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AV Control Systems 2020: Tech Roundup

AV control systems gain strength and flexibility as manufacturers continue to blend industry-specific expertise with AV Over IP and IT-defined practices.

We can talk about power, signal distribution, acoustics, mics and cameras but where things get most interesting is in that critical interface between AV systems and humans. In an era that has introduced wireless collaboration, AV over IP and increasingly serious security challenges, the ongoing task of AV control has been to keep system control simple while adding more layers of complex capability backstage. The broad range of devices seen here can meet those needs when the system is expertly matched to the job at hand.

1. A-Neuvideo ANi-8WP Wall-Plate Control System fits a single gang wall box and uses PoE for easy installation. Capable of eight direct macro commands and an additional eight macro commands in the WebGUI, the ANI-8WP offers a total of 128 separate commands. The commands can be date and time scheduled and the relay function can raise and lower projection screens, matrix switchers and any Telnet supported device. The buttons’ LED intensity is adjustable and the device comes with 56 button labels.

2. Alcorn McBride V16Pro show controller brings an interesting angle to system management with its timeline programmable features and wide assortment of input/output ports. Using its dual Ethernet ports, serial interface, MIDI, SMPTE timecode and real-time clock, the unit can execute an array of functions in a scripted sequence and activate any number of externally triggered events. It is accompanied by a large library of control protocols to allow easy integration into any show system for precise synchronization of audio, video, lighting and other effects.

3. AMX  MT-2002 Modero G5 20in. Tabletop Touch Panel is one of the company’s tmost versatile. The G5 graphics engine and Quad Core processor run a built-in web browser and document viewers on its panoramic capacitive multi-touch screen. Administrators can select custom modes and set security levels. In-Plane Switching (IPS) delivers the widest viewing angles and accurate color reproduction on the screen. The MT-2002 is designed for boardrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms and auditoriums where its low profile provides the ultimate in unobtrusive functionality.

4. ATEN VK2100 works with ATEN Configurator and the ATEN control system app to connect all of the AV devices in a single room or large facility. The VK6000 Configurator enables system configuration and then the app connects the user on any iOS, Android or Windows mobile device or tablet. AV, lighting, conference systems and even HVAC can be set up for control. Each individual user profile provides a customized GUI that is password protected.

5. Atlona Velocity IP-enabled AV control platform recently began shipping in its updated 2nd generation. Velocity 2.0 offers a flexible new architecture to support various rooms and application requirements. The platform integrates with Atlona’s own Omnistream and Omega products, as well as leading soft codec platforms, asset management and remote and cloud monitoring/management. At the center of Atlona’s room control system is the AT-VGW-HV hardware server gateway for AV system control, room scheduling, and AV asset management. With its dual Gigabit Ethernet ports for isolating a dedicated AV LAN from the facility or corporate network, the server supports industry standard network protocols. It is accessible by web browser for setup and management. Available as the VGW-HW-3, VGWHW-10, and VGW-HW-20, the device is capable of handling anywhere from three to 20 rooms using the Atlona Management System. The updated Velocity System platform includes the free Velocity Cloud Lite for simplified remote configuration and management. Also announced, the ATVSP-800 8” room scheduling and AV control touch panel, also shipping. With integrated bezel LED lighting, the panel is ideal for lobbies, hallways, or meeting space entrances that require a quick and easy way of visualizing room availability at a distance in scheduling applications.

6. Aurora QXC-44  is one of four new Linux-based ReAX IP control systems introduced at InfoComm 2019. It has a wide selection of ports for control of projectors, players and other AV devices as well as relays and sensor inputs. The unit can run software tools such as Core Studio that are downloadable from the Aurora customer portal. Among the unit’s features are an internal web server, IP control engine, WACI Event Manager, status LEDs and a front panel keyboard.

7. Barco Overture is an enterprise class software-based AV monitoring and control solution that can handle anywhere from a few to a thousand classrooms, conference facilities or auditoriums. Reports and statistics can be examined to keep abreast of equipment usage and alarms can be set to notify administrators of any malfunctions. The interface is template based for quick and easy installation and setup. These capabilities have been enhanced with the recent release of the new Overture Insights application.

8. Black Box AVS-CTRL8 wall plate control panel can operate a range of devices via RS-232, RS-485, IR, and relay control on any of eight separately assignable buttons. The whole unit with its black metal finish fits into a single gang wall box and each button has a customizable label through programming software downloadable from Black Box. Up to 99-unit programmable control panels can be looped and controlled together and the backlit brightness of each panel is adjustable. At ISE, the company also announced the ControlBridge, a complete multisystem and room control system for control rooms and building automation. Using a single touch panel to control KVM, AV, and other in-room devices, users can program room temperature, control video wall solutions, turn lights on and off remotely, or launch a preset room configuration with the touch of a button to prepare a room for a presentation.

av control9. Crestron CP4N is a rack-mountable control system with Crestron’s powerful  4‑Series control engine and numerous integrated control ports. The 4-Series multicore CPU enables a sizable speed and performance over Crestron 3‑Series control processors–supporting the increasing demands of advanced automated systems that incorporate disparate technologies and need scaleable, secure integration across the wide range of devices and manufacturers. The modular CP4N allows programmers to develop and run independent, device‑specific programs; each device can be individually optimized and changes can be made without affecting the whole system. On a dedicated Crestron Control Subnet, the CP4N can auto-configure the entire subnet, including device discovery and IP address assignments. A separate LAN port provides a single-point connection, requiring only one IP address for the entire control system. The LAN port allows for interconnectivity between devices on the local subnet and other devices, systems, servers, and WAN/internet connections outside the local subnet. For secure applications, the entire Control Subnet can be isolated. GUI support includes Crestron touch screens, wireless remotes, and mobile device apps, as well as remote management through Crestron Fusion software and the Crestron XiO Cloud service. In this way, installers and users can remotely provision, monitor, and manage Crestron devices across an enterprise network; the system can be pre-loaded and has unlimited scalability via Microsoft Azure. CP4N integrates with  audio, video, lighting, motorized shades, thermostats, door locks, sensors, security systems, and other equipment, including third-party. Built-in SNMP V3 support enables integration with third-party IT management software; native support for BACnet provides a direct interface to HVAC, security and other building management systems.

av control10.d&b audiotechnik DS100 Signal Engine is a 3RU rack unit that forms the foundation for the Soundscape, the object-based audio environment. It forms a 64 x 64 Dante audio matrix with level and delay adjustments at each crosspoint to route and distribute multiple audio channels to numerous amplifiers. Operating through standard networking technologies, the complete system is designed and optimized in the d&b ArrayCalc Simulation Software, and controlled via the d&b R1 Remote Control Software.

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11.ELAN gSC2 system controller is designed to optimize operation on the Linux platform. The gSC2 has connections for two RS-232 devices, two ELAN sensors, four IR emitters, two dry contact relays and it includes a USB-A port. Compatible with all g! Ethernet drivers, the controller has WiFi, PoE and it can be operated through a wide range of touch panels, keypads, hand-held remotes, PCs, Macs and smart devices running iOS and Android operating systems.

12. Extron IPCP Pro xi Series high-performance control processors were introduced in February. They incorporate up to four times more memory and claim significantly enhanced processing power for increased deployment speeds and improved runtime functionality. In addition to increases in performance, these new processors feature advanced security standards and Gigabit Ethernet, which ensures compatibility with multiple TouchLink Pro touchpanels and Network Button Panels using a standard network infrastructure. The IPCP Pro xi Series can be configured using Global Configurator Plus or Global Configurator Professional software or programmed using Extron Global Scripter. For enterprise-wide applications, GlobalViewer Enterprise can provide centralized AV resource monitoring, management, and control over a computer network. In addition, the IPCP Pro xi Series supports Extron LinkLicense. These compact control processors come in quarter rack and half-rack sizes, and the DIN rail mount option for additional mounting flexibility.

av control13. FSR FLEX-LT offers a range of specific AV system operation solutions within this product line of combination display and control processors. These can be flush mounted or contained in the T6 FLEX Table Box. Using the 3.5in. touch screen, users can select input sources, adjust volume, activate lights, raise/lower projection screens and perform many other tasks. The built-in scheduler can automatically shut off devices and send alerts to support personnel.


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14. Hall Research CNT-IP-264 controls a video over LAN network composed of FHD264 encoders and decoders. Through its embedded web server with GUI it can list and identify all of the transmitters and receivers while also providing control of other gear such as TVs and projectors using custom user-created control buttons for Serial-over-IP or Telnet. There is also a scheduler for activating commands on time of day.

av control15. High Resolution Systems HRS Enterprise ONE AV control system offers a built-in web browser and their System Designer software in one unit. The unit’s Quad Core processor, 64GB SSD and 2GB internal memory run a feature-packed system including a drag-and-drop scheduling calendar, 2 USB ports, HDMI display connection and network Interfaces for IR, RS232, and contact closures. Users can connect to the controller through HRS native iOS and Windows apps.

16. IDK SWC2000 push button controller operates the IDK America MSD Series, FDX Series, and IP-NINJAR Series products, the  works via LAN or RS-232C. The unit can be used on a desk or rack mounted and up to 10 commands can be linked to one button. Up to 32 commands can be linked to each panel. All of this is done on a web connected computer that can also be used to backup and restore control commands.

17. Key Digital KD-MC1000 Master Controller is the first major control system built from the ground up using Apple’s iOS devices. It features 6 MCP35 multi-function I/O ports that can be set up as IR in any direction, bi-directional RS-232, voltage level output, voltage sensor input, PCM audio sensor input or composite video sensor input. There is also one relay/contact closure port and one Zigbee wireless port. The unit connects directly to LAN on an RJ45 and initial setup/firmware upgrades are done through USB.

18. Kramer Electronics SL-280 32 port master/room controller is bidirectional RS232, IR with learning capability, GPI/O and relay control. It can operate on LAN and be set up to control a wide range of devices through the rear panel terminal block interfaces. The whole system occupies a single rack space and there are front panel LEDs for indication of port state and system status. The SL-280’s processor speed is 1GHz and it uses a 512MB RAM along with 4GB flash memory.

19. PepperDashEssentials” core control software framework debuted last month as an open source project from a group of AV veterans. PepperDash Essentials is a Crestron framework capable of running a wide variety of system designs out-of-the-box and can also serve as a standardized plug-in architecture to augment SIMPL# Pro and SIMPL Windows programs.

20. ProControl ProLink.z processor when paired with PRO Control Pro24.z, iPro.8 remote or the Pro Panel app for iOS, rovides control over complex AV environments along with sophisticated condition sensing. This model has two voltage sensors and six IR output ports, an integrated 2.4GHz Zigbee antenna, Ethernet RJ45 and two 2-way RS-232 ports. Tablets, smartphones and PCs can work seamlessly with it and the interface is customizable using ProControl’s wizard-based software.

21. QSC Q-SYS Ecosystem brings sound, video, and control into one unified environment and provides AV bridging, acoustic echo cancellation, scripting, scheduling and integration of third party hardware. Users and system designers can easily use the Q-SYS Designer Software to configure the whole AV control plan for small conference rooms all the way up to major enterprise installations.

22. Radio Design Labs RU2-CS1 computer AV control interface operates eight open-collector outputs and eight separate 0-10 VDC outputs for external device control. Eight inputs are also available for sensing external switch or transistor closures. All of this is controlled from a computer running a terminal application or other user software. Front panel LEDs show active outputs, active status inputs, transmit and receive data, errors and power.

23. RTI VXP-82 8×1 all-in-one presentation switcher and control processor, is the company’s flagship solution for conference rooms, classrooms, and lecture halls with its AV control, switching, video scaling and audio mixing. All of this is housed in a 2RU rack unit that also has HDBaseT communication. Along with its many other features using VXP-R and VXP-T extenders, the VXP-82 has six routable IR ports, two RS-232 ports, three relays, three voltage triggers and three voltage sense inputs.

av control24. SDVoE Crestron control systems module is redcently announced and allows Certified SDVoE Design Partners to easily architect and deploy SDVoE systems of any size while offering a familiar user experience. The SDVoE module works with any 3-series Crestron control processor to enable video matrix switching and independent audio routing, as well as advanced SDVoE features like video wall and multiview. Harnessing the power of the SDVoE API, this single driver works with any SDVoE manufacturer’s products. The SDVoE module is available for free download from the SDVoE Academy by SDVoE Alliance members and certified SDVoE Design Partners.

25. SP Controls SP-TP7 touch panel is an easy upgrade to customers with SP Controls PixiePro control units. Working with the company’s NRC (Networked Room Controller), the touch panel can be wall mounted or installed in an equipment rack, tabletop or lectern and show off its anodized brushed aluminum bezel. It can be powered on PoE and future functionality additions will be handled through its existing audio outputs and built-in IR receiver.



26. TEKVOX TCX9 TekController features a 9in. diagonal 1920×1200 resolution HD touch screen with a wide viewing angle as well as its Windows 10 IoT powered control processor. The unit can be remotely managed through its LAN connection and each panel includes the GUI designer, control interface application and device license as well as a set of screws and brackets for mounting on podium, table or wall. There are also USB and HDMI connections for an optional mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

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27. Universal Remote Control  MRX-30 Advanced Network System Controller provides a powerful quad-core processor, two-way operation of Total Control along with compatible third-party devices and dual programming options. This model also integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to allow voice activation. It can store and execute complex control and automation commands and is capable of off-site programming. Included are relays, 12VDC power outputs, infrared control and RS-232 ports.

28. West Pond Technologies RX-50 Managed Display Controller allows remote operation of TVs with internal tuners by sending commands through the existing coax wiring. Momentarily connecting its USB port to the MX headend equipment registers the product. The RX-50 auto-discovers the appropriate control channel to provide its remote software control. The unit can be used to operate a display, a set-top box or other devices that can be reached through coax.

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