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Tech Roundup: Signal Distribution

Signal distribution is the heart of AV and it’s really where AV professionals prove their worth. Here are some of the options out there for getting signal from A to B, from traditional to AV Over IP.

The Adder Technology ADDERLink XD600 series of point-to-point KVM extenders comprises the XD614, XD641, and XD642 models, with features such as single-, dual-, and quad-head connectivity; emulated USB, copper, and fiber support; MST functionality; visually lossless 4K/60 video; and ultra-low latency. Models include: ADDERLink XD614 KVM Extender, a quad-head KVM extender with inbuilt DisplayPort MST technology and HD resolution; ADDERLink XD641 KVM Extender, a single-head KVM extender designed to deliver 4K/60 KVM extension over a copper or fiber link; and ADDERLink XD642 KVM Extender, a dual-head 4K/60 KVM extender with emulated full and high speed USB2.0 and support for audio.

In September, the AJA Video Systems BRIDGE LIVE v1.12 debuted. It’s a new software update for AJA’s turnkey multi-channel live video solution for remote production, contribution, collaboration, streaming, and delivery. The release features bi-directional NDI (Network Device Interface) input, output, and transcode; HLS output; video preview; and user interface updates for more intuitive configuration. The bi-directional NDI support makes it easy to encode SDI inputs for NDI output to the network and/or to receive NDI for outputting SDI. The ability to also transcode H.264/H.265 streams to NDI and/or transcode NDI inputs to H.264/H.265 enables a host of new workflow possibilities. Bringing bi-directional NDI I/O and HLS output to BRIDGE LIVE supports broader hardware and software integration

AJA Video Systems also has the first 12GSDI embedded audio-to-Dante audio bridge. Targeted at live event and Pro AV workflows, the AJA OGDANTE-12GAM is an openGear, Dante audio embedder and disembedder, with dual 12G-SDI ports, 64 channels of audio, and DashBoard control software integration. The high-density solution bridges 12G/6G/3G SDI sources with embedded audio to and from the Dante audio ecosystem. OG-DANTE12GAM features industry-wide compatibility with openGear frames, allowing for up to 640 channels of SDI/Dante audio bridging within a single 2RU frame housing ten cards.

The Altinex TP315-101 HDMI over AnyWire transmitter carries 1080P HDMI signals up to 300 meters using a simple 2-conductor cable; the transmitter can use up to four receivers connected directly through unbundled wire or in a daisy-chain pattern. There is also an IR pass-through for receiver end to transmitter end control. For transmitter output confidence monitoring, a video output is provided to support a local monitor.

Apantac has a unique KVM over IP solution for the popular openGear platform – the Apantac OG-KVM-IPTx. This KVM over IP card is compact, modular, hot-swappable, and hot pluggable. Up to twenty OG-KVM-IP-Tx boards can fit into a single 2RU frame with built-in redundant power supplies and network management. Since it is based on the openGear standard, system integrators can also mix and match different cards from multiple manufactures in a single frame. When combined with the Apantac KVM over IP receiver and an offthe-shelf Gigabit Ethernet switch that supports IGMP and Jumbo frame, Apantac’s KVM over IP solution allows multiple users to have access to multiple computers with both fiber and copper outputs.

The ARISTA Alvista RS-124-A07 1U rackmount dual HDBaseT transmitter/receiver system is available in three configurations depending on input requirements. The RS124-A07 is designed for flexibility for transmitting video and audio over long distances, such as in projection-mapping environments, extending audio, video, IR control, Ethernet, and power over a single CATx cable. It supports video resolutions up to 3840 X 2160 (4K UHD) video; the system incorporates 10.2 Gbps of bandwidth on all channels, along with 3D and deep color resolutions. The RS124-A07 is HDCP compliant and Blu-ray ready, and has an EDID pass-through. The RS-124-A07’s receiver module is powered by PoE, as is the transmitter module, which provides up to 36 watts of power via PoE.

In July, ATEN announced the launch of its next generation of control boxes, the ATEN VK1200 and VK2200. Equipped both with a quad-core CPU and 2 GB/1 GB memory, the VK2200 and the VK1200 provide real-time response and status updates and can process complex, high-loading events with customized GUI designs, as well as multiuser access control to connected devices. VK2200 features dual, isolated LAN ports – Control LAN and LAN. The Control LAN allows managed devices to be securely protected within a separate network, independent from the corporate network, for fulfilling highsecurity and stability demand. The LAN can be connected to ATEN Unizon, a centralized platform streamlining daily AV/IT management. These control boxes create a secure smart office or meeting room by controlling all room peripherals, from AV and lights to drapes with the push of customizable preset settings and a mobile app; presets allow a single room to be reconfigured with a single touch.

In August, Atlona introduced the Atlona AT-OME-EX-WP-KIT-LT, a cost-effective wallplate HDMI and USB extender for classrooms and small meeting places. The new transmitter/receiver kit extends 4K/UHD HDMI video, embedded audio, power, control signals, and USB data over HDBaseT for video conferencing, distance learning and other applications. The newest extension product in Atlona’s Omega Series it offers the core functionality of Atlona’s AT-OMEEX-WP-KIT in a lower-priced configuration optimized for small spaces with shorter extension requirements. The OME-EX-WPKIT-LT extends 1080p60 HDMI and USB data signals up to 230 feet over HDBaseT, while 4K/UHD HDMI video—at 60 Hz with 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, or 30 Hz with 4:4:4—can be extended up to 130 feet. HDCP 2.2 compliance enables the transport of protected content. The kit’s included AT-OME-EX-TX-WP-LT transmitter features a space-efficient, U.S. single-gang wallplate form factor with interchangeable black and white trim kits, enabling inconspicuous, flush-mount installation into walls and floor boxes or furniture such as lecterns and desks. The corresponding AT-OME-EX-RXLT receiver measures just one inch high and can be installed discreetly behind a display or above a projector with included surface mounting hardware. The OME-EX-WP-KITLT’s USB 2.0 extension capabilities make it ideal for soft codec and web-based conferencing applications. Supporting a host PC and one peripheral device at the transmitter plus two ports for peripherals at the receiver, the extender can easily integrate a PC and speakerphone or microphone near the presenter with a camera or soundbar at a wall-mounted display elsewhere in the room. The kit can also provide AV and USB extension for a touch-enabled display, enabling remote PC control at a lectern or other location.

In June, Aurora announced the integration of Semtech’s BlueRiver AVP2000 AV Processor into its Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE)-based Aurora IPX-TC3A Series offering low power AV over IP (AVoIP). Enabled by the ASIC (versus a field-programmable gate array), with power consumption as low as 6 watts, the product series features a fanless operation and renders perfect image quality with no frame latency. Semtech’s BlueRiver AVP2000 complements the Aurora IPX series due to its low power consumption and small size, enabling Aurora’s IPX TC3A Series to achieve up to one-fifth of the usual industry power consumption, one-fourth of the size, and one-half of the weight of competing 1G AVoIP solutions. Moreover, the AVP2000 includes an in-line AV processing engine for broadcast quality scaling, allowing for both near-zero latency switching and extension, plus image format conversion, up to 4K60 4:4:4.

In September, Black Box announced the Black Box MCX G2 series, the next generation of the company’s MCX multimedia distribution and management system. The MCX G2 series features the performance of the original S9 and S7 series but adds several features including outstanding sourceto-screen latency (less than 18 microseconds), one-port or two-port encoding devices, a video loop-through connection, USB-C and three-port USB 2.0 connectivity, and PoE capability. The Black Box MCX takes advantage of SDVoE and modern 10 GbE infrastructure to allow AV and data payloads to exist on the same IT networks. Rather than deploy an entirely new network, users can take advantage of the softwaredefined solution to leverage existing infrastructure for delivery of better-quality audio and video, which can translate to greater customer satisfaction and faster time to revenue.

The Crestron DM-NVX-360 and DMNVX-363 AV-over-IP models are designed to support the latest industry standards and formats, including AES67, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and POE+. The format-agnostic DM NVX platform features advanced encryption and security standards. This latest evolution of the DM NVX platform employs Crestron’s Pixel Perfect Processing technology and supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

In September DVIGear released the DVIGear DNS-20 Server, the newest member of its DisplayNet family, which provides the interface layer required to manage and control a DisplayNet system. Compatible with all current DisplayNet endpoints, the DNS-20 leverages the very latest SDVoE technology to manage, control and distribute uncompressed AV signals with resolutions of up to 4K /60p over a 10GbE Ethernet network. With its small form factor and diverse feature set, it’s envisioned for integrators looking for value, flexibility, ease of installation and robust security. The DNS-20 is a Small Form Factor (SFF) embedded Linux server. Equipped with a quad-core Intel processor, it operates on less energy, less heat, and minimal noise. The DisplayNet API Engine is pre-installed on the DNS-20 and supports the use of DisplayNet Manager, a web-based software application for system setup and configuration.

The G&D VisionXS line of high-performance KVM extenders support a bandwidth of 10Gb and video transmission for resolutions up to 4K. Initially, the German manufacturer will ship extender modules for KVM over IP; the roadmap includes solutions for classic KVM systems for direct transmission. VisionXS extenders can be combined with G&D’s matrix systems and are fully compatible with existing models. Initially, a high-end system for DisplayPort UHR with a transmission bandwidth of 10G will be launched, followed by devices for HDMI and DVI. The VisionXS series relies on G&D’s High Dynamic Image Processing; the dual-head modules allow the transmission of two video signals via one transmission cable. Secure and reliable operation is ensured by AES-128 encryption and the regular exchange of security keys. VisionXS KVMs is designed to extend fast videos and frequently changing image content with significantly less compression than previous models, and its compact size makes it well suited for applications where space is a critical factor.

The Hall Technologies ECHO series of extension products allows a single HDMI 2.0 source to display remotely at up to eight different locations via HDBaseT technology. HDMI resolutions up to 4K@60 (4:4:4) can be extended up to 70 meters, while resolutions up to 1080p can be extended 100 meters over a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable. The ECHO family supports HDCP 2.2 and 1.4 content protection, and HDR10. The ECHO family also extends RS-232 serial data, and bi-directional IR for control of remote devices. All senders include a local HDMI output, EDID routing control, de-embedded analog audio, and Power over Cable (PoC) to power remote receivers. The ECHO-4S and ECHO-8S have built-in HDMI splitters to extend a single video to four and eight receivers respectively, plus RS-232 and IR loop output for daisy-chaining. The ECHO-RX2 receiver has a built-in HDMI splitter for connection to a secondary display, RS-232 and bi-directional IR for control, and de-embedded analog audio output. When used with an ECHO-1S, install the power supply at either sender or receiver—whichever is more convenient.

The IHSE Draco SIRA User Station is a remote extension appliance for KVM networks that integrates with Draco SIRA CON Unit for IP access, allowing secure access to any IHSE KVM matrix system. The appliance provides keyboard and mouse connectivity as well as analog audio output. Up to three 4K displays can be connected via two DisplayPort connectors and one HDMI 2.0 interface. Multiple incoming KVM streams are supported and allow optional display capabilities to arrange multiple images in a single quadview arrangement. The Draco SIRA User Station provides flexible remote access to all servers and devices connected to a Draco tera matrix. The TCP/ IP protocol is isolated from the matrix by the use of a secure and encrypted interface over the connected network. These units can operate as standalone units and combined together to create a secure IP-KVM system using the highest level of encryption and network security interfaces.

Shown for the first time at InfoComm 2021, the Just Add Power MaxColor 4K60 transmitter and receiver series natively supports 4K60 in and out, allowing end users to play 4K Ultra HD video from the growing number of 4K sources and devices. With MaxColor, 4K 12-bit video can be distributed over existing Cat 5/Cat 6 cable, eliminating the expense of upgrading to fiber and buying network switches. In addition, the series supports MPEG downstreaming for connected devices, such as a laptop or a mobile device. MaxColor features instant seamless switching, 4K up- and downscaling, all audio formats, seamless HDR management, and Dolby Vision for the best viewing experience. Also making its debut, the Just Add Power AMP software for environments with existing infrastructure or special network requirements that don’t allow for a dedicated AV distribution switch. AMP consolidates and streamlines the process of setting up individual Just Add Power devices — discovering them on the local network, presenting them in a list, and allowing installers to name them, configure their IP addresses, and assign channels to transmitters —while assisting with updates when new firmware is released. Once the Just Add Power system is configured, AMP provides a user interface to control source switching.

The KanexPro SW-HDSC42D4K presentation matrix extender receiver has four video connector inputs with the ability to extend up to 70 meters. The matrix has three HDMI inputs and one USB-C input, plus two outputs, including a single HDMI output with external audio and an extender output with one HDMI loop output. Additionally, the SWHDSC42D4K features one MIX audio input and one MIC audio input for global audio compatibility. Designed to be the central component for an AV system, the SW-HDSC42D4K claims true 4K scaling up to 4K@ 60 Hz at 4:4:4. The built-in extender output enables the transmission of HDMI 2.0 signal over a CATx cable to ensure pristine, original image quality. The SW-HDSC42D4K can be controlled and customized by any third-party control system, including Web GUI, RS232, IR and CEC.

The new Kramer VP-427X2 4K receiver/ scaler features dual HDBaseT inputs and a local HDMI to facilitate multiple-device connectivity for automatic signal switching in meeting and conference spaces. The VP427X2 ensures 4K picture quality is delivered through up/down/cross-scaling to the display’s native resolution, or any resolution up to 18G 4K. The VP-427X2 has been designed to deliver an intuitive user experience by automating meetings to ensure smooth switching between multiple inputs and is ideal for BYOD environments such as meeting rooms, as well as for signal extension in auditoriums and lecture theaters. Ethernet, RS-232 control, and data tunneling allows simultaneous remote control of the device and display settings. Plug-and-play automation and autoswitching enhance usability and connectivity, and support for an occupancy sensor and CEC controls with a timeout period support sus – tainability initiatives. VP-427X2 is simple to set up and intuitive to use. It features Kramer’s Pix–Perfect Scaling Technology to ensure precise pixel mapping and high–quality scaling.

The Lightware HDMI20-OPTJ-TX90 and HDMI120-OPTJRX90 4K HDMI 2.0 compatible fiber optical extenders carry HDMI 2.0 class 4K signals with embedded audio to up to nearly 3000ft. and a full HD signal over 8000ft. over one multimode fiber cable. The hardware features a solid machined aluminum body and firmware can be updated through USB.

The Matrox Extio 3 series of IP KVM extenders deliver 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 UHD or quad 1080@60Hz 4:4:4 performance over standard Gigabit Ethernet at unprecedented low bitrates. Extio 3 IP KVM extenders can be configured as a point-to-point or networked KVM extender, extending multiple video, keyboard, mouse, USB 2.0, and audio sig – nals using a single fiber optic or copper cable. Ready compatibility with standard network switches significantly diminishes the total cost of ownership to deliver a scalable KVM matrix switching solution. Featuring four DisplayPort connectors, Extio 3 also extends multi-display desktops with a single pair of transmitter and receiver devices.

The Neutrik NA2-IO-DPRO Dante Interface features two inputs switchable between Mic, Line, and AES/EBU signals, plus two outputs switchable between analog Line and AES/EBU. Two Dante ports provide for either redundancy or device daisy chaining. With its small size, metal construction, and removable rubber protector, the NA2-IO-DPRO offers a rugged, reliable solution for a wide range of applications.

The Opticis HDFX-500-TR supports the HDMI 2.0 standard and transmits 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 up to 656 ft. over one LC multi-mode fiber (OM3) without any data compres – sion. The transmitter supports 3D content and complies with CEC, EDID, and HDCP. It also supports HDR within its maxi – mum bandwidth of 18Gbps. It features a high-retention HDMI connector to prevent accidental disconnection if subject to any vibration or movement.

People readily think of RGB Spectrum’s options for video wall distribution over IP; in May the company expanded the range with the RGB Spectrum Zio Media Server for mission-critical applications. The Zio server simultaneously can record, store, and distribute streams of high-resolution, realtime imagery via H.264. It handles multicast encoding and decoding at origination and destination, and comes in several hardware configurations depending on the number of simultaneous streams required.

A set of audio distribution “problem solvers” from RTI consists of digital audio converters (DACs), a delay module, and an extender kit. The products are purpose-built to resolve common audio challenges. New RTI DACs include the ADA-1 Dolby Digital-toAnalog Downmixer and the VDM1x HDMI Downscaler With Downmixer. The ADA-1 decodes audio signals from sources with S/ PDIF coaxial or TOSLINK optical outputs— such as Blu-ray players and media streamers—and converts them to standard stereo output for analog sound systems. The VDM1x is well suited for multi-zone installations featuring a mix of both HD and 4K sources and displays. In addition to downscaling or upscaling for displays of different resolutions, the unit down-mixes incoming Dolby Digital to stereo PCM audio. To address lip-sync issues and the challenges of long-distance signal distribution, RTI offers the ADM-1 Audio Delay Module and AXP-1 Digital Audio Extender Kit, respectively. To compensate for delays caused by differences in the audio processing speed of output devices, the ADM-1 allows integrators to delay audio from 20ms to 340ms using a 16-way selector dial. The AXP-1 seamlessly transmits audio over distances surpassing 650 feet using a standard Cat-5e/6 cable. The unit supports coaxial and S/PDIF digital audio signals, stereo and multi-channel digital audio, two-channel PCM sources, and 5.1 compressed audio.

The SnapOne Binary 520 Series 1080p HDBaseT conference room extender and scaler can convey HDMI or VGA with stereo audio signals over distances up to 230 ft. along with bidirectional IR, RS-232 and IP over a single Cat-X cable. Priority can be given to either HDMI or VGA video input via DIP switch settings. For more installation versatility, a single 12VDC power supply can operate the transmitter and receiver units. Source equipment can be operated on the same link with system’s bi-directional IR, RS-232, and IP capability. For longer runs, the Binary 560 series carries up to 18Gbps of 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 and bi-directional IR and RS-232 up to 330 ft. It also supports 2-channel PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-X. A front panel DIP switch provides control for different modes of operation.

Last month, the Teradek Spark 4K debuted, the company’s first wireless transmission solution for the A/V industry. Spark 4K offers 4K HDR video transmission for up to 500 feet with no perceivable delay over the 5Ghz band. As light as a baseball and as small as a cassette tape, Spark 4K’s transmitter and receiver units complement most A/V gear and workflows for tabletop or camera mounting. Dual-powering options and internal battery life of over two hours provide mobility. Its multicasting abilities send multiple video feeds to receivers that are HDMI-compatible with computers/laptops, projectors, switchers, monitors, TV screens, and LED video walls.

In August, the Vanco EVEX4K70 4K HDR Extender debuted. This extender delivers 4K HDMI signals at 60Hz, 4:4:4 sampling, HDR and PoE up to 230 feet (70 meters) over a single Cat6 cable. The EVEX4K70 also features bidirectional IR, allowing control from the display or the source. The EVEX4K70 includes two units: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is equipped with an HDMI loop-out for local monitoring or use with other distribution products. The receiver features digital optical audio output to break multichannel audio out to an amplifier, sound bar or audio distribution product. Bidirectional PoE allows the transmitter and receiver to be powered using a single power supply, located at either the transmitter or receiver. The EVEX4K70 supports a wide range of display UHD resolutions with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliance. The extender automatically adjusts for compatibility and gain, eliminating the need for EDID and EQ adjustments. It also supports multiple audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD 7.1CH and Dolby Digital 5.1CH.

In June, the ZeeVee ZyPer4K-XS smaller footprint encoder and decoder models debuted to bring the performance and reliability of SDVoE and AVoIP signal distribution solutions to space constrained and noise sensitive environments for corporate, higher education, performing arts, yacht and government applications, among others. The ZyPer4K-XS platform allows for the distribution and switching of uncompressed 720p, 1080p HD, Ultra HD and 4K resolution content, audio and control via off-the-shelf 10Gb Ethernet switches. Its IP-based architecture enables the switching from one source to another without any frame loss – even at 4K resolutions. It also offers a 1GB utility port and USB human interface device class (USB HID) support for devices such as keyboards, mice, game controllers and alphanumeric displays. In addition to their reduced form factor, these encoders and decoders offer extra features including a lightweight and durable chassis that enables them to be placed virtually anywhere. Built-in support for 10Gb Power over Ethernet (PoE) and fanless thermal management are among the features.

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