AV Control SystemsTwo pervasive trends in AV system control have been centralized monitoring and configuration over IP networks. 2/23/2012 9:44 AM Eastern
AV Control Systems
Feb 23, 2012 2:44 PM, By Bennett Liles
Two pervasive trends in AV system control have been centralized monitoring and configuration over IP networks. This can be seen in AV systems for a wide variety of applications including courtrooms, classrooms, and corporate boardrooms. In addition to these capabilities, the systems in our survey add a range of features to increase flexibility while maintaining user friendliness.
The V16 Pro show controller from Alcorn McBride is a programmable rack unit with dual Ethernet ports, 16 opto inputs that are individually programmable for voltages and contact closures, 16 RS-232/422 ports, 16 relay ports, video frame sync, time code reader/generator and a real time clock. The unit is programmed with WinScript Live, allowing changes to show events in real time without compiling or downloading. Compatible with the ShowTouch user interface, the V16 Pro provides a comprehensive array of LED indicators on the front panel, while the back features MIDI in and out connections along with serial and USB programming ports.
Designed by Altinex primarily for use with their MultiTouch line of touchpanels, the CP500-100 Neutron controller is a network connected rackmount or standalone unit with eight sensor inputs, including 12VDC power to drive the sensor devices. The sensor inputs can be used to automatically activate eight bi-directional RS232 ports, eight IR outputs and up to eight contact closures on the relay ports. The controller can work with one or more touchpanels on Ethernet and it can learn IR codes directly from a remote control by way of the front panel sensor window, storing the codes in internal memory. The system includes built-in auto-discovery of units on a LAN.
Suitable for controlling AV resources in a large venue, the NI-3100 NetLinx Integrated controller from AMX is expandable and includes AMX device discovery. The unit provides seven configurable RS-232/422/485 ports, eight relays, eight IR/serial ports, eight digital I/O ports and it communicates on AxLink and Ethernet networks. It can contain 64MB or 256MB RAM and its 2GB compact flash memory is upgradable to 4GB. Front-panel LEDs indicate communication activity, connection status, data speeds and mode information. An ICSHub Out port is provided with the addition of an ICSNet daughter card.
Aurora Multimedia added video preview capability to an in-wall web-based touchscreen user interface and integral controller on the NXT-1330V. The 13.3in. 1280x800 touchscreen has HDMI, VGA, YPbPr, video and S-Video inputs and it enables control of serial, infrared and relay ports. Of the two LAN ports, one is PoE capable and the audio capability includes a front panel speaker with stereo line in and out along with an integral microphone. The 900MIPS processor uses a 256MB flash, 128MB DDR2 memory and the unit features USB 2.0 and micro SD expansion ports. The front panel also features an infrared receiver window.
The ezRoom 5000 series control products from Calypso Control Systems consist of all the components needed to assemble a complete control solution for the K-12 classroom. The ezRoom 5300 includes the CB-5000 networked controller with its 3in. monochrome touchscreen, the CM-3000 networked audio controller and 32W audio amplifier, the Smart Block wire and power control adapter, CP-650 Cat5 wall plate, two 6.5in. 2-way ceiling speakers and Encore desktop control panel software. Multiple systems can be centrally monitored with the Maestro client/server monitoring and control software application. The system components connect on Cat-5 with the amplifier, smart block and power supply normally mounted in the ceiling near the projector.
Packing a lot of capability into a small 1RU chassis, the new CP3 3-Series control system from Crestron runs on a Core 3 operating system and uses the same modular programming architecture as the 2-Series and other Crestron AV controllers. Along with several indicator LEDs, the front panel of the IPv6-ready unit includes a USB 2.0 computer console port. The rear panel features two RS-232 ports with software handshaking, one RS-232/422/485 port with hardware and software handshaking, eight IR/serial connections, eight relay and eight Versiport I/O ports. The controller also features an IIS v6.0 web server, which is backward compatible to run existing programs made with the Crestron SIMPL programming software. Memory includes a 512MB RAM and 2GB flash memory with expandability up to 1TB.
For central operation of the more upscale home AV systems, Elan Home Systems has designed the S128P multi-room AV controller for sources including iPods, CD, MP3, and digital music servers as well as for video switching for DVD, DVR, CCTV cameras and other sources. A single unit can distribute and control up to 12 AV sources for up to eight zones in the house. Interfaces include 12 source-specific IR outputs, two IR ALL ports, six sense inputs, eight zone trigger outputs, a system trigger output, source leveling and an RS-232 control port. Integrated with Elan’s COM 2 Communications Controller, the unit’s capability expands to phone-to-phone intercom, two-way door station communication, music on hold and other features.
The Extron TLP 710CV 7in. configurable, flip-up touchpanel combines AV system control with the convenience of an Extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a flip-up, full-color, 800x480 resolution touchscreen in a metal enclosure that can be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. The TLP 710CV enables integrators to deploy furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power. The unit is configurable with Extron’s Global Configurator and GUI Configurator software using customizable templates. The TLP 710CV and other TouchLink control models operate with the IPL 250, IPL 350, IPCP 505 and other Extron control processors.
AV Control Systems
Feb 23, 2012 2:44 PM, By Bennett Liles
For ease of installation, FSR fitted a 3.5in. color touchpanel on the FLEX-LT100 with an integral control processor that can be podium or wall mounted. The controller features two serial ports, two IR ports with learning capability from device remotes and a built-in clock with scheduler. Simple drag-and-drop configuration is done with the Flex-Able software utility, which includes IR and serial driver libraries along with direct serial command entry in ASCII or Hex. A mini-B USB port can power the unit during configuration and firmware updates. The FLEX-LT200 adds two more IR and serial ports and can run on PoE through its Ethernet port.
Control mobility is a key feature in the VSA-51 control system from Hall Research. It consists of the VSA-UI-DP user interface button panel, a variety of single gang decora plate input connectors for AV devices and the VSA-51-R receiver/switcher with its integrated audio amplifier. The receiver has HDMI, VGA and composite video outputs for the display and accepts AV signals from the input wall plates on UTP lines. Control is available for a second serial device and is extended through two programmable GPIO ports. The Ethernet-connected VSA-51-R also features a theft detection circuit with automatic notification and panel lockout with an inactivity timer and the unit is accessible from any PC, iPhone, iPad or Android device.
The UDC Touch from High Resolution Systems is a 10in. Ethernet-connected touchpanel that can use UDC Software to present a custom user interface for a variety of third-party display devices, including the Vista Systems Spyder. Used for Christie projectors, it can read lamp hours and control up to 40 projectors in groups. Lightware matrix routers and other devices can also be operated with the UDC Touch interface units. Employing the Web Server feature of the software, the UDC Touch unit can control dozens of devices simultaneously. The panel can also run on an embedded system without the UDC software and requires no computer.
For applications in which a centrally located AV control processor must be operated wirelessly, Kramer Electronics offers the SL-12 master room controller with twin hard wired IR inputs for sensors triggered with handheld IR remotes. The unit features four general-purpose I/O ports configurable as analog or digital inputs or as digital outputs. In addition there are four bi-directional RS-232 ports and eight relay contact closures along with one RS-485 serial connection. The SL-12 connects for central control and monitoring on Ethernet with Kramer-Site CTRL software and it has a USB port for local configuration uploads. The front panel has an array of LED status indicators.
Known for big show control gear, Medialon also offers the 1RU Showmaster ST for small to medium shows along with boardrooms, classrooms, courtrooms, and other less complex control environments. With the free Showmaster Editor software, the unit can be configured for conditional scenarios, multiple device synchronization and timed sequence AV operation. Included in the software are WebPanels that make it easy to create custom user interfaces through a simple drag-and-drop programming interface and publish those screens on the network as web pages. Any web browser can interact with WebPanels, including browsers on iPads and Android tablets. The unit has four serial ports, 16 digital inputs and outputs, MIDI in/out, DMX in/out and an Ethernet port.
The ButtonMate XLP from Mediatech enables serial and IR control of local AV devices with a very simple installation and setup using a Windows-based software utility. The single gang wall panel features backlit buttons in seven selectable colors and it includes a built-in IR learner and emitter. The panel is connected to AV gear on Cat-5 cable through an included breakout adapter and each button can be programmed to carry out a sequence of commands. The unit also provides audible button feedback and security code access protection combined with a second configurable RS232 port for control expansion or an add-on LAN module.
AV Control Systems
Feb 23, 2012 2:44 PM, By Bennett Liles
NetStreams designed the Quartet Q4000 for maximum audio switching flexibility with minimum setup and configuration. Capable of routing up to nine sound sources to as many as four separate zones, the Multi-Room Processor (MRP) responds to commands from up to four wall-mounted, Cat-5-connected keypads and one IR remote. The sources can include four global devices, a central FM tuner and up to four remote units. Each keypad includes a built-in microphone for use in a multi-room intercom function with room-to-room paging and room monitoring. The Rest and Rise feature allows a source to be played for a set time after a specific delay.
The FP-ECC1 energy conservation controller from Radio Design Labs can turn on or turn off any AV system in response to a variety of conditions or on a timer delay. A system may be powered on by an external switch or in response to the presence of an audio signal. The audio trigger input has switch selectable low cut filters and level sensing controls. Audio presence sensing can also shut down a system after a time of inactivity that is adjustable for 15, 30 or 60 minutes. When user activity is sensed, the shutdown timer starts over. Force-on and force-off terminals override all timers and delays for immediate startup or shutdown. RDL offers optional remote controls that connect directly to the FP-ECC1 using twisted pair wire and RJ45 connectors.
Using bi-directional wireless Zigbee communication with compatible RTI remote controls, the XP-3 control processor stores commands and macros and features a built-in clock for time-based events through RS232, IR, Ethernet and relay control. Its multi-purpose I/O port can act as an IR sensor or it can connect to RTI accessory devices to sense equipment power status or communicate via one-way RS-232. The unit has a 128MB non-volatile flash memory, two IR output ports, two assignable voltage sense inputs, two programmable relay outputs and one two-way RS232 port for supported devices. The 10/100Base-T Ethernet port supports Power-over-Ethernet Class 3. The XP-3 also features field upgradable firmware and is programmed using the RTI Integration Designer software.
The SmartControl 25 from Savant Systems packs eight RS-232/422/485 serial ports, six IR transmitter ports, three relay ports, seven GPIO ports, and an Ethernet port, over which it can be linked and powered (SSC-P025), into a half-rack sized 1RU enclosure. The front panel includes a variety of diagnostic LED indicators and each relay port can carry a maximum of 30V DC with a maximum current of 1.0 amps. The GPIO, relay, and IR terminals use 6-pin screw down connectors while the serial ports terminate on RJ-45s.The unit operates on a separate 12VDC power supply.
SP Controls has laid out the PXE-DCM+ PixiePlus Device Control Module for maximum function in minimal space. Fitting into the box of a single gang wall switch, the PixiePlus learns IR codes from almost any remote without using a computer and stores them to control a wide range of AV devices. A single button can be programmed with multiple remote codes and the unit can power devices up/down, select sources and raise and lower volume levels. For multiple rooms, each PixiePlus can wirelessly clone its configuration to others. A series of button commands can also be programmed into the controller as a security code to prevent unauthorized operation.
The MRX-10 advanced network system controller from Universal Remote Control can operate AV devices on Ethernet, infrared, serial, relay and sensor control and communicate bi-directionally with Total Control remotes and keypads. The unit can issue single or macro listed commands and is expandable via LAN to up to eight MRX-series sub-base stations. The rear panel includes eight IR ports, four RS232, four sensor connections, two relay terminals, two 12VDC power outputs and the chassis fits in one rack space using the optional RMK-1 rackmounting kit. The MRX-10 is also compatible with the optional RFTX-1 RF transmitter and it can be programmed either locally or through an RJ-45 LAN port.
Xantech designed the 590-10 programmable controller to be flexible in configuration using 16 isolated input circuits and a learning microprocessor to control infrared devices by using simple contact closure triggers. Programmed with Universal Dragon Drop-IR Program Software, the unit can incorporate up to 40 commands for each key, button or contact closure that is connected to it on a series of screw terminals. The nine-pin COM port is used for a computer connection in programming. IR codes can be learned from the original equipment remotes or downloaded from an online library.