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Friday, October 19, 2012

image When the HDMI format was introduced many years ago it was originally designed for the transmission of digital A/V signals over short distances. Through the years cable and connectivity product manufacturers have worked diligently to increase the capabilities of the HDMI format as the protocol has changed and matured.

The New York-based manufacturer Key Digital has been at the forefront of HDMI product technology development through its vast line of matrix switchers, cables, video processors and other solutions. Recently the company added to its selection of signal transmission solutions when it announced its KD-CATHD500 balun that it says is designed to transmit the latest audio and video signals hundreds of feet. The KD-CATHD500 is a copyright friendly, HDCP compliant device that works with 3D video content, as well as 4K video and commercial video resolutions such as 1900x1200. Bolstering the unit's safe and reliable operation is its ability to store 10 internal EDID configurations, including the native EDID information of any input and output product. Highlighting the product's signal transmission capabilities is the KD-CATHD500's ability to send and receive 1080p/60fps video as far as 400 feet, and its ability to transmit and receive 1080i/60fps from as far away as 600 feet.

Key Digital also explains the balun supports the transmission and reception of IR, RS-232 and CEC control signals, and other A/V HDMI protocols such as the 12-bit Deep Color property and the Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio surround sound formats.

Friday, July 06, 2012

image HDMI can be one of the trickiest technologies in all of consumer electronics and it can be difficult to deal with in simple installations, as well as complex installations.

HydraConnect says that its latest product, the newly announced HSS-2 HDMI Matrix Processor solves many of the issues installers encounter in the field through its ability to seamlessly integrate into a Control4-based system. HydraConnect says the HSS-2 enables electronics professionals to distribute as many as eight HD sources to as many as eight displays or it can be set up to distribute a total of 16 zones of audio. The 8x8 matrix switcher supports the HDMI 1.4a protocol to enable it to work with HD and 3D video, and the Deep Color specification.

Other features built into the HSS-2 include its A/V remix option that allows homeowners to watch a video source while listening to a separate audio source (a football game and music for example), and with its proprietary FlashConnect technology, the matrix switcher is able to switch from one video source to another at almost instantaneous speeds without experiencing dropouts or delays.

Monday, May 14, 2012

image Throughout the commercial and residential A/V industries, if there's one common thread that electronics professionals share, it is a disdain for the HDMI format.

The Bromfield, Colo.-based manufacturer AVocation Systems can't do anything about the market perception of HDMI, but it can provide its authorized dealer base with a new range of solutions that can ease the pain of working with the HDMI protocol. AVocation Systems' new Mountain Series 8x8 HDMI Matrix Switch (HX-0808H) is the first of several new products the company plans on releasing on in 2012.

AVocation Systems says the 8x8 Matrix Switch distributes as many as eight sources to eight displays and its built-in EDID/Key managment features are designed to eliminate latency between inputs and its switching functions. The company adds the unit is HDMI 1.4 compatible so it supports advanced technologies like 4K video and 3D, and it also provides 12-bit Deep Color with resolutions up to 1080p at 60Hz (225MHz). In addition, it includes control options for IP, RS-232, USB and IR, as well as provisions for rack mounting to allow installers to utilize the product in a number of varying A/V environments.

Monday, March 26, 2012

image A couple of years ago when the 3D video format was making its reemergence into the world of consumer video the products that supported the format were expensive.

Since that time the buzz for the format has leveled off and like most things in consumer electronics, it's growth has pushed 3D gear price points down to levels that allow more consumers to buy into the world of 3D video. ATEN's new VS482 Dual View HDMI switch provides electronics professionals with a device that can handle as many as four 3D sources and it can distribute these sources to multiple 3D displays which is now a more affordable scenario for installers to propose to clients.

The VS482 works with the latest HDMI format protocols such as 3D, Deep Color and the Audio Return Channel, as well as high resolution display formats like WUXGA (1920x1200) to provide installers with a component that can handle a variety of tasks. ATEN says the unit is designed to setup easily through the use of its onscreen display (OSD) and with its choice of convenience features that include a front panel display that allows for source selection, as well as RS-232 control options to enable its integration into a third-party control system, it can be placed in an equipment rack or it can be used as a standard A/V device within a home theater system.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

image Panasonic is one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the entire world, and in the world of home video, it is also one of the most aggressive companies.

Showing its leadership in the home video category and more specifically the television category, the company recently announced some of its 2012 new products. Augmenting its ST50, UT50 and XT50 plasma television lines, as well as its E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED television series, the company says the LED models will feature two new screen sizes: 47 inches and 55 inches, and both the plasma and LED products will feature enhancements to Panasonic's Connect1 Internet platform. Highlighting some of the improvements its made to its plasma products, Panasonic says its Viera HDTVs will feature improved black levels, faster image processing response times, more 3D options and more intuitive Internet apps.

The new LED products will incorporate Panasonic's IPS LED panel technology, wider viewing angles, improved image processing, including a focus on reduced crosstalk and higher contrast ratios. All of the TVs offer a choice of connections and screen sizes to accommodate a variety of home spaces and budget considerations.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

image It may be cold in most parts of the country right now, but that doesn't mean that American homeowners aren't thinking about the spring, summer and fall seasons.

For homeowners thinking of remodeling their homes with the addition of electronics, one of the most enticing options is an outdoor A/V system. SunBrite's new Signature Line of outdoor HDTVs facilitate these homeowner dreams without tapping out their respective bank accounts. The newly announced line features a choice of three screen sizes: the 32-inch SB-3260HD, the 46-inch SB-4660HD and the 55-inch SB-5560HD models.

SunBrite says the TVs are engineered to withstand the environmental conditions of outdoor placement with features that include anti-glare screens and ASA outdoor-rated resin enclosures that are designed to protect the TVs' internal components from moisture, rain, dust, snow, insects and temperatures that range from 10 below zero, all the way up to 122 degrees. Other features built into the products include water-tight cable-entry channels, multi-fan airflow systems and a choice of black or silver finishes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

image In the modern world of electronics IR technologies are almost taken for granted. Generally beyond the mass market segment IR is not taken for granted however and with products like Vanco's new line of IR Kits and accessories, professional electronics installers have tools at their disposal to take care of IR control issues.

With the newly released IR products from the Batavia, Ill.-based manufacturer custom installers can use a component or system's existing IR-based remote controls as part of a broader, more powerful control solution. Vanco says the new array of products are available in a choice of four kits, as well as other accessories and the products are designed to work in a variety of environments that include CFL lit rooms.

The line of products include devices such as eight-port receiver hubs, brass-tube receivers for concealed installs and other components. With the IR products installers can provide control for everything from Blu-ray disc players and cable boxes, to A/V receivers and advanced powered subwoofers.

Monday, November 07, 2011

image Adding to its line of HDMI signal distribution products, the Erlanger, Kentucky-based company TV One has introduced its new IT-CT-633 HDMI Repeater to the market.

The IT-CT-633 HDMI Repeater expands the company's IT-CT-630 line of HDMI Extender products and it can be used to increase the transmission distance of HDMI as far as 250 feet (76 meters) for 8-bit 1080p signals and 98 feet (30 meters) for 12-bit 1080p signals. TV One also says that electronics professionals can further extend the signal transmission capabilities of the product by cascading the units within the parameters of allowable Cat-6 cable lengths.

TV One says the full line of 1T-CT-630 Series HDMI Extender products can handle a variety of installation scenarios that range from traditional residential HDMI 1.3 A/V 1080p to commercially based 1900x1200 DVI signals.

Friday, September 23, 2011

image TiVo is one of the most recognizable brands in their entire world and there's good reason why consumers know the brand: The company single-handedly created a new form of home entertainment.

The company's latest product is the THX certified Premiere Elite device and it brings together all of today's digital media technologies, as well as traditional broadcast television all within a single, easy-to-use platform. In the new unit TiVo incorporates four tuners, 2TBs of storage with USB inputs to add additional hard drives, Cable and FiOS CableCARD compatibility; support for HDMI splitters with options for compatibility with 16 HDMI ports, Ethernet and MoCA coax networking options, integration capabilities with control systems from Crestron, Control4, RTI and others, and control options for Apple iPad and iPhones.

At the heart of the Premiere Elite is TiVo's proprietary user interface that harnesses the many entertainment options consumers have available to them. Through the TiVo interface homeowners can access video content from the Web that includes Netflix and Hulu Plus, 1080p HD and analog SD broadcast content, and Web-based music services such as Pandora and Rhapsody.

Friday, July 22, 2011

image The Rockleigh, N.J.-based manufacturer Crestron has one of the largest product lines in the entire consumer electronics industry and the scope of that product line provides its authorized dealer base with a solution for just about any installation scenario they encounter.

Crestron's new DM-RMC-200-C DigitalMedia 8G Receiver & Room Controller is the latest addition to its line of DigitalMedia products and according to the East Coast company, the unit features a built-in HD video scaler, an HDMI output and 30-watt per channel stereo amplifier. Crestron says the DM-RMC-200-C takes any video signal and scales it to HD quality levels no matter what format the original signal is in, and it's capable of extracting the audio from HDMI to enable installers to utilize a pair of external local speakers to create a higher quality audio experience than standard TV speakers.

The 3D-compatible unit can also be implemented in video wall systems and if employed in these types of systems the DM-RMC-200-C's zoom option allows installers to set up a display to show a portion of a source image. In total, Crestron adds that as many as 16 DM-RMC-200-Cs can be installed to form a complete image in a video wall using the zoom function.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

image For years the home technology market has always been hesitant to accept Microsoft-based control and entertainment products because of the reputation of the Windows' OS reliability.

Several years ago Osterville, Mass.-based Savant came into the custom installation market with a line of control/automation and entertainment products that utilized Apple's proven OSX platform and since then the company has grown steadily within the market.

Recently the company introduced a new line of controllers to replace its existing ROSIE and PROTEGE products, and the series of products includes several new models that are engineered to provide professional electronics installers with a choice of products that handle their clients' control, automation and entertainment needs. The newly released SmartSystem family includes the SmartControl SSC-0007 and SSC-0025 control-only devices, as well as the SmartAudio SSA-3000 multiroom audio and control device; the SmartVideo SSV-1000 video processing and switching unit; the SmartMedia SSM-3100 whole-house audio, video switching and single-zone control unit; and the SmartMediaPro SSP-1200, SSP-2400 SSP-3600 units, which are designed for large home and commercial property applications. The SmartMediaPro products provide matrix video switching, HDMI 1.4 support, audio distribution and a scalable architecture concept to support full control capabilities.

Monday, February 14, 2011

image In the world state-of-the-art audio/video connected services are all the rage.

N.J.-based Crestron Electronics has taken its digital multimedia ADMS system and added these increasingly popular Web sources to the ADMS' feature set to provide homeowners with a bigger, more diverse choice of entertainment options. The company says the new ADMS Intermedia Delivery System now includes Web connectivity to sites like ESPN, CNN, ABC News, the NFL, the NBA, Fox News and MSN.

This multimedia content joins Crestron's existing list of content choices that includes Netflix, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and Youtube, and as an additional measure, the company now also offers Sony's 400 Disc Blu-ray/DVD ES MegaChanger (CEN-CX7000ES) to further diversify the choice of content a homeowner has to entertain themselves through the installation of a Crestron home entertainment system.

Crestron says the system can be controlled with Crestron touchpanels and remotes, as well as iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and Android devices.

Friday, January 21, 2011

image Falling into the category of--"tell me something I don't already know"-- the prices of flat-panel televisions have fell so low that consumers have become very sensitive to the price of accessories to their TV purchases.

Knowing that no one wants to pay 35 to 40 percent of the cost of their flat-panel television for the investment into a mount, Calif.-based WallWizard has introduced its latest additions to its product lines. The company's newly introduced $159 DM65 Manual Tilt Wall-Mount is said to help dealers addressing applications where the client wants their slim flat-panel TV mounted as close to the wall as possible. WallWizard says the DM65 works with TVs ranging from 42 inches to 65 inches, and it can hold weights up to 150 pounds.

The next product the company introduced is the TA55 Low-Profile Motorized Tilt Mount. This product is also a low-profile mount, but unlike the DM65, it adds motorization. WallWizard says this $300 mount can be used for install scenarios such as the placement of a flat-panel TV over a fireplace. The motorized TA55 includes an IR remote, an optical trigger and a USB port to support the company's ControlWand and Apple app accessories. The TA55 works with TVs ranging from 37 inches to 55 inches and it has a weight capacity of 100 pounds.

The last product WallWizard announced was the SA52 Motorized Swing-out Mount. WallWizard says this mount offers 90-degrees of swivel at the push of a button, and the $379 mount also includes the same IR, optical and USB provisions as the TA55 mount. The SA52 is compatible with TVs ranging from 32 to 52 inches and it can handle TVs weighing up to 80 pounds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

image With video technologies in both the residential and commercial sectors developing and evolving so quickly, custom electronics professionals need devices that can reliably keep pace with these changes.

RT COM USA's new OBHD-2C and OBCA-2C fiber-optic transmitter/receiver combination utilizes the speed and proven track record of fiber-optic connectivity technologies to provide the professional electronics community with a set of extender devices that can be used as long-term signal transmission solutions.

According to RT COM USA, the devices can safely transmit video signals without suffering from performance-related disturbances such as ground loops, external magnetic interference, network traffic or compression issues. The products are capable of handling 1080p signals with 36-bit Deep Color and high-bit rate audio signals to enable the full support and distribution of HD audio and video signals.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

image It doesn't get talked about often enough, but system testing can save installers a lot of time and hassle, and it can go a long way to building a loyal client base.

Atlona's AT-DIS7-PROHD is a 7-inch HD Testing monitor that is engineered to provide custom electronics professionals with a display that can be used for the testing and verification process when a monitor isn't present.

The AT-DIS7-PROHD incorporates provisions to allow installers to test for all digital formats, including DVI, HDMI, and other popular video formats such as VGA, component and RGB-HV. Other features built into the testing display include the ability to view signal information for the display data channel (DDC) such as HDCP compliance, resolution, frequency, digital format and audio information.

Atlona says the product can be used with 3D installations and its tripod input allows installers to position the monitor anywhere there's room for a tripod-based setup.

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