Tech Gallery: Signal Extenders
The initial distance limitations of digital video spurred a big round of video extension technology and the first wave of these tools saw units normally limited to a single video format. Now the whole stage has changed and there is equipment that can transport video, sound, network traffic and control in a range of forms that can be ideally matched to the job at hand. The products surveyed here clearly demonstrate the diversity and ingenuity to be found in this field today.
For 4K HDMI transmission on HDBaseT, the
Atlona AT-HDR-EX-70-2PS is compatible with all video resolutions, audio formats, and color space formats supported in the HDMI 2.0b specification and it has the ability to pass metadata for HDR content. The transmitter/ receiver pair provides HDMI transmission up to 230ft. for 1080p video, and up to 130ft. for 4K HDR on CAT6a/7 cable. The front panel of each unit has power and link indicators and they run on an external 5VDC power supply.
Serving as remote input modules for SonaFlex SF16M matrix amplifiers, Audio Authority’s FlexPort audio input transmitters fit both XLR and Tip-Ring-Sleeve 1/4in. connectors and convey that signal on CAT5 to the SonaFlex system for distances up to 500ft. Other available panel styles can accept different connections. Each transmitter has a convenient override button, and the FPM-B includes an optional connection for override via microphone pushto-talk switch. Up to four FlexPort transmitters may be used with one SF-16M.
HTW-2 HDBaseT 2.0 transmitter wall plate fits into a standard 2-gang wall box and extends 4K60 4:4:4 and HDR (18Gbps) up to 330ft. using unshielded cable while providing one VGA and two HDMI inputs. There is also directional USB for greater installation flexibility. The single PoE port powers both the transmitter and receiver and the IP port expansion allows a third party control system to send commands directly to the unit for source switching, RS-232, and IR control.
The CE Labs HX70M HDBaseT extender uses a single CAT5e/6/7 cable to carry 1080p/60Hz/48 bit video up to 230ft. and a 4K x 2K (30Hz) video signal up to 132ft. This extender pair features IR control and audio transmission of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA. The IR direction may be set on the front panel switch of the receiver and transmitter for maximum installation flexibility. Each unit has a link indicator LED and they are powered on an external 5VDC power supply.
Crestron combines a scaler, auto-switcher and signal extender into one unit with the HDMD-300-C-E-B which consists of a 2-gang wall plate transmitter and a receiver that includes an extra local input. These are connected via CATx cable to enable scaled and auto-switched video to be transported. The builtin web server allows for configuration of routing, input, output, network, and device settings including comprehensive management of the EDID information that passes between the display, scaler, and source devices. The system is available with either black or white wall plate transmitters.
Gefen’s GTB-UHDHBT is a tiny 4K Ultra HD HDBaseT Extender using one CAT5 with RS-232, 2-way IR, and Bi-Directional POL. It carries HDMI up to 495ft. at 1080p and up to 330ft. at 4K. Stereo and Multichannel digital audio including 7.1 channels of LPCM can be transmitted along and there is capability for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Either unit may be externally powered and send power to the other on HDBaseT.
Several handy features highlight the
KanexPro EXT-HDBT150M, a transmitter/receiver pair that transports 1080p/60 HD signals as far as 492ft. and supports PoE so that either unit can be powered over the CAT6 from the other. The connection for the component using external power is locking to prevent accidental disconnection. The transmission path can include IR and RS232C bi-directional control signals. The sender includes a local HDMI output for monitoring of the transmitted signal. Along with the video, uncompressed LPCM audio may also be used.
The Digital Fiber Extender 691 from Kramer Electronics is an HDBaseT 2.0 fiber transmitter for conveyance of 4K60Hz HDMI, USB, Ethernet, RS−232, IR and stereo audio signals on either multi−mode or single mode fiber optic lines. The 691 can carry video signals to up to 20.5 miles over single− mode fiber at up to 4K@60Hz resolution to receivers such as the Kramer 692. The USB 2.0 data is bi-directional, allowing extension of HID (Human Interface Devices) peripheral devices, such as a mouse or a keyboard. The transmitted HDMI audio can be selectively replaced with an analog stereo source at the transmitter.
Opticis has introduced a new HDMI 2.0 fiber-optic extender, the DPFX-200-TR. Each extender can transmit its respective video format in 4K(4096×2160) at 60Hz up to 384ft. over a single duplex LC fiber connection. With their compact size and direct connection design, both HDFX-300 and DPFX-200 are well suited to fit into a wide range of installation environments. The HDFX-300 has adopted a High-Retention HDMI connector to prevent accidental disconnection.
Covering a long distance in a short physical profile, the SmartAVI HFXTX/RX will take uncompressed HDMI video up to 1,000ft. with resolution up to 4K Ultra HD@30Hz with high-quality digital audio. Its LC-Type Fiber connection is perfect for the compact hot pluggable, EMI/RFI resistant system. Transmitter and receiver each use an external 5VDC 2-amp power supply. Input and output cables can be run up to 40ft.
The TEK TPHD2-WP1 from Tekvox is a two-gang wall plate HDbaseT transmitter for HDMI or VGA/audio and bidirectional RS232 for distances up to 230ft. with PoC. The unit has a built-in scaling function with output resolution up to 4K and there is auto or manual selection between inputs that is RS232 controllable. The panel has LEDs for status indication and there is a USB port for firmware updates.
Thinklogical has a variety of extension products and among them is the TLX video extension system with support for up to 4K@60Hz video with full duplex stereo audio, RS232 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet. Providing HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, the TLX system can transmit embedded audio and de-embed it at the receiver. There is a local monitor output and an Ethernet port for configuration and updates. The extenders can be used with the TLX non-blocking matrix switchers with capacities of 12 to 640 ports.
Wyrestorm EX-70-H2X 4K UHD HDBaseT extender set supports HDMI 2.0 video and HDCP 2.2 encryption along with the full 5Play feature set. The pair takes 4K UHD up to 230ft. and 1080p@60Hz 48bit as far as 328ft. It conveys control signals on bi-directional IR and RS-232 and it provides two-way PoH so that either unit can power the other on CAT6 cable. EDID adjustments can be made on the transmitter. Audio support includes 2ch PCM audio and up to 7.1, DTS-X and Dolby Atmos.
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