AV Control SystemsThe growing market in AV control systems reflects both the rapid deployment of various AV components, A/D, in the corporate world, academia, and industry. 2/25/2013 11:08 AM Eastern
AV Control Systems
Feb 25, 2013 4:08 PM, By Bennett Liles
The growing market in AV control systems reflects both the rapid deployment of various AV components, A/D, in the corporate world, academia, and industry. With the trend toward unified IP control and monitoring, more devices than ever are being manufactured or adapted for IR, serial, and Ethernet-control interfaces. Our survey includes the whole range for these devices and illustrates the growing sophistication of AV control systems’ design and application.
Drawing its power from Alcorn McBride's WinScript Live operating system with Timeline and Redundant Mode, the V16 Pro frame accurate show controller can run complex synchronized presentations, theme park setups, and museum exhibits through 16 serial ports, 16 opto-isolated inputs and 16 relay outputs with RS-485 and MIDI I/O. The unit’s dual network ports allow control and monitoring from anywhere and multiple video players can be frame-locked to NTSC video sync. Its I/Os are protected against voltage surges and short circuits while the 80-character LCD on the front panel provides control and programming information. Front-panel LEDs show the signal condition of serial ports, outputs, and inputs.
For a compact solution for controlling projectors, display panels and motorized gear, Altinex has equipped the Neutron CP500-110 open architecture AV device mini controller with two bi-directional RS-232 ports, two IR connections, two contact closure terminals, two sensor inputs, and an Ethernet port for programming, monitoring and control. LEDs on the front panel show power, Ethernet link activity, and port activation. The unit can be operated through multiple Altinex MultiTouch color touchpanels and it can be set up to react to a wide variety of sensor triggers and activate one or more AV devices including signal switchers, Blu-ray players, receivers, screens, and window blinds.
The NI-700 NetLinx integrated controller from AMX is designed to handle the AV control requirements of a single room with its 304 MIPS processor, two configurable RS-232/422/485 serial ports, IR/serial port, IR receiver port, and four digital I/O channels. It can also communicate on AxLink, ICSNet, and Ethernet networks. The unit’s front-panel LEDs show communication activity, connection status, speeds along with mode information and it features AMX device discovery to facilitate installation. There is also a front-panel programming port that has parameters that are set with a configuration DIP switch. The matte black case is metal and stands a single rack unit high.
Housing a 32-bit engine and a 32-bit pipeline memory, the Aurora Multimedia WACI NX-22 supports HTML, DHTML, JAVA, FLASH, ASP, and Visual Basic for control applications and it includes an Event Manager for running server side functions from a web-based interface. With optional hardware, two WACI NX-22 controllers can be mounted in a single rack space. Each unit features two RJ-45 network ports, one of which supports PoE. It includes USB, two serial ports, two IR outputs, one IR input, and two digital I/Os. There is a micro SD slot for expansion, IR learner, and a 32-bit clock/calendar, along with Web and FTP network access. The front panel has an LCD for setup and diagnostics, LED indicators for power, IR I/O, serial, relay closures, digital I/O, menu navigation buttons, and the USB port.
For digital signage control applications, ClearOne designed the compact VL9300-IP AV decoder with the ability to control a large array of displays over the network with its HDMI 1.3 compatible DVI video output, PoE capability, IR receiver/GPIO terminal, and its IR emitter/RS-232 output. Equipped with StreamNet technology, deployed units can keep all zones synced to within 500 microseconds. Equipped with a VESA 100mm bolt pattern, the VL9300 has a range of mounting options on its own or using an included surface mount bracket. Features include an on-screen user interface, HDCP diagnostics, and SD/HD video decoding.
The new Pro3 next generation control system from Crestron employs the powerful Core3 OS to allow control and monitoring of everything from boardroom AV systems up to total building management. The unit’s onboard 1GB RAM and 4GB flash memory can be expanded to 1TB and it houses an e-Control web server. Wireless links include Crestron Mobile control apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. It provides control connections on multiple RS-232 ports, IR/serial, relay and Versiport I/O ports. For growing applications, there are three built-in 3-Series control card expansion slots while the front panel offers a color LCD display along with a USB computer console port and the PRO3 is IPv6 ready.
AV Control Systems
Feb 25, 2013 4:08 PM, By Bennett Liles
Flagship of the Elan HC controller line of entertainment-based systems, the HC-12 can be used with the TS2 Touchpad, TS7, and TS10 touchscreens, as well as the HR2 handheld remote and it has a built-in two channel audio server capability. The unit can stream music, record IP security cameras, and control AV switches and sources with its 250GB internal storage capacity. The enclosure fits a single rack space or it can be used in a freestanding style. The unit supports two phone lines and eight voicemail boxes with optional USB modems. It also features on-board IR generation and decoding along with relay control.
Extron has recently introduced the TLM 100T, an iPad mount designed to securely fix an iPad on a conference room table. The mount is designed for use with 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads running an Extron control app or being used as a presentation video source. Included are security fasteners that can be locked to prevent theft. A discrete cable management system allows iPad adapter and charging cables to be routed through the adjustable and removable base. It is also VESA mountable and it can be paired with an optional Extron SMA-1 Swivel Mount Adapter to enable the iPad to rotate.
The FLEX-LT200 from FSR combines the 3.5in. diagonal color touchpanel interface with the control processor in a single unit providing an IP link, four serial ports along with four IR connections, each of which can support four IR emitters connected in series and there are four I/O ports for AV device control. The controller also features a USB port and the Ethernet connection supports PoE to simplify power wiring. Remote activation can be done through DC voltage applied to an analog port on the controller. The built-in clock and scheduler can be used to automatically shut down displays and other devices that have been left on. The Flex-Able configuration utility allows simple drag-and-drop programming.
Hall Research designed the VSA-51 digital AV room control system as a complete solution for K-12 classrooms and conference rooms with its embedded software and browser-based access. The central unit accepts up to five input sources including two VGA, two composite, and one HDMI. It switches these into a single flat-screen monitor or projector along with accompanying audio. The VSA-51 also incorporates contact closures and RS-232 serial control ports. The product includes wall-mounting plates and there is a built-in audio amplifier that can power two 20W speakers.
The ECS-Raptor from HRS Control incorporates the UDC Pro Embedded Control Server for networked control of AV devices in addition to its four RS232 serial ports. It can be configured in HRS Control’s UDC Software leaving the Raptor for permanent installs. Free UDC configuration software can be upgraded to UDC Pro software for faster configuration and debugging the control system on the fly. An iPad can be used as the touch control interface with the HRS Control Pro iOS app available in the Apple App Store. The HRS Control Pro app can also be run on a Windows tablet or in wall-mount touchscreens and any device with a browser can be used as the controller. The Raptor is 1RU in height and ½ rack width while keeping power consumption to an absolute minimum with its low power design. It ships with an optional shelf for rackmounting.
Providing maximum functionality in a minimal package, the Kramer Electronics SL-10 master room controller offers a wide range of ports including two general purpose I/O, two bi-directional RS-232, an RS-485, five relays, one IR input, three IR outputs, and a USB port for loading configuration files. It can also learn IR commands from any remote and three of the units can be mounted side by side in a single rack space. Front panel status LEDs signal activity on each port while realtime control and monitoring are connected via RJ-45 and handled with Kramer’s Site-CTRL software application, which allows central management for up to 100 master controllers.
AV Control Systems
Feb 25, 2013 4:08 PM, By Bennett Liles
The new Showmaster XS embedded controller from Medialon is a single rack unit with four serial ports, three digital outputs, and six infrared ports all programmed with drag-and-drop Showmaster Editor software. The heart of the system is comprised of the internal 16GB SSD SATA hard drive, the 1GB SDRAM, and its Intel Atom N270 processor. The Showmaster XS can generate up to three HTML touchscreens on a tablet or PC for controlling video servers, sound processors, and other gear on its own, or as part of a larger Medialon network system. It allows realtime testing and can generate notifications and alarms via email.
Among its array of products for managing home technology devices, Pro Control offers the ProLink.r processor which can wirelessly communicate with the Pro24.r and iPro.8 remotes on a one-way 433MHz RF signal. It is also Ethernet capable for programming and one-way control via tablets, smartphones, and PCs with an activated ProPanel app from iTunes. There are four integrated IR routing ports with adjustable output signal strength, two voltage-sensing inputs, and a USB programming port. The unit is designed with a flip-up panel that allows access for controls and then hides them when flipped down.
The RU2-CS1 serial-controlled interface from Radio Design Labs features eight open collector outputs and eight 0-10VDC outputs for controlling external equipment. When connected to a computer through a serial link, the unit can initiate commands from user software or a terminal program. It can also provide alert activation when an individual status input terminal changes its voltage state. These alerts can be globally enabled or bypassed. LEDs on the front panel show active audio outputs, active status inputs, transmit or receive data activity, errors, and power. The unit can also be set up to provide an alert in response to a defined pattern on all eight status terminals.
With its completely self-contained control system, analog and digital viewing capability, and capacitive touchscreen, the KX7 in-wall color touchpanel controller is the latest entry for commercial and residential AV control from RTI. It includes an RS-232 serial port and its IR port can operate devices up to 1,000ft. away. Installation is simplified with the unit’s PoE capability and the 7in. (800x480) color LCD screen allows screen swiping for page navigation. There are composite, S-Video, and component video inputs and the SURFiR companion remote allows users to employ their Apple and Android touchscreen devices as the graphical interface for the control system.
Savant Systems has laid out the SSC-P025 version of its Savant SmartControl 25 to be powered over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3at) in control applications, such as home theaters, whole homes, hotel rooms, classrooms, conference rooms, and other environments. Its connection ports include six IR, eight serial, three relay, seven GPIO, and an Ethernet port. The 1RU, half-rack chassis includes screw-down connectors on control ports and the front panel provides power and port status LED indicators. There is an optional faceplate that allows two of the control units to be mounted side by side in a single rack space.
The Networked Room Controller from SP Controls is a web-enabled controller for a range of devices and it can be adapted to suit the venue by pairing it with a number of different control pucks with serial, IR, and relay interfaces. The control unit itself features a bi-directional RS-232 port, one IR terminal, four low-voltage relays, and two general purpose sensing ports. The web control is configured through an AJAX powered web interface for use with the SP Controls driver library or custom configured drivers. When used with the Doceri application, it adds interactive whiteboard, screencast recorder, drawing tools, and built-in remote desktop control.
Among the network base stations for AV control from Universal Remote Control is the MRX-1 with two-way IP control, IR, RS-232, and relay (NC, NO, or momentary) along with a sensor port. Part of the MRX-1’s power is in its ability to execute macros based on device status and to track device status via voltage sensor for automation of virtually any commercial space. It can also provide two-way metadata in an installation using the KP-4000 two-way, in-wall network keypad, but it can be used with any URC network compatible remote controller. The unit runs on an external 12VDC power supply.