This month's spotlight is on a brand-new product that fits into a slightly different category than most of our products, the AC-EXUSB-2-KIT USB 2.0 extender. USB signal transmission has been part of the low voltage integrator's world for some time now. Universal Serial Bus is, for the most part, a technology that works reliably as intended for a variety of signal types. It does have its limitations, however, most notably distance. On its own, USB 2.0 is limited to 5 meters. Available USB extension cables can extend the signal up to 30m, but they can introduce their own issues, not to mention that 30m is in many instances not sufficient. Other extension methods tend to be quite costly and may not provide the needed signal stability.
AVPro has several HDBaseT video extenders that incorporate USB extension. It has been a popular feature in many applications for a while now; however, we are now seeing many cases where USB extension is needed without being accompanied by HDBaseT video. Covid19 has by necessity caused many of us to find new ways of doing what we do, many times, in places we're not used to doing them. Moving some of those activities out of the office and into our homes has created some technical challenges. Cameras, keyboards, mice, and computers are many times not in the same room. Home theaters and other spaces are being converted into multi-use areas. Even before Covid extending USB signals was a common request; however, the current situation has multiplied the demand many times over.
In response, AVPro has developed the AC-EXUSB-2-KIT USB extender, allowing USB 2.0 extension up to 328ft over category wire. And of course, in true AVPro fashion, we have found a way to do things just a little better than the rest with a measured throughput of 324Mbps, making sure your customers' devices perform the way they should. We even added a 4 port hub on the receiving end, allowing multiple devices to be easily connected (computer, mouse, camera, flash drive, etc.). We've done this at a remarkably affordable cost, still covered by our 10 year parts and labor warranty.
This extender kit utilizes standard USB-A and USB-B connections. I have had some questions regarding compatibility with USB-C connectors. All you need is a standard USB-C to USB-A connector cable to use a USB-C device with this extender. Since USB-C cables do not adhere to the same strict standards as USB-A versions, we chose not to put USB-C connectors directly on the device, avoiding potential compatibility problems.
The AC-EXUSB-2-KIT is available now. If you have any questions regarding applications or installation, just let us know. We're here to help!
When you get the opportunity to offer a video distribution system to a client, it's a big deal! Video can be daunting to many consumers when every TV has smart functions. So how does an integrator sell the idea that a matrix switcher is worth the investment? Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, and HDR are the reasons. Delivering unmatched image and audio quality throughout a whole home run with a professional control system is the recipe for continued installs with good word of mouth.
When a customer can watch a 4K film at 60 frames per second in their home theater with over 30 channels of object-based audio, then run to the kitchen to grab snacks and see/hear the same source played through in-wall speakers and kitchen TV, it delivers an experience beyond their expectations. You can provide this set-up with the new AC-MX44-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM matrix switcher from AVPro Edge.
AVPro Edge has rounded out its HDBaseT/HDMI down-mixing matrix line-up with this 4x4 version! Like its 16x16 and 8x8 big brothers, this matrix is a high bandwidth audio/video matrix switcher with the ability to down-mix bitstream audio beyond 7.1 channel into a 2 channel audio signal via all 4 inputs, including Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.
This AC-MX44-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM matrix switcher allows the user to deliver 24+ channels to a Dolby Atmos home theater while simultaneously delivering 2 channel to the rest of the zones. This is possible by enabling the down-mixing only to affect the de-embedded audio outputs. The HDBaseT and HDMI ports leave the audio unimpeded, allowing users to distribute full Dolby Atmos and DTS HD through them.
For more information, check our the website or give us a call. We would love to talk home theaters with you!
Earlier this year, AVPro has had the pleasure of hosting Anthony Grimiani for a series of webinars covering many different topics in home theater acoustics. You can access this on demand library of trainings below or AVPro's full library of trainings here.
This series is a must for any audiophile or installer working with home theater acoustics. We would like to thank Anthony for providing AVPro's audience with this great content and participating in this series, we hope to hear more in the future!
Anthony Grimani is a highly respected expert in audio engineering and acoustics, and has worked on over 1,000 media environment projects during his 35 year career. Custom Retailer magazine named him one of the “50 Most Vital Influencers”, he was inducted as Fellow of the CEDIA trade association, and CEPro Magazine named him one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People of the Past 20 Years.” His extensive industry experience includes executive positions at Dolby and Lucasfilm THX.
Surround sound has been used in home theaters for decades, imitating realistic environments and helping consumers feel even more immersed in the content that they view. While this is great for a dedicated home theater, problems arise when distributing this multichannel audio to multiple zones with varying capabilities. Whether it is no sound at all or missing voices, this is mainly seen when a room's audio varies between using AVRs and Preprocessors or where audio is played back by the display.
The varying types of Multichannel Audio
To understand these issues, we need to understand the two main types of Multichannel Audio:
Understanding the Issues of Multichannel Audio and how to resolve them
The following issues and resolutions are situations in which a zone with a multichannel audio player/decoder is functioning correctly. If you are experiencing issues with an AVR or Preprocessor, check the device's configuration settings and ensure that the channel configuration is set accordingly.
Issues with PCM audio:
Issues with Bitstream Audio
We are always trying to provide the best experience for a client by understanding the issues that can arise with multichannel audio. We can address problems when designing the original solution, saving both you and your clients time and headaches, as well as reducing the number of truck rolls.
AVPro Edge now offers a 4x4 18Gbps HDBaseT/HDMI matrix with built-in audio downmixing.
Sioux Falls, S.D. - AVPro Edge, an AVPro Global Holdings company, is proud to announce the expansion of their line-up of HDBaseT/HDMI Downmixing Matrix switchers with a 4x4 version. The AC-MX44-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM is a high bandwidth audio/video matrix switcher with the ability to downmix bitstream audio beyond 7.1 channel into a 2 channel audio signal via all 8 inputs, including Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.
This AC-MX44-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM matrix switcher allows the user to deliver 24+ channels to a Dolby Atmos home theater, while simultaneously delivering 2 channel to the rest of the zones. This is possible by allowing the downmixing to only affect the de-embedded audio outputs. The HDBaseT and HDMI ports leave the audio unimpeded, allowing users to distribute full Dolby Atmos and DTS HD through them.
This matrix supports the full HDMI 2.0 specification, 18Gbps 4K60 4:4:4 signaling, and HDR formats Including HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG, BBC and NHK. All of which are supported in up to 4K 60Hz and up to 12 Bit Deep Color. As with any AVPro Edge product, this switch comes with a ten year no-nonsense advanced replacement warranty.
For more information or to purchase AC-MX44-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM, please contact AVPro Edge at 877-886-5112 or visit www.AVProEdge.com.
About AVPro Edge
AVPro Edge was founded and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. An AVPro Global Holdings company, AVPro Edge diligently develops and manufactures connectivity products designed to provide integrators with the tools they need to get their jobs done. As a full adopter of HDMI, HDBaseT and HDCP, AVPro Edge provides the quality products integrators deserve. Our engineers regularly work with these organizations and chip manufacturers to ensure the very best and capable products come to market. For more information, visit www.avproedge.com or call (877) 886-5112.
AVPro Edge is happy to sponsor the reading program for Eugene Field Elementary School, promoting the continued learning of hundred of students ages 5-11.
Eugene Field Elementary School is located in Sioux Falls South Dakota, and in many ways is like every other elementary school. Kids run through the halls as teachers try to keep up, colorful art covers the walls and a plenty of learning is done. What makes this school different though is that it is a A+ Magnet School focused on the Arts!
Drama, Dance, Writing, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Singing and Preforming become these students every day routine. A math lesson is now acted out by the students, American History is learned through a living Wax Museum of students ready to preform in character, Geography is taught through map building.
This unique style of learning lets students from all walks of life received a specialized education.
Video walls catch the eye, there is no doubt about it! The want for larger screens is real; we have seen TV screen size increase immensely over the last 10 years. Video walls allow you to drastically increase your customer viewing size and add a MAJOR wow factor to the installation. Video wall TV's can be expensive; they are commercial grade and are built for signage and infographics. AVPro Edge is presenting the residential audio/video market with another solution! Enter the Fresco CAP 9 from AVPro Edge! The AC-FRESCO-CAP-9 is a 3x3 video wall processor built to make things easier on the integrator. Great news, you can use any display with an HDMI port to set up the wall! Even better, the Fresco CAP 9 supports full HDR and Dolby Vision content you find from films, tv shows, and video games. If you are not familiar with Dolby Vision, you will want to be:
What is Dolby Vision™?
Dolby Vision is the brand name for a high dynamic range (HDR) 4K video format developed and promoted by the folks that brought us Dolby Surround and all its subsequent permutations. To use the Dolby Vision logo on a TV or Blu-ray player, manufacturers must pay to certify their products and license the name. The Dolby HDR format is also used in video production, making it a professional as well as a consumer brand.
As a refresher, HDR was introduced as a way for TVs to display more colors (by increasing the color gamut) and more-intense colors (by boosting specific brightness levels). Before HDR, sets were limited by an old video specification for HDTV known as Rec. 709, which was based on technical limitations going back to the '90s.
Today's LCD and OLED panels have the capacity to display many more colors than older sets, but they didn't have a way to reach their full potential until HDR came along.
This Video Wall Processor allows integrators to install video walls inside luxury homes while displaying Dolby Vision and HDR content throughout. With one HDMI input and nine HDMI outputs, you can set up video walls in 2x2, 3x3, or even two simultaneous 2x2 configurations. Set up is easy, and you can use any type of TV you want. With so many consumer panels having small bezels, they now make for great video walls.
The Fresco CAP 9 can work with any matrix switcher, any distribution amplifier, any extender, or any other HDMI 2.0 product.
Here are some ways to set up your video wall:
If you would like to install a video wall in your next installation, please give us a call at 605-274-6055 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A clean, organized rack is now possible with the newly redesigned EZ Rack from AVPro Edge.
AVPro Edge has redesigned their extender rack mount with the all new EZ Rack. With this rack, installers can mount any type of AVPro Edge extender or MX Net encoder to give customers a clean and safe finish in the rack. This mount holds up to 15 extenders and features thumb screws for easy manipulation of the slots.
The product fits in a standard 19-inch rack system and is made of extremely strong metal alloy. It is powder coated in a black matte finish to give the rack a professional, polished look.
Matt Murray of AVPro Edge stated, “This redesigned rack mount makes for an easier, quicker installation over our previous rack. It’s always exciting to keep improving our products, especially ones that make an integrator’s life easier.”
For more information or to purchase AC-EZRACK-15 please contact AVPro Edge at 877-886-5112 or visit www.AVProEdge.com.
About AVPro Edge
AVPro Edge was founded and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. An AVPro Global Holdings company, AVPro Edge diligently develops and manufactures connectivity products designed to provide integrators with the tools they need to get their jobs done. As a full adopter of HDMI, HDBaseT and HDCP, AVPro Edge provides the quality products integrators deserve. Our engineers regularly work with these organizations and chip manufacturers to ensure the very best and capable products come to market. For more information visit www.avproedge.com or call (877) 886-5112.
The AVPro Employee Highlight section is a way for you to get to know our AVPro Family. Let's get to know Jerod!
What is your Name and your roll at AVPro Global Holdings?
Jerod Grieme, Regional Sales Manager
What’s you favorite Color?
What’s your favorite food?
Baby Back Ribs For sure.
What do you like about working at AVPro?
I love the atmosphere we have in our office, we work together as a big team and it shows in our support of our customers. Plus I have always been amazed by advancing technologies, new and leading edge products. Getting to talk about them every day and see them in action is really not work at all to me.
From your point of view, how is AVPro different from other places you worked?
The number one thing that makes us different is that everyone’s voice is heard. We are all encouraged to share input and offer solutions. Our leadership team does a great job of taking feedback and doing something with it.
What has been your best “moment” since working with AVPro?
My best moment so far has been experiencing 2019 CEDIA, I was shocked at how busy our booth was the entire 3 days. It went by in a blur and it was the really great getting to meet a lot of our customers. Also it was a lot of fun getting several people involved in a little card game at our dealer party. Great times great people!
AVPro Operates out of South Dakota, what the best and worst part of living in the 605?
My favorite thing about living here is you get to experience all the seasons, Fall is my favorite. The worst part has to be that Winter seems to last forever some years.
If you had it your way, what is one thing you would change with the professional audio video world? If we could make unlimited bandwidth a real thing. Zero Lag and Latency would be something that would be amazing.
What is your favorite Consumer Electronic? Whatever’s new. PS5 right now.
We hear you’re a big sports nut, what are your favorite teams and why? Growing up I was always undersized and having 2 older brothers I was constantly competing against kids bigger than me. The first time I watched Derek Jeter play shortstop and hear how the announcers talked about him being undersized and being told that he wouldn’t be able to play at that level. I naturally took a liking to the New York Yankees, plus the 90’s were really good to the Yankees! I am also a cowboys fan… But I’m declining to comment on them in their current state.
In this case study, we join Omnia Integration out of Chicago, IL as they bring a home built in the 1800s into the 21st Century with a full A/V upgrade.
From a 24 zone audio video distribution system, Control 4 lighting control, HVAC control, garage control, to a state of the art security integration, this home has it all. For full 18Gbps distribution throughout the entire home Omnia used the AVPro Edge modular 16x16 matrix switch (AC-MX1616-AUHD-CHASSIS) as the backbone to get all be benefits of full HDR support, downmixing, and more.
Download the case study below to see how this unique installation turned out!
If you have any questions about the modular 16x16 HDBaseT Matrix or any of AVPro Edge's products, please contact us or give us a call at 877-886-5112!
Launch Date: November 19, 2020
XBOX Series X
Launch Date: November 15, 2020
Both consoles share similar specifications, so if your clients will use either of these, this information can be applied. Clients could use these consoles for gaming and entertainment centers, so you need to consider and discuss the state of their current audio/video installation. See if they would like to take advantage of some of the new high frame rate 4K or lower frame rate but higher resolution 8K capabilities. If so, you need to evaluate and potentially upgrade their system to support the increased bandwidth used by 120 FPS 4K and 8K content.
Why Does this Matter for Integrators Current Installations?
It is in the best interest of both the integrator and the client to address these needs early and upgrade the distribution system first to prepare. Once the video distribution is upgraded, you also benefit from preparing for other high frame rate 4K or higher resolution of 8K sources that will surely be following the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Some customers will choose not to upgrade their equipment, in these circumstances explaining how 4K at 120 FPS or 8K video will not work is up to the integrator. Having an 8K Source and Sink is nil if you don’t have the infrastructure in-between to support it.
Bandwidth required for 4K at 120 FPS and 8K content is much larger than past signals. For 4K HDR @ 120 FPS or 8K HDR @ 30 FPS you will need a minimum of 40Gbps for uncompressed video and 18Gbps for compressed video. If you want to use these consoles to their fullest and support 8K or 120fps content, you should be providing a completely uncompressed signal. If your video distribution infrastructure cannot pass 48Gbps you won’t be getting that signal at the high-end 4K 120Hz or 8K display. Even worse, the equipment’s EDID will not even allow them to change the resolution on the console, and your customer may be upset that they spent money on a high frame rate or higher resolution display that they can’t even use.
Your New Source will probably work with Older A/V Infrastructure
If the end client decides that they don’t want to upgrade their installation, the system will still work, but at less than optimal performance. HDMI 2.1 offers some new features such as Link Training that can establish the best possible bandwidth performance and adjust the video settings as necessary. This is an automatic process where the source device will send packets of data to the sink device and then check to ensure the sink device received the packets. If it fails, the settings are reduced to use less bandwidth and attempted again until the whole system can successfully pass the data to the display. This feature means while you may not get 4K at 120 FPS or 8K content delivered to your client, you will get the best possible video for the equipment that is currently installed.
Why would an integrator not utilize Link Training?
If Link Training means you don’t have to upgrade your equipment chain, then why do it? Integrators are expected to provide the highest possible performance of the systems they install. To do this, you should be prepared to offer your clients a system capable of handling up to 48Gbps video. You need to ensure all equipment and cables are rated for HDMI 2.1 and 48Gbps bandwidth. The CEDIA Integrator’s job in Audio/Video is to provide the highest quality, most optimized signal possible. When your source uses Link Training to send the signal, it maybe sending a signal that is not high quality, that is not optimized for the best picture. That’s when the custom integrator must choose their products wisely, ensuring the customer is getting what they paid for.
No matter if your client decides to get the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, AVPro Edge will continue to push technology and build tools for today’s custom integrator. From our AOC cables to our matrix switchers, AVPro continues to adopt and support the best audio/video technologies available.
If you need to upgrade your video distribution beyond 18Gbps, keep an eye out for more information on the AVPro Edge 48Gbps matrix switcher in the works!
This month's product spotlight begins with a question -
Q: When is an HDMI cable not just an HDMI cable?
A: When it's a Bullet Train 48gbps Active Optical Cable (AOC).
That's because when you run one of our 10K AOC cables not only are you running the best HDMI cable option available, you're also installing a signal pathway for the future. Our AOC cables have a very unique capability. Where other manufacturers use proprietary fiber in their AOC HDMI cables, AVPro uses actual Cleerline field-terminatable fiber. This means that no matter how far into the future, if standards change (connectors, bandwidth requirements etc.) the end of the cable can be cut-off and the fiber within can be terminated just as you would standard bulk Cleerline fiber. This feature makes our 48gbps AOC fiber cables not only the best choice right now, they offer a level of future-resistance not available in any other cable. Yes, I did say future resistance, not future proof. I used to say future-proof but I've been in this business way too long to keep using that phrase. Fiber optic cable is, however, as close as we can get in this industry. Much of the fiber I installed as an integrator in the early 90's is just now being used, and given the bandwidth capabilities of fiber we're a long way from needing to look beyond.
To make an even more compelling argument, AVPro recently began shipping 60m, 80m and 100m versions of these amazing cables. With lengths up to 328ft you can now provide a pathway for uncompressed signals up to 48Gbps at a very reasonable cost, possibly changing project specifications where extenders may have otherwise been used. They are ARC compatible at up to 60m and eARC compatible up to 20m. And you can pull longer runs with confidence. We have drastically increased durability by attaching the headshell to the Kevlar strands which run the length of the cable, not the jacket itself. In addition to being CL2/CL3 and in-wall rated they are also plenum/FT6 rated making then suitable for commercial as well as residential installations. Not only did we build these cables to be durable, we also cover them with our outstanding 10 year parts and labor warranty. As with the rest of our HDMI cable line-up, each one has an individual serial number to allow for a level of quality control rarely seen in this product category. I still highly recommend using your Fox and Hound to test all cables that you install at the rough stage to be absolutely sure there will be no surprises at finish. Don't have a Fox and Hound? Please contact us and we'll be happy to explain why you should and how to get your hands on one.
With lengths of 5m to 100m there is a length for almost every application. I think there is one thing we can say for sure - video quality is only going to improve and the resulting signals are unlikely to get any easier to transmit. Creating a robust infrastructure for both today and tomorrow is one of the most important aspects of low-volt system design. AVPro 48gbps 10K AOC cables are an excellent way to help ensure that your installations stand the test of time!
For more information on Bullet Train Active Optical HDMI Cables, visit BulletTrainCables.com/10kAOC!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Baker is and industry veteran and AVPro's Sales Manager for the Western US. Here is a little more info about Steve:
I entered the A/V industry in 1979. Since then I have worked in retail sales/management, custom integration installation /sales/project management as well as business owner and licensed contractor. Since 1999 I have worked primarily in CEDIA channel distribution and direct representation.
Look forward to Baker's Corner in every AVPro Newsletter!
We appreciate you stopping by!