Signal Distribution Equipment

July 20, 2004
Video distribution is a critical ingredient in the design of a properly equipped building for modern-day communication needs. Among the devices necessary to consider for wideband video (and audio) transport are computer-video interfaces, switchers, distribution amplifiers, computer-video scan converters, scalers, signal processing equipment, and high-resolution cables.These high-tech products are used to integrate computer, video, and audio into presentation displays for today's boardrooms, presentation/training centers, university lecture halls, and numerous other applications. Here is a sampling of new products from leading manufacturers:
A/V PROCESSORAurora Multimedia's WACI NX-STREAM is a streaming video and audio processor that can encode and decode composite, S-video, component, and HDMI video signals with audio over a LAN or WAN in both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 format (both standard and HD broadcasts). Part of the new WACI NX™ (Next Generation of Compact Control Systems), it serves classrooms, conference rooms, and virtually any project requiring video distribution over Ethernet. The processor also supports MP3 audio and MJPEG at 1280 x 1204 @ 60Hz.AURORA MULTIMEDIA
ROUTING SWITCHERPESA's new routing switcher, Premiere, is a small, expandable system for multimedia applications in corporate, government, sports, or entertainment facilities. Available in matrix sizes based on 8x4, 12x8, 16x8, and 16x16, Premier can handle a variety of signal types including composite, Y/C, RGB, RGBHV, and stereo audio (with future releases to include SDI, HD-SDI, and AES/EBU). With RS232, USB, Ethernet, and PESA PRC connectivity, the system is easily networked with auto-sensing configuration and controlled remotely on an IP network.PESA SWITCHING SYSTEMS
DISTRIBUTION AMPLIFIERPure Digital Fiberlink® 8000 Series four-output optical Distribution Amplifier works with one-way Pure Digital Fiberlink systems, providing infinite signal extension and distribution options. The system receives an optical signal from a transmitter, then digitally regenerates and relaunches it over one to four outputs without any additional degradation to the original baseband video, audio, or data signal(s). Available as a stand-alone box or with an internal power supply, it can support multiple channels on each output and units may be daisy-chained into distribution networks.COMMUNICATION SPECIALTIES, INC.
VIDEO PROCESSORSpyder from Vista Systems is a video processing and windowing system for seamless widescreen and multi-display applications. It uses an advanced video scaling architecture which creates "virtual displays" that are much higher resolution than any single display device can handle. Inputs can be windowed anywhere in the display and even overlap. Outputs such as projectors, LED walls, recording devices, and operating monitors can view any portion of the virtual display. Spyder is suitable for entertainment and meeting venues as well as "command and control" centers.VISTA SYSTEMS
VIDEO-OVER-CAT5/UTPMagenta Research now specifies QXGA (2048 x 1536) resolution at a distance of 1,000 feet over CAT5/UTP cable using the MultiView™ UTx Universal Transmitter and the latest AK1000 and AK1500 receivers. The technical enhancement enables the transmission of any video format over significant distance. The corresponding MultiView Series specification at 1,500 feet is UXGA (1600 x 1200) resolution. By applying Magenta's patent-pending signal and filter technologies, MultiView is the first video-over-CAT5/UTP product line to achieve this new milestone for resolution-over-distance.MAGENTA RESEARCH
TRANSMITTERS/RECEIVERSAutoPatch's 1x8 CAT5 Transmitter converts one RGBHV/HD-15 input out to 8 CAT5 connections for resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 at 1,000 feet. The transmitters also feature one HD-15 buffered loop-through port for a preview monitor, or up to four transmitters can be linked using the ports, sending one signal to 32 CAT5 outputs. The compatible CAT5 Receivers are equipped with user-adjustable gain and peak and two HD-15 outputs. The Transmitters/Receivers are available as stand-alone units and may also be rack-mounted.AUTOPATCH
UNIVERSAL SCALERRGB Spectrum announces a ruggedized version of its QuadView® series of windowing display systems, the QuadView XLRT, for use in mobile and harsh environments. Quadra™ UDC provides universal scaling with four independent channels in a compact 1U chassis. Each channel is capable of scaling, converting, and/or synchronizing different RGB, DVI, HDTV, and standard video signals. The Quadra supports the widest range of input signals and accepts signals up to 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution and converts them to any RGB or DVI format.RGB SPECTRUM
PRESENTATION SWITCHERSKnox Video Technologies' MediaFlex Series 8/16 presentation switchers accept up to 8 or 16 composite, Y/C, component, or analog HDTV video sources, 8 or 16 balanced or unbalanced stereo audio sources, and connects any one of the input sources to one or more of the 8 or 16 outputs with volume and tone control. An independent 8x8 VGA matrix is available in the same chassis to route high-resolution sources to several downstream devices such as data monitors and LCD projectors without loss of resolution.KNOX VIDEO TECHNOLOGIES
DISTRIBUTION AMPLIFIERKramer's VM-10xl is a broadcast-quality video/audio distribution amplifier for use in video/audio duplication studios, video/audio showrooms, video component distribution, and security CCTV applications. From the front panel, the user may choose unbalanced stereo or balanced mono and adjust output audio and video levels, as well as video cable equalization (EQ). The machine is an upgrade of an industry workhorse (VM-10ARll), raising the bandwidth to well over 360MHz for total transparency of high-frequency signals. Several units may be chained through looping inputs.KRAMER ELECTRONICS USA
ScreenPro™ from Folsom Research is a high-resolution seamless switcher for multiple video sources in professional presentation venues such as auditoriums, education and training facilities, and live staging events. The device features eight universal inputs that accept composite video, S-video, component, HDTV, and computer video sources. Auto Signal Lock (ASL™) technology locks to the source and scales it to match the native resolution of the projection or display device. ScreenPro supports a variety of transition effects and user-defined configuration files for complete show programming.
Extron's System 5 IP is a five-input, one-output integrated A/V active switcher that provides an affordable solution for single-projector A/V installations in classrooms, boardrooms, conference rooms, and multimedia environments. Features include configurable inputs, IR learning, customized display control via RS-232, an integrated 40-watt (rms) audio amplifier, and IP Link™ Ethernet monitoring and control. Virtually any RS-232 controllable projector or display device can be used with the System 5 IP, which also offers room control capability of lighting, screen settings, and other device functions.
FSR's Magellan MAS-4100 is a 4x1 audio and video switcher with an integrated scaler for any size presentation system. Its three video inputs (composite, S-video, and component video) are scaled to a user-selectable output resolution up to 1080i and are NTSC, PAL, and SECAM compatible. On the output side, the MAS-4100 supports all standard and extended VGA resolutions, as well as HDTV resolutions up to 1080i. In conjunction with each input is a balanced stereo audio input which is also compatible
with unbalanced sources.
CentriX™ from Analog Way is a computer and video hi-res mixer seamless switcher with multiple effects and logo insertion. The switcher has 8 universal inputs for any type of incoming signal, and can be used either as a mixer seamless switcher or as a scaled native matrix. In the mixer mode, CentriX scales all the sources and performs seamless switching between any two inputs. In the matrix mode, it allows switching of any of the 8 inputs to any of the two outputs.
Multitasker® Video Scaler MT106-103 from Altinex converts composite video, S-video, and component video into a high-resolution VGA-type output. The composite and S-video signals are converted to a pre-selected resolution typically compatible with the native resolution of the projector or display. The composite video and S-video inputs accept NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video standards. The scaler can accept various video input formats: 480i, 576i, 480p, 720i, 720p, and 108i. Used with Matrix Switcher cards, the MT106-103 offers superior flexibility in A/V systems design.

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