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Enterprise AV System
Design and Integration
New Displays Open AV Frontiers

Making Mobile AV
Systems Work

Fall 2011 |

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Contents volume 1, number 3

28 38

Cover Story

28 Enterprise AV System Design and Integration

What you should do to ensure a successful project.
By Keith Scheffler

Feature Story

38 New Displays Open AV Frontiers

The latest generation of high resolution displays, combined with enhanced video
processing capabilities translate to new and exciting integration opportunities.
By Jim Scrivner

Case Study

18 Making Mobile AV Systems Work

AV systems on a newly refurbished train take visitors on a guided
multimedia tour of the Northern Ontario wilderness.
By Gerard Grivois

46 Whats Inside 48 Extron New 51 Tech Watch 52 Technically 62 Design Forum
The Extron DVS 605 Products Interesting technologies Speaking Developing a Scope
HDCP-Compliant Scaler The latest product that you need to Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Work Document
with Seamless Switching introductions from Extron know about Integrating AV Products By John Collyer
onto IP Networks
By Karl Johnson

2 AV Systems Design Fall 2011

18 62

52 64 68

News Columns

7 Company News 4 From the Editor

New Regional Extron Offices Boost Local Support, Critical Connections
University Chooses MediaLink and GVE, Hong Kong By Casey Hall
University Uses TouchLink Control, USP 507 Solves
Challenges in Speed Eating Competition 6 Corner Office
Taking the Time to Get it Right
9 Industry News By Andrew Edwards
AQAV Releases New AV9000:2011 Standard,
New Ultra High Definition Standard Announced, 14 Stories from the Road
New 21:9 Ultra-Widescreen Display Standard Troubleshooting Set-Up Issues
By Keith Scheffler
10 Now Shipping
The latest products available from Extron 15 System Design Trends
Simplest Components
By Derek Joncas

16 The Pro Perspective

What Exactly Does the Customer Want?
By Mario Maltese

64 Tech Corner 68 Hidden Gems 70 Education Central 71 Company Events 74 The Last Word
Optimizing Scaler Setup LockIt Coming Soon: 2011 Extron Institute Corn, Vegetable Oil,
By Ron Justice By Dave Pincek AV Associate Online and Tradeshows Salt, and Water
Training and Certification By Steve Somers
in French, German,
and Spanish 3
From the Editor

Critical EXTRON USA West

1230 South Lewis Street
Anaheim, CA 92805

Sales/Tech Support:
+800.633.9876, +1.714.491.1500
Fax: +1.714.491.1517


2205 Westinghouse Blvd.
Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27604
Sales/Tech Support:
+800.633.9876, +1.919.863.1794
Fax: +1.919.863.1797

T hose of you who know me, know that This very publication, AVSD, is an extension of EXTRON EUROPE
Hanzeboulevard 10,
I like to fish. Well, a recent fishing Extrons support philosophy. Its written by many 3825 PH Amersfoort
The Netherlands
excursion at a local lake on a less-than-water- of the same System Design and Applications
Phone: +800.EXTRON.S3
tight kayak illustrated to me the importance of Engineers that work with you day-in and day-out. (+800.3987.6673)
communication. Without going into too much AVSD contains real, solid information. Its more Fax: +31.33.453.4050
detail, Ill just say that, while the iPhone might than just a promotional magazine, and InfoComm
be described as magical, it remains, like other has recognized the value of AVSD as a training 135 Joo Seng Road, #04-01
PM Industrial Building
magical creatures, strangely susceptible to water. resource. Im pleased to announce that you can
Singapore 368363
Spend a weekend without a cell phone and now earn InfoComm continuing education units Phone: +65.6383.4400
Fax: +65.6383.4664
youll quickly see how often we want, or need, to through our Publication Review program. By
connect to others. We carry smartphones, iPads, reading AV System Design, or selected Extron EXTRON CHINA
686 Ronghua Road,
tablets; and each of these devices rings or buzzes Design Guides, and passing an online test about Songjiang District
Shanghai 201611
or beeps throughout the day. Were awash in the covered products and technologies, you
Phone: +86.21.3760.1568
communication, more than at any prior time in can earn 2 or more Renewal Units toward your Fax: +86.21.3760.1566

human history. You can rejoice in it, embrace it, InfoComm CTS, CTS-I, or CTS-D certification. EXTRON JAPAN
grumble about it, or wax philosophical about it, Think of it. A few spare moments reading Kyodo Building, 16 Ichibancho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0082
but it remains a fact: we are in an unprecedented AVSD or an Extron Design Guide can help you to Japan
Phone: +81.3.3511.7655
era of communication, much of it happening at filter through the information clutter and keep
Fax: +81.3.3511.7656
an amazing and sometimes overwhelming pace. pace with the latest AV industry news, design
With so many ways to obtain information, trends, technology advances, and Extron product Dubai Airport Free Zone
you shouldnt lose sight of the fact that Extron releases. Take an online test afterwards, and your F12, PO Box 293666
Phone: +971.4.2991800
is only a phone call away. Give us a call CTS certifications remain up to date. AVSD serves Fax: +971.4.2991880
its a phrase that you hear all the time from two important needs simultaneously: it provides
Extron, and theres a reason for it. We have knowledge you can use today, and continuing
tremendous resources that we can, and will, education credits to help you keep your edge.
marshal to help and assist you. While other To learn more about the Extron Publication AV Systems Design magazine is
published by Extron Electronics/RGB
manufacturers have focused on putting more Review program or to enroll for any of our Systems Inc. No portion of this publication
may be reproduced in any form without
written permission from Extron Electronics.
commissioned sales people into the field, we industry-recognized continuing education Every effort has been made to ensure
accuracy in content; however, Extron
have put our efforts toward growing our support courses, visit and click on assumes no responsibility for errors and
omissions in the information provided herein.
team. In North America Extron has hired and Continuing Education Units. AV Systems Design is sent free of charge to
AV industry professionals and end-users.
continues to hire engineers at our offices in So, as I said earlier, let us know how we can Subscriptions
To receive your free copy of AV Systems
Southern California, North Carolina and in help. It is a busy time for all of us in the AV Design magazine, please contact your
Extron Customer Support Representative.
the field. This year we have opened offices in Industry, a condition we can all be thankful for. We welcome your comments and
contributions! Please submit ideas to
Washington DC, London, Frankfurt, Paris, and As busy as you might be, remember that Extron the editor at

Bangalore. Personally, I believe technical support is here to support you. Give us a call! Extron Electronics
1230 S. Lewis Street Anaheim, CA 92805
is what will separate the manufacturing men
from the boys as our industry transitions to Casey Hall, Vice President Sales and
digital video systems. Marketing, North America

4 From the Editor AV Systems Design Fall 2011

High Performance. Reliable. Flexible.
Digital That Works.

XTP CP 1600 XTP CP 3200




Extron XTP CrossPoint Systems

The Extron XTP CrossPoint is a flexible, reliable signal switching and distribution system that provides a completely integrated solution
for multiple digital and analog formats. XTP CrossPoint matrix switchers support local connectivity as well as extended transmission
capability for sending high resolution video, audio, RS-232, Ethernet, and power up to 330 feet (100 m) over a single CAT 5-type cable.

Easy to Set Up Reliable

XTP CrossPoint Systems can easily be set up and configured out XTP CrossPoint Systems deliver robust system reliability and
of the box to save you time and money. Intuitive control software dependable switching of video signals through EDID and HDCP
provides straightforward system configuration without complicated key management. Featuring advanced 24/7 system monitoring and
programming. hot-swappable modular components, XTP CrossPoint Systems
are built for continuous, trouble-free operation in the most critical
XTP CrossPoint Systems deliver extremely high switching and Flexible System Designs
transmission performance to support a wide range of video XTP CrossPoint Systems let you easily integrate digital and analog
formats, including the highest resolution DVI and HDMI signals. devices into your system design. Connect and switch between local
The high data-rate digital backplane provides a truly future-ready devices, or extend to remote locations up to 330 feet away using
AV integration solution. just a single CAT 5-type cable that carries, video, audio, RS-232 or
IR control, Ethernet, and power.
Corner Office

Taking the Time

to Get it Right

Y ou dont always have all the products you want, when you
want them. Ive had to learn to live with that fact. It takes
time to design and engineer products, and as those products
chosen to make unprepared beta testers out of their resellers
and end-user customers.
Our SMX and DXP Digital Video switchers have enjoyed
become more complex the time required to develop them tremendous success. With thousands of units now in the field they
lengthens. As a manufacturer, youre always faced with the have proven to be rock solid in their performance. They are easy
challenge of deciding when a product is ready for market. Should and quick to setup. If you havent seen our Out of the Box videos,
you continue making improvements or is the product ready for I encourage you to check them out at Senior
prime time? Sometimes continued engineering effort can make Applications Engineer, Chris Bach sets up an HDCP compliant
the difference in whether a product works some of the time, system using our DXP switcher in under 15 minutes start to finish.
most of the time or all of the time. At Extron we have always No smoke and mirrors, the entire video is shot in one take.
taken the conservative approach. Our new XTP CrossPoint Systems introduced at InfoComm
The challenge becomes greater when there is competitive were designed with this same attention to detail and consistency.
product being marketed as the one solution for everything, Its a well thought out product that you will find easier to
and its shipping. In that situation, you know that there will set up, higher-performing, and with SpeedSwitch technology,
be sales lost, because some customers will take the gamble your switching speed is only limited by the capabilities of
and try the product. Some are making the decision because your display.
they have to, some because they are excited at the prospect of Many customers I speak to have been clamoring for us
new technology. to release a product like the XTP, given all of the grief and
The industry is undergoing a transition to digital. We frustration theyve had implementing other digital products.
are faced with interfacing to new video, audio and data We could have rushed to market with a product equivalent to
formats which come and go seemingly overnight. DVI, HDMI, theirs, but remember, at Extron I have a Satisfaction Guarantee
DisplayPort, Light Peak, Thunderbolt to name a few. The classic that applies to ALL customers and products, not just the ideal
marketing tactic at a time like this is to turn on the FUD Fear, scenarios. Sometimes its better to forego an immediate sale if
Uncertainty & Doubt. Tell everyone how the worlds falling it means that you hang on to your credibility. Extron may miss
apart, disaster looms on the horizon, or analog sunset if you a sale or two, but I sleep better knowing that were doing the
prefer. But wait! Theres hope, there IS a solution! And its only right thing for our customers.
available from. Despite the marketing hype, weve been told that installing
You get the point. Its a sales & marketing game, and it sells digital media systems hasnt been easy. However, at times
products. At least it does in the short term. What happens over like this youll find that Extrons approach is to be honest and
the long term depends on how easy or difficult the product straight, and to deliver products that you can count on. After
is to install and how the product performs and how the all, we sell products, not fear, and Ill put Extrons Service,
competition responds. Support & Solutions up against their Fear, Uncertainty and
Extron has never been sales & marketing focused. Were Doubt anytime.
engineering driven and weve stayed focused on developing If you have any comments, I would like to hear your thoughts.
products. While others may have been faster to market, they Email me at
also released products in a condition that would not be
acceptable for an Extron product. In many cases they have Andrew Edwards, President

6 Corner Office AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Company News

New Regional
Extron Offices Boost
Local Support
Extron Electronics is expanding its reach
worldwide to include new Regional
Sales Offices located in Washington
D.C., Paris, London, Frankfurt, and
Bangalore. These facilities will be staffed
by local Extron support personnel and The new facilities demonstrate Extrons world will make it even easier for our
include Extron Institute facilities where commitment to education and training customers to reach Extron.
customers can receive technical training throughout the world. We are committed In addition to instructor-led classroom
and certification or see live product to providing the highest-quality AV training at our own facilities, Extron
demonstrations. The offices in Paris and training and industry-leading customer also offers Training On-The-Road, online
Frankfurt offer a convenient location for support, says Andrew Edwards, President training courses, how-to videos, and a
French and German customers to receive and CEO of Extron. Adding these new large selection of technical articles and
training presented in local languages. Regional Sales Offices throughout the white papers.

The heart of each to match the way you want to operate

Photo Courtesy California State Polytechnic University Pomona: Tom Zasadzinski photographer (University)

classroom system is the the system.

Power Podium, housing GlobalViewer Enterprise has allowed
a PC, DVD/VCR combo Cal Poly system personnel to configure
player, document camera, global schedules, easily add new devices
flat screen monitor, and to the network, set up schedules to
an Extron MLC 226 IP automatically turn off displays throughout
MediaLink Controller. The the campus or in individual buildings
configurable MLC 226 IP or rooms at specified times, and create
allows staff to configure and collect reports covering network
the system using Global connections, device usage, and AV
Configurator software. equipment inventory, among many
University Chooses Cal Poly System Specialist Jovito other tasks. In addition, the iGVE app
MediaLink and GVE Barrantes led the installation team, and allows support staff to access GVE via
when comparing programmable control iPhone and iPod Touch.
California Polytechnic University, Pomona systems to the configurable MLC 226 IP, Cal Poly chose Extrons highly
recently began a campus-wide conversion he enthused, The MLC 226 IP is more efficient MPA 152 Mini Power Amplifiers
of classrooms into Learning Centered user-friendly, easily configured, and adds to run each rooms high-performance
Technology Initiative rooms and chose functional capability to the devices in speaker system. The MPA 152 runs cool
Extron Electronics for system control and the system. You can assign functions to without fans or vents, ensuring quiet,
AV asset management. buttons, and program inputs and outputs reliable operation. Company News 7

Company News

Hong Kong University would satisfy long-term

Uses TouchLink Control budget needs as well as
shorten the integration
The world-renown University of Hong Kong timeline. Among other
- HKU is the foremost university in Hong control-related tasks,
Kong. As part of its 100th anniversary users would need to be
in 2012, the university is undertaking able to activate different
numerous enhancements to the facilities light scenes according
within and beyond the main campus. to ambient lighting
Among these many initiatives, the HKU conditions with a single touch of a button mixer, power amplifier, and dimming
Faculty of Business and Economics facility on the touchpanel. control system.
was recently modernized and given a To meet all these needs, BAP chose The integrator selected an Extron
fresh new look, which included a 100 seat Extron, and assembled the AV control TouchLink-based control system because
lecture theater and new, state of the art system with a TLP 700TV, 7" Tabletop of its price, simplicity, stability, and
audio visual system. TouchLink Touchpanel paired with ease-of-use. HKU is very pleased with
The lack of any IT or technical IPL T S6 and IPL T CR48, IP Link the installation. All of its control needs
AV personnel on-site meant that the control processors. With this system in were satisfied, and, without having to deal
AV control system would have to be place, all AV sources and light dimming with traditional programming. The fully
flexible, easy-to-use, and functionally control systems could be monitored and configurable TouchLink-based system can
self-sufficient. The integrator, BAP controlled from a central location. The be easily reconfigured to accommodate
Technology Consultants, Limited, needed TLP 700TV allows users to easily control future system upgrades or equipment
all AV to be centrally controlled and able any device in the lecture theater, such replacement, which highly increases the
to run on a platform without a traditional as the projectors, projection screens, effectiveness and efficiency of the system
programming infrastructure. This LCD TVs, microphone system, audio as a whole.

many as 60 hot dogs, with the original Nathans Famous in Coney

buns, in a ten minute Island, Brooklyn, New York. For the third
span. The competition, straight year, AV integrator Visual Word
sanctioned by the Systems, Inc. was contracted to display
International Federation the live ESPN feed of the event on a
of Competitive Eating, is 1713 foot LED display wall mounted
covered by ESPN and on a truck, for the tens of thousands
media from around of attendees.
the world. The ESPN live camera feed, and the
A conflict with integrators own video camera were
the IFCE led six-time fed through the USP 507 and an LED
champion Takeru wall processor to the LED wall. In
Kobayashi to be banned addition, a PC fed sponsor information
USP 507 Solves from competition in 2010. This year, in through the USP 507 for display on the
Challenges in Speed retaliation, Kobyashi staged his own LED wall before and after the actual
event. Both events were covered with competition. For this application, the
Eating Competition the versatility of the Extron USP 507 USP 507 provided a one-box solution for
Each year, Nathans Famous hot dog Universal Signal Processor helping to switching between broadcast SDI, RGB,
restaurant chain hosts the Fourth of July address several AV system needs for these and SD video signals, and optimizing
International Hot Dog Eating Contest, two live events. them to a single output for the LED
during which competitors consume as The official competition took place at wall processor.

8 Company News AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Industry News
of the pertinent technical characteristics
for a new UHDTV standard. A trial
UHDTV link between London and
Amsterdam in September 2011 was so
successful that organizers plan to screen
part of the 2012 London Olympic Games
in UHDTV at public venues around
AQAV Releases the world.

New AV9000:2011 The new standard represents a

Standard major leap forward in image resolution

and picture quality. Japanese public
The Association for service broadcaster NHK, which played
Quality in Audio Visual a pioneering role in the development
Technology of HDTV, recently demonstrated a Until the introduction of these
has released a new screen with 33 million pixels, far more displays, getting 2.40:1 movies to
standard, providing than 2 million pixels on HDTV screens completely fill a wide screen was possible
measurement and today. One of the many uses for this by stretching the image vertically to
monitoring checklists to be used at each vast number of pixels could be glasses- fill the 16:9 frame and then fitting an
key milestone in an audio visual project. free 3D. anamorphic lens in front of the projector,
The standard is a product of Though the changes will be slow in a specialized solution at considerable
the AV9000 Forum, a dedicated coming, UHDTV promises to create an cost. The Consumer Electronics
group of industry professionals and immersive experience for viewers and Association (CEA) has begun work on a
comprised of integrators, designers, will likely generate many new business 21:9 aspect ratio standard to be applied
corporate and university technology and marketing opportunities. AV by manufacturers to support transport of
managers, manufacturers, and professionals will be wise to follow the native 21:9 video signals between sources
independent programmers. new standards progress. and displays. The 25601080 resolution
The standard is currently being has not yet been standardized by VESA.
adopted by manufacturers and corporate Until then, 21:9 displays are expected
buyers of complex audio visual systems to display 16:9 content by detecting the
in an effort to reduce waste and poor New 21:9 presence of a picture with black bars and
performance. The goal is to recognize Ultra-Widescreen zooming into the image to fill the screen.
companies that are found to be compliant
with the standard by independent
Display Standard It is unclear whether these displays will
accept incoming video at the native
auditors. Buyers of AV technology can A new generation of widescreen 25601080 panel resolution.
be confident that recognized companies flat-panel displays and projectors has For the professional AV industry,
have procedures in place to assure been introduced by Vizio, Philips, and the emergence of 21:9 flat panels and
quality. The standard is based on Digital Projection. These displays deliver projectors opens up a new world of
ISO9001:2008, an international consensus 25601080 native resolution and are possibilities for creating display solutions.
on good quality management practices. primarily intended for the residential A single 21:9 image can accommodate a
installation market. The appeal of these 16:9 and a secondary source for enhanced
displays to consumers is the ability to multimedia or digital signage applications,
display a 2.40:1 widescreen image or or two SXGA images side-by-side for
New Ultra High scope movie content onto a screen of comparing documents. Two or three 21:9

Definition Standard essentially the same aspect ratio, thereby displays can be joined together to create

Announced avoiding the horizontal black bars

which become visible on 16:9 displays.
very wide panoramic images, such as
for simulation applications. Stacking two
Experts at the ITU Study Group on More manufacturers are expected to projected 21:9 images offers a unique
Broadcasting Service announced recently announce similar 21:9 displays in the opportunity to create a nearly square
that they had reached agreement on most coming months. 7:6 aspect ratio. Industry News 9

Now Shipping


Long Distance HDMI DTP HDMI 301 Rx
Twisted Pair Extender DTP HDMI 301 Tx Receiver

The Extron DTP HDMI 301 is a

transmitter and receiver set for long
distance transmission of HDMI (100 meters). These integrator-friendly Deep Color up to 12-bit, lip sync, and
video, and embedded audio, plus features, combined with the compact embedded HD lossless audio formats.
bidirectional control signals over a enclosure sizes and remote powering In addition, DDC communication
single CAT 5-type cable. For added of either unit, make the DTP HDMI 301 of EDID and HDCP is continuously
flexibility and convenience, separate ideal for extending video, multi-channel maintained between a source and
analog stereo audio signals can also be audio, and bidirectional control in display, ensuring direct compatibility
transmitted on a second twisted pair space-challenged environments. The and optimal signal transmission
cable. It is HDMI 1.3 compatible and HDCP-compliant DTP HDMI 301 enables between devices.
capable of sending 1080p/60 Deep Color the reliable, long distance transmission
and 19201200 signals up to 330 feet of HDMI 1.3 signals, supporting


FOX 3G DVC and FOX Series distribution amplifiers, require long distance transmission of
Fiber Optic Multi-Rate SDI to DVI switchers, and matrix switchers. The SDI signals from broadcast-type sources
and RGB/Component Converter FOX 3G DVC features extraction of embed- and interfacing them with professional/
ded AES3 audio, RS-232 serial control, consumer-level devices. The FOX 3G DVC
The Extron FOX 3G DVC receives fiber and a fiber optic input loop-through automatically recognizes and converts
optic SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI serial that allows multiple FOX 3G DVC and SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI signals, and is
digital video signals over a single fiber, FOX 3G HD-SDI units to be daisy-chained. compliant with SMPTE 259M, 292M, 424M,
converting them to DVI-D and analog RGB It is ideal for applications including TV and ITU digital video standards.
or component video. It is compatible with production, medical imaging, military
the FOX 3G HD-SDI fiber optic extender simulation, churches, and live events that

10 Now Shipping AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Now Shipping

DVC 501 SD production, medical imaging, military

Multi-Rate SDI to DVI and simulation, houses of worship, and
RGB/Component Converter live events that require interfacing
SDI signals from broadcast-type
The Extron DVC 501 SD converts SDI, sources to professional/consumer-level
HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI serial digital video displays and signal distribution
signals to DVI-D and analog RGB or systems that only accept DVI or
component video formats. It features analog signals. It is compliant with
automatic equalization of input signals, SMPTE 259M, 292M, 424M, and ITU
DVC 501 SD
extraction of embedded AES3 audio, and digital video standards.
RS-232 serial control. The DVC 501 SD is
ideal for applications including television

FOX DA8 Plus Featuring high-speed, all digital signal

Configurable Eight Output Fiber transmission of pixel-perfect HDMI, DVI,
Optic Distribution Amplifier RGB, HD component video, S-video,
composite video, multi-rate SDI, audio,
The Extron FOX DA8 Plus is a and control signals, it is compatible
configurable eight-output fiber optic with Extron FOX Series products. Output
distribution amplifier for long haul reclocking and active signal splitting
transmission of AV and control signals maintains signal integrity, transmitting

FOX DA8 Plus over fiber optic cabling. For maximum output signals at original power levels.
flexibility, it can be configured as a single
18 distribution amplifier, or as two
14 or four 12 distribution amplifiers.

FOX SW8 amplifiers, and matrix switchers. The

Eight Input Fiber Optic Switcher switcher features very high-speed,
all-digital switching of HDMI, DVI, multi-
The Extron FOX SW8 is an eight input rate SDI, RGBHV, HD component video,
fiber optic switcher for switching and S-video, composite video, audio, and
long haul transmission of fiber optic AV control signals. Designed specifically for
and RS-232 control signals over fiber AV systems, the FOX SW8 includes a host
optic cabling. It provides eight optical of integrator-friendly features such as
inputs and one buffered optical output RS-232 control, output mute, and input FOX SW8
with active switching and reclocking loop-through for seven of the eight inputs.
for long-distance connectivity to FOX
Series fiber optic extenders, distribution Now Shipping 11

Now Shipping

MTPX Plus 6400 Series

MTP Twisted Pair Matrix Switcher for
RGBHV, Video, Audio, and RS-232

The Extron MTPX Plus 6400 Series

represents the next level of large-scale
twisted pair matrix switching, building
on the success of the MTPX Plus Series
product line. The MTPX Plus 6400 Series
simplifies the design and integration of
MTPX Plus 6464
complex twisted pair matrix switching
systems by offering advanced, integration-
friendly features that dramatically reduce to offering all of the same features port to individual or all MTP outputs,
costs associated with rack space, cabling, found in the MTPX Plus Series, the and switchable video pre-peaking on
and installation. The MTPX Plus 6400 MTPX Plus 6400 Series provides EDID all outputs.
Series is available in five different I/O Minder for local inputs and outputs,
sizes, from 4848 to 6464. In addition RS-232 insertion from the Ethernet

PS 1220

MPA 152

PS 1220
MPA 152 12V Multi-port Replacement
Stereo Power Amplifier - 15 Watts Per Channel Power Supply

The Extron MPA 152 is an ENERGY STAR power-down feature that automatically The Extron PS 1220 is a 12 Volt
qualified, integrated Mini Power Amplifier places the amplifier into standby after 25 Replacement Power Supply with three
featuring an Extron exclusive, highly minutes of inactivity, it consumes just 2-pole captive screw power ports that
efficient, advanced Class D amplifier 8 watts when idle and less than 1 watt in offers 2.0 amps across all outputs with
design. It also features patented CDRS - standby mode. The MPA 152 is housed in a no per-port current limitations. This
Class D Ripple Suppression technology compact 1U, quarter rack width enclosure. energy-efficient power supply meets the
that provides a smooth, clean audio This amplifier is UL 2043 plenum rated, Level V standard for energy efficiency,
waveform and an improvement in signal allowing for a concealed installation conserving energy and reducing costs.
fidelity over conventional Class D amplifier above a drop ceiling to prevent theft The PS 1220 snaps into the included
designs. The Extron exclusive, high while providing convenient placement of ZipClip 200 mounting bracket for secure
efficiency design allows the amplifier to AV equipment. mounting to rack rails, tables, or lecterns.
be fanless and operate in environments
with little or no ventilation. With an auto

12 Now Shipping AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Digital Switching Simplified


Eight Input Switcher with ProDSP Twisted Pair Receiver

Extron MLS 608 D

The Extron MLS 608 D switcher is an easy-to-use, eight input switcher designed to integrate digital and analog sources for a single
display. It transmits HDCP-compliant HDMI and analog video plus audio and RS-232 signals over CAT 5-type cabling to the included
MTP/HDMI U R twisted pair receiver. EDID Minder ensures that the display receives the appropriate image resolution from various
sources. To further simplify integration, the switcher provides ProDSP for digital audio processing, including mixing, ducking, feedback
suppression, and audio de-embedding. The MLS 608 D is a complete switching solution for HDCP-compliant HDMI and analog video
plus audio and control signals.

Key Features: MLC 226 IP DV+
Enhanced MediaLink
Capable of switching between multiple digital and analog inputs Extron Controller w/ IP Link
MLS 608 D SA Projector

Selected inputs, including control, are distributed over CAT 5-type Switcher



2 C 226


cables to included receiver




Optimized system performance with ProDSP audio signal


S 608




x2 Tx
TS M-2
TPU OH 232
OU 4/8 RS- ST

R 7.2W
2 T=
+ 48V

3 R E 1
/LIN 2

EDID Minder ensures that all sources power up properly and



IO 2 R
1 R
L 7 R

6 R

reliably output content for display

2 L

Digital Video +
DIG 32
+ RS-2


ANA + 7


HDMI audio de-embedding

INP +12

4 (MT

SI 26
1 3
0 Hz

HDCP-compliant switching and long distance transmission of


MTP + Audio
3.2A Rx



HDCP encrypted content

32 U P INP


Integrated stereo or mono 70 volt power amplifier and non-


amplifier models available HDMI + Audio Control

Compatible with Extron TouchLink Touchpanels and MediaLink HDMI + Audio
Control Panels Camera

Stories from the Road

Set-Up Issues
By Keith Scheffler, Systems Design Engineering Manager

E xtron System Design Engineers - SDEs - perform a wide

variety of tasks when on a job site, and a large number of
those tasks have to do with assisting and troubleshooting system
As I stood looking confidently at the well-adjusted first room, I
realized I had another 30 rooms remaining. Luckily, I had an idea
that would speed up the process.
set-up. The physical installation cabling, connectors, mounting I approached the engineer and project manager and they
brackets, and so forth is only part of the process. The second, agreed to gather their lead installers in the next classroom. I then
equally important part is the set-up, the proper adjustment of the trained those installers in the correct Extron AV set-up techniques
settings on the various system components. and procedures for that particular AV installation. As part of this
Extron recently supplied the equipment for a sizeable AV training, I showed them how to properly set up the scalers, and I
installation at a medical university. The project involved a even accessed our Extron Web site on my laptop and played the
large number of classrooms of varying sizes, configurations, online video on how to adjust MTP transmitters and receivers.
and functions. Extron IN1508 scalers were installed in most of
the classrooms; smaller rooms had a switcher instead of the
scaler. The system was set up to distribute AV content from one Instead of simply doing the troubleshooting
location to another within the building, using MTP twisted pair for the installer, I trained their staff to do
transmitters and receivers. Each room also had a local router.
The installation went well, but afterward the end users
it themselves.
complained that the scaled video signal did not look right on
the displays; the images were soft, the graphics and text unclear. The most important thing I did, though, was to turn a
The output just did not look as good as it should have, coming as troubleshooting session into a training opportunity for the
it did from high resolution projectors. installers staff so that they could become more efficient in
Upon arriving at the job site, I examined one of the classrooms working on all the remaining rooms.
and discovered that the scaler had not been properly set to the This approach eliminated my having to personally adjust each
native resolution of the projector. This is not uncommon, as and every classroom in a relatively large installation. Instead of
scalers are sometimes difficult to install and adjust. The result simply doing the troubleshooting for the installer, I trained their
in this case was that source signals were being scaled twice. The staff to do it themselves. Now they would also be able to apply
computer was converting the signals to the scalers default output that knowledge to future installations.
resolution, which was XGA. But the projector was set to 1280720, This is part of what Extron SDEs do. Sure, sometimes we go
so it also had to scale the incoming XGA signals. out and fix a problem. We prefer to use each troubleshooting
I then discovered that none of the scalers in any of the assignment as an opportunity to train installers and end users so
classrooms had been properly adjusted for output resolution. that they can correct or avoid those issues.
Neither had the installers adjusted the MTP twisted pair Its a win-win-win situation: the end user ends up with a
transmitters or receivers, but had left them with their default properly adjusted AV system; the integrator ends up with a happier
settings. I was faced with having to set up each and every scaler, customer and better trained employees; and Extron knows that
transmitter, and receiver in each room. future installs will require less Extron support and make everyone
I went back to the first room and properly adjusted the scaler look good.
to match the native aspect ratio and resolution of the projector.
This greatly improved the quality of the local video, but that
Keith Scheffler is Systems Design Engineering Manager at Extron Electronics. He leads
left the issue of the distributed video. For that, I adjusted the a team of System Design Engineers who provide system design support and technical
troubleshooting services to system integrators before and after the sale. Keith has over
MTP receiver and transmitter and ended up with a good quality
20 years of experience, including senior level engineering positions with several major AV
distributed video signal and picture. integration firms.

14 Column AV Systems Design Fall 2011

System Design Trends

By Derek Joncas, Manager of Product Marketing

A couple of years ago, I started developing a set of three-

dimensional AV icons for my touchpanels designs. I was
finding a lot of cool Windows XP and Mac OS X styled icons, but
system is complete unto itself. Dont use reference tags between
the different system types. If a touchpanel has both a control and
a video component to it, show the touchpanel on both one-lines.
was hard pressed to find a video projector icon. At first, the task Dont just show it on the control one-line with a reference tag that
was overwhelming and I struggled even to find a starting point. says, to AV-301-xx, VID-201.
Then I changed my approach and started looking for simple
shapes within each object that I was trying to develop. A light Control System Configuration
bulb, for example can be constructed from a sphere, and several This is where we tie into the concepts of goal-oriented design. Ive
cones and cylinders oriented in slightly different directions found that its best not to design control systems solely for the
along the z-axis. Put them all together and youve got a decent Edge Case Scenario. Determine the goals of the persons who
representation of a light bulb. will most regularly use the system, and design the system around
that. Next, add the most critical edge case functions. Lets look at
a sports bar. The core functionality is that the manager and the
bartenders need to route 15 satellite TV signals to 24 LCD screens
throughout the bar. They must also be able to tune each of the
15 satellite TV receivers, turn on all of the displays at the start of
business, and turn off all of the displays at the close of business.
The critical edge case is that the displays all need to shut off if the
fire alarm is triggered. Breaking this down to the systems simplest
components, were controlling a matrix switcher, tuning some
satellite receivers, and turning some displays on and off.
As designers of complex AV systems, we need to learn the skill
of breaking down our problems into their simplest components. System De-Bugging
There is an old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a Breaking down each of the elements of the control system to their
time. Its easy to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of a simplest components helps to quickly diagnose problems. Serial
project, and forget that these larger projects are composed of the communications has three parts: 1) Data goes out of a port on the
same elements as smaller and simpler projects. If we learn how processor, 2) The data goes through a cable, or 3) The data goes
to break them down and see them at the level of their simplest into a port on the device. So, if you are not able to control a serial
components, we can simplify our designs and create cleaner, more device, it must be one of three problems: 1) You didnt tell the
reliable solutions. device what to do, 2) The message never got to its destination, or
3) The device didnt understand what you told it.
Project Lifecycle Learning to look at complex systems and break them down
The Simplest Components concept carries throughout the into their simplest components is a skill like any other. It must be
lifecycle of the AV project. AV system drawings need to be laid practiced, honed, and developed. But once developed, its a tool
out and drawn to communicate their simplest components. The that is applicable not only to every AV project you encounter, but
more complex the system, the more the drawings need to be many other aspects of life as well.
simplified. This may take a little more work on the front end
of the project, but it will pay dividends throughout the entire Derek Joncas is Manager of Product Marketing at Extron Electronics for control systems
hardware and software. He has worked in the AV Industry since 1988, holding senior
projects lifecycle. On larger systems, break out audio, video, and
engineering and management positions with companies focused on AV integration, managed
control onto separate one-line diagrams, making sure that each services, broadcast, broadband data services and software development. Column 15
The Pro Perspective

What Exactly Does

the Customer Want?
By Mario Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I
CEO at Audiovisual Resources, Inc.

W eve all heard the phrase Focus on the customer so often

that we are quick to dismiss it. Of course I do! is the
knee-jerk response.
to spend too much time on a project, causing delays in delivering
a system that gives the customer features no one really asked for.
The systems become overly complex, take forever to complete in
And yet, we seem to have lost our compass. There are new the field, are confusing for the operator to control, and eventually
technologies that have impacted our industry in many ways. The need to be replaced. The customer spends far more than he
features are great and the potential to improve performance expected, and reputations are lost or at least severely tarnished.
and productivity is exciting. Yet if the new technologies arent The need for quality management has never been more urgent
integrated into our processes, the diminishing returns costs than it is today.
are devastating. New technologies require training, new If you design or install audio visual technology, make sure your
instrumentation, and changes in procedures. management is up on the latest in Human Factors Engineering
It seems endemic with every new company we work with. as it relates to AV systems. You will not only keep your customers
Technologists want to do the right thing, but all too often they raving about you, but the economics of doing things right the first
actually end up making things worse for the customer and their time has a profound impact on profits. Heres a quick guide to
company as well. The tendency is for well-meaning technologists making that happen:

16 Column AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Start With a Clear Understanding of What the
Customer is Expecting
Improved Quality Assurance
The designer must define the functions and performance before
Quality with a captial Q ...Its all about the PROCESS!
development of the design can take place. This can be, for most
applications, a plain-language system description in the form of Pre-Eval Submission Staging Commissioning

a simple collection of bullet points. Get the clients stakeholders Process Process Process Process Turnover

to sign off on this document early. Admittedly, this is often

not easy to do. If you properly educate your customer theyll
understand how important it is to obtain buy-off on the system Pass? Pass? Pass? Pass?

description from not only the usual gatekeepers, but also, and
more importantly, the users of the system, including both those
who will do the presenting and those who will be presented to via
the new audio visual system.
This simple system description is a most precious document, Invest In and Use Instrumentation
since it is probably the one the customer will most readily Nothing wastes more time than subjective opinions describing
understand. It should become the fundamental measuring stick a systems performance as loud enough, or I think there is
applied at each of the project milestones to keep the system a hum, or any number of similar general statements about
design and integration on track. the various facets of a complex AV system. For feedback to be
meaningful, you must be able to put a number on it. A set it
Understand the Difference Between Quality and forget it policy trumps hours of tweaking any day. Having
Control and Quality Assurance the proper instrumentation on hand, and knowing how to use it
The status quo calls for a walk-though at the end of the project to calibrate a system is a real game-changer. Its the difference
after the system is installed. If the system has missed its mark at between a professional and a practitioner. It cuts time on a
that point, corrective actions are costly. Quality assurance helps project considerably.
avoid quality control issues.
For example, if the system specifications required audio Learn About Quality Management
that would develop 85 dB SPL levels at the listeners ears, with The Association for Quality in Audio Visual Technology, Inc. is a
another 10 dB for headroom, but standard four-inch loudspeakers non-profit group that just published a new standard for AV quality
were installed 28 feet up in the ceiling, the system wont pass a management see AVAQ Releases New AV9000:2011 Standard on
measurement inspection. Thats Quality Control. page 9. Manufacturers and major corporate and university buyers
are already starting to use it as a reference and a requirement.
The organizations Web site is
Traditional Quality Control AV is now mainstream, an $80 billion industry. The stakes
Lower-case q have been raised. We always hear buzz of threats that other
industries will take over AV, mainly because the industry gives
Pre-Eval Submission Staging Commissioning the appearance of being populated by pirates and cowboys, as
Process Process Process Process Pass? Turnover I overheard at InfoComm recently. Too many installed systems
are custom, one-of-a-kind projects created through the isolated
efforts of specialized teams. Custom design reigns. Pre-engineered
systems, such as you would find on a LAN, are too rare. You need
well-defined documented procedures. Period.
The very best way to ensure confidence in our industry and in
Checking the system at each project milestone for conformance your company is to keep the customer happy. Really focus on the
to the specification, performance calculation, or measurements customer. After all, why would the customer replace something
can help identify problems early. Reviewing for best industry that actually works?
practices at key stages of the project, such as design review,
engineering review, staging, and then commissioning, enables you
Mario Maltese is CEO at Audiovisual Resources, Inc., a firm that specializes in commissioning
to correct errors when they are much less costly to repair. Thats
AV systems. Mario has been in the AV industry for more than 38 years and is the author of AV
Quality Assurance. 9000: Defining Quality in Engineered Audio Visual Systems. Column 17
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train features an AV system onboard each passenger car.

Making Mobile AV Systems Work

AV systems on a newly refurbished train take visitors on a guided
multimedia tour of the Northern Ontario wilderness.
By Gerard Grivois, Systems Design Engineer

he Agawa Canyon Tour Train back to Sault Ste. Marie. To help boost commentary and visuals accompanying
provides an all-day excursion that tourism in the local economy and revive the many key points of interest throughout
begins at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, popularity with the train tour, the existing the journey. The multimedia content is
Photo courtesy of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

Canada, and transports visitors on a 115 train, aging and in less than satisfactory delivered through ceiling speakers and
mile (185 km), four-hour trek that winds condition, was completely replaced by flat-panel displays in each car, from media
its way through the great Canadian Shield. new rolling stock with fully refurbished players triggered by GPS as the train
Visitors are greeted with memorable views locomotives and passenger cars. passes specific locations along the route.
of granite rock formations, forests, rivers, A major part of the train tours overhaul Wireless headsets are also available for
lakes, bridges, and trestles, before reaching was the design and installation of AV listening in foreign languages. Videoscope
their destination at Agawa Canyon Park, systems onboard each of the refurbished in Toronto designed and integrated the AV
and then later making the return voyage passenger cars to provide audio systems with a variety of Extron product

18 Case Study AV Systems Design Fall 2011

solutions. With a carefully thought-out intermittent, not frequent enough to keep systems needed to be easy to work with,
process and some ingenuity, they were visitors engaged. Also, due to the limited requiring a minimum of user intervention
able to successfully establish a reliable quality of the audio and the ambient noise and providing a user-friendly interface for
means of providing an audiovisual guide in the cabins, it was often challenging the staff. The operator also wanted some
for the train tour, given the numerous for passengers to clearly understand what flexibility in the systems to play a variety
challenges associated with implementing was being said. For the new train, the of multimedia content.
AV onboard a train. owner wanted significantly better sound
systems capable of delivering intelligible Making AV Systems Work on
Essential Owner Requirements for speech and quality program audio to a Train
the New Train the customers. The challenges in integrating AV on a
The owner and operator of the train, CN CN Rail was also looking to add an train are numerous and unique to an
Photo courtesy of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

Rail - Canadian National Rail wanted a extra dimension to the tour with images environment constantly in motion. Train
significant upgrade to what had been in that could be presented to highlight points cars offer very limited space within the
place for the tour train the past several of interest throughout the journey, as well walls and ceiling to run cable. Wall space
decades. Previously the tours featured as camera views of what the engineer sees is also at a significant premium when
narrations that were delivered by staff ahead of the locomotive. The company looking to hang flat-panel displays, and
over public address systems and paging wanted the tour to be automated so that finding a place to install AV equipment
speakers in each passenger car. The onboard staff could focus on serving and may be difficult. Distributing AV signals
narrations for the four-hour journey were assisting passengers. Additionally, the AV between cars, as was necessary in this Case Study 19

Shallow ceilings 2

3 Rugged steel structure

4 Overhead space and passenger aisles

1 Limited storage space

5 Electrical power distribution

Agawa Trains Design Challenges and Solutions

Train Feature Design Challenge Solution

1 Limited storage Finding places to store racks full of AV equipment Existing closets on each passenger car, originally
space on a train can be very difficult. Structural designed for ski equipment, could easily be adapted to
modifications are likely cost-prohibitive. roll in AV racks.

2 Shallow ceilings The low ceiling height in the cabin, together with The Extron SI 3CT LP ceiling speakers have shallow
little clearance above the ceiling grid, makes it a back cans that fit into these ceilings, and also provide
challenge for installing speakers and providing very wide conical dispersion ideal for low ceilings.
adequate sound coverage.

3 Rugged steel Quarter inch (about 5 mm) thick steel walls for the Use CAT 5-type cable to avoid the need to make large
structure interior cabins make it very difficult to drill holes for holes in the panels and reduce some of the difficulty
pulling AV cable. Very little space behind the walls in pulling through limited spaces. Compact Extron
further complicates the matter. VTR001 twisted pair receivers can be self-powered
over the cabling and tucked behind the displays.

4 Overhead space These spaces need adequate clearance for Use displays in a variety of sizes at strategic locations,
Photo courtesy of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

and passenger passenger safety, which can make it challenging to provide optimal viewing coverage without protrusion
aisles to install LCD displays throughout the cabins. into aisles or blocking passenger movement.

5 Electrical power Locomotive-generated power has to be shared Install new transformers that provide the proper
distribution among the trains communication, HVAC, and electricity requirements for AV systems and the
lighting systems. The original transformers on displays. Select energy efficient products such as the
the passenger cars provided very few leads and Extron XPA 2001 amplifiers to help save power for the
voltages exceeding 240 volts. rest of the train.

20 Case Study AV Systems Design Fall 2011

project, requires a means of providing issue with the trains electrical systems. The challenges in
heavy duty, failsafe connections The transformers on the train cars were integrating AV on a
between interior and exterior cabling. designed to distribute 500 volt electricity
The latter must be rugged and capable generated by the locomotive to the HVAC
train are numerous and
of withstanding motion and weather systems, lighting, and other electrical unique to an environment
extremes in Northern Ontario needs. Most of the transformers did constantly in motion.
temperatures can dip as low as -40C not have available leads for powering
when cars are stored outdoors during AV equipment, and the few that did
the winter. were distributing voltages too high for player supplying slideshows of photos to
Cable run lengths are also significant electronic devices, over 240 volts. A accompany the audio.
along a train. About 90 feet (27 meters) major overhaul was therefore needed to In addition to the Control car, there are
of cable has to be run between cars, change out the transformers for all of the two other types of AV systems integrated
potentially limiting the number of cars passenger cars. aboard the train. Standard cars take
that can be connected in sequence Despite the challenges associated with in AV signals transmitted over twisted
without compromising AV performance. this particular rolling stock, the train pair from the Control car, and distribute
Additionally, the importance of system did have ample space for installing AV them to their displays and sound systems.
reliability takes on a new meaning with equipment. Each car had a closet for ski Event cars are similar to Standard cars
this train and its geographical location. equipment, located near the entrance, that but also include the ability to switch
Just 30 minutes after departing, data and could easily be converted into a space for between content from the Control car and
mobile communications are lost, so that an AV system. We were very fortunate a local DVD player. Event cars can be
the integrator cannot be contacted or in that the cars each provided a
provide remote support if a problem arises. convenient area large enough so that
The trains essential radio communication we could roll in a rack, Aita says.
systems are unaffected.
Trains are not fixed environments for System Design Solution
AV systems. They are usually shortened or With the need to distribute AV signals
lengthened as passenger load factors vary. between cars, the significant distances
AV connections on a train must be durable required, and the very limited space
over time as cars are removed from and available for running cable, the
added to the train. Cars may be reordered apparent solution for Videoscope was
in different ways, so system integrators to design the AV systems on a twisted
will need to account for some flexibility pair infrastructure for distributing
in the sequence and directionality of AV signals. Each car would have its own
signal flow along the train. system for sending video and audio
The train that was brought in for to flat-panel displays and speakers in
the Agawa Canyon tour also presented its cabin.
its own challenges. Rolling stock was One of the cars would be equipped
acquired from a ski resort in Colorado. to deliver AV content over twisted
Both the locomotives and passenger cars pair to all of the other cars. This car
needed to be extensively refurbished and is known as the Control car, and
reconditioned. Built in the 1960s, the has the essential source devices
cars were rugged, almost tank-like, and necessary to run the guided tours,
constructed of stainless steel and cast including an AudioConexus audio
iron, according to Carlos Aita, CTS-D, AV player and a BrightSign digital signage
Systems Consultant for Videoscope. The
quarter-inch thick steel walls and ceiling
made it very difficult for us to drill holes
Each passenger car houses a 27U
and run cables, he says. equipment rack that fits into what
The integrator encountered a major was originally a ski closet. Case Study 21

rented out by corporate customers or tour
groups for their private use.
To simplify system design and
integration, all of the passenger cars have
similar AV rack system configurations.
Each car houses a Middle Atlantic 27U
portable rack for the equipment. An
Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP, a 32 VGA
matrix switcher with VGA and twisted
pair outputs, sends video to a small 7 inch
(18 cm) LCD situated atop the rack for
the operator to monitor the system. The Rugged armored CAT 5 cables and weatherproof, heavy duty, multi-pin connections enable transmission of
switchers twisted pair output goes to a AV signals between cars.

cascade of Extron MTP DA4 and MTP DA8

twisted pair distribution amplifiers IN1508 acts as the switcher for incoming train. Standard CAT 5 cable could be
for connection to flat-panel displays video from the Control car, or a Sony used within the cabins, but not outside
throughout the cabin, via VTR001 twisted DVD/Blu-ray Disc player in the rack. the cars due to the motion and the
pair receivers tucked behind the displays. The Blu-ray Disc players are primarily outdoor elements. The solution was to
For the Control and Event cars, an intended for DVD playback and output run armored CAT 5 cables from car to
Extron IN1508 Scaling Presentation standard definition analog component car. The conductors of the interior and
Switcher is used in front of the video to the IN1508s. The BrightSign exterior CAT 5 cables were soldered to a
MMX 32 VGA MTP to switch input sources player outputs analog component video heavy duty, multi-pin connection system
and optimize them to a common HDTV over VGA. commonly used in rail transportation
720p output resolution. In the Control systems for running power and control
car, the IN1508 is used to switch between Twisted Pair Between Cars between cars. This connection system
the BrightSign digital signage player, a Connecting AV signals from one car meets military specifications, comprising
Sony DVD/Blu-ray Disc player, and the to the next was among the significant a multi-pin plug that is mated to a
standard definition camera feed from challenges that had to be addressed to corresponding receptor with a screw-on
the locomotive. For the Event car, the make AV integration successful on this fastening that provides an airtight,

Standard Car
Car-to-Car Connectivity Flat-Panel Displays Speakers Equipment Rack
Armored CAT 5 cables Various display sizes Extron SI 3CT LP Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP Extron MTP DA4 and MTP DA8
located throughout cabin Extron MTP 1500RL 15HD A Third-party audio DSP
Extron XPA 2001 amplifier

22 Case Study AV Systems Design Fall 2011

environmentally isolated seal. The plugs
Signal Flow Between Cars
are soldered to the armored CAT 5 cables.
The receptacles are soldered to the interior
CAT 5 cables, and mounted on the exterior
Pass-through Incoming signal
of the vestibule at both sides of the car, so
Incoming signal Pass-through
that connections can easily be removed
whenever cars are to be switched out,
MTP 1500RL 15HD A MTP 1500RL 15HD A
removed, or added to the train.
Twisted pair AV signals are transmitted
AV to system AV to system
from the Control car through the outputs
of the MTP DA cascade. The Event and Previous Car Train Car Next Car

Standard cars are each equipped with an

MTP 1500RL 15HD A twisted pair receiver Each passenger car has two Extron twisted pair receivers in the rack to receive AV signals from
to receive the signals and output video either end, depending on whether the Control car is in front or behind.

and audio to their respective systems. This

particular MTP receiver was selected for
two important reasons. First, it features a
buffered twisted pair output that allows peak of the tourist season in October. Event and Standard cars, and the fact
for daisy-chaining up to eight receivers, With the eight car limit for daisy-chaining that passenger cars will frequently be
so that train cars can sequentially receive MTP 1500RL receivers, Videoscope switched around, requires AV system
AV signals from the Control car. Second, established a few guidelines for CN Rail designs that take into account the
the MTP 1500RL 15HD A provides the when configuring car layouts. The Control possibility of AV signals coming into or
performance necessary for sending HDTV car must always be centrally situated out of a car from either end. Twisted pair
720p signals over distances up to 800 feet between the other passenger cars. More AV signals can only travel in one direction
(245 meters), roughly the overall cabling importantly, says Aita, The Control car is on a CAT 5 cable. Aitas solution for the
distance that would be required over an essentially the brains of the trains entire Event and Standard cars was to have two
eight car span. AV operations. Without it, a guided AV tour MTP 1500RL receivers in each rack, and
The Agawa tour train can include as cannot be possible. two CAT 5 lines within and between cars
many as 16 passenger cars during the The Control car being situated between to allow for AV signals in both directions,

Control Car
Wireless Audio Flat-Panel Displays Speakers Equipment Rack GPS Car-to-Car Connectivity
Delivers multi-language Various display sizes Extron SI 3CT LP Extron IN1508 scaler Third-party audio DSP Geographical Armored CAT 5 cables
content selectable by user located throughout cabin Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP AudioConexus audio player AV system
through headsets Extron XPA 2001 amplifier BrightSign video media player triggering
Extron MTP DA4 and MTP DA8 Blu-ray Disc player
Third-party control system Case Study 23

Photo courtesy of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie
with each line terminated to a separate protrude into aisles. Sufficient clearance
In or Out connector at each end of the is needed so passengers dont bump into
car. Each rack has a VSW 2VGA A, a two them when getting into or out of their seats.
input VGA switcher connected to both The displays include 40 inch (102 cm),
receivers. With the switchers set to auto- 20 inch (51 cm), and 15 inch (38 cm)
switching operation, no user intervention models. The 40 inch and sometimes
is necessary other than disconnecting 20 inch displays are typically on the walls
and reconnecting external AV cables as at both ends of the cabin. The 20 inch
the train configuration changes. For the models are also on some side walls. The
Control car, two of the outputs from the small 15 inch LCDs are suspended from
MTP DA cascade are used to transmit AV the ceiling in locations to accommodate
out both ends of the car. seating locations furthest from the far
There was a need to get composite walls. As mentioned earlier, 7 inch LCD
video signals from the locomotive cameras monitors are also installed on top of the
to the Control car. Coaxial cables were run AV racks for staff, since they cannot view
from the cameras and connected from car the cabin displays from the racks.
to car via multi-pin connectors similar to Specific arrangements for the
those for the CAT 5 lines. Composite video LCDs vary depending on the seating LCD displays are strategically placed throughout the
line drivers at the outputs of the cameras arrangement in the cars, each of which cabins to ensure passenger accessibility and safety.

ensured signal integrity. had 6 to 20 displays installed. Some seats

are also repositioned for the return leg,
Displays therefore requiring screen placement was made to go with a 720p output
There are a total about 150 flat-panel LCD allowing passenger viewing regardless of resolution from the AV systems, since that
monitors installed among the 16 passenger whether the train is traveling outbound was compatible with all displays.
cars. The original AV designs called for or inbound.
almost 200 displays, but the number was The 40 inch and 20 inch monitors have Audio Systems
reduced due to limitations on where they native 19201080 panels. The 15 inch As with the video, the audio systems
could be installed for passenger safety models are 1440900 native resolution, and are similar among the passenger
reasons. For example, displays cannot the 7 inch LCDs 1366768. The decision cars to simplify AV system designs. A

Event Car
Car-to-Car Connectivity Flat-Panel Displays Speakers Equipment Rack
Armored CAT 5 cables Various display sizes Extron SI 3CT LP Extron TLP 700MV touchpanel Extron XPA 2001 amplifier
located throughout cabin Extron IPL 250 control processor Extron MTP DA4 and MTP DA8
Extron IN1508 scaler Third-party audio DSP
Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP Blu-ray Disc player
Extron MTP 1500RL 15HD A


24 Case Study AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Photo courtesy of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

third-party audio DSP is used for each drive the speakers. The MPA 401 70 volt
system to provide volume control and amplifier was initially considered for this
some audio processing. For the Control project, but due to the ambient noise in a
and Event cars, the DSP also provides train environment, estimated to be about
audio input switching. Audio outputs 75 dB SPL, the XPA 2001 was considered
from the DSP go to an Extron XPA 2001 to be a more ideal choice for providing
200 watt 70 volt power amplifier, and the enough operating headroom above this
MMX 32 VGA MTP. The final destination noise level.
from the XPA 2001 amplifier is a 70 volt Two other factors influenced Aitas
distribution of SI 3CT LP ceiling speakers decision to go with the XPA 2001 over a
throughout the cabin. Five SI 3CT LP competitive third-party model he had used
speakers are used per car. According to in other projects. We liked the energy
Aita, the speakers low profile back can efficiency of the XPA 2001 amplifier and
of just 4 inches (10 cm) made it ideal for the fact that it had the ENERGY STAR The shallow suspended ceilings required slim, low-
the shallow ceiling space on the train. rating, Aita says. The AV systems on the profile speakers. The Extron SI 3CT LP, with a 4 inch
(10 cm) back can, was ideal for this installation.
The speakers were installed into grid train all run off a single circuit, so any
ceiling tiles. opportunity to save energy is important.
For the Control car, the audio Although the locomotives supply electrical Aita to place it directly adjacent to other
into the matrix switcher is ultimately power, minimizing power usage from the equipment with no extra rack spacing.
transmitted with the video over twisted AV systems can be beneficial for the rest of The AudioConexus system includes a
pair to the rest of the train. Third-party the trains operations. wireless transmitter in the Control car to
paging microphone systems in the Aita also says that the compact size of send audio to headsets throughout the
Control AV system allow for staff PA the Extron amplifier made it ideal for this train, so that passengers can listen to the
announcements to the entire train, with installation. We had considered another tour in five different languages other than
microphone ducking from the audio DSP amplifier, but its size was much larger than English. Getting wireless audio throughout
to automatically lower the program audio the XPA 2001, so we opted for the Extron the train was not trivial and required some
when the mic is being used. amp because its compact size would really trial and error. The transmitter had to be
The XPA 2001 power amplifier provides save space in the rack. The XPA also powerful enough to get signals through
more than ample headroom to adequately had very low heat dissipation allowing the thick steel walls of the cars and reach

Standard Car
Flat-Panel Displays Speakers Equipment Rack Car-to-Car Connectivity
Various display sizes Extron SI 3CT LP Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP Extron MTP DA4 and MTP DA8 Armored CAT 5 cables
located throughout cabin Extron MTP 1500RL 15HD A Third-party audio DSP
Extron XPA 2001 amplifier Case Study 25

all the way out to the locomotives, but also We made the systems really easy to work with, and
not interfere with the GPS system. automated them for the most part. The staff wanted to
AV System Control and Automation
minimize the need to operate them.
There are four AV control systems aboard
the cars, one for the Control car and one
for each of the three Event cars. Each One of the available Extron TouchLink a video, stored on the BrightSign media
control system functions independently control templates, available as a free player, to promote tourism in Northern
and is intended for basic user operations download from the Extron Web site, was Ontario. Once the video finishes, the
including source switching, video playback, modified by Aita to provide a user-friendly system automatically switches back to the
and volume control. The AV systems interface for switching between AV content locomotive camera. Other than using the
on the Standard cars do not require from the Control car or the local Blu-ray microphones, this is the only time staff is
system control since they essentially just Disc player, and basic transport controls needed to work with the AV system.
distribute AV to the speakers and displays. for playing a DVD. The TouchLink control We made the systems really easy to
An Extron TLP 700MV TouchLink interfaces were designed to be simple, work with, and automated them for the
Touchpanel with an IPL 250 Ethernet for not just the staff but also a customer most part. The staff wanted to minimize
control processor is used on the Event cars. renting the Event car. The original system the need to operate them, Aita says. We
designs called for all train car AV systems got them to the point that the AV tour
to have TouchLink control, but they had basically runs on its own, so whatever the

Equipment List to be scaled back due to the cost of the staff has to do is simple and intuitive.
power transformer system.

Extron TLP 700MV

The third-party control system allows Staff Procedures and
TouchLink Touchpanel similar intuitive user control, but was System Reliability
Extron IPL 250 chosen for the Control car because of its The simple and intuitive operation of
Ethernet Control Processor
programming flexibility to interface with the AV systems starts first thing in the
Extron IN1508
Scaler and Switcher the GPS-triggered AudioConexus audio morning, before the tour begins. The staff
Extron MMX 32 VGA MTP narration system, the IN1508 switcher and power up each of the racks after the front
Matrix Switcher
scaler, and BrightSign media player. The and rear locomotives have powered up,
Extron MTP DA8
Eight Output Twisted Pair DA AudioConexus audio player is configured to prevent potentially damaging surges
Extron MTP DA4 to operate with its corresponding GPS that can occur when the locomotives are
Four Output Twisted Pair DA
receiver. The third-party control system starting up. After that, nothing much else
Extron MTP 1500RL 15HD A
Twisted Pair Receiver was programmed to work with the GPS needs to be done and the tour runs by
Extron VTR001 receiver to switch the IN1508, and trigger itself as the train moves along its route.
Twisted Pair Receiver
the BrightSign to play specific slideshow The racks are powered down once the
Extron VSW 2VGA A
Switcher content whenever the GPS receiver detects train reaches its destination at Agawa
Extron XPA 2001 preprogrammed geographic locations. Canyon, and then are powered back up
70 Volt Power Amplifier
The control system for the AV control after the locomotives start up again for the
Extron SI 3CT LP
Low-Profile Ceiling Speakers car is programmed so that it runs the return journey. A few button presses on
Third-party control system tour on its own without requiring staff the touchpanel to play the promo tourism
Third-party audio DSP and switcher intervention. During the outboard trip, the video, and thats it.
AudioConexus GPS receiver triggers the AudioConexus For the initial rollout of the train tour
Audio Playback System with GPS
and control system to automatically there were 16 passenger cars in total. One
BrightSign HD1010
Video Media Player deliver audiovisual narrations. Between of the Standard cars has an identical
Sony SDP-S580 these narrations, the system automatically AV rack configuration as the Control
Blu-ray Disc Player
switches over to a camera view from the car to serve as its backup. This car has
Power Conditioner locomotive, which provides a unique two MTP 1500RL 15HD A receivers, so it
birds eye perspective from the front of functions as one of the Standard cars in
the train. For the return trip to Sault Ste. the train, and therefore is equipped to send
Marie, the staff use the touchscreen to play out as well as receive AV signals. Since the

26 Case Study AV Systems Design Fall 2011











IPL 250

MAX 1 2 3 4 TX RX 3 4 3 4 Extron

IP Link Control TLP 700MV
Processor 7" TouchLink
Network Switch Touchpanel
CAT 5 From CAT 5 To CAT 5 From CAT 5 To
Previous Car Next Car Next Car Previous Car








MTP 1500RL 15HD A





MTP 1500RL 15HD A

12V L R 12V L R
1.0A MAX 1.0A MAX

MTP 1500RL 15HD A Twisted Pair Receiver Twisted Pair Receiver
MTP 1500RL 15HD A


VSW 2VGA A Front
Extron POWER

.1A MAX. 1 2

VGA Switcher INPUT 1


100-240V 50-60Hz
1 3 6
U S 1T23
1 2 3 4 5 6 A

P B RS-232

Scaling Presentation
7 8 L R

50/60Hz 2 4 5 7 8





0.5A MAX L
1 2 3 +5V

RS-232 3x2 VGA Matrix Switcher

with Twisted Pair Output

Blu-ray Player

12V 1 2 3 4

7" Monitor +
1 2 3 4 A

Twisted Pair
1 1 1 MTP DA 8
Hot Hot Hot PRE H
E Cold Cold Cold AMP C
Earth Earth Earth E OUTPUTS
3 H : Hot 12V 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
4 C : Cold
2 2 2 E : Earth
1 Hot Hot Hot H
OUT 2 Cold Cold Cold AMP C +
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 A
RS-232 MODE 3
Earth Earth Earth OUT 2

Audio Mixer Twisted Pair
Distribution Amplifier

Extron Extron Extron

VTR001 VTR001 VTR001
100-240V 1.3A, 50-60Hz

XPA 2001-70V Twisted Pair Twisted Pair Twisted Pair
REMOTE OUTPUT Receiver Receiver Receiver
10V 50 mA 70 V
80 Hz

XPA 2001-70V
Power Amplifier

Full-Range Ceiling Speakers
40" Monitor 20" Monitor 15" Monitor

The AV system for the Event car receives audio and video from the Control car, and supports local DVD playback.

train tour restarted operations in June 2011, opportunities for the train tour, such as He adds, We also chose these
six more cars have come in which will advertisements, safety announcements, products because Extron has always
further help bolster capacity for the train. and emergency messaging. been tremendous when it comes to
Aita is extremely pleased with the support, far exceeding anyone else in that
Impressions Extron equipment and its contribution regard. I have not come across any other
According to Aita, CN Rail and its staff to overall AV system robustness and manufacturer that provides the same level
are very satisfied with the trains new dependability. Many of the Extron of support as Extron.
AV systems and how they are helping products were selected for this train
to keep their customers engaged project because they have worked very well
Gerard Grivois is Systems Design Engineer for the
throughout the trip while enhancing in our other installations, and we felt that northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada at Extron Electronics.
He provides system design support and technical
their experience. Aita says the systems in they would provide the extra measure of
troubleshooting services to system integrators before and
place offer potential future digital signage reliability necessary for a train, Aita says. after the sale. Case Study 27

Enterprise AV System
Design and Integration
What you should do to ensure a successful project.
By Keith Scheffler, Systems Design Engineering Manager

28 Cover Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

ffective AV system design and integration for the
enterprise requires more than technical proficiency.
Enterprise clients tend to demand more advanced
AV solutions to facilitate key business functions
across their entire organization, such as communication, decision-
making, training, and project management. Expectations for what
the technology can accomplish can be high and new AV systems
usually make up only a portion of the clients overall project plans.
To meet the challenges of the enterprise, system designers are
increasingly being asked to play a larger role in ensuring delivery
of the right solution, a role that requires both an expanded skill
set and a new way of thinking.
Winning and keeping more clients in the corporate,
government, and education markets requires that you step back to
take a larger view. This means looking beyond your own specific
set of deliverables to see how the AV system fits within the overall
goals of the enterprise. Consider the client's overall organizational
goals in every phase of the project lifecycle, from system concept
and design, to engineering, construction, installation, and post-
installation support.

Design Locally, Think Globally

Organizations of all sizes are increasingly looking to use AV
technology to accomplish business goals, help save on travel costs,
improve communication between workgroups, and increase the
effectiveness of project teams. Accomplishing these goals often
requires developing AV environments that can be interconnected.
In both medium and large organizations, connected AV
environments can be right down the hall, but they are just as
likely to be in the next building, next town, or even another
country. Successful interconnectivity depends on choosing the
right AV signal distribution strategy for the local AV environment,
while also considering the larger expectations of the organization.

Connected AV Environments in the Enterprise

There are many ways that AV content and resources can be
shared within the enterprise. Overflow applications typically
require sending audio and video signals from a live presentation
to a nearby room, but can also involve two-way communication
for Q&A purposes. Videoconferencing is great for face-to-face
communication, but usually also includes desktop sharing. Most Cover Story 29

distance learning applications require both live streaming and other facilities that require a technology update to modernize the
recording for future playback by the student. Finally, multi-site communication delivery system.
collaboration entails elements of videoconferencing, combined Is the building new or nearly new? If so, is there network or
with local and remote sharing of project files and other resources. fiber cable already in place that could be used for AV signals? The
right signal distribution choice can allow you to both overcome
Factors That Influence Signal Distribution Decisions limitations and take advantage of opportunities.
Selecting the right distribution strategy for each application For an overview of the signal distribution options available for
requires a multi-level approach to needs assessment. Success the enterprise, see, Selecting the Right Distribution Infrastructure
depends on considering the needs of the local AV application along on page 34.
with any requirements for sharing content or resources. In addition It is best to know where you are going before embarking on the
to local distance requirements, are there remote locations that will journey. Before discussing products with the client or committing
need to interface with the system? Are there any special needs a design to paper, start by defining the purpose of each room on
related to security of the signals? Will new system components day one and whats anticipated for each room over the life of the
have to be compatible with legacy systems? For instance, you system, typically five years out.
may want to construct a state-of-the art training room or
videoconference system with the latest high resolution technology. Design for Reliability
Be sure to consider how the new system will interface with older Thinking globally and taking the long view requires a determined
products located elsewhere in the organization. Your new system focus on both quality and reliability. This might seem like
must be able to support legacy equipment in the near term, until a simplistic notion, because everyone is aware of the need
technology upgrades can be rolled out across the entire enterprise. for system quality. While in many ways reliability is a vital
Questions related to the facility itself can also influence these component of quality, it is worth noting that there is an important
decisions. How old is it? How big is it? What type of facility distinction between the two.
is it? Look beyond function to consider both intrinsic and Quality describes all of the characteristics and features of
extrinsic factors, including construction materials and methods, the system components, and their final assembly, which allow
regional environmental factors, and electrical and networking the system to function properly. It implies an adherence to
infrastructure in the local community. measurable and verifiable standards and assures that the system
Are there structural limitations that complicate wiring paths, will perform as designed after installation.
or prohibit running cables behind walls or installing conduit? Reliability, on the other hand, is the probability that the system
These kinds of challenges are common in historical buildings and will continue to perform as designed over a specified period of time.

30 Cover Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

While quality ensures that customers are likely to be thrilled with provide the same high level of support to resellers that you
their new systems on day one, a healthy focus on reliability will go provide to your own clients.
a long way toward maximizing their long-term satisfaction.
Maintaining this focus doesnt require a degree in reliability Reduce the Number of Potential Failure Points
engineering or mastery of the mathematics of reliability theory. Identifying and minimizing potential failure points early on in
There are three main aspects to designing for reliability: Selecting the design stage can pay dividends later in terms of reliability.
the right system components, reducing the number of potential Particularly in large, complex systems, it is important to minimize
failure points, and planning for maintainability and support. the number of products, such as cable adapters, wall wart power
supplies, and legacy equipment, which are prone to failure. Rather
Select the Right System Components than using multiple distribution amplifiers and switchers, consider
Designing for reliability requires a thoughtful approach a matrix switcher.
to equipment selection to ensure that only products from Look for ways to minimize the number of connection points.
manufacturers with a proven track record of reliability Every additional connection point increases the possibility of
are included in the system. Catastrophic product failure problems related to a loose or improperly terminated connector.
rarely takes down a system. In fact, most system function With digital signals, each connection causes either a reduction in
problems resulting from a powered component are related signal strength (in fiber systems) or signal integrity (with DVI and
to something small, such as a failed power supply. HDMI connectors).
Also, work only with manufacturers who have solid, reliable
support systems in place. Providing a high quality product is Plan for Ongoing Support
undoubtedly a major asset in today's business world; however, Keeping the system running and supporting users when they need
a useful piece of equipment is only part of keeping a customer help are key contributors to reliability. You can really set yourself
satisfied. The services of a manufacturer must extend far beyond apart from the competition and add value for your customer by
the initial sale. The best manufacturers provide system design planning for ongoing support. Enterprise clients have come to
support, troubleshooting services, system commissioning, and expect and appreciate the value of well-executed services on new
more. You want to be able to talk to a live human being who is systems. Services for the enterprise can include service agreements,
trained, experienced, and intelligent. Work with vendors who preventative maintenance contracts, managed services with
remote monitoring, and training. Ask yourself what services your
client will need and how providing them will benefit your business.
Develop an asset management plan for providing technical
Extron Power Supplies
Designed to Be the Best support and help desk services. Your customer will appreciate your
careful evaluation of the requirements and options available. Does
your client have the technical resources in house to handle ongoing
support to end-users? You should consider developing the resources
yourself, if you haven't already, so that you can offer support as a
part of the service contract. Would users of the new systems benefit
from training once the installation is complete? Providing these
kinds of recurring services helps to increase your client's overall
satisfaction and can do a lot to smooth out your company's cash flow.
Extron is committed to designing the best and most reliable power
supplies in the industry. Our external supplies have been tested to Comprehensive system documentation is critical. Within a
exceed 1 million hours MTBF. Extron enterprise-sized products, such large-scale enterprise or campus, individual departments may
as fiber optic matrix switchers, are designed with high-reliability, hot
largely know what they have, but keeping track of everything can
swappable, and redundant power supplies.
According to Eric Mendenhall, Extron Director of Audio and Power be overwhelming. Provide the client with an as installed list
Systems, Extron has adopted the philosophy regarding power supplies of equipment and where everything is located, and keep copies
for our products that reliability is our primary objective. To achieve this,
for yourself. Be sure your service plan includes procedures for
Mendenhall says: We start with a highly efficient topology made from
the highest quality components available and manufacture them with keeping the documentation current by tracking additions, moves,
the same process used for our high-end video products, using the same and changes to system components over time. Having this level
care and attention to detail in every step of the process.
of detail readily available will save hours when troubleshooting for more info on Extron power supplies. a system problem, or supporting the client with an operational
question or concern. Cover Story 31

Design Using a Scalable Standard The demonstration system gives users an opportunity to
Scalability is a term that is used frequently in our industry. test the control interface and give you valuable feedback on its
Usually the term refers to the capability to expand an existing usability. This allows you to sort out any unanticipated integration
system as the clients operational requirements grow. With the or control issues before deployment within the enterprise, and
continuous introduction of new technologies and the increasing also provides an opportunity for the client to experience the
demands by users for additional capabilities, it makes perfect system before it is installed. Based on the results of the demo,
sense that this kind of scalability would be a valuable quality. you may decide to switch out components, relocate controls or
Closed-end system designs are the technological equivalent to connectivity in the room, or even modify the user interface.
cast in concrete. As you design each room, you should certainly
think about your design in a way that allows for a reasonable Implement an Effective Logistics Strategy
amount of system expansion. Assume the users needs will grow Even small AV systems incorporate products from a number of
and change over time, and plan for scalability from the beginning. different manufacturers or vendors. As the system, or number of
A scalable design ensures that the clients investment in the initial systems, grows larger, the potential for logistical problems grows
system will not later prove to have been wasted. as well. If you plan early for how to handle the traffic, you can put
together an effective strategy for handling key logistical concerns,
Customizable, But Not Custom such as travel, shipping, and equipment staging.
There's also another way to think about scalability when it comes Basically, you want to know when the equipment and key
to designing for the enterprise. A large project is likely to require personnel are going to arrive on site and where youre going to
designs for multiple rooms of varying sizes. The smaller rooms, store cable and hardware during the integration phase. Keep in
naturally, would require only a few inputs, while the largest mind that you may need space for assembling racks, and testing
rooms are likely to involve many inputs and, possibly, multiple devices and subsystems. Will there be any obstacles to getting
displays. It might be tempting to develop a custom design for each equipment into the building? If you are assembling racks or large
room size. However, the smart strategy involves using a scalable screens offsite, you want to plan early for how you will get them
standard that can be customized for each type of room. into the building and, if necessary, up to higher floors.
To create a single, scalable standard that can be used for any On large multi-site, multi-city projects, you must be aware of
size room, specify key products from the same manufacturer, the local building codes and any labor union requirements that
particularly for signal distribution and system control. For might affect your installation. For example, a private project in
example, placing the same model of small touchpanel in all of the Denver, Colorado, does not typically require union participation
small rooms and larger touchpanels from the same manufacturer for onsite labor and there is no low volt AV contractor license
in larger spaces accommodates different room requirements. The required. In Chicago, Illinois, however, union laborers are
back-end configuration, control interfaces, and asset management required for onsite work. In San Francisco, AV contractors must
tools remain common across the enterprise. This approach to
system design allows for any of the systems to be tailored to meet
the particular needs of a room, but minimizes the number of
variables within the enterprise.
A scalable design makes it much easier to accommodate
unique situations that require a small deviation from the standard
template. It simplifies the design process, promotes ease-of-use,
and streamlines future system upgrades.

Build a Demonstration System

When the project involves multiple similar roomsa corporate
campus with 25 identical small conference rooms, for example
it's a good idea to build out one of the systems as a demonstration,
or proof of concept, prior to a major deployment. This can be done
on site or at a separate location, as long as it's easily accessible to
prospective end users. A scalable design approach ensures that
lessons learned for the demo can be reliably applied to the rest of
the project.

32 Cover Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

have a California C-7 Contractors License for Low Voltage Wiring.
So, if your enterprise project involves installations at the clients
offices in Denver, Chicago, and San Francisco, you will have to
meet different onsite labor requirements at each location.
A key part of your logistics plan should include a delivery
schedule for each system component. Consider how much
product your warehouse can receive at any given time, and
whether everything can be stored through the integration phase
of the project. A small receiving dock and warehouse can easily
be overwhelmed with the delivery of 100 equipment racks and
several large spools of cable.
the networking needs of the AV system, or how its going to
Communicate Regularly with All Stakeholders affect the enterprise network. As a rule, IT departments are
Good communication is vital to the success of any project, but understandably protective of their network. Any network failure
especially for large enterprise projects. You should be sure has a high cost to the companys productivity, when a sales,
to identify and communicate with all decision makers and manufacturing, or order processing system is taken down. If the
influencers early on and throughout the process. Depending clients IT department is skeptical of the network capabilities of the
on the size and scope of the project, youll want to establish AV integrator, theres a big bridge to cross in terms of credibility.
communication with the owner, architect, contractor, and anyone If you want to be successful with enterprise-scale clients, you
else who can influence design decisions. need to gain access to IT expertise. Many integrators accomplish
There will be many differing viewpoints on a wide range of this by hiring IT personnel and training them in AV. It can also
topics related to the install. Getting to know the players early be valuable to encourage and enable your current AV personnel
in the project will allow you to identify those areas in which a to expand their knowledge base with courses in networking. For
majority of the stakeholders are in agreement. It is much easier to a detailed overview of some of the big issues, see Karl Johnsons
work toward consensus on open issues when you can build on a article on page 50.
base of common viewpoints. Extron provides training and certification programs to help
Remember to document all communication with the client's you with both strategies. For IT professionals new to the AV
representatives. Even when youve established free-flowing industry, our AV Associate Certification program provides an up-
communication and a high level of trust, misunderstandings can to-date and comprehensive understanding of audio, video, and
occur. Make notes of verbal conversations. Follow up important control fundamentals along with a greater awareness of systems
conversations with an email confirmation. When questions arise technologies and improved troubleshooting skills. Our Extron
about who said what, youll be glad you took the extra time and School of Emerging Technologies is great for AV professionals who
effort to create a record. need lessons on network-enabled streaming and system control.
Establish procedures for coordinating with other trades, the The clients IT department can and should be your partner
owners representative, electricians, drywall installers, interior in the successful design and implementation of the AV network.
designers, furniture manufacturers, etc. Project coordination Work with them closely, as early in the design process as possible.
allows the other trades to maintain pace with the AV needs of You need someone on your team who can act as your advocate
the client. AV is usually among the last items to be integrated in for the AV portion of the network. Having staff or contracted
any project, so coordination and communication are necessary to resources who can fluently speak IT will go a long way toward
prevent catastrophes both large and small. breaking down the traditional barriers to AV on the network.
Following these guidelines and partnering with the right
Obtain or Hire Network Expertise manufacturer can increase the likelihood that your project will be
Increasingly, AV technologies for the enterprise require some a success. On your next enterprise system design project, contact
integration with the client network. Clients want their AV systems Extron early and often. Weve got years of experience helping
to possess the capabilities for AV asset management, system control, integrators tackle large projects.
IP digital signage, videoconferencing, IPTV, video-on-demand, HD
Keith Scheffler is Systems Design Engineering Manager at Extron Electronics. He leads
capture and playback, and more. Even so, the AV network is typically a team of System Design Engineers who provide system design support and technical
troubleshooting services to system integrators before and after the sale. Keith has over
just a small part of the overall enterprise network infrastructure.
20 years of experience, including senior level engineering positions with several major AV
Not everyone, if anyone, on the clients IT staff will understand integration firms. Cover Story 33

Selecting the Right Signal
Distribution Infrastructure
Options for the Enterprise
Selecting the right distribution strategy for an enterprise project
requires careful consideration of both the needs of the local
AV environment and the overall goals of the organization,
particularly in relation to plans for sharing AV content and
resources. Todays AV systems invariably include both analog
and digital technologies. Unless the application or your UTP offers several benefits over conventional cables. High
customer specifically calls for an all digital system, youre resolution video can be combined with audio, RS-232, Ethernet,
bound to have some analog sources. This requires a hybrid and power for distribution over a single UTP cable. Twisted pair
approach to making connections in the room. Lets consider is inexpensive, relatively easy to terminate, and more lightweight
the options available in four major categories: Conventional and flexible than conventional cables, making it installation-
AV cable, AV over twisted pair cable, fiber optic cable, and friendly, especially in applications where cable must to be pulled
network streaming. through conduit or installed in limited space areas.

Conventional Cables Fiber Optic Cable

Digital video technologies, such as DVI and HDMI, were Fiber optics is a powerful tool for distributing signals extreme
originally developed to carry signals just a few feet at most, distancesin the thousands of feetwithin the same building
usually from a computer graphic card to a monitor. HDMI is an or across town. Thanks to the unique characteristics of fiber
uncompressed format, so the amount of data running through optic cable, it is possible to transmit high resolution video,
the cable is directly related to the image resolution and color audio, and control signals without any image degradation,
depth. Standard HD resolutions of 720p and 1080i have a ground loop hum, or electrical interference. Fiber is the ideal
significantly higher bit rate than standard definition 480p, but choice for distributing signals between floors of a tall office
only about half that of 1080p. building and between buildings on a large corporate or
The use of high quality, high performance cables can college campus.
provide for reliable signal transmission up to about For future-proofing the systems you are
75 feet. On longer cable runs, choosing the designing, fiber optics is the right choice. A
best quality cables and using an active single glass fiber can be used to carry high
signal equalizer, such as the Extron resolution RGBHV, stereo audio, and control
HDMI 101, can ensure a strong, stable signals long distances with plenty of bandwidth
digital signal up to 200 feet. to spare. Typically, todays cable includes multiple
fibers, meaning they will easily handle tomorrows
Twisted Pair Cable higher resolutions. As technology progresses and
It has become commonplace to use CAT 5-type systems are upgraded, the hardware at the endpoints
unshielded twisted pair cable, or UTP, originally may change, but installing multi-fiber cable now will
designed for data transmission, in AV applications. ensure a robust path for future expansion.
The newest digital twisted pair systems are capable of How far can you send signals? There are two
sending high resolution video signals up to 330 feet (100 m). kinds of fiber optic cable used in AV systems:
For instance, the new Extron XTP CrossPoint switching singlemode and multimode. Multimode fiber has
and distribution system enables designers to create a a larger diameter glass core than singlemode.
completely integrated solution for digital and analog formats. This larger core enables multimode fiber
XTP CrossPoint matrix switchers support local connectivity as to carry multiple modes of light. The
well as extended transmission capability. characteristics of multimode fiber limit

34 Cover Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

The Extron Fiber Design Guide offers an overview of the
technology combined with a practical how-to approach for
designing fiber optic AV systems, including tutorials on fiber
optic technology and cabling used in commercial AV systems.

Network Streaming
These days, no discussion of AV in the enterprise would be
complete without an overview of streaming applications. While
technologies for AV streaming have been available for more
than a decade, theyve only recently made it into the pro AV
market. Recent advances in technology, combined with the
drive to reduce costs, have put telepresence and streaming
the distance signals can travel, so singlemode cable carries media projects at the center of enterprise business strategy.
signals farther than multimode. The formula for calculating For many organizations, implementing AV streaming applications
the maximum distance of a given fiber consists mainly of over an IP network represents incredible opportunities to
three factors: the frequency of the light, the bandwidth of extend the reach of real-time communication beyond a room
the fiber, and the number of splices and connectors used or building to a global enterprise.
over the entire distance. Generally, multimode fiber can carry Streaming is employed for distance learning, entertainment,
a DVI video signal at 19201200 resolution over 3,200 feet, webcasting, videoconferencing, telepresence, collaboration,
while the same signal can travel 18 miles or more on broadcast, surveillance, simulation, command and control, and
singlemode fiber. many other applications. With current technology, audio, video,
For future-proofing the systems you are designing, fiber and data streams can be delivered live or recorded and stored
optics is the right choice. A single glass fiber can be used to for on-demand playback at the users convenience.
carry high resolution RGBHV, stereo audio, and control signals There are so many factors to consider when designing
long distances with plenty of bandwidth to spare. Typically, systems for streaming that it can seem overwhelming. The
todays cable includes multiple fibers, meaning they will easily choice of streaming format, standards-based versus proprietary,
handle tomorrows higher resolutions. As technology progresses and the selection of appropriate encoders and decoders are
and systems are upgraded, the hardware at the endpoints may primary considerations. To learn more about the technologies,
change, but installing multi-fiber cable now will ensure a robust challenges, and potential applications of AV over IP streaming,
path for future expansion. get a copy of the Extron AV Streaming Design Guide.

High Performance
DVI Cable
75 ft
How Far Can You Transmit
High Performance DVI
200 ft
19201200 DVI Video?
Cable with Equalizer

Twisted Pair 330 ft

Multimode Fiber 3,200 ft

Singlemode Fiber 18.75 miles

IP Network No Limit! Cover Story 35

Extron Support Services to Help You Meet the Challenge

Todays enterprise clients demand a lot from AV technology. In response to these demands, Extron has invested a great deal of
financial and human capital to develop support services and training to help resellers succeed. Driven by our corporate philosophy
of Service, Support, and Solutions - S3 - Extron has developed a comprehensive suite of customer support services to help you
plan, complete, and support projects of any size.

Project Registration
The Extron Project Registration Program provides special benefits to
participants such as Special Pricing Consideration and System Design
Assistance. This program also provides Value Engineering, assistance
wherein our design engineers review your designs for cost-effective
solutions, and Product Availability information giving you current Extron Design Assistance
information to help ensure project deadlines are met on time. A useful service for any system from the simple to the complex,
Extron Design Assistance gives you access to our talented team of
experienced and knowledgeable AV Systems Design Engineers who will
review product selection and look at various design alternatives to find
cost-effective solutions.
Match It or Lose It
Enlist Extrons help when faced with complex projects and tight budgets
with the Match It or Lose It program. Extron design engineers will
review your current bid to find cost-effective solutions which may include
incorporating new products, looking at various design alternatives, and
even adjusting product pricing. Investigating all your options through
the Match It or Lose It program ensures that your customers get
the opportunity to find the best, most cost-effective solution for their
AV project.

Extron Product Commissioning

Extron Product Commissioning is a proactive program designed to
ensure optimum performance in AV presentation systems using robust
Extron products such as Quantum Connect, Quantum Elite, WindoWall,
VN-Matrix, and Fiber Matrix. This service includes pre-installation design
review with Extron Engineers who will assist you throughout the design
process. An Extron Engineer will visit your project on-site to optimize
Constant advancements in technology and an ever-changing business
and calibrate systems and help ensure delivery of the best performance
environment make it essential to keep pace to remain competitive.
possible. The Extron Engineer will also provide on-site training for you
Education and Certification help achieve this goal, and provide an
and your customers helping to ensure full satisfaction and confidence
objective measure of performance. Certification demonstrates commitment
with system operation.
to ongoing education and continued improvement. It shows customers,
peers, and colleagues you possess industry knowledge that is purposeful
and actionable. Extron currently provides various certifications including
AV Associate AVA, Extron Control Associate ECA, and Extron
Control Specialist ECS.

36 Cover Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Advanced Configuration for AV Control Systems

Extron Global Configurator Professional

GC Pro is designed to combine the flexibility of TouchLink with the power of advanced configuration. As AV systems scale in size
and complexity, AV control systems must be designed to efficiently handle these new demands and also be easy to use. GC Pro is
Extrons next generation configuration software for larger, more sophisticated TouchLink-based control systems. It offers an integrated
environment for defining advanced AV control system functionality from an easy-to-use graphical user interface. Powerful features, such
as controller groups and conditional logic with local variables, provide greater flexibility for more elaborate control system designs. GC Pro
is ideal for any TouchLink-based control system requiring enhanced functionality and advanced configuration.

Key Features:
Supports larger, more sophisticated TouchLink-based control systems
Conditional logic with use of local variables Allows button operations to be
contingent on a variety of separate conditions
Controller groups Enables multiple control processors to function together as one for
more complex systems
Virtual TouchLink support TouchLink for iPad and TouchLink for Web provide
additional points of control for rooms equipped with TouchLink Touchpanels
Controller macros Allow several commands to be connected for fast and easy
implementation of control system configurations
Controller templates Import and export an entire configuration project for creation of
a new configuration project or to merge into an existing file
TouchLink for iPad
Enhanced user interface Helps streamline configuration iPad Control App for TouchLink Touchpanels
configured with GC Pro
Enhanced button grouping Ability to create up to 20 different button groups
New Displays Open
AV Frontiers
The latest generation of high resolution displays, combined with enhanced video
processing capabilities translate to new and exciting integration opportunities.
By Jim Scrivner, Manager of Product Marketing

he AV industry is seeing a dramatic increase in the simulation, briefing centers, visualization, and scientific research.
availability of displays with higher resolutions and a Examples include the use of two projectors or flat panels instead
greater variety of shapes and sizes. Whereas 16:9 and of one in boardrooms, mini 22 or 31 videowalls with flat-panel
16:10 were becoming the norm for AV presentations, displays, and 4K projectors in various environments for presenting
displays have been introduced with ultra-wide 2.3:1, and even multiple, highly detailed graphics sources at full resolution.
3.5:1 aspect ratios for specialized digital signage flat panels.
Resolutions are pushing beyond 1080p and WUXGA to 25601600, Todays Video Processors Deliver Advanced
with the wider availability of 4K on the horizon. In addition, Capabilities for Enhanced Display Solutions
projectors have become brighter, more compact, and more Video processors have evolved significantly over the years with
affordable, while flat panels are now slimmer than ever with very higher performance image processing and the capability to drive
thin bezels, and sizes as large as 80 inches (203 cm). And, there is an array of multiple displays, or to fill the native imaging panel
the new generation of compact video cube-type modules such as of an ultra-high resolution display. The ability to deliver very
Christie MicroTiles. Combining these displays with the capabilities high quality video upscaling and downscaling is particularly
of todays video processors is allowing for new opportunities to important when presenting multiple sources simultaneously.
design creative display systems with detailed, high resolution Preserving image details is essential whenever images have to
content that can be large, small, panoramic, tall, or just about any be downsized into windows in a PIP display. This is especially
shape or size desired. the case for mission-critical applications in which the data and
Until recently, multiple-display systems with multi-window PIP, imagery in graphs, charts, and maps must be discernible, even
themed backgrounds, and other advanced presentation features though the image size may be much smaller than the contents
would have been more suitable for large-scale environments, such original resolution.
as a network operations center or command and control room, Another essential feature of todays video processors is the
where the cost could be justified for specialized videowall systems capability to create flexible PIP window layouts and save them as
with dedicated image processors and video cubes or projector presets. Such flexibility allows for placing windows anywhere on
arrays. Today, standalone video processors give you much more the screen, overlapping them, zooming and panning within the
than just switching and scaling. Features can range from picture- windows, assigning color borders and labels, and adding a static
in-picture and seamless switching, up to the capability to deliver or moving image as a background. Presets can be used with a
themed presentations with numerous source windows presented control system to enable simple user operation for recalling PIP
across multiple displays. window layouts from a touchscreen, and for switching between
With the variety of shapes and resolutions available in todays input sources. To provide a professional look and feel to the image
displays, together with advanced video processing, integrators can presentation, video processors can deliver smooth, quick source
now offer new, exciting integration possibilities to their customers switching between sources, as well as transition effects when
in a wide range of applications and environments such as training, changing from one window preset to another.

38 Feature Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011 39
To ensure smooth, quality presentation of multiple image
sources, video processors are equipped with the bus bandwidth
and processing resources to handle a large number of input
sources simultaneously, while maintaining real-time performance
with full frame rates. Some processors are also scalable to support
very large display arrays, and also increase input source capacity
by interfacing with remote devices via IP streaming.
In addition to optimization for multiple or large display
systems, todays video processors include features that help
integrators resolve the challenges frequently encountered today,
such as troubleshooting issues related to HDMI and HDCP, and
combining digital and analog source devices in the same system.
For more information on the convenience features that make
video processors essential for successful AV integration, see the video, and visualizing two or more high resolution graphics
sidebar on page 42, Think You No Longer Need A Scaler? Try sources. While standard PIP allows for viewing two images on a
Living Without One. screen, corporate customers may want to be able to view them as
large as possible, at or near their original resolution.
Presentation Environments with Enhanced A possible solution is to provide two widescreen projectors
Display Solutions or large flat panels side-by-side that span the width of the wall.
Many different environments where a single projector would Displays with 16:10 aspect ratio may be preferable over 16:9, since
normally be used can now benefit from more enhanced the screens will be taller, and more likely to fit within the wall.
integration solutions combining advanced video processing with Each display could be used to show a full-screen image, fed by a
two or more displays, or ultra-high resolution projectors or flat matrix switcher and two scalers such as the Extron DVS 304 DVI
panels for simultaneous presentation of multiple graphics or high or DVS 605, or from an Extron ISM 824 MultiSwitcher equipped
definition video sources. The following are some examples of with two independent scaled outputs. In an all-digital AV system,
such environments. a single DVI or HDMI matrix switcher may suffice when 1080p or
720p is the only resolution from the sources. More sophisticated
1. Executive Briefing Center or High-End Corporate Boardroom presentation needs can be fulfilled with an Extron WindoWall
Corporate customers have several applications where it would be System providing up to eight PIP windows.
desirable to display more than one image. Typical applications
include videoconferencing, telepresence, enhanced corporate 2. Small Network Operations Center
briefings combining slide shows with full-motion graphics or Display arrays for videowalls previously have been primarily video
cube-based systems targeted for large command and control
rooms or network operations centers. With the wider availability
of videowall processors, and displays at more accessible price
points, multi-display systems can now be a part of many other
environments, including a small network operations center,

Setting up Scalers

Scalers employ high performance video processing to deliver a single,

high quality video output to the display device. To ensure proper
system performance and the best possible image, the display and
scaler need to be properly set up and calibrated to work together.
For additional resources on setting up scalers for best system
performance, see the article, Optimizing Scaler Setup on page 64, or
download the Extron white paper, Scalers: Setup and Optimization at

40 Feature Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

university student center, or lobby in a corporation or hotel. A Extron Quantum Elite and Quantum Connect videowall
mini videowall solution, with a 22, 31, or 32 layout of flat processors are ideal for driving 4K displays. For more information,
panels, could be ideal for these environments. Many of the flat see the sidebar on page 44, Integration Opportunities with
panels on the market today have very thin bezels, making them 4K Displays.
ideal for use in arrays. An Extron Quantum Connect videowall
processor provides the flexibility to integrate many different input Let Your Imagination Run Free
sources and create a variety of window layouts to display them. A wide range of new display devices are now available, with
Such mini videowalls may more likely be used with basic higher resolutions and many different shapes and sizes, and
videowall processing to deliver visual impact by magnifying, at more accessible price points than ever. System designers
distributing, or duplicating images across the array. The Extron and integrators have an unprecedented opportunity to let their
QSS 404 is an example of a video processor for magnifying images imaginations run free, by combining them with todays video
on a videowall. In many environments, 720p or WUXGA displays processors to offer new display solutions to more customers in
can deliver more than sufficient resolution since images are more application environments. Advancements, including thinner
usually viewed from a distance. bezels, slimmer profiles, more compact enclosures, and greater
light output, are only adding to the possibilities.
3. Auditorium or Command and Control Room
High resolution 4K2K projectors are ideal for cinemas because of
Jim Scrivner is Manager of Product Marketing at Extron Electronics for signal processing and
the resolution and clarity necessary for projection on screens that twisted pair transmission, and has been with the company for 18 years.

can be 50 feet (15 meters) wide and greater. They are also installed
in post-production houses, entertainment venues, and many
other environments. As 4K projectors and flat panels continue 21:9 - The Newest Frontier for Displays
to reach lower price points, they will also be very beneficial for
professional AV applications in corporate auditoriums, command Widescreen displays with 21:9 aspect ratio and 25601080 native
and control centers, and visualization facilities for simultaneously resolutions are making their appearance in the residential installation
market. Their appeal for home theater enthusiasts is the ability to
presenting multiple sources of HD images or high resolution present movie content at their original 2:40 or comparable aspect
graphics, and delivering large, dynamic visual presentations. ratio, while completely filling up the screen. These 21:9 flat panels and
Displays with 4K resolution can deliver a large, totally seamless projectors also offer significant potential for professional AV applications,
including an HD image side-by-side with an additional source, ultra-wide
videowall where multiple windows can be shown with much panoramic displays, digital signage, and more. For additional information,
greater clarity and detail than a 2K or 1080p display, without see the Industry News on page 9.
mullions or the need to mechanically align an array of projectors. Feature Story 41

Think You No Longer Need A
Scaler? Try Living Without One.

Any display sold today has some form of integrated video Extron video processors accept a very wide range of
processing to ensure that an incoming signal is optimized to computer resolutions as well as HDTV and standard definition.
the resolution of the projector or flat-panel display. While this They also include many selectable output resolutions to match
may be seen as replacing the traditional role of an external current and legacy display devices. An additional advantage of
scaler, outboard video processors do much more than convert a scaler is that it can be upgraded through its firmware when
the resolution of incoming signals. new input or output resolutions are available.
System designers and integrators face challenges in Video processors from Extron also include EDID management
successfully matching a wide range of source signal formats features so that the processor serves as an intermediary
and resolutions to displays of various native resolutions, input between the display and sources to ensure reliable, consistent
signal compatibility, and aspect ratios. Video processors EDID communication between them. EDID Minder captures
include several features that can add considerable flexibility and the EDID from the display and communicates it directly to the
address these and other challenges, significantly streamlining source, while EDID Emulation provides internally stored EDID, at
the process of getting a display system up and running, and selectable resolutions and refresh rates, to the source device.
simplifying system operation for end users.
Aspect ratios. Flat-panel displays and projectors are available
Managing a diversity of AV sources. There are many different in various aspect ratios. Some incoming source signals may
types of digital and analog source devices that an end user not match the aspect ratio of the display, possibly requiring
may want to use in the system, from laptops and desktop user adjustments. Many Extron video processors simplify
PCs to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. aspect ratio management with a convenient aspect ratio control
Legacy VCRs and DVD players, as well as broadcast video feature. A FILL mode or a FOLLOW mode can be selected
equipment, may also be in the mix. All this requires the ability to provide a full screen output or preserve the original aspect
to accommodate up to ten different signal formats HDMI, ratio, respectively. This feature automatically detects the aspect
DVI, DisplayPort, SDI, composite video, S-video, component ratio of the incoming signal, providing an optimal image without
video, and the three RGB formats. A video processor can any user intervention.
include inputs for any or all of these. Most displays don't
accept SDI signals, and some of them, especially televisions, 4:3 Signal Input to 16:9 Signal Input to
a 16:9 Display a 4:3 Display
may not even be equipped with an analog VGA input to
accept RGBHV.

Compatibility between sources and displays. Source FILL MODE FOLLOW MODE FILL MODE FOLLOW MODE

devices in a system may output various signal resolutions.

Extron aspect ratio control lets integrators manage presentation of source
Some displays, particularly consumer televisions, may only be
signals when they do not match the displays aspect ratio.
compatible with a limited range of computer source resolutions.
For instance, a 32 inch (81 cm) flat-panel display designed
for 720p and 1080p resolutions may not readily receive a Professional quality source switching. End users generally
1280800 laptop signal. In other instances where the display expect that any AV system will deliver quick source switching.
and source device should be mutually compatible, improper A displays internal switching may exhibit noticeable latency. An
EDID communication between them may result in an improperly outboard switcher may speed up operation, but some latency
displayed image, or no image at all. EDID communication may still be present if the display acquires a newly switched
frequently fails for a variety of reasons, and is a common signal resolution, color space, or format. A scaler or video
cause of display problems in AV systems. processor with multiple inputs can deliver much faster switching

42 Feature Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

performance by optimizing them to a common, consistent is intact and the system is operating properly, but the protected
output to the display. content cannot be displayed on that particular device.
The EDID management features built into Extron
video processors help speed up signal switching. EDID
communication is continuously maintained between the video
processor and all connected input sources, eliminating the
potential latency resulting from disrupting and re-establishing
EDID communication following a switch.
Select Extron video processors also incorporate seamless
transition effects to give the switching a professional look and
feel. Another convenient feature is auto-switching so that the The display on the left is HDCP compliant. The display on the right is
not HDCP compliant, so it receives a full-screen green signal from the
scaler automatically goes to the input with an active signal
connected output of an Extron scaler with HDCP Visual Confirmation.
present. Many Extron scalers also feature universal VGA inputs
that automatically detect any incoming analog format. This
can be convenient in systems with many input sources while Switching out guest laptops. Participants bring their laptops
simplifying the requirements for switching. into many presentation environments. A display may or may
not be compatible with the resolution coming out of a newly
Handling HDMI or DVI with HDCP. Switching between connected laptop. Even if the display accepts the incoming
HDMI or DVI sources with HDCP encryption can result signal, the image may appear distorted due to mismatches in
in significant switching lag. Switching to an HDCP signal resolution, aspect ratio, or simply the fact that the display isnt
usually requires negotiating a new HDCP authentication and properly timed to the video signal. All Extron video processors
encryption link, a process that can take several seconds, feature Auto-Image which allows for quick setup of a guest
especially when using the display to select sources. The latest laptop with a touch a button. Auto-Image detects the resolution
Extron scalers feature SpeedSwitch Technology that makes of the video signal coming out of the laptop and automatically
switching between HDCP-encrypted HDMI or DVI sources sets the parameters to ensure proper image display.
very fast and always reliable, comparable to switching As an added convenience, many Extron scalers feature Auto
between analog sources. Input Memory that will automatically save image settings based
SpeedSwitch Technology encompasses two key Extron on the incoming resolution, and then automatically recall them
signal management features, EDID Minder and Key Minder. whenever the same resolution is detected again.
Key Minder allows the scaler to continuously negotiate and
cache HDCP keys from input and output devices, eliminating Integrating video and audio sources. Some scalers have
the need to renegotiate each time a switch is made. audio inputs paired to the video sources, together with audio
Electronically, Extron scalers with SpeedSwitch Technology level adjustments, making them ideal as the centerpiece for
execute a switch that is virtually instantaneous. integration in small to medium AV systems. However, video
processing typically introduces some latency that causes the
video to lag slightly behind the audio, resulting in lip sync
issues. Many Extron video processors include a lip sync delay
Another challenge with integrating HDMI and DVI is that feature to compensate. The latest Extron scalers automatically
problems related to the signal path or HDCP content protection adjust the amount of lip sync delay according to the incoming
can be difficult to troubleshoot. To help quickly check for signal and the extent of processing needed.
HDCP compliance in a system, the latest Extron scalers feature Extron scalers with HDMI switching and audio include
active HDCP Status Reporting for all connected sources and additional features for handling HDMI audio. Embedded HDMI
displays. Together with HDCP Status Reporting, HDCP Visual audio from an input source can be extracted and output to a
Confirmation technology automatically detects whether a display sound system. An analog audio input signal can be embedded
is HDCP compliant. When an encrypted source input is sent to onto the scalers HDMI output.
a non-HDCP compliant display, the scaler outputs a full-screen
green signal, providing visual confirmation that the signal path See Whats Inside the New Extron DVS 605 scaler on page 46. Feature Story 43

outputs can feed the four discrete inputs
on the 4K display, allowing any of the
processors inputs to be seen at any
location and at any size on the display.
Using a videowall processor will also
maintain a constant output signal to
the display, eliminating the requirement
for the display to resync each time a
different source is presented.
However, 4K displays can pose
challenges to videowall processors.
The displayed image must maintain a
continuous appearance across the four
sections of the display, so the edge of
each output must be free of any artifacts
Integration Opportunities or noise at their top, bottom, and sides. The outputs must

with 4K Displays align perfectly and maintain synchronization with each other;
otherwise sources spread across the displays quadrants will
reveal the hidden seams between them.
Displays with 4K, or roughly 4K2K resolution provide Extron Quantum Elite and Quantum Connect videowall
a solution for applications requiring a greater number of processors have been optimized for use with 4K displays,
pixels on large screens. In 2005, the first 4K projection providing seamless edge matching and synchronization of
displays were introduced and began to be integrated into their outputs, as well as providing the ability to display large
digital cinema, simulation, defense, medical, entertainment, numbers of input sources anywhere on the display. Up to
and other environments. Since then, more manufacturers 72 different sources can be displayed when using Quantum
have introduced 4K projectors and direct-view flat panels. Connect, and up to 156 different sources can be displayed
Accepting from one to four input signals, these unique with border and titling options when using Quantum Elite. Both
displays are able to provide a seamless image across a total processors incorporate Extron patented scaling technology, so
panel resolution of 40962160. sources maintain the highest image quality, whether scaled up
Often, the compelling reason to use a 4K display has been to fill the entire screen, or scaled down to fill only a very small
to display an image from a single 4K resolution source. This area. Flexible control software and a remote control protocol
could be an application operating on a multi-head image also allow for easy system programming and integration into a
generator or PC, or a playback device supplying four high touchpanel control system.
resolution video outputs with synchronized content. Signals Quantum processors have been used in conjunction with
at resolutions such as 19201200, 19201080, or below 4K displays in lobbies, corporate auditoriums, and educational
can be input to a 4K display using a single cable, but these facilities, where their ability to display large numbers of
resolutions will be scaled across the entire 40962160 pixel sources to produce a high resolution, continuous image has
array. In these instances, the standard resolutions fill out the provided greater capabilities for presenting them with greater
entire display, but the value of the 4K resolution is not fully clarity and impact.
exploited. A solution providing the ability to present a variety 4K displays can deliver a dramatic visual impact and
of inputs across the 4K display can provide a system with far greater capabilities to many applications; but the impact relies
greater flexibility for many applications. on the on the sources you use. With almost 9 million pixels
A videowall processor can be used to combine 4K material to fill, you need to choose those sources wisely. A single 4K
along with more common resolution signals, providing far image source will solve a single application, but to present
greater display capabilities. A videowall processor allows a variety of images of different types on the display, and to
you to display large numbers of inputs, in various formats keep those images looking their best, consider an Extron
and signal types, across multiple outputs. Four processor Quantum Elite or Quantum Connect videowall processor.

44 Feature Story AV Systems Design Fall 2011

HDCP-Compliant Videowall Processing Systems
The Extron Quantum Series are videowall processing systems that deliver high performance and reliable multi-image presentations
in demanding, mission-critical environments. They feature high performance, dedicated graphics and video processing, plus
a high-speed video bus that maintains real-time performance under heavy source loads. Quantum Series processors can
simultaneously display hundreds of windows of high quality graphics and video, making them ideal for medium to large videowall
systems in environments including public spaces, corporate buildings, surveillance, visualization, and command and control.

Quantum Series
Key Features:
Card frame videowall processing system
Flexibility to support a variety of input and output configurations
High speed bus supports real-time video/graphic performance
Dual HDMI and DVI/RGB output cards support resolutions up to
1920x1200 and HDTV 1080p/60
Quantum Elite
Up to 128 video/graphic windows per dual output card
Scalable, Expandable Videowall Processing System
Input cards available for HDMI, DVI, RGB or HD component video,
and standard definition video
High quality image upscaling and downscaling
Supports digital and analog input signals up to 1920x1200 and
HDTV 1080p/60
Easy-to-use configuration and control software

Quantum Connect
Videowall Processing System
Whats Inside
The DVS 605
Take a peek under the hood to see what makes the DVS 605 unique.

Powerful Input Video Processing

End users can effortlessly connect and switch between
video sources with no setup necessary. Extron SpeedSwitch
Technology ensures fast, reliable switching between HDMI
Built to Team with Extron
sources with HDCP, while Auto-Image automatically sets up Matrix Switchers
a newly connected VGA source with a touch of a button.
The DVS 605 easily integrates with Extron matrix switchers
through dual universal analog inputs that automatically detect
incoming high resolution and standard definition formats, and
can be programmed through Ethernet to recall picture presets
assigned to individual inputs on a matrix switcher.

Dual Scaling Engines

Enhance Presentations +
Proprietary dual scaling engines enable seamless
transition effects for smooth, professional quality
source switching, as well as flexible two window

Scaler A

Scaler B

DVS 605 AD Rear Panel

46 Whats Inside AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Whats Inside

The DVS 605 HDCP-Compliant Scaler with Seamless Switching incorporates the latest generation of Extron
signal processing technologies to deliver high quality image presentations, and the tools essential for
successful integration in todays AV environments with digital and analog video.

Extensive HDMI Audio Processing

A host of convenient tools are available for integrating HDMI audio into AV systems.
Incoming embedded HDMI audio can be de-embedded and output as analog audio or
S/PDIF. Analog input audio can be embedded onto the HDMI output. Audio breakaway
switching is available for embedded HDMI audio signals as well as analog audio.
Automatic Lip Sync Compensation
Automatically applies the right amount of audio delay to HDMI DAC
HDMI Variable
compensate for video processing latency, ensuring proper lip HDMI
sync. No setup necessary. S/PDIF
Digital Audio
Multiplex Processing HDMI
Stereo HDMI
Stereo Embed
1 2 3 1 2 3 Analog
Video Stereo ADC
Multiplex SDI
Stereo SDI
Stereo Embed

Audio 1 2 3 1 2 3 Whats Inside 47

New Products

7" Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel

The Extron TLP 710CV is a configurable 7" Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel with a contemporary thin bezel design
that combines AV system control with the convenience of an Extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a flip-up,
full-color, high-resolution touchscreen in an elegant, metal enclosure that can be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern,
or other flat surface. An integrated MTP twisted pair receiver accepts S-video or composite video and audio input
signals over CAT 5-type cable. Power over Ethernet - PoE allows the touchpanel to receive power and control over an
additional CAT 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local power supply. The touchpanel enables integrators to deploy
furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity
and power. for more information.

48 Extron New Products AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Extron New Products

SME 100 SD

SME 100 SD
H.264 SD Streaming Media Encoder

The Extron SME 100 SD is not like any live streaming encoder on the market today. It is designed specifically to support a wide
variety of video formats required in pro AV applications, and features integrated switching with loop-throughs for easy integration into
pro AV systems. The SME 100 SD interfaces with DVI, RGB, HDTV, and standard definition sources plus audio at resolutions up to
19201200 including HDTV 1080p/60, and streams at selectable resolutions from 166120 to 720576. The SME 100 SD applies the
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression standard offering a high degree of compatibility with commonly used software viewers or other
compatible decoding devices. High performance Extron signal processing scales and optimizes video input signals for the intended
viewing application. The SME 100 is the pro AV integrators ideal choice for delivering AV media over networks.

USB Extender D
Twisted Pair Extender for USB Peripherals
Decora Wallplate

The Extron USB Extender D enables USB peripheral devices to be

remotely located up to 450 feet (135 meters) from the host computer.
It consists of a transmitter and receiver set that is linked using a
single, CAT 5/5e/6 or CAT 7 cable, each housed in a one-gang
Decora-style wallplate. The receiver features a built-in, active four
port hub that supplies 5 Volts, 500 mA to each port to power
attached devices. This allows power-hungry peripherals such as
smart phones, webcams, personal media players, and mass storage
devices to be connected and powered or charged at the same time.
It is ideal for use in applications utilizing the Extron Annotator and
remote touchscreen displays, as well as applications that require the
remote location of USB peripherals such as interactive whiteboards, USB Extender D Rx
USB Extender D Tx
keyboards, mice, and other human interface devices. Transmitter Extron New Products 49

Extron New Products

DVID SL Ultra HDMI Ultra

DVID SL Ultra Series HDMI Ultra Series

Ultra Flexible Single Link DVI-D Cables Ultra Flexible High Speed HDMI Cables

The Extron DVID SL Ultra Series cables are designed to transmit The Extron HDMI Ultra Series cables are designed to transmit
high resolution single link DVI-D signals. The DVID SL Ultra high-speed digital video and audio signals. The HDMI Ultra
Series is engineered with Extron-exclusive ultra-flexible, 30 AWG Series is engineered with Extron-exclusive ultra-flexible, 30 AWG
cable and features a low bend radius and compact, gold-plated cable and features a low bend radius and compact, gold-plated
connectors. They are ideal for applications with tight equipment connectors. They are ideal for applications with tight equipment
racks or AV presentation furniture, or with wall-mount or pole- racks or AV presentation furniture, or with wall-mount or pole-
mount displays. The DVID SL Ultra cables support resolutions mount displays. The HDMI Ultra cables conform to HDMI High
up to 19201200 @ 60 Hz and 1080p/60 and are available in Speed cable specifications and are available in lengths from 6
lengths from 1.5 feet to 15 feet (0.4 m to 4.5 m). feet to 15 feet (1.8 m to 4.5 m).

MediaLink for Windows


MediaLink for Windows

Control Application for the Half Rack Shelf System
MLC 104 IP Plus, MLC 226 IP, Half-Rack Width Rack Shelf and Accessories
and System 5 IP
The Extron Half Rack Shelf System of rack shelves and related accessories is designed
Extron MediaLink for Windows is an AV for applications utilizing one-half rack width and smaller products. The compact, 1U
control system application designed for half-rack width size allows the mounting of half-, quarter-, and eighth-rack products in
computers running Microsoft Windows. space-constrained furniture such as lecterns and cabinets that are not wide enough
It allows the classroom computer to to support the mounting of full width, 19" rack shelves or electronics. The Half Rack
become an additional point of AV System is comprised of the HRB 109 Basic Rack Shelf; the HRU 109 Universal Rack
system control for rooms equipped with Shelf Kit, which includes eighth-rack and quarter-rack false faceplates; and HRP 100
an MLC 104 IP Plus, MLC 226 IP, or Blank Panel. Half Rack System products are finished in a durable gray powder coat
System 5 IP. finish to match other Extron products.

50 Extron New Products AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Watch Eyevis LCD Flat Panel at 4K
Eyevis recently introduced a 60 inch (152 cm) 4K LCD flat-panel display.
The EYE-LCD-6000-QHD-LD joins a 64 inch (162 cm) and a 56 inch
(142 cm) display as part of Eyeviss family of flat-panel displays with 4K
native resolution. It features a total panel resolution of 38402160 and
four single-link DVI inputs, each of which accepts a 19201080 HD
image for each quadrant of the display. The EYE-LCD-6000-QHD-LD
is the first in this product family to include direct LED backlighting to
the entire panel, which is said to be engineered for uniform brightness
across all areas of the screen. Other features include 176 horizontal
and viewing angles, 10-bit color internal video processing, and 0.35 mm
pixel pitch. The EYE-LCD-6000-QHD-LD is ideal for a wide variety of
applications including digital signage, command and control, process
control, medical diagnostic imaging, post-production video, and
Eyevis EYE-LCD-6000-QHD-LD architecture or building design.

4K Projectors for Pro-AV

Two new 4K projectors were introduced recently, one aimed squarely at the Pro AV
market, the other at the home market. In June at InfoComm 2011, Christie debuted
what they called the first 4K projector introduced to the world for non-cinema
applications. Providing 4K (40962160) resolution and 35,000 lumens, the Christie
D4K35 projector is targeted at applications requiring ultra-high resolution and
the highest brightness available including amusement parks, large auditoriums,
Christie D4K35
museums, planetariums, virtual reality settings, and automotive designers using CAD.
For applications that dont require that much brightness, the new Sony
VPL-VW1000ES released just last month at the 2011 CEDIA Expo, also provides
4K resolution and is rated at 2,000 ANSI lumens with an impressive 1,000,000 to 1
dynamic contrast ratio. In addition to supporting 4K native resolution, the VW1000ES
projector also features an exclusive 4K upscaler that dramatically enhances all
content. We suspect youll find executives who have these in their home theaters,
asking for them to be included in their high-end boardrooms and training rooms.
These new projectors, and others sure to follow, provide both opportunities
and challenges for system designers. A solid understanding of video
Sony VPL-VW1000ES
processing options will help maximize the possibilities for deploying enhanced
presentation environments using ultra high resolution displays. and Tech Watch 51

Technically Information is transmitted using a

Speaking digital, packet-switched system not a

continuous signal. The information may
travel along one of a multitude of paths
crossing multiple devices, none of which
may be known to the AV integrator. In
Avoiding Common Pitfalls Integrating addition, hardware may be programmed

AV Products onto IP Networks in specific ways that can vary from

system to system. These factors
By Karl Johnson, Director of Product Marketing
combine to create a far more complex
infrastructure than point-to-point cables

A dvancements in audiovisual
technology have brought changes to
the ways audio, video, and data connect
Faults could frequently be verified by
patching cables to alternative sources or
devices known to be functioning. Often
delivering a continuous signal over a
closed AV infrastructure.
Adding to this complexity is the need
between sources, displays, and control the fault involved a problematic cable or to share the infrastructure with multiple
systems. Today, the AV industry is in incompatibilities between the endpoints. business services as specified, operated,
the midst of a transition to a new digital Today, IP networks are commonly and managed by IT departments. AV
transmission infrastructure based on DVI, used with control systems, and professionals now need to operate over
HDMI, and SDI. This transition brings with networks are increasingly being used a new infrastructure and conform to
it many challenges, but the AV industry is to stream audio and video content. The the technical performance limitations,
also faced with another set of challenges: scale, flexibility, and reach IP networks boundaries, policies, and maintenance
integrating AV systems onto IP networks. offer AV systems can be an incredible established by IT departments entities
Traditionally, continuous analog or opportunity for AV professionals; however, that may have different objectives.
digital signals have been used to connect this different infrastructure can be Today, many AV products or systems
sources, displays, and control systems. unfamiliar territory. can easily be labeled by users as being

52 AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Technically Speaking
Incorrect Subnet and Address Calculations

Extron Global Configurator Solution address, two other values are typically
IP address: Change IP address
Subnet mask: to an unused value above entered, the subnet mask and gateway
Gateway: and below address. If this data is entered incorrectly,
communication may not be supported,
even between devices connected to the
same network switch. In the illustration
Extron IPCP 505 Switch 1 Router Router Switch 2
at left, the help desk PC operating
IP address:
Subnet mask:
HTTP Extron GlobalViewer, the IPCP 505, and
Ping the TLP 1000TV all have the correct
Telnet addressing and subnet mask values.
Extron TLP 1000TV
IP address: Extron Global Viewer
At first glance the laptop appears to
Subnet mask:
Default gateway:
IP address: be configured for the same subnet
Subnet mask:
Gateway: as the other control system devices,
Device Communication Ethernet
but its address actually resides in a
different subnet.
When AV devices are connected
to the same network switch, they
broken, faulty, or ineffective due to Global Configurator, an IPCP 505 control operate on Layer 2 of the OSI Open
network issues beyond their control and processor, and a TLP 1000TV touchpanel Systems Interconnect model and
the AV professional can also be unfairly are connected to network Switch 1. A help use MAC Media Access Control
labeled as unqualified. desk PC operates Extron Global Viewer addresses to define the origination and
AV professionals need new skills and in another part of the campus. While the destination addresses. Each device
expertise to deliver systems that work. help desk PC can communicate with builds up a table associating MAC
They need to expand their vocabulary the IPCP 505 control processor and addresses and IP addresses for devices
to include a new set of networking the TLP 1000TV touchpanel, the laptop on the same network switch within
terminology. IT departments must also cannot control either device. their subnet using Address Resolution
be proactively engaged while AV systems How does this happen? When Protocol ARP. The laptop is unable
are being designed and implemented. AV devices are configured with an IP to establish a MAC address for the
Identified here are 10 common
network issues that can be encountered
integrating AV products onto networks.
Extron GlobalViewer Enterprise Manages
These are grouped into two application Networked AV Devices
areas: control systems and AV streaming.

Serving as an integral element of Extron control systems, GlobalViewer Enterprise GVE is a

Control Systems powerful, flexible application capable of managing, monitoring, and controlling AV systems that span
Incorrect Subnet Mask Definition IP networks. GVE provides management over Extron touch panels, control processors, and third-
party equipment like projectors, displays, monitors, VCRs, DVD players, and other devices. GVE also
When AV devices are configured with
provides help desk functionality, enterprise-wide scheduling and monitoring, and time-stamped AV
an IP address, two other values are system data collection for report generation. GVE helps eliminate complexity by streamlining the
typically entered: the subnet mask and management of enterprise-wide AV systems.

the gateway address. They are used to

segment networks and define the path
data takes between these segments.
The assumption that devices using IP
addresses with values in close proximity
to each other will function as a system
can lead to confusion and difficulties
programming and managing systems.
In the illustration shown
above, a laptop operating Extron Technically Speaking 53

Technically Speaking
Firewall Communication Ports Closed

Protocol Port Firewall

IPCP 505 and TLP 1000TV because Extron Global Configurator Extron TLP 1000TV
Extron IPCP 505
its address places it in a different HTTP 80
subnet. Applying an address such Telnet 23

as which is between ICMP (Ping) and, would PC 2


correct this problem. Use at the subnet Solution

Switch IT opens port 23 has defined the network or changes port Router Extron Global Configurator
number used by
to be a group of only 62 devices. IPCP 505
The PC in the Help Desk room is
connected to network Switch 2 and
routers lies between it and Switch 1.
PC 1
Data delivery between the PC and the Firewall
Office Classroom or Presentation Room
TLP 1000TV or IPCP 505 must rely on
Device Communication Ethernet
packet routing using IP addresses which
operate on Layer 3 of the OSI model.
When GlobalViewer on the PC pursues
communication with the IPCP 505 and decide what should pass or be blocked. between control system devices such
TLP 1000TV, it cannot establish their AV devices frequently use different as the PC and IPCP 505. The firewall
MAC addresses using ARP, so packets communication protocols to perform may be programmed to block Telnet, a
destined for them are switched to the different functions. For instance, device protocol used to control devices. Telnet,
router connection defined by the gateway discovery, system information requests, a communications protocol, uses port 23
address They are forwarded and control commands may each use a by default, a port which is often blocked
to Switch 1 and delivered to the different protocol. by Firewalls. The Web browser makes
appropriate device. The illustration above shows a IPCP 505 data visible to PC 2 because
Careful assignment and data entry simplified network configuration with it uses HTTP Hypertext Transfer
of IP address, subnet mask, and an AV control system. An Extron Protocol which uses port 80. This port
gateway values is essential to avoid IPCP 505 control processor and a is commonly left open to support regular
communication errors when programming TLP 1000TV touchpanel are configured web traffic.
control systems. Many networking to operate together in a presentation In this application, the substitution
books and courses offer practical room. Programming and configuration on of equipment, cables, or connections
advice for defining subnets. Addressing PC 1 using Extron Global Configurator would not have identified the problem.
calculators are also useful tools. The functions as expected during installation. Investigating the programmed settings
Web site provides However, when PC 2 is used from for network switches and routers in the
an excellent example calculator. For a different location, for example an communications path is required.
more information on switching, routing, administration office across campus, This same fault in communications
and other networking topics refer to Global Configurator is not able to can also apply to streaming applications.
the Extron AV Streaming Design Guide communicate with the control system. Streaming applications may use a
2nd Edition. A simple starting point troubleshooting greater number of ports to support
is to ping devices. Ping is able to the transmission of control as well as
Firewall Ports Blocking verify that the IPCP 505 is present, audio, video, or other data. Coordination
Communication active, and that a path exists between and communication with facility IT
Firewalls can produce challenges the two locations. The Web browser departments is essential to avoiding
integrating AV control systems onto also identifies the system settings this issue.
networks. Configured by IT departments and validates that the device is active.
to protect segments of their network However, Global Configurator does Extron Control Products and Firewall
from unwanted traffic, they can not have control over the IPCP 505 at Ports: Two solutions can be pursued
when firewalls block Telnet port 23. The IT
inadvertently block AV communications. this location. department can open Port 23 or Extron control
Firewalls manage network traffic by Why does this happen? This situation products can be programmed to use a different
inspecting incoming data packets to can occur when a firewall is located port number defined by the IT department.

54 Technically Speaking AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Technically Speaking
Blocked UDP Broadcast Traffic

Method Protocol
IP Link Device Manager Extron IPCP 505 - C IT department defines use of DHCP
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
Telnet (TCP)

Broadcast (UDP)
where servers assign addresses to
network devices on a temporary basis.
PC Failure to comply with this policy can
result in an AV control system which
Switch Switch functions intermittently, or not at all. An
Router example scenario is described below:

Use Telnet for
Installation Phase: A control system
Extron IPCP 505 - A device detection Extron IPCP 505 - B including TLP 1000TV touchpanel
and IPCP 505 controllers are
Broadcast Domain 1 Broadcast Domain 2
configured and programmed applying
Device Communication Ethernet
DHCP addressing.
System Upgrade, 2 months later:
The control system is reconfigured.
Broadcast UDP Traffic Blocked connections such as Telnet. Unicast and During the process a programmer
Networks are configured with varying Telnet communication is available from determines that the current IP
arrangements of switches, routers, and Extron IP Link Device Manager. address issued to the TLP 1000TV
firewalls to provide efficient data flow is The DHCP policy
and security. As seen earlier, a firewall Failure to Comply with IT is ignored. While upgrading
can block specific protocols preventing Addressing Policy the system, an IPCP 505 is
communication between devices. Routers AV devices may not operate properly programmed to communicate with
are another device that can block control when IT department addressing the TLP 1000TV applying a static
system traffic. policy is not followed. Frequently the address of
The illustration above demonstrates method desired by AV integrators is to 2 weeks following System Upgrade:
a simple configuration where this may apply static or fixed IP addresses to The network DHCP server issues
be experienced. A PC with Extron devices. However, in many cases, the a new address to the TLP 1000TV
IP Link Device Manager is able to
detect some Extron IPCP 505 control
processors in part of a facility but not
Maintaining a Global View of All Extron Control
every device in the system. A likely System Devices Using IP Link Device Manager
cause is a router blocking broadcast
UDP User Datagram Protocol used
Where Extron control systems are used, IP Link Device Manager allows devices not reachable using
to detect and collect information from UDP broadcast to be accessed applying either Unicast or Telnet connections. These protocols
AV system devices. support communication beyond their broadcast domain which is bounded by network routers.
The Unicast method provides the means for IP Link Device Manager to listen to pre-programmed
Why does this happen? Routers
information updates provided by the control devices. The Telnet connection can be used to
segment network traffic into different communicate and obtain information from devices individually when required. Contact your Extron
broadcast domains. This prevents representative to learn more about IP Link Device Manager.

unwanted traffic from perpetuating

through a system consuming system
bandwidth and processing time for
devices. When an AV control system
spans a router, discovery processes
using UDP broadcasts will not detect
devices located in different broadcast
domains. Obtaining information from
devices across routers requires that an
application use Unicast point-to-point Technically Speaking 55

Technically Speaking

- The IPCP 505 is unable speed and efficiency will be sustained One solution is to change the wireless
to connect with the TLP 1000TV over time. 802.11 standards-based routers channel. The number of WAP
because it believes its address is wireless networks used by consumer Wireless Access Points in the area, not mobile devices only offer half-duplex should be analyzed using software such
communication. Devices in the same as Wi-Fi Analyzer, available for use on
The solution to this problem involves vicinity using the same wireless 802.11 wireless devices such as an Android
the coordination and communication with standard will operate in a common or iPhone. If multiple WAP devices are
IT departments during installation as well frequency band, and must share the detected in adjacent channels, a different
as clear documentation of the addressing wireless bandwidth with other devices channel can be selected. Another
policy for AV system upgrades. operating in adjacent frequency channels. alternative is to use a wireless router
Wireless networks apply CSMA/CA compatible with the mobile devices
Poor Wireless Access Data Rates Carrier Sense Multiple Access with
Wireless networks offer the flexibility to Collision Avoidance. All devices operating
Overlapping Wi-Fi Channels
interface control systems with popular in adjacent channels effectively operate
consumer mobile devices such as tablet in a common collision domain with
PCs or mobile phones, using software random access and equal priority. If
interfaces such as Extrons TouchLink two wireless devices applying CSMA/CA
for iPad. However, use of these devices transmit simultaneously, they cannot

Signal Strength (dBm)

as wireless interfaces has associated detect a collision, making bandwidth use
challenges. Consumer wireless interfaces less efficient than Ethernet hubs. The -70
can be tested and proven during rack more devices introduced and operated in WAP 2
assembly, system installation, and adjacent channels, the more interference -80
commissioning, but function intermittently will occur. WAP 4

as operating conditions can change A natural assumption may be that -90

over time. a wireless router requires greater power,

Why can this happen? Wireless a better antenna, or needs to be placed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14
networks can offer encrypted, secure closer to the devices in use. However, Wi-Fi Channels

communications, but there is no this brute force solution may not

guarantee that effective connection solve the problem. Three Wireless Access Points - WAPS 1, 2, and 4
will interfere with each other

Static IP Addresses or DHCP for AV Equipment; Wi-Fi Channel Overlap

Which Is Better? Eliminated for WAP 1

A common IT policy for network devices is to use static IP addresses for permanent devices such
as servers and printers and DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol addressing for desktop -50
devices which have more migratory existences. PCs and workstations are far more likely to operate WAP 1
in temporary locations or be moved following staff reassignments or department changes. The
Signal Strength (dBm)

assignment of temporary addresses using DHCP offers IT departments greater flexibility and requires
less system reconfiguration when changes are made.
Organizations with vital security concerns may elect to use a static IP addressing policy for all
devices because it provides greater protection. Additionally, the use of static addresses eliminates -80
use of DHCP/DNS Domain Name Service traffic, making network operation more efficient. WAP 3

In AV systems static IP addresses are desirable for integrators because they simplify the
management, programming, and documentation requirements. A compromise to an IT department
DHCP policy is reserving a series of IP addresses solely for AV system elements. The AV system -100
can be programmed and managed using static IP addresses and not conflict with the DHCP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14
Wi-Fi Channels
address assignment to other devices. AV system elements are likely to be fairly permanent devices
like servers and printers. Communicating this fact to IT staff may help increase openness to using
static addresses. WAP1 has moved to a new channel separating
itself from potential interference from other WAPs

56 Technically Speaking AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Technically Speaking

that applies a different frequency band devices. See the Unicast Streaming network switch is also programmed to
from other detected WAPs. Examples illustration below. fulfill the Query function.
of wireless traffic analysis are presented When IGMP Snooping and Query are
at left. both enabled, multicast traffic is delivered
Unicast Streaming only to the endpoints subscribing to it, as
AV Streaming seen in the second illustration.
Network Flooded Due to Incorrect
Configuration of IGMP Snooping Encoder IGMP Snooping and
The ability to deliver video to multiple Query Enabled
endpoints scalability is often desired Multicast address:

in streaming applications. Streaming Switch

applications within a facility or enterprise
are candidates for Internet Group

Management Protocol IGMP multicast Multicast delivered

only to subscribers
streaming to deliver video to many Laptop Laptop Laptop
endpoints very efficiently. This protocol
Point-to-point connection
used by routers and some switches
Device Communication Ethernet
allows a video source to be delivered
to as many destinations as are required,
Laptop Laptop Laptop
while contributing the bandwidth

of only one stream to any point in The remaining illustrations present Efficient use of Multicast
the system. two potential conditions for network Device Communication Ethernet

However, use of IGMP multicast on switch endpoints using IGMP multicast

network switches not configured properly streaming. Encoder offers
can flood every connected device with a multicast stream at an address of Use of IGMP multicast streaming can
unwanted traffic. If IGMP Snooping is not provide a very powerful solution, but it
Why can this happen? Ethernet enabled on the network switch, all switch requires that AV professionals coordinate
frames have a unique bit set which can ports will be flooded with traffic. The its use with the IT departments.
identify them as being multicast one IGMP Query function is also required. Older, Layer 2 workgroup switches or
to many delivery. When Ethernet data This is normally fulfilled by a router, but inexpensive desktop switches will typically
is marked as multicast, it will be flooded if a router is not present in the system, not support IGMP Snooping and Query
to every network port if a switch is not flooding will also occur unless the functions, but many newer workgroup
properly configured for IGMP multicast switches will. As a part of pursuing an
traffic. To prevent this from occurring, IGMP Snooping and IGMP multicast streaming solution, an
IGMP Snooping and Query, Layer 3 Query Not Enabled audit should be conducted of the existing
network functions available in network Multicast address: network validating support of these
routers and some Layer 2 network Switch features. The default state for network
switches can be applied. switches will typically not support for
The diagrams at right illustrate a IGMP Snooping and Query. These
All ports flooded
Unicast one to one connection as functions will need to be programmed to
well as the application of IGMP Snooping function in the switches.
and Query to multicast traffic.
Unicast connections made directly Incorrect Network Switch
between two devices Port Configuration
and will not result in The Ethernet interfaces on a network
Laptop Laptop Laptop
flooded switch ports. However, every device or switch normally support
Unicast streaming connection applied Inefficient use of Multicast very efficient exchange of data. Two
to the network will add another layer Device Communication Ethernet important port settings that can affect
of streaming traffic to backbone communication efficiency are port speed Technically Speaking 57

Technically Speaking

and duplex mode. If these parameters are configured as full duplex are able to Applications using small data transfers
not matched correctly, communication operate more efficiently since they are such as control messaging may function
between devices can be very slow able to transmit and receive messages at albeit slowly or inefficiently. Applications
or ineffective. Where video streaming the same time. transferring larger amounts of data such
products are used, images may have The illustration at right shows what as file transfers or video streaming can
artifacts, be decoded at very slow rates, happens when one device operates in
or appear not to function at all. full duplex while the other operates in
Why can this happen? An Ethernet half duplex. The connection operates Port Duplex Mismatch
port speed setting determines the clock ineffectively resulting from regular
rate at which it operates; a port set to collisions when both devices attempt to Frequent collisions

100BASE-T will support ten times the transmit at the same time. The collision Send Send and
only receive
communication speed of 10BASE-T port, will be sensed by the half-duplex device TX TX/RX
and a port configured at 1000BASE-T but not sensed by the full-duplex device. Full-duplex Half-duplex
Device Device
will deliver ten times the communication The half-duplex device will attempt to
speed a 100BASE-T port supports. resend following CSMA/CS Carrier Receive transmission
The duplex mode determines if a port Sense Multiple Access with Collision Collisions not Collisions
expected expected
can simultaneously transmit and receive Detection. Applications on the full-duplex
data providing full-duplex communication, device using TCP protocol will pursue Solution
or if it operates at half duplex, and is error recovery while real-time applications Use identical port configuration,
manual or auto-negotiation
only capable of transmitting when it using UDP protocol such as VoIP or
is not receiving and vice versa. Ports streaming will result in dropped packets.

Extron Streaming Products

VN-Matrix 225
SME 100

Extron offers two different classes of streaming products for both unicast and IGMP multicast streaming applications.

The SME 100 is a streaming media encoder designed to support pro AV applications, which include a wide range of video and computer signal formats and
resolutions plus audio. It supports standard definition or high definition video inputs, analog RGB or DVI-D computer inputs, plus audio at resolutions from
NTSC/PAL to 1080p and 640480 up to 19201200. The SME 100 applies the H.264 compression standard offering a high degree of compatibility with
commonly used software viewers or other compatible decoding devices. Any input to an SME 100 can be scaled up or down for streaming at a defined set of
streaming resolutions. The SME 100 is available in two models, SME 100 HD which is capable of streaming at resolutions up to 1080p and the SME 100 SD
which can stream at resolutions up to 720486 or 720576.

VN-Matrix streaming products have been developed to support applications with the most demanding image quality requirements necessitating visually
lossless quality, preservation of 4:4:4 color information and native resolution, low latency, and high immunity to network errors at highly efficient bit rates. The
VN-Matrix 225 series streams RGB or DVI computer inputs at resolutions up to 19201200 with digital audio. It is available as a codec, switchable between
encoder and decoder. Encoder-only and Decoder-only models are also available. VN-Matrix 300 is a codec configurable to encode or decode SDI, HD-SDI, or
3G-SDI with embedded audio. VN-Matrix encoders and decoders are complemented with VN-Matrix Enterprise Controller and VN-Matrix Recorder to support
large system solutions and multi-screen recording and playback applications.

Please visit for more info on SME 100 and for more info on VN-Matrix products.

58 Technically Speaking AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Technically Speaking

be very problematic. Full-duplex communication can be What type of loading does the
Duplex mismatch problems can supported when a device is connected network typically carry?
be difficult to identify because the directly to switching or routing equipment, How much bandwidth might be
connection passes data, but at much with no repeaters or hubs in between. available for streaming applications?
slower rates than expected. Fault finding Just as failing to account for Are there any times of day loading on
can start with examination of network IP addressing policy can result in the network peaks?
port LEDs. Connection ports on many issues for control systems, ignoring Are there any points on the network
network devices include LEDs that port configuration policy can lead that become bottlenecks that can be
can help identify the port status, clock to slow, inefficient, mismatched avoided by streaming traffic?
speed and duplex mode based on their duplex connections. Are there any opportunities to
color and illumination status solid or segment streaming traffic and isolate
blinking. The status information produced VN-Matrix Encoder Port Configuration: it from other data services?
by LEDs will vary device by device and Extron VN-Matrix encoders and decoders
can be configured to auto-negotiate network
manufacturer by manufacturer. speed, or they can be set to manual configuration
While the introduction of streaming
as required by IT department policy. applications to a network can increase
Network Port Configuration configuration work and system risk, it
Policy Not Followed can also represent an opportunity for IT
Streaming devices must conform to Unmanaged Streaming Bandwidth departments to upgrade their networks.
established IT policies for port and Streaming products can generate heavy When commissioning or testing a
speed configuration. When an IT policy bandwidth use on networks when not streaming application on a live network,
for port configuration is not understood configured properly. The bandwidth start by setting the video encoders
or followed, unexpected consequences required for different streaming bit rate limit to be far below the target
can lead to error-filled images, less than applications can vary just as the network bandwidth identified by the IT department
real-time performance, or the inability to capacity can vary by endpoint. Failure perhaps 25% or 50% of the target.
decode images at a display. to program bit rate limits on streaming Then, adjust the bit rate limit up towards
Two IT policies for port configuration encoders can result in oversubscription of the target level, ensuring that other
are detailed below: network resources preventing other data services are not interrupted. Continue
or voice services from operating properly. adjusting encoder bit rate, balancing
Manual configuration: Each device While a streaming encoder may unlock a picture quality against bandwidth use to
is manually programmed to operate at new capability for an enterprise, improper establish a balance between quality and
half or full duplex at 10 or 100 Mbps programming and commissioning of bit rate for each application.
or full duplex at 1000 Mbps streaming systems could do so at the
Auto-negotiation: Each device expense of other business applications. Bit Rate Management and Extron
attempts to identify the duplex mode Some Ethernet and IP networks Encoders: Extron SME 100 and
VN-Matrix video encoders both offer a variety
and speed by applying a standard have been built up in an unplanned of compression and bit rate controls allowing
Ethernet procedure for data exchange. manner, and may have pinch points streaming application tests to be conducted
When data is not exchanged, auto- or bottlenecks, which are sensitive to at minimum risk to other network services.

sensing algorithms are used to detect increases in network traffic. Operating

the highest speed with which the two risks associated with introducing
devices can operate together. streaming bandwidth to a network can Video Streaming Frames Not Passing
be eliminated through communication Through WAN Security Devices
If devices applying auto-negotiation and planning with IT departments. The Video streaming that crosses WANs
are interfaced to devices not configured last thing an AV professional should do Wide Area Networks can pass through
for auto-negotiation, the available is turn on streaming systems without first security and encryption equipment. This
speed and duplex information will investigating how much bandwidth will encryption equipment can block video
not be reported back. The device be available for streaming. if the streaming data size contained
supporting auto-negotiation will AV professionals are encouraged to in Ethernet frames is too large and
assume the other device supports only engage IT departments to find answers certain communication protocols
half-duplex operation. to questions such as: are blocked. Technically Speaking 59

Technically Speaking

Why can this happen? Encryption highly efficient bit rates. For maximum acceptable size has been used. The
of network traffic requires that data be efficiency, encoder Ethernet frames are <data size> can be adjusted up or
modified so it cannot be interpreted by frequently defined to carry the highest down until the most efficient size is
unintended receivers. This modification possible payload. In order to support established. ICMP ping uses 28 bytes
produces a larger data size than was encryption without fragmenting data of overhead in this process, so a
originally created by a network device and stream with minimum overhead, the value of 1472 will equate to an MTU
such as an encoder. If the data size MTU Maximum Transmission Unit for of 1500 (28+1472=1500).
produced by encryption equipment is an encoder can be manually adjusted to Example illustrated below: If the
larger than the maximum size specified a lower value. The ideal situation is to fit maximum value reached applying
for use by Ethernet frames, encryption the audio, video, streaming application this process is 1372, 100 bytes are
equipment will pursue breaking the data data, and encryption data as close to required for the encryption device
into two fragments forwarding them 1500 bytes as possible. This will result (1372+100=1472). The MTU can be set
separately. However, streaming encoders in the lowest use of overhead and to 1400 (100+1400=1500).
frequently set a do not fragment DF greatest efficiency.
flag in the Ethernet frame to prevent any ICMP ping utilities can be used to Efficient Streaming: Extrons VN-Matrix
network device from breaking the data up determine the largest MTU size without encoding products default to an MTU of
1500 making the most efficient use of standard
and maintain efficient streaming bit rates. fragmenting data frames. The following Ethernet frame sizes. They will negotiate a
Ideally, identification of the DF flag leads ping command executed from a DOS lower MTU automatically if their video streams
to an automatic negotiation between the command line on a PC local to the encounter encryption devices and ICMP traffic
can pass on the network. In instances where
encryption device and encoder to identify encryption device can be used to ICMP traffic is blocked on secure networks,
a smaller but efficient data size that the determine an acceptable size: VN-Matrix codecs and encoders support
encoder can use. However, some secure manual definition of the MTU.

networks block Internet Control Message Ping <destination address> -f -l <data size>
Protocol ICMP traffic used for this
negotiation. In these circumstances, Example: ping -f -l 1372 Avoiding Unnecessary
data packets will be dropped by Gotchas Like These
the encryption device blocking the When this ping command is sent Experience and wisdom can help one
video stream. to its destination, a reply indicating understand the limits of ones knowledge
How can this problem be solved? Packet needs to be fragmented but and guide one to seek advice or
Video encoders are designed to deliver DF set will be received unless an support when needed. Reaching out to
others is the best solution to avoiding
many of these pitfalls. Proactive
communication with IT departments is
MTU Value Adjustment Applying ICMP Ping Fragmentation Test essential. Extron helps AV professionals
meet the challenges of integrating AV
Reference Ethernet Frame Overhead & Protocol Header / User Data equipment onto networks by offering
training courses for control systems
Bytes 8 14 Min size = 60, Max size = 1486 4
and streaming, both of which include
relevant networking topics. Extron also
Ethernet v2 MTU, Maximum Size MTU = 1500 Bytes
offers beginner online network training
courses. In addition to training, Extrons
ICMP Fragmentation Test, Maximum Size 1472 Bytes
S3 support is always available to
Example ICMP Fragmentation Test
1372 Bytes 100 Bytes
customers, offering pre-sales design or
Encryption Device Requires 100 Bytes
Largest Un-Fragmented Encryption commissioning support to help ensure
Value Reported Overhead
your projects success.
New MTU for video encoder = 1400 MTU = 1400 Bytes
Karl Johnson is Director of Product Marketing at Extron
Electronics for streaming technologies and videowall
processing systems. He worked at Electrosonic for
Note: Illustration values not drawn to scale
over 20 years, most recently as General Manager of the
Electrosonic product division.

60 Technically Speaking AV Systems Design Fall 2011

H.264 Encoder Designed for
Pro AV System Integration

Extron SME 100

The Extron SME 100 is not like any live streaming encoder on the market today. It is designed specifically to support a wide variety
of video formats required in pro AV applications, and features integrated switching with loop-throughs for easy integration into pro AV
systems. The SME 100 interfaces with DVI, RGB, HDTV, and standard definition sources, and employs standards-based H.264 / MPEG-4
AVC encoding to output an IP stream that can easily be decoded and viewed on desktop or laptop PCs. High performance Extron signal
processing scales and optimizes video input signals for the intended viewing application. The SME 100 is the pro AV integrators ideal
choice for delivering AV media over networks.

Key Features:
Streams DVI, RGB, HDTV, and video Presentation Room Control and Viewing
signals with audio over IP networks
PC 1920x1200
TCP/IP Ethernet
Standards-based H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC PC 1680x1050 Network
video compression Audio

Integrated three-input AV switcher Audio

Decode PC
Buffered input loop-throughs for video Audio
and audio
DVD Player Component
Supports input signal resolutions up to Ethernet
1920x1200, including HDTV 1080p/60 100-240VAC
50/60 Hz

1 R-Y Y/
1 2 3 SI 28
L R L R L R LAN Surface-Mount

DVI, RGB, HDTV, and standard


0.5A MAX

Extron Component
definition video upscaling and SME 100 HD
Streaming Media Extron
downscaling Encoder Audio Audio XPA 1002 Audio Audio
Extron Power Amplifier
Selectable streaming output resolutions Projector 1 2 3 MIC/LINE INPUTS

1 2 I/O RS-232(1)
DMP 64
DMP 64 100-240V 1.3A, 50-60Hz

XPA 1002

Digital Matrix
MIC T 1 2 3 LAN 1 2 1 2

from 166x120 to 1024x768, and HDTV

POWER + 48 V P 1 2 10V 50 mA

4 5 6 1 2
4 5 6 U 3 4 RS-232(2) RESET

4 5 6 S SIGNAL
12V Tx Rx 0 0

720p/30 and 1080p/30 DVI


Available in two models supporting

streaming at SD or HD resolutions

Developing a Scope
of Work Document
By John Collyer, Systems Design Engineer

I ve found that the single largest

contributor to wasted time and lost
profit on an AV installation project is
installation work begins, the lack of a
detailed written scope of work could cost
you a great relationship with one of your
Remember Your Audience - All
of Them
While a detailed and technical agreement
the lack of documentation outlining clients if there is a disagreement between between you and the clients onsite
expectations between the owner and your firm and the client. technical point of contact may be
the integration firm. In all design-build Here are some fairly simple rules for sufficient from both of your points of view,
contracts, there should be some generating a solid scope of work. you must develop the scope of work
form of documentation detailing the documentation so it benefits everyone
equipment and installation work to be Keep It Simple, But Professional else involved in the AV integration
provided. This documentation is often The most important objective for this project. The document should address
referred to as the Scope of Work, and document is to provide a clear and the needs of the client/owners project
it is used as a contractual reference for straightforward means to communicate manager, general contractor, purchasing
both the owner and integration firm. In expectations for both the owner and the department, facilities manager, and even
design-build projects, the scope of work AV integrator throughout the life of the the final end user. Often, the decision
documentation is typically prepared by project. This is not the place to impress makers for purchasing AV systems are
the integration firm and delivered as part the client with your advanced technical non-technical people. Also, the document
of the overall pricing proposal. Even when skills. In fact, most clients will be more should be written to clarify and reinforce
responding to a design-bid specification, impressed if you can take the real the responsibilities for your own project
the AV integrator can include their complexities of your AV system design manager, engineer, control programmer,
own scope of work document that and compress it down into a simple and on-site integration installation team.
acknowledges all the specification written presentation. Save the technically
documents that were used to develop complex issues of your design solution Details, Details, Details
their pricing proposal along with a list of or competitive advantages for a face to Its best to create a standard outline
any exceptions or exclusions that should face presentation. You can furnish the scope of work and have it broken down
be understood by the owner when technical information as amendments into sections that fit your firms typical
reviewing the AV integrators bid response. supporting the scope of work. service offerings and capabilities. This
The hardest part of generating scope outline of sections can be used as
of work documentation is getting your Avoid Jargon a guide for ensuring that all typical
AV integration team to slow down during Never use terms like RP System or contractual requirements are addressed
the excitement of the sales process and ADSP in place of writing out Rear by the scope of work. I often find
consider the contractual requirements Projection System or Advanced Digital that while creating the document and
with the pricing proposal. Many Sync Processing. Avoid providing a reviewing each outlined section, I realize
integration firms feel that since they have definition section to your scope of work the effort requires a visit to the job site
an excellent and personal relationship documents explaining these terms. It or follow up conversations with the client
with the owner, or maybe because the may seem easier for you in writing the to confirm many aspects that need to
project is so simple, it does not need document, but you are only making it be covered in the pricing proposal and
a written contract. However once the more difficult for the non-technical reader. scope of work.

62 Design Forum AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Design Forum

Introduction and Overview Some details are too large to be equipment list detailing any additional
This section should be a one to three captured in this written scope of work major equipment items. Highlight any
paragraph overview of the system design. document, and are more appropriately documentation for the owners approval
Its used to identify who the document covered in an amendment. If you during the start of the installation project,
is for, who is providing the services choose this option, briefly mention the and supplementary documentation you
identified in the scope of work, and where information in the main document, but will be providing as part of the final
the work is to occur. This section should then reference an amendment document contract close out for the project.
also include your executive summary. by name, date, and version number. You should itemize everything
While this section is important, it must be The AV control system may be the you need from your client in order to
kept short, avoiding any long or drawn most important part of the scope of complete your work on time. Be sure to
out sales presentation, and avoiding any works features and capabilities sections. include the owners responsibilities for
formatted list of features, benefits, or even It is important that you address exactly providing new electrical power locations,
competitive comparisons. what the AV system will be controlling. conduit installation, telco or networking
List all of the basic control system connections, and any facility modifications
System Capabilities and functions that are visible to the end necessary for installing the audiovisual
Feature Sections user, such as play, stop, fast forward, system. Require the owner to identify key
Here is where you document all the rewind, etc. Make sure to also cover decision makers and points of contact at
information and details of your system basic control functions for non-AV the start of the project. Include a work
design proposal. Break this section down equipment connected to the control schedule with expectations for other work
into logical subsections, including Video, system, like HVAC controls, power to be completed, and note when and
Audio, Control, and Networking System controls, lighting, and motorized window how long youll need access to the facility.
Capabilities and Features. treatments. Dont use the scope of work Request that they arrange any necessary
Details are very important here. But document to deliver a detailed written escorts and proper access to the facility
you should never fill this section with programming outline for how the AV for equipment deliveries.
raw specification data copied from control system and touchpanels operate
the equipment manufacturer product or will be configured. Within the scope Exclusions
literature. Focus on what your system of work, stick to the basics of what the Make sure you have an exclusions
design is providing for the client for this control system is supposed to do. If you section that further indicates what is not
project (or as identified future needs), feel that button by button details are covered by your proposal. For example,
but dont trap your integration efforts needed, use an amended document for if you know that your work will require
by listing equipment features that your this purpose. substantial work to modify a painted
system design wont be using. surface, include an exclusion that
While details are important, there Responsibilities identifies that you wont be doing the
are a few overall exceptions for this Another section of the scope of work touch up painting. If the original proposal
section as well as the entire document. I document where details really do matter request from the owner included
recommend that you never use specific is the responsibilities section. For most installation of data networking cabling as
information about the manufacturer and projects this can simply be two sections part of the AV system and you have a
model numbers of the equipment used in - one for the integrator, and another verbal agreement that it would better for
your system design. This will help avoid for the owner or client. Some projects their own team to handle that portion of
the confusion and difficult questions may require further responsibilities the work, you may want to note this as
- when an item is discontinued, and the sections for the general contractor, an exclusion so the owners contracting
current model or equivalent must be electrical contractor, data communication department clearly understands the
used. Or, you may find a way to combine contractor, millworker, etc. modification to their original request.
multiple devices and capabilities into In an itemized list format, not a
another single device. Another reason written narrative, carefully identify each
is that it helps position your integration component of the work you will be John Collyer is Systems Design Engineer for the National
Accounts team at Extron Electronics. He provides system
firm as a total solution provider, rather doing during the installation. Identify the design support services to system integrators before
and after the sale, and has worked for major AV systems
than just an equipment reseller that also small materials and cabling that you'll
integration firms in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. for
does installations. provide and then reference an amended over 15 years. Design Forum 63


Optimizing 2. The display has been properly set include a range of vertical and horizontal

Scaler Setup up and optimized for the output of frequencies that the display can accept.
the scaler. The manual may also include a more
By Ron Justice, Director of
Technical Services 3. The scaler has been properly set up complete listing of acceptable input
for the input sources. signal parameters, including the total

S ome of the most common technical

support questions the Extron S3
Technical Support team receives are
Here is a sequence of steps you can
use to provide the best possible image
number of horizontal pixels by the total
number of horizontal lines. To realize
the highest image quality and use the
regarding optimizing image sharpness quality between a scaler and display. maximum available image area on the
and clarity when using a video scaler display, its particularly important to
with analog signals. Its ironic that the 1. Set the Output Parameters set the output of the scaler to match
one product that is expected to solve of the Scaler the native resolution of the display. For
most video problems can be the one Achieving the sharpest and clearest example, matching a scaler output of
product that seems to create them when possible images begins with setting the 1920 pixels by 1080 lines to a display of
improperly configured. When we get scaler output to match the displays the same native resolution will yield the
these support calls, we focus on verifying optimal input parameters. For most optimal results. However, mismatching
the following: display devices you can find this a scaler output of 1024 pixels by 768
information in the specification section lines to a display with a native resolution
1. The output parameters of the scaler of the manual or Web site where lists of 1920 pixels by 1080 lines will yield
are matched to the native or preferred of native and supported resolutions a less desirable result. The image may
resolution of the display. reside. These specifications will often be smaller than the available screen

64 Tech Corner AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Tech Corner

area, or the display itself may scale the continuing to the next step. on the leading or falling edges of the
incoming signal again, adding artifacts Next, the display will need to be pixels will result in a dim or gray image.
that degrade the overall sharpness and adjusted for proper pixel phase. Incorrect You should adjust this setting until the
pop of the image. pixel phase appears as image shimmer noise is eliminated or minimized, and
with horizontal lines of noise. A pixel the alternating pixel pattern reproduces
2. Adjust the Display for the phase adjustment is a common feature a sharp bright white on and black
Scaler Output for digital display devices, and it adjusts off image. Once you have correctly set
If the scaler is connected using an the point in time that a pixel sample is these sampling settings, ensure that the
analog input on the display device, youll taken in the analog to digital conversion image position is correctly set.
need to adjust the display devices process. Like the terms used for clocking, Extron scalers have a built in test
sampling parameters and image position pattern called a Crop pattern that can
settings. Many Extron scalers and signal be used to make this adjustment. This
processing devices have built in test Alternating Pixel Test Pattern test pattern is a single pixel wide line
patterns to assist with this process. Use that borders the extreme edges of the
the Alternating Pixel test pattern to adjust active video output of the scaler. Adjust
the sampling settings of a display device. the position or shift controls of the
This test pattern contains individual pixels display device to position the image so
alternating between fully on or white, that this test pattern outlines the outer
and fully off or black. If the display extents of the display devices viewable
device is set up correctly, the alternating area. Once thats done, you should be
pixel pattern will be crisp and sharp. looking at a crisp, centered, and properly
If the display clocking settings are Visible bands of vertical gray bars sampled image.
indicate that the sampling parameters
not properly adjusted, youll see bands need adjustment.
Most displays have a feature to
of vertical gray bars in the image. This automatically set the sampling and
means the display device is not adjusted positioning settings, sometimes called
to sample the correct number of pixels Auto Image or Auto Sync. During this
of the incoming signal during the A to process, a display will dynamically set
D conversion process. The number of its sampling and image position based
samples should equal the total number on parameters of the incoming video
of pixels in a horizontal line of active signal. Using this feature will likely get the
video for the resolution of the signal settings close, but the best practice for
that is being received by the display; in optimizing image quality is to manually
this case, the displays native resolution. Once the vertical bars are no longer visible, adjust the individual sampling and image
Display manufacturers refer to a clocking the pixel clock is properly adjusted. position settings of a display device.
adjustment in different ways; some call it Once these adjustments have been
clocking, dot clock, coarse sync, or made to the display, its sampling and
even other terms. The adjustment range display manufacturers may refer to a position settings will be set up to
and value units may vary among displays, pixel phase adjustment in different ways match the output of the scaler to the
some indicating a true number of including pixel phase, phasing, dot displays image engine or panel. These
samples and others a percentage range phase, fine sync, or other terms. This settings should not be modified or
of adjustment. This feature is usually adjustment is also typically located in an changed. And make sure you dont
located in an advanced video adjustment advanced video adjustment menu, and have the Auto Image command for
menu. As you make adjustments one the adjustment range will vary among the display accessible on your control
direction or the other, youll see the displays. Pixel phase allows the image system because that could erase all
number of vertical gray bands increase or to be sampled at the perfect place on your setup work. Also, avoid using the
decrease. Adjust the Pixel Clock setting the pixel, which results in the clearest, digital keystone adjustment feature
so that the number of bars decreases sharpest image. Sampling at the wrong of a projector. The digital keystone
to the point where none are present in point on the pixel will result in an image feature engages the scaling engine
the image. This setting is critical before with horizontal noise while sampling of a display to process an image to Tech Corner 65

Tech Corner

compensate for projector/screen physical are similar to the steps to set up the representation of how many samples are
misalignment. Keystone processing scalers output sampling and positioning. being taken. This value should match the
will adversely impact image quality, Many scalers have adjustments for total number of pixels in a horizontal line
creating vertical bars and banding in input Total Pixels, Active Pixel, Pixel of the video source, which includes the
the image that cannot be removed by Phase, Horizontal Start, and Vertical blanking pixels. For example, a SMPTE
adjusting the projectors sampling and Start. These are used to adjust the input standard 19201080 at 60 Hz source
positioning settings. sampling and positioning for the input of has a total of 2,200 pixels per line. Thus
If you are using digital outputs such the scaler. Make these adjustments while the Total Pixels value for the scaler
as DVI or HDMI, the sampling setup evaluating an image that has significant input should be set for 2,200.
and image position adjustment steps detail and on/off pixel transitions. An The Active Pixels adjustment
mentioned above are typically not represents the number of pixels that
necessary since the signal will bypass are part of the active or visible video.
the analog to digital conversion process Crop Test Pattern Again, the value indicated by the scaler
in the display. This is an advantage of represents a real pixel count. When the
using a digital video signal, since setup setting is adjusted, vertical gray bands
is minimized. in the image will decrease as the correct
value is approached, and the horizontal
3. Set Up the Scaler for the size of the active video will also change.
Incoming Sources The value of this setting should match
Now that the display device has been set the active pixel count per line of
up, the scaler itself must be optimized incoming video; a 1:1 pixel setting for
for the input sources. When different The scalers crop pattern can be used to both the Total Pixel and Active Pixel
adjust the image position on the display. Its
sources are connected or switched to also useful for optimizing settings on the
values will result in the best image.
the input of a scaler, the scaler must scaler for various input sources. Once these adjustments have been
recognize the input parameters of the made, adjust the Pixel Phase option to
source and correctly display the sources minimize horizontal noise or shimmering
video content on its output. Many Extron in the image. This setting is identical to
scalers have factory-created input lookup the pixel phase setting described in the
tables that will recognize standard source previous output section.
video input parameters and automatically The image position may also need
recall default sampling, position, and to be adjusted. Some scalers have
other settings for a wide range of input Horizontal-Start and Vertical-Start
formats and resolutions. Adjustments Adjust the horizontal and vertical positioning adjustments to determine where the
can be made to fine-tune these sampling until the image is aligned with the displays sampling starts for high resolution input
viewable area.
and position settings when input source sources, the goal being to sample the
video parameters do not conform to first pixel and first line of active video.
industry standards. Some scalers provide Alternating Pixel pattern works best for Making adjustments will result in moving
an Auto Memories feature so that this adjustment, or content such as a the active video position on screen. As
whenever these user adjustments are spreadsheet with a number of vertical you decrease the Horizontal-Start value,
made, settings are immediately saved lines and transitions. the image moves to the right, and if you
for each signal frequency, and for each Start adjusting the input settings by increase it, to the left. Similarly, as you
input of the scaler. In most cases the making clocking adjustments. The Total decrease the Vertical-Start value the
default factory set values for the input Pixel setting adjusts the total number image moves down, as you increase
memories will provide a properly sampled of samples per line of video for high it, the image moves up. Enabling the
and positioned image. However, Auto resolution input sources. As you adjust Crop test pattern that was used during
Memories can be enabled, or disabled this setting, the number of vertical gray display output setup is also useful
as needed. bands in the image decreases as the during this setup process. When you
The steps required to adjust the correct value is approached. The value enable the Crop pattern while a source
scalers input sampling and positioning indicated by the scaler is an accurate is selected and active, the crop pattern

66 Tech Corner AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Tech Corner

is superimposed on the edges of the when a dynamic image is not sized and inputs. EDID emulation provides specific
output video of the scaler. This gives a centered correctly. And although Auto EDID information to manage the input
visual representation of the extents of Image wont deliver a perfectly calibrated sources output resolution. It can be
the displayed image and makes it easier image every time, it will always get close, used to force specific output parameters
to adjust the position of the input video. so its useful when there isnt a lot of from those sources. You can enable
Adjust the horizontal and vertical start time to fine-tune the settings. EDID on the scaler to provide the
settings so the edges of the sources If Auto Image is enabled, but Auto source with information regarding the
active video are aligned with the edges Memories are turned off, the scaler native resolution of the display device
of the Crop pattern. will auto image every new source it is in systems where that is acceptable,
When these user adjustments are provided, even if it is a source it has which minimizes the amount of scaler
made, and as they are manually changed, already seen. Setting the scaler up this input setup.
they are automatically saved as the new way is another way to deal with dynamic
Auto Memories for that input. When Auto sources, but it means an Auto Image Toward a Better Image
Memories are enabled, these settings function will execute every time a source Of course, there are other adjustments
will be recalled when an input source is connected or a switch is made. that can be made to a video system,
with the same corresponding input With digital sources, such as DVI such as color and brightness. But
parameters is selected or provided to or HDMI, the sampling setup and the scaler output settings, scaler and
that input. image position adjustments mentioned display sampling, and position settings
Another feature on many Extron above should not be needed. Because discussed here are often overlooked,
scalers is Auto Image. Input Auto Image the source is digital, it bypasses the and have a significant impact on image
can be used to evaluate incoming input sampling that would normally quality. So once you have accomplished
sources dynamically, and automatically occur during an analog to digital these three steps, you are on your way
sets a number of input setup parameters, conversion process. to achieving sharper and clearer images
including input sampling and position In addition, many new scalers offer on your displays.
settings. This feature can be enabled as EDID (Extended Display Identification
always on or always off, and can be Data) emulation for digital inputs, and
Ron Justice is Director of Technical Services for
enabled from the scaler front panel or in some cases, analog 15-pin HD style Extron Electronics.

from a control system through a Simple

Instruction Set command. If the Auto
Image feature is enabled in conjunction Scaling Options
with the Auto Memories, the first time
the scaler detects a specific resolution
Scaling functions are found in many Extron products, including standalone scalers, multi-purpose
and vertical frequency, it will execute an switchers and signal processors, and modular boards that add scaling to other products. The
Auto Image, and then save those settings Extron ISM 824 MultiSwitcher is a unique modular matrix switcher that allows for simultaneous
video and RGB scaling plus wideband switching in a single, compact enclosure. It combines the
to the Auto Memory for that input,
powerful signal routing capabilities of an eight input, eight output, wideband matrix switcher with
resolution, and vertical frequency. This is the versatility of four customizable outputs. The ISM 824 can be equipped with any of eight available
a quick way to get input setup close. output boards, including a universal RGB and Video scaler board, available in three versions.

AV systems often have source inputs

that are dynamic, such as a laptop
connection, or a scaler input that is
connected to a switcher or matrix
switcher where any number of different
sources could be provided to the input
of the scaler. An effective method to
account for dynamic input sources is
Shown with optional
to enable Auto Memories and have an output boards

option to execute a scaler Auto Image

from a control system interface. This for more info on ISM 824.

allows the user to execute an Auto Image Tech Corner 67

HDMI Cable Lacing Bracket
By Dave Pincek, Vice President
of Product Development

W elcome to the world of digital AV

and your new friend: the HDMI
connector. Do you miss the BNC yet?
Solutions have been offered:
everything ranging from the old stand-
by duct tape, to specialty molded HDMI
important function. Inside the rear panel,
it attaches to a grounding shield that ties
the HDMI connector to the panel to help
The HDMI all-in-one wonder, non-locking connectors with integrated thumb screws. guard the connector against EMI. That
connector can be a pain in your rear panel. The molded thumbscrew approach is hit shield is very thin. Removing the screw
The problem with HDMI is that if you need or miss because it doesnt work with completely may allow the shield to move,
a high quality cable capable of carrying stacked connectors or connectors that making reinstallation troublesome.
the signal farther than a few meters, the have the grounding screws to the left or The design of the LockIt was done
cable needs to have substantial conductor the right of the HDMI connector. with reliability and ease of installation
diameters and heavy duty shielding. To address the HDMI connector issue, in mind. A pair of guideposts are
Those additional elements make the cable the Extron LockIt was introduced at molded into the nylon plastic, which
bulky and stiff. Stiff and heavy cables tend InfoComm 2011. The LockIt is a cable helps guide a small screwdriver like
to pull and spring their way out of non- lacing bracket for securing HDMI cables an Extron Tweeker, for example into
locking connectors. to the host product input and output the screw head. The guideposts also
We are often asked to make our HDMI connectors. LockIt reduces the stress help keep the tie wrap in place once it
products with locking DVI connectors. on the HDMI connectors and prevents has been tightened. It is important not
Although wed love to do that, the through- intermittent or complete signal loss to overtighten the screw!!! Because the
hole design of the DVI connector prevents due to a loose connection. Its compact internal shield is very thin, overtightening
it from having the bandwidth to support design allows for easy installation with could easily strip the threads and cause
data rates above 1.6 GHz, frequencies most HDMI cables and devices, including unreliable LockIt security and insufficient
that HDMI supports. That means DVI space-constrained areas where HDMI EMI protection. The LockIt is also very
connectors cannot reliably support deep connectors are stacked. small so it can be used with single,
color or the higher video rates. The LockIt lacing bracket can be used stacked, or vertical HDMI connectors.
when installing new HDMI cables, or as But aside from providing reliable
a retrofit to secure previously installed connection and simple installation, the
Light and Flexible cables. It is designed to fit onto the best part of this hidden gem might be
HDMI Cables
HDMI jack mounting screw, whether its value. At a list price of less than a
the screw is located above the jack dollar, including tie wraps, a bag of these
For supporting short runs, Extron makes
or next to it. Its also designed so the should be in every AV techs toolbox.
the most flexible and lightest HDMI cables
in the industry. Check out the MDC HDMI, screw does not have to be removed, LockIt is available now, sold in packages
MicroDigital Ultra-Flexible cables for only backed out far enough to slide the of 50, and is also an included accessory
distances up to 6 feet and our new
LockIt bracket over it. We did this for two with all Extron HDMI powered products.
HDMI Ultra Series cables for distances
up to 15 feet. Both series of cables are very important reasons. First, a screw Problem solved. Let go of those
ultra thin, ultra light, and ultra flexible. that isnt completely removed from the BNCs.
device cant be dropped. No one wants and for more info. to drop a tiny screw in the back of a
Dave Pincek is Vice President of Product Development at
rack. Second, that screw performs a very Extron Electronics.

68 Hidden Gems AV Systems Design Fall 2011

High Resolution Video Scaling
for Fiber Optic Systems


The Extron FOXBOX SR HDMI is a high performance fiber optic-to-HDMI scaling receiver for the FOX Series transmitters. It accepts a
fiber optic signal with HDCP-compliant HDMI, DVI, VGA, or component video, stereo audio, and RS-232 control, scaling the video to
the optimal output resolution up to 1920x1200. Engineered for reliability and exceptional high resolution image performance, the
FOXBOX SR HDMI also provides many integrator-friendly features such as audio de-embedding, Auto Input Memory, Key Minder for
continuous authentication of HDCP compliance, internal test patterns, and a compact enclosure for discreet placement. Available in
multimode and singlemode models, the FOXBOX SR HDMI is the preferred choice for fiber optic AV systems that include sources and
displays with a wide variety of resolutions.

Key Features: Simplifies integration of multiple sources to multiple displays

Accepts fiber optic signals from FOX Series transmitters and provides
Blu-ray Laptop Computer
scaled HDMI video, stereo audio, and RS-232 control output signals 1080p

1280x800 1920x1200


Upscales/Downscales HDMI, DVI, RGB, and YUV video for optimized POWER

display of high resolution computer-video signals



12V RS-232



Tx Rx Tx Rx









Provides selectable output resolutions up to 1920x1200, including Extron



HDTV 1080p/60 for high performance video scaling Tx HDMI FOXBOX FOXBOX
Fiber Optic Tx VGA Tx DVI Plus
Transmitter Fiber Optic Fiber Optic
HDCP compliant to ensure display of content protected media and Transmitter Transmitter
interoperability with other HDCP-compliant devices REMOTE




Key Minder continuously verifies HDCP compliance for quick, reliable



100-240V , 50-60Hz

HDMI audio de-embedding provides a balanced or unbalanced analog

1.3A MAX.

stereo output signal SMX 200 Frame POWER
Tx Rx




Compatible with Extron FOX Series HDMI, DVI Plus, DVI, VGA, and POWER
Tx Rx




VGA/YUV transmitters, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, and Fiber Optic

Scaling Receiver
switchers Fiber Optic
Scaling Receiver
Flat Panel
Flat Panel Display
Display 1368x768
1080p DVI
Education In response to customer requests,

Central Extrons AVA online training and

certification program will soon be
available in French, German, and
Spanish, with additional languages
planned for the longer term.
Coming Soon: AV Associate
Online Training and Certification CERTIFIED
Localization of Training
Extron provides training globally at
in French, German, and Spanish AV Associate
corporate facilities located in the US,
Singapore, China, Dubai, India, Japan,

S uccess in the AV industry depends

on a comprehensive understanding
of the diverse technologies used in AV
AV Associate, or AVA, certification
program with revamped materials and
enhanced flash files to help accelerate
and the Netherlands, and through
the Extron Institute-On-The-Road
program. Regardless of where the
systems. Like a professional license, the learning process. The program training takes place, all courses are
certification demonstrates structured, provides intensive instruction on the taught in the primary language for the
reliable evidence of skills. A good place fundamentals of AV technologies, area, and materials are customized for
to start, or continue, your education system design concepts, common local cultural influences and common
is with a leading manufacturer that applications, and product solutions. regional issues.
is known for teaching technologies Each lesson builds on the foundation We are committed to providing
as well as product solutions. Extron created by the previous lessons, resulting AV training, where and when our
Electronics offers online and instructor- in a broadened knowledge base and resellers and customers need it, says
led courses and certification programs improved troubleshooting skills. Jim Clements, Director of Education
that share technical knowledge and AVA certification also prepares an Development at Extron.
enhance understanding throughout the AV professional for advanced training, For those unable to attend
professional AV industry. which can include the concentrated instructor-led training, Extron offers
control system configuration and design a host of convenient online and
AV Associate Certification principles detailed in the ECA Extron distance learning programs for AV
Program Updated Control Associate and ECS Extron professionals, with content available in
Extron has updated its online Control Specialist certification programs. a wide range of languages, including
Chinese, French, German, Japanese,
and Spanish. Offerings include fully
narrated tutorials, allowing users to
follow along with their Extron products
or software programs.

How to Register for Training

Extron education, training, and
certification programs are designed
to equip AV professionals with the
knowledge and skills to design, integrate,
and support Extron products. For a full
list of training tools and tutorials, go to
To enroll in Extrons AVA certification
program or any of the other training and
certification programs, please contact
your Extron S3 Customer Support
Representative at (800) 633-9876.

70 Education Central AV Systems Design Fall 2011


Events 2012
Configurable Control Systems (in Chinese)
School of Emerging Technologies
Toronto, Canada
Jan. 5
Jan. 16-20
School of Emerging Technologies Bangalore, India Jan. 17
School of Emerging Technologies Bangalore, India Jan. 18
School of Emerging Technologies Bangalore, India Jan. 19
2011-2012 Extron Institute Configurable Control Systems Bangalore, India Jan. 20
School of Emerging Technologies Anaheim, CA Jan. 25-27
School of AV Technologies Anaheim, CA Jan. 26-27
2011 Configurable Control Systems Anaheim, CA Jan. 25
Configurable Control Systems San Francisco, CA Nov. 17 School of AV Technologies for Anaheim, CA Jan. 30-31
AV Streaming System Design School Shanghai, China Nov. 17 Higher Education
(in Chinese) School of AV Technologies for Tokyo, Japan Jan. 25-26
Consultant School of Raleigh, NC Nov. 17-18 System Designers
Emerging Technologies Configurable Control Systems for Anaheim, CA Feb. 1
Configurable Control Systems for San Francisco, CA Nov. 18 Higher Education
Higher Education School of Emerging Technologies Phoenix, AZ Feb. 6-10
Configurable Control Systems for Amersfoort, Nov. 21 School of Emerging Technologies Anaheim, CA Feb. 23-24
Higher Education The Netherlands for Consultants
Advanced School of AV Technologies Dubai, UAE Nov. 22-24 School of AV Technologies for Singapore Feb. 21
Extron School of Digital AV (in German) Frankfurt, Germany Nov. 28 System Designers
Extron School of Digital AV London, Nov. 28 School of AV Technologies for Singapore Feb. 22
United Kingdom System Designers
Extron School of Digital AV (in French) Paris, France Nov. 28 Configurable Control Systems Singapore Feb. 23
Extron School of AV Signal Transmission Frankfurt, Germany Nov. 29 School of AV Technologies for Tianjin, China Feb. 22-23
(in German) System Designers (in Chinese)
Extron School of AV Signal Transmission London, Nov. 29 Configurable Control Systems Tokyo, Japan Feb. 22-23
United Kingdom School of Emerging Technologies Raleigh, NC Feb. 29-Mar. 2
Extron School of AV Signal Transmission Paris, France Nov. 29 School of Emerging Technologies Houston, TX Mar. 5-9
(in French)
School of Emerging Technologies Bangalore, India Mar. 6
School of AV Technologies for Canberra, Australia Nov. 29
School of Emerging Technologies Bangalore, India Mar. 7
System Designers
School of AV Integration for the Dubai, UAE Nov. 29-30
Sales Professional
2011-2012 Tradeshows
Configurable Control Systems Anaheim, CA Nov. 30
Extron School of Audio Technology Frankfurt, Germany Nov. 30
(in German) 2011
Extron School of Audio Technology London, Nov. 30 Inter BEE 2011 Tokyo, Japan Nov. 16-18
United Kingdom
Extron School of Audio Technology Paris, France Nov. 30
(in French) Integrated Systems Europe Amsterdam, Jan. 31-Feb. 2
The Netherlands
School of Emerging Technologies Anaheim, CA Nov. 30-Dec. 2
2012 InfoComm India Roadshow New Delhi, India Feb. 13
Configurable Control Systems Canberra, Australia Dec. 1
2012 InfoComm India Roadshow Mumbai, India Feb. 15
AV Streaming System Design School Guangzhou, China Dec. 1
(in Chinese) 2012 InfoComm India Roadshow Bangalore, India Feb. 17
School of AV Technologies for Anaheim, CA Dec. 1-2 ProLight & Sound Frankfurt, Germany Mar. 21-24
System Designers InfoComm China 2012 Beijing, China Apr. 11-13
Extron School of Digital AV Amersfoort, Dec. 5 NAB 2012 Las Vegas, NV Apr. 14-19
The Netherlands
Palme Dubai, UAE May 1-3
School of AV Technologies for Paris, France Dec. 5-6
KOBA 2012 Seoul, Korea May 29-June 1
Higher Education (in French)
InfoComm 2012 Las Vegas, NV June 13-15
School of Emerging Technologies New York & Dec. 5-7
New Jersey Area TecnoMultiMedia InfoComm 2012 Mexico City, Mexico Aug. 8-10

Extron School of AV Signal Transmission Amersfoort, Dec. 6 Integrate Expo in association with Sydney, Australia Aug. 21-23
The Netherlands InfoComm International 2012

Extron School of Audio Technology Amersfoort, Dec. 7 IBC Amsterdam, Sep. 7-11
The Netherlands The Netherlands

School of Emerging Technologies Raleigh, NC Dec. 7-9 PALME Thailand 2012 Bangkok, Thailand Sep. 19-21

Configurable Control Systems New York & Dec. 8 InfoComm Middle East & Africa Dubai, UAE Oct. 14-16
New Jersey Area Integrated Systems Russia Moscow, Russia Oct. 30-Nov. 1
Configurable Control Systems for New York & Dec. 9 Inter BEE 2012 Tokyo, Japan Nov. 14-16
Higher Education New Jersey Area
Configurable Control Systems Dubai, UAE Dec. 11-12
Extron, AVTrac, Cable Cubby, CrossPoint, EDID Minder, Flat Field, GlobalViewer, IP Link,
School of Emerging Technologies Singapore Dec. 13-15
Key Minder, MediaLink, PoleVault, Pure3, Quantum, System Integrator, VN-Matrix, VoiceLift,
Extron School of Digital AV (in Chinese) Shanghai, China Dec. 14 WallVault, and WindoWall are registered trademarks of RGB Systems, Incorporated.
Configurable Control Systems Dubai, UAE Dec. 14-15 S3 Service Support Solutions is a registered service mark of RGB Systems, Incorporated.
AAP, Auto-Image, CDRS - Class D Ripple Suppression, EDID Manager, LockIt, SIS - Simple
Extron School of AV Signal Transmission Shanghai, China Dec. 15
Instruction Set, SpeedMount, SpeedSwitch, TouchLink, XTRA, and ZipClip are trademarks of
(in Chinese)
Extron Electronics.
Configurable Control Systems for Singapore Dec. 20
All other trademarks and copyrights mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
Higher Education
2011 Extron Electronics. Company Events 71

Extron has great career opportunities! IR
Extron USA and EMEA are seeking qualified applicants for a variety of career opportunities in Sales, Technical Support,
and Product Support. As an industry leader, Extron is committed to maintaining the outstanding level of quality services our
customers expect. We strive to continually provide Service, Support, and Solutions to our customers: dealers, consultants,
and AV professionals. Our customers are our most important asset, and our employees are essential to maintaining that
asset. We seek individuals who can help us grow and who desire to achieve a rewarding career in a technical environment.

Extron USA West, Headquarters Extron USA East Extron Europe

Extron Middle East Extron Asia Extron Japan

Sales Embedded Linux Software Engineer - CA, NC, NJ Customer Support - Germany
Applications Engineer - CA, NC Embedded Software Engineer Customer Support - Mediterranean
AV Technician Engineering Project Manager Marketing - Europe
Consultant Applications Engineer Engineering Technical Writer Junior Product Marketing Specialist
Curriculum Designer Engineering Trainer Marketing Communications Translator/Writer French
Educational Market Developer Mechanical Engineer Product Marketing AV Technician
Field / Audio Visual Systems Design Engineer PCB Designer - AZ, CA, NC Engineering - Europe (Dartford, UK)
Integration Support Specialist - CA, NC, TX Software Build Engineer Embedded Software Engineer
Regional Accounts Specialist - CA, DC, NC Software Development Manager Hardware Development Engineer
Regional Trainer Software Test Engineer PCB Designer
Software Applications Engineer - CA, NC Test Engineer, Embedded Software Application Software Engineer
Marketing Video Hardware Engineer Application Software Engineer - Web Applications
Adobe Flex / .Net Developer Video Processing Algorithm Engineer Application Software Engineer - Video Streaming
Director of Marketing Web Application Developer Sr. Engineering - Europe
Marketing Communications Manager Web UI Developer - JavaScript / CSS / HTML / MVC (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands)
Marketing Communications Writer Product Development Application Engineer
Product Marketing Manager Applications Engineer - Audio Products Application Software Engineer
Tradeshow Event Manager Applications Engineer - Mechanical Control Application Engineer
Tradeshow Logistics Manager Applications Engineer - Streaming Products System Design Engineer
Web Analyst Control System Manager Application Engineer
Web Application Developer Technical Writer MIS - Europe
Web Content Specialist Sales - Asia Senior Network Support
Web Production Designer Applications Engineer - Singapore Operations - Europe
Engineering Applications Engineer, Thailand - Thailand Technical Assembler
AC - DC Power Electronics Design Engineer Business Development Specialist - Education Market, Repair Technician
Application Software Engineer - .NET / C# / WPF India - Bangalore, India Training - Europe
Application Software Engineer - C++ / MFC / ActiveX Regional Account Specialist - Education Market Technical Trainer - Amersfoort, Netherlands
Application Software Engineer - Embedded Linux - Singapore Technical Trainer - Frankfurt, Germany
Application Software Engineer - Mac OS/iOS Regional Account Specialist - South Asia - Singapore Sales - Middle East
Application Software Engineer - Video Streaming Marketing - Asia Sales Manager - Arabic & English Speaking
Applications Software Engineer - Windows Product Marketing Specialist - Singapore Engineering - Middle East
Audio Repair Technician Sales - Europe IT Engineer
Battery-Powered Systems Design Engineer Sales Manager - Spain and Portugal Application Software Engineer
Cable Assembly Engineer Technical Account Manager - Northern Europe System Design Engineer
Compiler Developer Technical Account Manager - Switzerland
Compliance Engineer (French speaking) For a complete list of current career opportunities
worldwide, please see our Web site at
Component Engineer - CA, NC Technical Account Manager - Switzerland
DC - DC Power Electronics Design Engineer (German speaking)
Design Engineer Technical Account Manager - Scandinavia
Design Engineer, Hardware Technical Sales Manager - France, Belgium Extron USA
Design Engineer, Networked Audio and Luxembourg 1230 South Lewis Street
Anaheim, CA 92805
Design Engineer,Embedded Software Technical Sales Manager - France
Digital Hardware Design Engineer Technical Sales Manager - Italy
DSP Engineer Customer Support - France EOE M/F/V/D

72 AV Systems Design Fall 2011

Easy-To-Install Two-Way Ceiling Speakers

D Drops into standard suspended ceilings

D Steel grille matches look of air handling vent
D Offers quick installation and theft deterrence

Extron SoundField SF 228T Speaker

The Extron SoundField SF 228T is a two-way ceiling tile speaker for low impedance and 70 volt/100 volt systems. This Extron
exclusive design features a low profile, 2' x 2' (61 cm x 61 cm) by 5.3" (13.5 cm) deep enclosure that is UL 2043 plenum rated,
weighs less than 20 pounds (9 kg), and drops directly into standard suspended ceilings, providing quicker installations. The
two-way ported design includes an 8" (165 mm) woofer and a 1" (2.5 mm) silk dome tweeter that provides a frequency response
of 50 Hz to 20 kHz for high fidelity music and speech reproduction. The SF 228T offers 60 watts continuous pink noise and
120 watts continuous program output. This speaker is sold in pairs and is designed for fast and easy installation into sound
systems requiring high quality, wide bandwidth audio playback.

Key Features:
2' x 2' (61 cm x 61 cm), 18.5 lb (8.4 kg) 8 ohm direct or 70/100 volt operation SF 228T Dimensions:
drop-in ceiling tile speaker for with 32, 16, 8, 4, and 2 watt selectable
suspended ceilings power taps accessed via speaker wiring
UL 2043 plenum rated enclosure connections inside the rear panel
1" (2.5 cm) silk dome tweeter Frequency response: 50 Hz to 20 kHz
8" (20.3 cm) long-throw woofer with 60 watts continuous pink noise, 120 watts
tuned bass reflex port continuous program
MDF front baffle reduces unwanted 5.3" (13.5 cm) deep low profile enclosure
enclosure resonances for plenum environments
Extron exclusive hybrid MDF / aluminized 5 year parts and labor warranty
composite enclosure weighs less than Designed and manufactured by Extron
20 pounds (9 kg)
White perforated grille matches
appearance of air conditioning vents 23.75"

The Last Word

Corn, Vegetable Oil,

Salt, and Water
By Steve Somers, Vice President of Engineering

S ecret sauce is the current-day

vernacular that describes the real
essence, or uniqueness, of something.
provides an environment for realization
of all the basic digital video and audio
feature sets; plus, Ethernet connectivity,
and video. But, is that enough?
The good thing about good
standards is that they provide some
Its an admittedly pedestrian adjective various controls, and power for end-point channel space for handling other data
that conjures cerebral images and support. It is clearly the Swiss Army traffic. In the early days of digital
passions in us most closely associated knife solution needed for digital AV data channel design, this extra data
with exciting, tantalizing food. From the distribution over copper. By virtue of its space wasnt included so much for
most complex meal to the simplicity of a presence and demonstrated success, its the benefit and enlightenment of the
tortilla chip, it seems there is something destined to become a standard for many intended customer. The extra space
special that can be done to create AV applications. was there because the designers of
ones own signature version. Further, Of course, the idea behind the channel were not certain that they
the elegance of it all is in creating a having a standard is that it promotes had considered all the use cases. What
memory forcing the question: Wow! interoperability among disparate products. if we forgot something? How do we
How did they do that? If I tell you that my product has an perform updates to the standard and
HDBaseT forces the question. Its a HDBaseT interface, you will expect maintain backward compatibility? Those
cross application of known technologies some minimal level of plug-and-play concerns have not diminished, but it was
that solves the thorny problem of full- performance. And you should. As this not long before data channel protocols
performance DVI/HDMI delivery over interface rolls out into our industry, it is set aside space for additional user-
a single low-cost, 100-meter network expected that basic functions will prevail defined data. This is important because
style cable. As an interface standard, it to create successful delivery of audio a standard having a defined structure
can now be customized to provide
basic support along with enhanced
support that is defined by the adopter
of the standard. The increased flexibility
and power of this is obvious. This is
where the secret sauce comes into play.
Standards-based systems can usually
operate while ignoring information they
cannot understand as long as the sauce
doesnt interfere.
And then there are occasions when
you want the fully enhanced capability of
a system while ignoring the limitations of
the basic standard. It is within this realm
that your design creates the memory
and forces the question. People spend
much time and expense traveling to
restaurants because of the uniqueness

74 The Last Word AV Systems Design Fall 2011

The Last Word

of the cuisine. If all steak, chicken, and known by everyone in the chip-serving create a memory forcing the question:
ribs restaurants served the same basic industry presumably. But, why is this Wow! How did they do that?
fare, there would be little reason to seek one particularly good? It forces the The introduction of new technology
them out and little reason to eat out question. Like any other product, some engenders great anticipation in some
at all. We depend on the basics of a will prefer it and some will not, but its and fear in others. I think its fair to
meal to be recognizable and nutritional; uniqueness is unquestionable. It provides say that our commitment at Extron to
but, its the creative sauce that sets the basics, but it has more to offer. If I our customers should remove the fear
it apart. Its the sauce that tantalizes host a party, I have to have those chips, element. We are all acutely aware of the
and satisfies. Its the sauce that brings regardless of the cost! They are the challenges with implementation of digital
us back, assuming our basic needs best and I have no clue as to how media. Embracement of HDBaseT sets
are met. they do it. the stage for realization of interoperable,
While writing this, I recall my Is there really any difference if I were distributed digital AV; but, we know that
experience with a local restaurants talking about digital AV system design? you expect high reliability and something
tortilla chips. All Mexican-style I think its my job, OUR job, YOUR more. We are fully committed to that,
restaurants serve tortilla chips. But this job to provide the customer with a while removing the fear factor with our
one restaurant has the best chip Ive system solution that fulfills all the basic XTP product line.
ever eaten. Wow! How do they do that? requirements; but that alone will not Id bet you a bag of quarters on it.
Tortilla chips consist essentially of ground always set us apart. We need something
corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water. This more. We need reliability most of all and
Steve Somers is Vice President of Engineering at
basic formula for making these chips is we would like to do some things that Extron Electronics.

New Extron Digital

Technology Certifications
for 2012
Were developing two new Extron certifications for launch in 2012.
These new certifications will equip AV professionals with a full range
of education and in-depth training for navigating the transition from
analog to digital presentation technologies. Obtaining one or both
of these certifications will demonstrate your commitment to ongoing
education and continued improvement. It will show your customers,
peers, and colleagues you have an advanced understanding of
these emerging technologies and the skills to integrate them into any
presentation system.

Extron Certified Digital Technologies Associate

Covers a basic understanding of the range of digital technologies and best
practices for the planning, design, and integration of digital AV systems.

Extron Certified Digital Technologies Specialist

Covers the skills and expertise necessary to deploy complex digital and hybrid
digital/analog AV systems with a focus on XTP CrossPoint Systems
Extron TLP 710CV
The Industrys First 7" Flip-up Touchpanel
The Extron TLP 710CV is a configurable 7" Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel that combines AV system control with the convenience
of an Extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a flip-up, full-color, high-resolution touchscreen in an elegant, metal enclosure that can
be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. An integrated MTP twisted pair receiver accepts S-video or composite
video and audio input signals over a single CAT 5-type cable. Power over Ethernet - PoE allows the touchpanel to receive power and
control over an additional CAT 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local power supply. The touchpanel enables integrators to deploy
furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power.

Key Features:
7" color touchscreen with 800x480 resolution and 18-bit color depth Light sensor adjusts screen brightness as the ambient room lighting
Full motion video display for preview and monitoring using Extron
twisted pair technology Cable Cubby design offers easy access to AV, data, and power
Power over Ethernet allows the touchpanel to receive power and
control over a single CAT 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local AC power modules available for US, Europe, and other major world
power supply - PoE injector included markets
Built-in speaker provides audio for video preview and audible AV connectivity options:
feedback from button presses - Holds up to 11 single-space AAP-Architectural Adapter Plates
- Holds up to 6 AV and data cable retractor assemblies
Enterprise AV System Design and Integration Fall 2011