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Tech Showcase: Signal Extenders

The hardware for carrying video, sound and control data has gone through several iterations to accommodate the many scenarios in which those signals may need to be conveyed beyond their conventional reach. While extension capability has been built into matrix switchers, converters and monitoring systems, there are still plenty of applications that make use of individual extension units and modules. The technology has also allowed different signals to be combined, extended and separated at the receiver. The models shown here represent the options currently available and demonstrate the versatile range of extension solutions crafted by manufacturers.

The ADDERLink Infinity 4000 Series from Adder Technology is a dual-head, high performance 4K IP KVM extender that conveys 4K60 video with USB2.0 on a single fiber. The transmitter and receiver can be centrally coordinated and managed through ADDERLink INFINITY Manager enabling the operator to assign user access rights and gather a full audit trail through an intuitive, multilingual user interface. The signals carried include bi-directional audio.

AJA Video Systems can provide cable runs of up to 32,808ft. for 4 independent channels of 3G/HD/SD-SDI input using their FiDO4T-ST. 4K/UltraHD-SDI is output over 4 fiber links while the tiny unit uses only 5-20VDC power on its included DWP-UR1 universal power supply. It is one in the family of FiDO single, dual and quad channel SDI/Fiber converters with a choice of LC, ST or SC connectors.

The TP315-105 HDMI over Anywire transmitter from Altinex uses automatic transmitter/receiver detection and it sends HDMI 720/1080p video close to 1000ft. The HDCP compliant unit provides IR passthrough control, fixed EDID and a local monitor input. A single transmitter is capable of driving up to 4 receivers using either 4 individual wire pairs over 300m each, or by daisy chaining the receivers.

The AMX DX-TX DXLink Multi-Format Transmitter can carry analog and digital AV, control and Ethernet over 300ft. on a twisted pair cable. It can be used with Enova DVX all-in-one presentation switchers or with the DXLink HDMI Receiver as a stand-alone solution. The transmitter’s built-in control ports can be used to control a source and the ICSLan port provides an IP access point.

The ANI-0104POE from A-Neuvideo splits an HDMI [email protected] video signal into a local display plus four additional feeds for remote displays up to 150ft. away on CAT5e/6 cable. The receivers are powered by the base unit on the same twisted pair. It also supports stereo audio and 7.1 channel surround sound. The extender includes surface mounting hardware.

One of Apantac’s signal extension units is the KVM-IP-Tx-PL transmitter and KVMIP-Rx-P receiver. Both feature PoE and the transmitter has a built-in HDMI looping input. The pair enables up to 170m extension on CAT6, unicast and multicast for AV distribution, RS-232 and advanced EDID management. The units have LED status indicators and web page management. There is also bi-directional stereo audio, embedded HDMI and an external stereo input.

A new KVM over IP extender is the KE9950 from Aten with support for connection via Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ-45) or SFP port for failover or for dual IP address access and 1Gbps SFP fiber module expansions up to 10 km. Equipped for power redundancy with dual DC jacks, the model supports one DisplayPort display at each end, providing video resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 @30Hz (4:4:4) and 3840 x 2160 @60Hz (4:2:0).

Atlona’s OME-EX-KIT HDBaseT extender kit for HDMI, Ethernet, power, control, and USB can convey any of these signals up to 330ft. while providing a USB hub. The transmitter is powered by the receiver via PoE and each is small enough to be easily mounted behind a video display. The OME-EX-Kit is part of the company’s Omega Series of integration products for modern AV communications and collaboration. The transmitter and receiver are available separately for use with other Omega Series integration products.

The HBT200KIT represents a very simple solution by Audio Authority for HDMI extension up to 330ft. on one Cat 5 network cable. Handling up to 7.1 channel uncompressed audio, the unit also conveys bi-directional IR and RS-232. The video transmission is uncompressed and the operation is Crestron, AMX, and Control4 compatible. The kit includes one HBT200T Transmitter and one HBT200R Receiver.

Part of Aurora’s HT Series with optional Dante/AES67 up to 8 channels for surround sound, the HTE-TX2 HDBaseT 2.0 transmitter can extend 4K60 4:4:4 & HDR (18Gbps) to 330ft. with unshielded cable. It is also capable of directional USB to provide a choice as to which end of the line will be the sender. Third party control is enabled through the built-in IP port expansion.

The Emerald 4K KVM over IP from Black Box represents a unified KVM converged system for HD and 4K on an IP network, a proprietary direct connection or both. The system provides extension of DVI or HDMI video, transparent USB 2.0, bi-directional analogue audio and serial signals across any combination and number of physical and virtual desktops and servers. There is also virtual machine support for VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, using PCoIP, RemoteFX and RDP 8.1.

The Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter allow video, audio, camera power, talkback and tally to be extended up to 2km on a single SMPTE 311M hybrid electrical and fiber optic cable. The cable includes a 2 way fiber pair, data pair and power pair, along with a central strength member. The Camera Fiber Converter attaches to the back of URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras and it adds standard studio camera controls.

CE labs designed the HX40M to take HDMI and HDCP compliant 1080i/720p video up to 230ft. and [email protected] 24bit signals up to 132ft. on CAT5e/6 cable. Built-in features include auto equalization and an EDID auto backup function. It is equipped with HDMI connectors and supports DVI equipment by allowing use of an HDMI to DVI adapter.

The Crestron HD-TXC-101-C-E is a DM Lite transmitter that can easily be mounted on any flat surface and it pairs with a DM Lite receiver to provide point to point extension of HDMI, RS-232, and IR. Video at 1080p, WUXGA, and 2K resolution can run up to 230ft. while UHD and 4K video can reach up to 130ft. along with stereo and surround sound.

Recently added to the DVIGear HyperLight Series active optical cable line, the DVI23xxx-AOC Series cable is constructed of 4x POF (Polyfluorinated Optical Fiber) and 6x copper wires. With a minimum bend radius of only two millimeters, the cables feature two removable DVI docking connectors along with fixation screws for added security and they can be run through very tight spaces.

The Gefen EXT-ADA-LAN-TX transmitter can send digital and analog audio over IP to the EXT-ADA-LAN-RX receiver and its inputs include L/R analog, coaxial digital, and optical digital. Firmware updates will allow audio, RS-232 and 2-way IR to be independently routed and distributed for source and amplifier control. Each cable run from a sender to a receiver or from a sender or receiver to the network switch can be up to 330ft.

Hall Research integrated HDMI, Audio and USB 2.0 in the EX-HDU to extend them up to 200ft. on a single Cat6 cable. The receiver provides HDMI, 4 USB ports, plus contact-closure I/O and RS-232 for display control with HDMI audio de-embedding. The EXHDU-WP wall plate transmitter is a single gang unit that is powered on the Cat6 from the receiver.

The Draco ultra HDMI 495 Series from IHSE USA allows a CPU, including DisplayPort monitor, keyboard, and pointing device, to be operated via fiber connection from a remotely located workstation. The 495 Series supports digital video in 4K resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 and 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz along with audio transmission via the HDMI interface.

The 767DSS 3G+ Dante Sound System Transmitter from Just Add Power adds compatibility with Dante and AES67 audio networks to the UltraHD over IP system. With the ability to input and extract up to 8 channels on the audio network. It also provides transmission for RS232 or IR control of sources. Secondary connectivity is built in for glitch-free performance and to provide redundancy for high-availability applications.

The KanexPro EXT-4KFIBERPRO HDMI 2.0 extender is designed to extend [email protected] video and HDR up to 984ft. with zero latency on two single mode or two OM3/OM4 multi-mode fiber cables. It can also be controlled over fiber via bi-directional IR and RS-323C. The front panel DIP switch allows SPDIF ports on both the sender and receiver to function as ARC (Audio Return Channel) mode or normal audio support for downstream devices.

The TP-752T and TP-752R form an ultra-reach extender pair from Kramer Electronics that allows 1080p (HD) HDMI and RS232 control to reach up to 2000ft. on any 2-wire cable. Connector options include terminal block, RJ-45 and VGA. The transmitter has an active, reclocking HDMI output loop port for cascaded signal extenders or distributors, or local signal monitoring while the receiver features audio de-embedding.

Lightware Visual Engineering has introduced the HDMI20-OPTJ-TX90 and HDMI20-OPTJ-RX90 full 4K HDMI 2.0 compatible fiber optical extenders. They carry HDMI 2.0 class 4K signals with embedded audio to up to nearly 3000ft. and a full HD signal over 8000ft. over one multi-mode fiber cable. The hardware features a solid machined aluminum body and firmware can be updated through USB.

Matrox designed the Extio 3 Series KVM extenders to securely carry a single 4Kp60 4:4:4 video signal—or four 1080p60 4:4:4 signals—along with keyboard, mouse, stereo audio, and USB 2.0 over standard gigabit Ethernet at low bit rates over a standard Gigabit Ethernet network. They allow users to instantly switch to any system on the KVM network. Extio 3 provides a secondary H.264 proxy video stream, compatible with H.264 software and hardware decoders, enabling users to view a selected desktop on mobile devices, record it to a network attached storage or to display it on a video wall.

The Muxlab model 500763-TX extends HDMI signals up to 330ft. at up to 4K @ 30Hz resolution on Cat5e/6 and along with the Muxlab 500762- RX Receiver supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-multipoint configurations, video wall and multiview capabilities. Also carried are RS232 and directional IR control as well as two-channel embedded audio.

The Opticis HDFX-500-TR supports the HDMI 2.0 standard and it transmits 4K 60Hz (RGB:4:4:4) up to 656ft. over one LC multimode fiber (OM3) without any data compression. The transmitter supports 3D content and complies with CEC, EDID and HDCP. It also supports HDR within its maximum bandwidth of 18Gbps. It features a high-retention HDMI connector to prevent accidental disconnection if it is subject to any vibration or movement. Opticis also developed their DPFX-400-TR as a DisplayPort 1.2 multimedia fiber optic extender. It can transmit DisplayPort 1.2 signals and analog RS-232 up to 4,921ft. on a duplex LC single-mode fiber in 4K 60Hz. Support includes an MST feature as well as auxiliary/I²C transmission. Moreover, it provides both DisplayPort and HDMI output with dual-mode DP (DP++).

The Purelink HOF 2.0 Tx/Rx provides long-distance distribution of 4K/60 video, audio, and control signals over fiber. Ultra HD/4K, HDMI 2.0 (18G), embedded audio, RS-232, and bi-directional IR are all supported over distances up to 3,300 ft. using PureLink’s TOTALWIRE LC-terminated fiber optic cables. Features include real-time auto-EDID management and support for Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM 2/5.1/7.1.

Rose Electronics designed its new CrystalLink USB3.1 Active Optical Cable with built in optics to extend USB up to 300ft. while using USB bus power. The low smoke zero halogen jacket can be run through plenum or floor-to-floor. The three available models include hybrid cable that supports USB3.1 gen 1 / USB 2.0 and provides power through cable, a second model for pure optical cable and a third model that is hybrid with power transmission capability.

RTI’s ultra-thin XT-LR is a long reach HDBT video extender set which contains a VXT-LRT transmitter and a VXT-LRR receiver. Compliant with HDMI1.4 and HDCP2.2, it is capable of transmitting high-definition video signals up to [email protected] Designed with support for HDBT2.0 it enables 100m (max) 4K transmission and 150m 1080p transmission as well as RS-232 and IR control signals via single Cat5e/Cat6 cable. Four Ethernet ports enable network switch capability. The pair supports CEC and ARC.

The HDX Ultimate from SmartAVI extends ultra-HD 4K resolution video up to 450ft. on a single CAT5e cable and it has PoE capability. Either unit can be powered from the other. The HDX Ultimate works with SmartAVI matrixes to offer a range of extended routing solutions. There are LED status indicators and bi-directional IR and RS-232 control.

The Tekvox TEK TPHD402P HDBaseT extender set conveys HDMI video with RS-232 and IR up to 200ft. Packed into wall or table mountable enclosures, the sender and receiver support 3D and 4Kx2K resolutions and the power can be connected to either unit to run both. Control on bi-directional RS232/IR is included as well as a CEC pass-through.

The Magenta HDMI 2.0 Active Optical Cable (MG-AOC-66x) from TVOne supports up to 4K60 4:4:4 with no compression or latency up to 328ft. without the need for external power and is available in UL rated Plenum (CMP). It allows HDCP 2.0 support of bi-directional EDID and HDCP communication using its 4 channel 850nm VCSEL array source. The cable is a hybrid type with OM3 fiber and copper wire.

Wyrestorm designed the EXF-300-H2 to be compatible with 2160p 4:4:4/60 or high frame rate HDR content with HDCP 2.2 encryption and to send it up to 984ft. on a 10G OM3 multi-mode cable. It also carries bi-directional IR or RS-232 control signals safely through environments with high EM or RF interference. The transmitter and receiver each operate on 12VDC.

The new ZeeVee ZyPer4K HDMI Module, developed in collaboration with NETGEAR and the SDVoE Alliance, is not itself an extender. But it provides a unique way to manage and distribute HDMI signals and is significant for its AVIT pedigree. The development partners envision it as a bridge between HDbaseT and AVoIP. The module plugs into the NETGEAR switch chassis, accommodating up to four uncompressed 4K HDMI sources; multiple modules may be used in the same switch. The ZyPer4K HDMI is built using the same technology as ZeeVee’s ZyPer 4K family of stand-alone encoders and decoders.

The Zigen ZIG-POEPRO-100A long-distance 4K/60Hz 4:4:4 HDMI extender conveys HDMI over a single UTP/STP with bi-directional RS-232 and IR. The transmitter will safely detect, classify, and provide 48V up to 25W power to the receiver connected to the HDBaseT port. The link is continuously monitored for any fault or overloading conditions and the current is limited to avoid hazardous conditions.

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