastern

AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

Feb 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles




Altinex CP500-110 Neutron

In no other aspect of AV manufacturing have more hardware and configuration solutions been offered in recent years than in controllers and connection devices that make them work. While the trend still moves toward generic compatibility, there have been notable examples of proprietary systems with remarkable versatility. Here we take a quick look at what the market currently offers and the solutions possible for control and interfacing for AV systems and beyond.

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The V16 controller from Alcorn McBride is a two R2U rack unit with 16 serial I/O ports, discrete I/O on DB-37M and DB37F connectors, MIDI I/O, timecode in and out on XLRs and dual Ethernet RJ-45 ports. The unit includes video frame sync and a real-time clock along with programming with WinScript Live so that changes may be made without the need to compile or download. For a quick and easy show control touch panel interface the company offers ShowTouch, a complete controller with preloaded design and interface software. ShowTouch can be used to operate any Alcorn McBride Ethernet compatible show control device such as the V16 from single or multiple control locations. Newly arrived is Touch for iPad, offering mobile operation and update capability for the Pro line of show controllers.

Primarily designed for use with the MultiTouch family of touchpanels, the Altinex CP500-110 Neutron mini controller connects either on an Ethernet network, enabling it to be controlled from several touchpanels, or directly through an Ethernet crossover cable. A very small unit, the Neutron can be mounted in a rack, in a cabinet, or on a wall using an optional mounting bracket. Devices may be operated with two bidirectional RS-232 connections, two IR ports, and two relay contact closures along with two sensor inputs. The sensor inputs can also provide 12VDC and 24VDC for powering sensor devices. All of the terminals including 12VDC power are on quick-connecting terminal blocks.

AMX NI-4100 NetLinx

AMX NI-4100 NetLinx

The NI-4100 NetLinx integrated AV controller from AMX is the flagship of the NI series of master controllers. The unit features Cafe Duet compatibility and 64MB onboard RAM (upgradable to 256MB) to control devices through seven configurable RS-232/-422/-485 ports, eight relays, eight IR/serial ports, and eight digital I/O ports. Capable of using three communication networks—AxLink, ICSNet, and Ethernet—the NI-4100 has four NetLinx control card expansion slots that support all NXC control cards. Its 2GB CompactFlash is upgradable to 4GB, and once connected, it can use automatic device discovery for any AMX devices on the network.

Aurora Multimedia NXT-470

Aurora Multimedia NXT-470

Designed to fit in standard 3-gang electrical wall boxes, the NXT-470 hybrid touchpanel from Aurora Multimedia uses its built-in control ports and WACI engine to automate device operation, and its NXB-100 Voice-Lift option can be used with a Bluetooth headset as a microphone for the system. Its line-level audio in/out can also be used for MP3 playback. The 900 MIPS processor has 128MB DDR and 256MB flash memory expandable to 16GB, an IR receiver window on the front panel, and a 4.7in. LCD touchscreen with 280 nits brightness. Included are two two-way RS-232 ports, an IR/serial port, a USB port, and a POE-capable LAN port.

Calypso Systems CB-1050

Calypso Systems CB-1050

With eight programmable buttons and a large rotary volume control, the CB-1050 wall-mounted AV controller from Calypso Systems supports up to four IR emitters with built-in IR learning, an RS-232 output, onboard scheduler with battery backup, and serial programming port all in a single-gang chassis. The unit includes a passcode security feature, and its configuration can be saved to an external file and used to duplicate functions in a number of others. Its CB-50 volume control works in conjunction with the CA-1000 classroom amplifier to adjust sound levels for the room. Connections are made on an RJ-45 port and through captive screw terminals on the back. The CB-1050 is now network-attached, allowing it to send out IP-based commands in addition to serial and IR, and allowing for remote monitoring and control of the devices to which it is attached.


AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

Feb 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles




Crestron MC3

Crestron MC3

Fully embracing Ethernet control while keeping its Cresnet roots, the Crestron MC3 3-Series control system is built around the all new Core 3 control engine and offers a unified solution to AV distribution along with security and environmental control. The MC3 can run device-specific programming independently, and it can be updated and run from anywhere on Crestron interfaces or a computer using Crestron's e-Control. It can also provide an onscreen interface through a TV connection and use built-in audio rendering for audio feedback with chimes, phone ringers, and other sounds. The unit also features two bidirectional RS-232 com ports, five IR ports for AV device control, two relay ports, and two sensing inputs. As with other Crestron controllers, the MC3 can also use the CNXRMIRD IR receiver for wireless control.

Cue USA ipCUE-alpha

Cue USA ipCUE-alpha

The ipCUE-alpha from Cue USA is an Ethernet-enabled controller equipped with a CUEwire bus connection for operation with Cue touchpanels, touchpads, and other interfaces. The unit features an internal IR sensor for IR code capture, Cue IR link, realtime clock, 5VDC, 1-amp power output, two bidirectional RS-232 ports, four bi¬directional RS-232/-422/-485 ports, eight IR ports also usable as unidirectional serial ports, and two relay ports. The front panel includes an LED status indicator for each port along with power, link, activity, and CPU indicators. Remote control, monitoring, firmware upgrades, and configuration are all done through the internal web server and browser interface.

DNF Controls AnyWhere Interface Box

DNF Controls AnyWhere Interface Box

DNF Controls designed the AnyWhere Interface Box to receive commands from an operator, from detection devices, or from an event schedule and respond with commands to a wide range of devices using GPO output in the form of relay closures, serial transmit by RS-232 or RS-422 and Ethernet transmit via TCP/IP, UDP, and SNMP. Configurations can be saved to and restored from a PC. The unit can be powered over Ethernet or external 12VDC supply and configured using a web browser. The interface includes eight opto-isolated inputs and a USB port. The GPI/GPO ports are D-sub 25, and the front panel includes port activity LEDs and a power indicator.

Elan Home Systems TS2

Elan Home Systems TS2

The Elan Home Systems IP-based TS2 is the beginning of a line of planned devices that will be used for control of home AV, security, lighting, and climate systems. Featuring a 3.75in. diagonal, 18-bit, 262,000-color OLED display, the TS2 provides an integrated IR receiver, multipage menus, and feedback from controlled devices. The 220x176 pixel display is programmed using Elan's configuration software. It can be wall-mounted in a double-gang electrical box, or it will fit into a tabletop stand using the VL2 Conversion Kit. Connection points include a five-position screw terminal interface port, the RJ-45 system port, and a mini USB download port. The unit ships with a standard white frame, but options include almond, light almond, ivory, and black.


AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

Feb 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles




Extron Electronics IPCP 305 and IPCP 505

Extron Electronics IPCP 305 and IPCP 505

The latest IP Link-configurable control processors from Extron Electronics, the IPCP 505 and IPCP 305, are designed to support larger configurable control systems. These control processors integrate Ethernet connectivity into AV systems, giving users the ability to remotely control, monitor, and troubleshoot AV equipment, including display devices and switchers. With a high-performance embedded web server, multiple bidirectional serial ports, relays, flex I/O ports, including Ethernet and an eBus port, these control processors are ideal for applications that require control for multiple devices within a large-scale AV system. The IPCP 505 and IPCP 305 are configured with the free, easy-to-use Global Configurator software. Using free GlobalViewer web-based AV resource management and remote control application, users can manage, monitor, and control both Extron and third-party equipment such as projectors, displays, computer monitors, VCRs, and DVD players.

FSR Flex-LT200

FSR Flex-LT200

With a 3.5in. diagonal color LCD touchscreen and Power over Ethernet capability, the Flex-LT200 self-contained control system from FSR can mount into a wall or operate from a desktop. The unit offers four serial and four IR ports, a built-in clock with event scheduler, and multicommand scripting conditionality. The Flex-Able configuration utility provides a simple drag-and-drop environment with an extensive IR library and IR learning capability. There is also a library of serial drivers and the capability to enter serial commands in ASCII or hex. The I/O ports are on screw terminals and handle up to 24VDC. The 12VDC 500mA power supply is included, and it is also connected on screw terminals.

Hall Research VSA-51

Hall Research VSA-51

The heart of the VSA-51 digital AV room control system from Hall Research is the VSA-51-R central receiver in which embedded software runs and is served via HTTP to any PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The system includes an inactivity timer and panel lockout, and one-time or recurring tasks may be internally scheduled. Other system components include a series of wall plates for input and output signals in various formats and a 2-gang hard button control panel and an eight-button user interface extension panel. Control connections are made through serial, IR, or contact closure, and the system allows audio level control through a 40W amplifier.

High Resolution Systems Universal Device Controller UDC 400

High Resolution Systems Universal Device Controller UDC 400

High Resolution Systems uses an interesting approach with the Universal Device Controller UDC 400, a device that can work along with a PC running Windows, an iPad, iPhone, Android, or any other device with a browser and network connection. With serial or IP conveyance, the UDC 400 can have any command for a wide range of devices assigned to any of its 40 buttons through a USB connection to the computer running the software. In addition to IP and serial protocols, the unit can operate contact closures and general purpose I/O (GPIO), tally, and relays. It also offers protocol translation for P-Bus, Art-Net, MIDI, DMX, and others. Users can select control commands for popular devices or enter their own commands through the software.


AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

Feb 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles




Kramer Electronics RC63-DL

Kramer Electronics RC63-DL

The RC63-DL is a multiroom AV controller from Kramer Electronics with a digital volume control that can be used to operate a number of other components such as screens and lights. The unit has six programmable buttons, each with programmable color backlighting and printed label capability. Commands can be macro-programmed to carry out a number of sequenced events with one button push, and each can operate in toggle mode. The internal scheduler can perform automatic shutdown and other predesignated tasks. Programming is performed through the USB port. Other ports include a bidirectional serial terminal, an IR output, IR learning function, two relay contact closure ports, and two K-Net terminals connect to other touch¬panels or a central control processor.

For heavy-duty professional show control applications, the Medialon Showmaster Pro has shown itself to be up to the task in a number of high-profile exhibits and productions. The 2RU box has two USB 2.0 ports, two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet ports, and eight RS-232 serial ports along with optically isolated digital inputs and an array of relay outputs. The Showmaster Pro also provides two DMX ports, balanced timecode inputs and outputs, a video reference input, and MIDI in/out. The software control includes features such as 1/100-second sync accuracy, drag-and-drop programming, multitasking, log files, and email alerts. The unit can be used as a subsystem in larger shows, and it easily interfaces with third-party control systems.

Mediatech ButtonMate XLP

Mediatech ButtonMate XLP

The ButtonMate XLP media controller from Mediatech is small enough to fit on a podium or to mount on a wall like a standard switch plate, and it can operate a wide variety of AV gear including projectors, document cameras, and screens though Ethernet, IR, and serial ports. The faceplate has eight buttons with interchangeable labels and seven user-selectable LED colors. Through a Windows-based software utility, the ButtonMate XLP can be programmed to execute command scripting with automatic power up and shutdown, and security lockout, and it can play audible tones in coordination with the button selections. Powered on 6VDC to 12VDC, the panel uses a back plate available in a powdercoated black or white finish.

NetStreams TouchLinX TLA250

NetStreams TouchLinX TLA250

Capable of controlling AV devices, thermostats, lighting, and other devices, the TouchLinX TLA250 touchpanel from NetStreams includes a 50W-per-channel amplifier and uses a clear glass faceplate with capacitive touch controls. The unit implements a decentralized architecture with IP control conveyance for multizone audio distribution, and with an Internet connection, it can add an Internet radio function with access to text-based metadata. The unit has a built-in microphone, it mounts into a double-gang wall box, and it can blend into any background wall pattern.


AV Control Systems Technology Showcase

Feb 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles




Radio Design Labs RU2-CS1

Radio Design Labs RU2-CS1

The RU2-CS1 serial controlled interface from Radio Design Labs (RDL) provides eight open collector outputs and eight separate 0V-to-10V outputs for VCAs and other voltage-controlled devices. Computer-connected through an RS-232 port, the unit can work with a terminal program or from user software that applies commands listed in the manual. The controlling PC may be located some distance away from the interface hardware by using a pair of RDL RU-SC2 modules. The front panel features eight control output indicator LEDs, eight input status lights, RS-232 transmit/receive lights, command validity indication, and a power LED. The unit's 24VDC power may be supplied by an external supply on either a DC power jack or on the rear terminal strip.

RTI RK10

RTI RK10

Equipped with a color 10.2in. TFT widescreen LCD touchscreen, the new RK10 in-wall controller from RTI began shipping in December with an Intel Atom processor and 1GB RAM onboard. The controller runs Windows Embedded Standard OS and includes cabling options for one RS-232 serial port, one RS-232/RS-485/RS-422 port, four USB 2.0 ports, one VGA port, and field-upgradable firmware. Gigabit Ethernet connectivity is enabled through RJ-45 and 802.11b/g wireless. The unit may be wall-mounted or bracket-mounted using the rear VESA-compliant screw holes, and the user interface is fully programmable with RTI's Integration Designer software. When used with RTI accessory devices, the RK-10 is capable of two-way control, and it can access motion JPEG video from security cameras, download Internet data, and control AV hard drive servers.

SP Controls SP2-CHAS

SP Controls SP2-CHAS

The Large Chassis Smart Panel SP2-CHAS from SP Controls consists of a base system controller frame that can be fitted with up to four user-selected input modules in a variety of connector types to suit the combination of AV gear to be controlled. The panel also provides power controls and status displays for any compatible projector, a volume control, and an Ethernet patch point. The projector control may be either RS-232 or IR. Four configurable 500mA control relays are switched with the source selection and three are switched when projector power changes. The unit also has a serial configuration port, and a free configuration software utility is provided.

Universal Remote Control MRX-1

Universal Remote Control MRX-1

The MRX-1 network base station from Universal Remote Control (URC) is an Ethernet-enabled controller with a variety of ports for connection to AV devices including one relay NC/NO/COM terminal, two RS-232 ports, six adjustable IR connections (URC emitters included), and video or voltage sensing. The unit is designed for networked operation with the KP-4000 in-wall IP controller for operation of AV components, energy monitoring devices, HVAC, iPods, whole-house lighting, and URC's PSX-2 personal server. The KP-4000 may be powered either by a PoE switch or a PoE injector for using power and data on the same twisted-pair cable. A third power option is available using external 12VDC. The MRX-1 uses external 12VDC only.


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