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InfoComm preview part 1: video signal management

In the run-up to InfoComm 2014 in Las Vegas, here’s the first of our show previews – looking at video distribution and management products.

Analog Way will be launching the LiveCore Output Expander – a new system that adds up to four outputs to 12 x 4 + 1 LiveCore models, such as the SmartMatrix Ultra and the Ascender 32. Three versions of the system are available, the LOE016 with 16 scalers embedded for the SmartMatriX Ultra; the LOE032 with 32 scalers for the Ascender 32; and the LOE048 with 48 scalers for the Ascender 48. Ethernet and link cables are provided with the LiveCore Output Expander. Once linked to its LiveCore Switcher, outputs are shared and added, resulting in a 12 x 8 + 2 scaled seamless matrix system.

The new HDMI Clean Switch will be central to Apantac’s stand. As the newest member of the MT HOOD series, the product is a 6 x 1 clean switch that seamlessly changes between HDMI sources, eliminating the frustrations that normally occur, according to the company.

AptoVision will be showing its new BlueRiver NT chipset, which is the world’s first and only mainstream chipset to enable the transmission and switching of real-time, uncompressed Ultra HD AV signals with zero frame latency over off-the-shelf fibre and copper 10GbE switches.

A highlight on the Atomos stand will be iShogun – the world’s first 12G SDI & 4K HDMI I/O monitor recorder and deck. It features a 1920 x 1200 SuperAtom IPS 7in touchscreen with 325ppi, 179º viewing and 400-nit brightness, along with multi-frequency operation (48/50/60Hz depending on video input), giving smooth monitoring and playback.

Blackmagic Design will show Smart Videohub, a family of mixed-format routers whose 6G-SDI technology allows SD, HD and Ultra HD routing on the same router at the same time. The routers’ elegant machined metal front panels offer full router control, as well as built-in LCD monitoring. Users can perform direct entry of router crosspoints using either buttons or the spin knob control.

Blonder Tongue will be providing live demonstrations of its next-generation MPEG-2 encoders, QAM/IPTV transcoders, and MPEG transport stream analyser. Part of the line-up will be the affordable HDE-8C-QAM – a high-performance MPEG-2 HD encoder, which supports Dolby Digital audio encoding and provides users with reliable and efficient encoding performance.

BrightSign will demonstrate its new 4K digital signage players at InfoComm. These are said to be the first to deliver a true end-to-end 4K solution that accepts H.265-encoded content and delivers 60fps output via HDMI 2.0. In addition, BrightSign’s 4K players incorporate all of the features of the company’s solid-state digital signage platform, including HTML5 content support, videowall synchronisation, BrightAuthor and BrightSign Network support.

Two major themes on the Crestron stand will be 4K and collaboration. The company will demonstrate DigitalMedia – described as the first and only end-to-end 4K distribution solution available right now – and will show how the Crestron 4K Certification programme helps with 4K system configuration by ensuring that sources and displays meet system requirements. In addition, the company will be showing tools to aid collaboration in classrooms, offices and elsewhere. AirMedia, Connect It and FT-TSC600 FlipTop products can all be used to manage and distribute AV signals, including 4K, over an existing network and on a single platform.

FiberPlex Technologies is launching the TD-6010 adapter, described as the Swiss army knife of fibre-optic transport. It can take a variety of SFP/SFP+ (small form factor pluggable) modules to suit any format conversion scenario. The frame includes two bidirectional ports for interchanging SFP/SFP+ modules that can convert between analogue video, SD/HD & 3G-SDI or HDMI media formats as well as full duplex and BiDi optical, 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet and MADI. The TD-6010 can convert between Dante, CobraNet and EtherSound, or between single-mode and multi-mode fibre, as well as between MADI and Ethernet, and any combination of the above.

Gefen will demonstrate the near-zero latency of its Wireless for HD 60GHz extender. The sender unit will beam hi-def visuals from a live-action racing simulator, the Gefen Mark V, on the stand to a four-panel videowall. Gefen’s HD Video Wall Controller’s picture-in-picture functionality will simultaneously show the driver and the racetrack visuals. Gefen’s Extender for HDMI over One Fiber solution will beam hi-def visuals to the sister company TV One’s stand.

In addition, Gefen will unveil its new software suite, which will be included with all Gefen hardware beginning in 2015. These include: a discovery protocol that automatically locates Gefen devices on a network, allowing for remote configuration; an EDID Plus tool that detects and generates EDID for remote control connectivity; and an EDID Generator, which allows integrators to create EDID information from scratch and/or edit EDID for unique installation scenarios.

Exhibiting at the stand of its US partner Apantac, Guntermann & Drunck will exhibit its KVM product portfolio. The ControlCenter-Digital modular KVM matrix is the company’s most fully featured product. It enables the simultaneous operation of thousands of computers via hundreds of consoles consisting of keyboard, monitor and mouse – even over large distances. Because of its modularity, it is easy to replace components and flexibly expand the system. On a fibre network, users and computers can be placed up to 10km apart from each other. Various connection modules allow the integration of sources such as VGA, DVI and DisplayPort into the KVM matrix.

Lightware Visual Engineering will showcase the 25G Hybrid 80×80 digital matrix switcher, which has begun shipping. Working demos will be scheduled on the Lightware stand, and it will also be displayed in the HDBaseT 4K switching demo area, running with fibrer HDBaseT extenders and HDMI local in and out. The 80×80 is the second frame size in the 25G Hybrid series, following the 160×160 launched last year. The 25G Hybrid architecture, saves cost and energy by using a single fibre or Cat cable to deliver full HD and 4K digital video, audio, Ethernet, IR, RS232 and power.

The company will also hold working demos of its new UMX-TPS family of HDBaseT extenders. Lightware previously introduced fibre-optic, twisted-pair and two-Cat cable versions of the extenders, but now the same functionality is available in a single-Cat cable product..

Matrox Graphics will be demonstrating the field-proven Mura MPX videowall controller boards, Maevex Full HD over IP H.264 encoders/decoders and zero-latency Avio fibre-optic KVM extenders. Matrox Video will showcase the award-winning Monarch HD video streaming and recording appliance and the VS4 quad HD capture card for multi-camera recording and streaming.

Opticomm-EMCORE will be showcasing its lines of HDBaseT extenders, in the form of the compact, standalone c-linx series and the rugged card-based Optiva OTC Series. Both c-linx and Optiva OTC support Full HD and 4K UHD video, and are ideal for long-distance CatX extension. With Emcore’s Catx technology, video sources such as media players, Blu-ray, DVD players, laptops and video cameras can transmit over a single, reliable CatX cable to a display or projector.

New arrivals from TV One will include a range of high-performance, small form-factor scalers including the C2-2855 Universal Scaler Plus; the C2-2755 Video Converter; the C2-2655 Scan Converter Plus; and the CORIOmatrix mini, which uses a web GUI. Based on TV One’s CORIO2 technology, the C2-2655, C2-2755 and C2-2855 are said to provide best-in-class video scaling, picture-in-picture, logo insertion and format conversion. Inputs and outputs are dependent on model but include HDMI, DVI-U, 3G HD-SDI, HD15, composite and S-Video. All derivatives have a crystal clear OLED display with an easy-to-use interface. Alternatively, a graphic user interface for PCs can be used to control the units remotely via IP and RS232, or can be used as a direct control interface for third-party control systems.

Ventuz Technology, developer of real-time 3D software solutions, will collaborate with creative agency three monkeys and display device manufacturer Mediascreen to show comprehensive setups for interactive and videowall installations. Part of the Ventuz Director application, the new Topology Editor – which will manage the installations on the company’s InfoComm stand – enables operators to control and organise an entire machine cluster from a single machine. This offers a new level of flexibility for working remotely, especially in high-end control room environments where operator, editor and playout machines are in different locations.