As a manufacturer of video distribution products sold internationally, at AVPro Edge we are hyper-confident our affiliations with HDMI, HDCP, HDBaseT and the Imaging Science Foundation enable our engineers to design best-in-class products containing HDMI inputs, outputs and without-a-doubt-puts. Yet at times in our Sioux Falls headquarters, walking past the tech assistance offices that monitor our phone support lines, and pausing to hear integrators calling from project sites with a myriad of aural puzzles, I become re-amazed (sure, feel free to use that one...). Has our industry become so devoid of training it is taking for granted all products with HDMI ins / outs / ups and downs now simply work, regardless of their born-on date? In one sense that is true, as HDMI was designed for licensed products to produce an image when connected together.
As a major update, HDMI 2.1, was announced on January 4th, 2017, and while for some that may have passed unheralded, the industry is now on the cusp for 8K resolution and other significant enhancements to become mainstream.
Inattention to HDMI designations with legacy devices, particularly cabling, produces unanticipated compatibility issues for consumers and integrators alike, as next generation products attempt to mesh within existing systems. And adding to that, HDMI LA (HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc.) announced prior to the opening of CES 2022 a minor revision, but a change in designation nonetheless, to HDMI 2.1a.
AVPro Edge sponsors AVPro Academy regional trainings and presentations at CEDIA Tech Summits, affording the integration community opportunities for keeping pace with new technology convergence. HDMI 2.1a crosses the HDMI 2.0 series Rubicon, ushering forward a profound collection of advancements to enhance the viewing experience; it is still not, however, sans pitfalls.
Below I detail these features and the effect they impart on the future of video distribution and playback.
The previous major leap forward with HDMI was the step up from the 1.3/1.4 versions maximum data rate of 8.16 Gbit/s and maximum transmission bit rate of 10.2 Gbit/s to version 2.0 with a data rate of 14.4 Gbit/s and a maximum transmission bit rate of 18.0 Gbit/s, suitably positioning HDMI 2.0 into the UHD era. While teasing BT. 2020 color space, no consumer products emerged for that advantage. The audio sample frequency doubled to 1536kHz, and the format made provisions for 32 audio channels.
HDMI 2.0 retained TMDS encoding (Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling) for video signal transmission as in previous versions, relying on powerful clock recovery in the receiver for high skew tolerance to accommodate longer cable lengths.
Version 2.0a, released in April of 2015, added HDR10 support, while version 2.0b in December 2016 added capabilities for hybrid log-gamma (HLG). Worthy of mentioning is the establishment of the HDMI Forum, by HDMI founding members, in October of 2011. From October 25, 2011, forward, additions and changes to the HDMI specification are the responsibility of the HDMI Forum, with more on that to follow.
HDMI 2.1/HDMI 2.1a
By the numbers, data capacity for HDMI2.1 catapults to a maximum data rate of 42.6Gbit/s and maximum transmission bit rate of 48.0 Gbit/s, and how this is accomplished within the constraint of using the same 19 pin form factor is remarkable.
As with previous version updates initiating substantial changes, implementation often trails press day fanfare by years. HDMI 2.1’s entry delay was hampered by chip availability prior, and unrelated to, the pandemic.
A quantitatively significant leap in bandwidth is made possible in HDMI 2.1, in part attributable by shifting from three data channels of 6 Gbps (the 18Gbps total for HDMI 2.0) into three data channels each doubling the signal rate to 12 Gbps. How the data is structured also changed, using a packet-based model embedding the TMDS clock signal into the data 3 lane, and converting the TMDS clocking channel (which in previous HDMI versions never transmitted audio, video, or data), into a fourth data channel of 12Gbps. Encoding efficiency gained in the packet-based format allotted more bandwidth to data transfer compared to TMDS, enabling the four channels an aggregate maximum data rate of 42.6 Gbps, nearly three times that of HDMI 2.0 with a maximum transmission bit rate of 48.0Gbps.
Fixed Rate Link
This rearrangement to the physical layer architecture, increasing HDMI data transfer, is referred to as Fixed Rate Link. Ranked from FRL1 through FRL6, it is broken out to define the number of “lanes” (using paired wires contained in the HDMI cable) and the lane rate bandwidth of each, expressed in Gbps. Combinations range from a minimum of three channels of 3Gbps with FRL1, to a maximum of four channels of 12Gbps for FRL6.
Embedding the TMDS clock signal within FRL signal packets enables the bandwidth density necessary for HDMI 2.1 to host features like Dynamic HDR, Variable Refresh Rate, Link Training, and more. Despite the transmission mode of AC-coupled FRL replacing DC-coupled TMDS, HDMI 2.1 is not exclusively free of using TMDS. FRL maintains backward compatibility were data rates to fall under FRL minimum support range. TMDS fallback encompasses FRL1 and FRL2, although a particular device may not support all possible signals in those rates.
AVPro Edge introduced the world's first 8K matrix switcher, the AC-MX-42X, which operates within Fixed Rate Link 5 parameters.
Link Training, enmeshed in FRL for HDMI, is a protocol for switching between TMDS and FRL and is intended to create reliable and stabilized communication between a Source and a Sink. Six Link Training states exist in HDMI ultimately governing the quality level of the image to be displayed. Link Training plays no direct part in image fidelity parameters rather, it parses EDID information from the sink on behalf of the source, verifying FRL support and confirming the maximum compatible rate of data that can be exchanged (and other display criteria such as timing, color depth, etc.). Link Training can assess HDCP status but that is optional. The source initiates Link Training, with the Sink negotiating for a specific FRL rate. If the Sink requests a new Link Rate, LTS: 4 (Link Training State) can be used to change FRL rates. Upon agreement, FRL transmission commences with LTS: P (Passed). If Link Training fails (LTS: L) TMDS is initiated, with an image of some construct designed to appear.
It is at this juncture where integrators should pay heed and consider test equipment capable of verification for system signals.
As an example, say you have an enthusiast gaming client, and your design comprises of a leading game console, next Gen 8K display, switchgear for multiple locations in the dwelling, and Ultra High Speed cabling. At 4k/100/120fps, 12-bit 4:4:4 RGB, it’s a toe-tip over the 48Gbps threshold by a scant .11Gbps. Link training suppresses the signal to a still fantastic 40.1 Gbps. But with HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.1a, additional features can further reduce bandwidth, with the “Info” button on the display remote control alerting your client to less than state-of-the-art performance. While testing prior to deployment has always been a best practices strategy and manufacturers such as AVPro Edge sister company, Murideo, engineer and build affordable, field portable test instrumentation, design verification before large-scale, duplicate purchases could prove to be a hidden miracle.
And as I mentioned at the start regarding tech support…test gear can mitigate company downtime, isolate issues to their origin and even prevent them from arising.
High Frame Rate
The quantum uptick in bandwidth supported by HDMI 2.1 gives manufacturers freedom to develop new devices outputting or receiving resolutions as high as 10420 x 4320…10K. While unlikely the market will see ultra-high resolutions eclipsing 8K any time soon, 100/120fps is supported with HDMI 2.1, and game consoles available now are capable of outputting 4K/120fps.
As an entertainment medium, HFR movies have been met with a fair amount of skepticism. The series of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies were critically received but largely commercial disappointments. Ang Lee’s two 120fps movies, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man exhibited a hyperrealism which most people found disconcerting. The lack of content from Hollywood for this domain suggests that it isn’t commercially viable, though James Cameron is said to be shooting the Avitar sequels in HFR so perhaps as the consumer side of things is catching up with theatrical technology, we may see more in the future. High Frame Rate should not be confused with High Refresh Rates.
Frames per Second vs. Refresh Rate
There is an element of confusion circling around high frame rates and “high refresh rates”, so much so the terms are often used interchangeably. Each term refers to a similar visual concept, but different tasks performed by different hardware devices.
Movement depicted on a display refers to the number of consecutive still images or frames and the rate at which new frames appear per a SMPTE time-coded increment, which is one second of clock time expressed as frames per second, or fps. The greater the number of frames, the higher the frame rate.
Refresh rate refers to the number of times per second the display creates a new viewable image and is expressed in Hertz (Hz.).
To illustrate the difference between frame rate and refresh rate, merely pause active content. Frame rate halts, however, refresh continues. Simply put: Frame rate is in content, refresh rate is in hardware.
Though widely known, for context I will briefly make the addition that a manufacturer’s marketing information pertaining to refresh rate may not (read: rarely, if ever) match the engineering specifications of a television. Sadly, “biggest numberitis” is a malady that still persists in the marketing world and the cure eludes television manufacturers. Motion Rate, MotionFlow, and TruMotion refer to the jargon chicanery TV makers use to describe features such as black frame insertion or framerate interpolation, and the associated numbers inflate the actual refresh rate of the display. It’s a minefield rife with danger in today's HDMI 2.1 world, as the 120Hz goes-faster-model description on the box may refer to an actual 60Hz operating panel inside.
HDMI Forum Variable Refresh Rate
It will probably enter the lexicon as VRR, but the HDMI Forum prefix is key for HDMI 2.1 products. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is nothing new to the PC-based gaming community, having begun life – and eternal conquest – as graphics card maker AMD with FreeSync battles Nvidia and G-Sync for format domination. PC users found the VRR format available to them was dependent on who manufactured the graphics card inside their PC. As such, a wide belief extends this to TV support for either FreeSync or G-Sync to properly support VRR game consoles. Just throwing this out as a free life lesson, never make something thought to be proprietary into a tattoo. HDMI Forum VRR (or if you prefer, HDMI VRR) is the consequential standardization of this process, with the HDMI group establishing their own version of the VESA Adaptive Sync protocol. Next Gen consoles Xbox Series X supports HDMI VRR in conjunction with FreeSync VRR, and April 25th Sony announced VRR support for HDMI 2.1 VRR compatible TVs for PS5, a presumed alignment with HDMI Forum VRR.
For ardent gamers, VRR is a critical feature to image clarity. Next Gen consoles can send 120fps information to a Television that is capable of displaying that frame rate (see Refresh Rate above…trust, but verify!), so crucially for gaming, the match-up seems idyllic: the gaming device will send video frames to the display at a rate it can efficiently process them. In reality, the in-game frame rate fluctuates perpetually as plot scenarios evolve. In an F1 driving simulation, a sequence with the car being prepared in the garage parses out frames less frantically than a 320kph (biggest numberitis shamefully in use) pass in the Belgian countryside.
An HDMI VRR-featured television allows the frames to be displayed at the rate they are sent, not at a fixed rate, adjusting the display’s refresh rate in real-time. Sudden changes in frame rate cause image tearing on displays with static refresh rates. HDMI VRR dynamically adjusts refresh rates to match rapidly changing frame rates for a consistent, smoothly transitioning image.
A VRR-capable display will vary refresh rates anywhere from 40-120Hz.
Xbox Series X and PS5 both are HDMI VRR capable, so the display will require this feature designation as will any device the signal traffics through, such as an AVR. Ultra High Speed cables are necessary at all device connection points.
While an exciting feature aimed at gamers, be it known VRR technologies are yet to be deemed perfected. In some instances, they can affect input lag and may not completely eliminate all screen tearing artifacts.
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
With some display manufacturers, getting into game mode was like trying to get into Studio 54 back in the day…you had to know somebody. Deep dives into normally bypassed parts of the TV menu were necessary to access and activate Game mode, often temporarily disabling settings directly relative to image fidelity on non-gaming sources. For HDMI 2.1 feature set televisions, ALLM signals the display to switch into Game mode as well as activate all the necessary settings to reduce delay and lag. It essentially optimizes pixel processing for best latency or best pixel processing. It won’t contribute to your gaming experience, only properly prepare for it. ALLM isn’t activated every time a game console is powered up, as it is capable of detecting game play, media streaming, or disc use. Not all televisions with HDMI 2.1 ports necessarily have the feature, as some Sony models launched required updates to enable ALLM.
Quick Frame Transport
Quick Frame Transport (QFT) is designed to improve the transfer rate of video game data from console output to display input. Display latency is measured as the time necessary for a frame of data at the source GPU to be displayed on the television screen. The data path is longer than simply the HDMI cable, as it includes output circuitry in the source device, TV processing, and screen refresh. QFT accelerates the transport time between the source HDMI 2.1 output port to the display’s HDMI 2.1 input port at a higher rate than normal. In gaming terms, the delay between pressing a controller button and discernible movement on the screen is reduced, with any incremental reduction in latency considered quantitative in the gaming world.
HDMI Quick Media Switching (QMS)
Using HDMI VRR, HDMI 2.1a Quick Media Switching eliminates the momentary screen blackout when HDMI sources are switched.
The black interval comes into play when refresh rates differ between video sources making employ of the HDMI VRR feature an elegant solution. One caveat, however, is the black screen will still occur if resolutions are different between sources.
Display Stream Compression 1.2
Companion to higher bandwidth requirements at the as-yet, fringe side of HDMI 2.1, specifically 8K and beyond, are new compression methods for data transport. Most common is Display Stream Compression (DSC). AVPro Edge carefully examined DSC when designing our first products and determined the criteria for DSC relied too heavily upon declaration that tangible differences to static images were negligible, heavily skewing the conclusion that it was an artifact free platform. As a result, AVPro Edge’s in-house engineering team designed ICT, our Invisible Compression Technology algorithm.
At first glance, DSC 1.2 appears to be very similar in concept to Software Defined Video-over-Ethernet (SDVoE) in especially using the approach of splitting a video frame into equally-sized slices along horizontal and vertical, and then processing these slices in parallel. Theoretically, it can be considered similar to interlaced analog video and scanning lines. In another facet, DSC 1.2 is said to be able to increase maximum color bit depth to 16-bit with YCbCr 4:2:0 and YCbCr 4:2:2 without the need for conversion to RGB first, taking on the persona of Color Space Conversion.
With bandwidths and resolutions to be addressed by this compression technology at 64Gbps and 10K respectively, much can change prior to implementation and many years may pass before it is needed.
HDMI Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
HDMI 2.1a features Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) as the follow-up generation to ARC. The primary benefit with eARC is a robust boost in audio bandwidth and speed, from approximately 1Mbps to 38Mbps, supporting up to 32 audio channels including eight-channel, 24-bit / 192kHz uncompressed data streams. High bitrate audio formats from Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray and streaming providers including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio plus object-based formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are compatible with eARC. Simplified connectivity with reliable HDCP negotiation were design goals with the actual audio path clear of CEC pathways, avoiding unwanted control protocols. Audio to a Television originating from DBS, CATV, connected source devices, or internal streaming apps can be routed back via eARC to a surround system or to a sound bar through a single HDMI cable.
While connected devices are not specifically required to be HDMI 2.1a certified, certification practically assures eARC support. Manufacturers can produce devices compatible with both ARC and eARC however, eARC is not defined as backwards compatible with ARC.
While HDMI 2.1 standardized the transport of dynamic HDR metadata over HDMI, it only formalized dynamic metadata interfaces already in use with HDMI 2.0 by Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Both formats function properly with HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1a does not provide any additional capabilities. Standardization incorporates compliance testing to ensure Static and Dynamic HDR metadata can be exchanged through the HDMI interface.
All the benefits of static HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision remain unchanged in the HDMI 2.1 ecosystem.
Source-Based Tone Mapping
The “a” in HDMI 2.1a refers to the inclusion of Source Based Tone Mapping to the HDMI 2.1 specification, introduced on January 5th of this year, prior to the start of CES 2022. The HDMI Forum members, recognized that some streaming services were combining SDR, HDR, Dynamic HDR and graphics overlays simultaneously on one screen. In that mixed-bag environment, metadata is absent as it cannot be generated for a composite image. The source device optimizes the image suspending metadata, preventing the display device from attempting to tone map. SBTM is not a new HDR standard, rather, it is designed to partner with HDR10 and HLG and adjust luminance and color range per display capabilities when presented with this scenario.
Frame by frame, the source signals the display it is tone mapping the composite content to characteristics outlined by the display’s EDID. Signaling stops when the composite image ceases.
Another instance where SBTM is unique and beneficial is the enabling of “plug and play” HDR gaming without the need for pre-play calibration. From reading the EDID, the gaming device knows the display’s preferred color volume, and the gaming engine can appropriately tone map the content. No dynamic range in the display needs to be reserved for pixel values outside the specified color volume, applying full capability of the display to the content being played,
So, there can’t be a downside, correct? As with other unique HDMI 2.1 features, SBTM is a manufacturer-optional feature with no requirement to provide support. The same options apply to HDMI VRR, ALLM, and extended resolutions, bandwidths or 120Hz refresh support. Perhaps this is fodder for a future article, but rescinding listing of the HDMI version numerically and resorting to a provided feature list is a tedious imposition upon the consumer, and perhaps that might be the HDMI Forum’s ultimate intent.
Every square inch of carton real estate will be required to list ALL supported features. The HDMI Forum’s return argument, weak as it appears, is that this is always how its standards have worked and features that are optional give manufacturers flexibility in the functionality they offer.
Without question, the features scheduled to become active with HDMI 2.1 provides the consumer with beneficial, ease-of-use image enhancements in lockstep with a massive boost to the format’s bandwidth signal handling capabilities, when all devices and cabling are within the 2.1 ecosystem. HDMI 2.1a is considered a minor upgrade, adding source-based tone mapping to the HDMI 2.1 specification, yet significant of itself to warrant a designation change.
In the Link Training section, I commented upon the value of test gear and procedures designed to verify if specified products deliver their expected performance when installed into a new or existing system. That sentiment interleaves with the notion expressed at the end of Source-Based Tone Mapping that deciphering what features are on-board particular products by list only, sans any inclusive, governing numerical designation, will at times seem and ultimately prove futile, contributing to a collision of confusion we haven’t seen as an industry in quite some time.
As end-users yourselves, enjoy the new features of HDMI 2.1a, but as integrators, buckle up!
By Matt Murray, Chief Technology Officer
With this new partnership, clients of ISM West will benefit from full access to AVPro Edge products and support.
AVPro Edge, a manufacturer of video distribution products, is proud to announce a partnership with ISM West to expand representation of the AVPro Edge brand across the Western United States, including California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii. ISM West will provide professional, insightful marketing services with an innovative approach to systems applications and technical support. ISM West’s commitment to establishing and maintaining trusted relationships and delivering superior customer service to its clients aligns perfectly with AVPro Edge’s core values. In addition, this relationship further solidifies AVPro Edge’s commitment to integrators, assuring accessibility to products and product knowledge.
“ISM West is excited to represent AVPro Edge’s comprehensive line of problem-solving AV products,” says ISM West founder Cary Bernam. Control of both the design and manufacturing process makes AVPro Edge a natural fit with our other professional AV lines. We see great opportunities to serve our commercial AV integrator customer base.”
AVPro Edge specializes in developing future-proof, value-engineered audio/video distribution products with an industry-leading 10-year warranty. The complete product line includes a range of extenders, AV over IP, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, multi-viewers, audio equipment, and test gear, all engineered with military-grade quality to ensure long component life.
Jared Kantack of AVPro Edge stated, “With our new relationship with ISM West, AVPro Edge can deepen its relationships with integrators in the Commercial A/V space by providing cutting edge, practical solutions!”
For more information on ISM West, please visit http://ismwest.com.
To learn more about AVPro Edge and view the complete product line, please visit www.AVProEdge.com or call (877) 886-5112.
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 delivers 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.
Press Contact: Tom Devine, email@example.com, 605-782-2471
AVPro is proud to announce it has been nominated for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Nominated by an employee, this award goes to a business in recognition of exemplary support of National Guard and Reserve Member Employees. Many AVPro employees have served our country, including CEO Jeff Murray who spent 20 years in the US Army. We will always support our employees in their patriotic duties and it is an honor to be nominated for this award!
Bruce Levy of Parallax AV Design has developed his own control engine for AV programmers to use in large video distribution deployments. If you are looking for a control alternative and know a little something about programming, this might be your next control solution! Of course, Bruce has made sure that his platform works flawlessly with AVPro Edge products.
The Parallax Control Engine is a control system environment that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi4 (OS-Lite Server) or hosted virtually in the cloud on an AWS Lightsail Server (Ubuntu Server OS). It was developed to be used by C# Programmers in the AV industry.
The Parallax Control Engine bypasses the need for proprietary hardware, out-of-date software, and limited UI tools that have become common among control system manufacturers. Instead, Bruce created this system to work with Unity Software as the front-end interface. Industries have adopted the Unity Game Engine outside video gaming, such as film, automotive, architecture, engineering, construction, and the United States Armed Forces. Additionally, it is common to find programmers who have learned C# on Unity, making it easier for AV integrators to find programmers capable of developing with tools they already know.
Programmers familiar with Digital, Analog, and Serial Joins will find it easy to link control programming to the user interface application. With Unity, you can easily create interfaces by dragging and dropping buttons, sliders, and even your own custom-built tools right onto the canvas. Simply wire up the join numbers and export them to any iPad or Android tablet.
Additionally, drivers that integrate with the Parallax Control Engine are being created to quickly integrate with major AV products such as AVPro Edge, Biamp, Aver, Brainboxes, and more. Our AVPro Edge Library can be copied into the project for use with your control system program, simply add it as a reference and start using it.
Getting started is as easy as flashing an SD card with Pi Imager and executing our setup script. After that, drop the AVPro Edge Library into your project file. From there, you’ll be able to make calls to control your AVPro Edge gear with any iPad or Android tablet.
Visit this website to get more information:
The objectives of this class are the following:
We will also cover all of the "Buzz Words" and what they mean - FRL, VRR, eARC, HFR, CDS, ALLM and HDR.
CEDIA Tech Summits are happening all over the country throughout 2022, see the schedule below. We hope to see you in one of our classes!
AVPro has had a blast in Dallas, TX this week participating in the TOLA Expo for the first time! Connecting with our installers again plus showing off MXNet, our AV over IP system has been a highlight.
At this show we let MXNet take center stage. Our AV over IP system as been taking the industry by storm. With the MXNet Ecosystem, integrators finally have an end-to-end solution developed with them in mind. Our engineering team focused on three things, stability of the entire system, interoperability with any HDMI source, display, USB device, or control system, and easy deployment of the entire system. MXNet allows for unlimited sources, displays, USB devices & video walls making it the perfect video distribution system for your next installation. Learn more about MXNet here.
A big thank you goes out to everyone who stopped by our booth! It was so great to see everyone in person! If you have any questions about MXNet or any of AVPro Edge's products, please call 877-886-5112.
As a professional systems integrator, time is a valued commodity and sadly is not a SKU you can simply order more of. Systems of every size and complexity command detailed precisely orchestrated steps for design, installation, programming, and testing. Especially critical in this era of 8K source products and 8K display devices is the capability to satisfy end-users’ desire to effortlessly summon a particular source for view to any display within the system, paired with matching or perhaps even alternate audio. AVPro Edge respects your time and our development team has worked tirelessly to deliver the new AVPro Edge User Interface, ensuring complex matrix switch deployment is a concise, rapid process in your rack room or on site.
HDMI signal management is no longer the daunting challenge it has demonstrated to be in the past. Interoperability between source products and display devices, content changes that alter signal fluidity, and HDCP constraints all cause havoc during system deployment. AVPro Edge's User Interface places command back into the hands of installers. Custom EDID strings for source stability or image scaling to accommodate legacy displays is effortless with the AEUI technology in our new, easily navigable interface. AVPro Edge engineers have responded to requests from our integrators ensuring the matrix can be configured to address any system requirement.
How will you benefit from this new, easy to navigate AVPro Edge User Interface? Below, we examine every aspect from simplified installation to advanced built-in diagnostic tools.
The newly designed AVPro Edge User Interface (AEUI) is an on-board web interface tool we are incorporating into the entire line of our matrix switchers, with AEUI currently available on the AC-MX-42, AC-MX-42X, AC-MX-82, AC-MX-44, AC-MX-44HDBT, AC-AXION-4, AC-MX-88, AC-MX-88HDBT, and AC-AXION-8.
WE'll see you in spain in booth #5n350
A note from AVPro CEO, Jeff Murray:
We've been waiting a long time for this moment, returning to ISE to see friends, colleagues, and customers and to show everyone what AVPro has been up to in the last two years. It has been too long since we last saw our installers and showed off our new products, including MXNet, the AV over IP system taking the US by storm. We can't wait for you to see it in action at the show. See you there!
Register for ISE 2022 for FREE with AVPro's invitation code DVOGTYP8
Murideo will be back in action as well featuring 8k testing with our 8k SEVEN Generator, SIX-A and SIX-G Field Test Suite, and the 8k Fox & Hound. Visit Booth #5N350 for live calibration demos as well as system troubleshooting!
Live events are back, and we want to see you! AVPro Edge has a full schedule of events for 2022 including CEDIA Tech Summits, Trade Shows, AVPro Academy classes and more. We'd love to see you at one of our presentations or stopping by our booth.
Check out our schedule of events for April 2022, we hope to see you there!
It's no secret that MXNet is a robust product shaking up the industry. We've compiled some recent MXNet deployments to show you just how versatile this system can be.
Alaska Airlines Terminal Installation:
45 TV Installation in a Corporate Office
Mosaic VIdeo Walls
MXNet is the AV over IP video distribution ecosystem from AVPro Edge. With the MXNet Ecosystem, integrators finally have an end-to-end solution developed with them in mind. Our engineering team focused on three things, stability of the entire system, interoperability with any HDMI source, display, USB device, or control system, and easy deployment of the entire system. MXNet allows for unlimited sources, displays, USB devices & video walls; MXNet is the perfect video distribution system for your next installation.
Check out the full line-up here.
2022 is set to be an exciting year for MXNet! Recently, John and Tom went through all the latest updates to the MXNet Ecosystem with a hint of what is to come through-out the year!
Check out the recording below and learn more about the entire MXNet Ecosystem here.
AVPro Academy is hitting the road in 2022 with its first stop in Phoenix, AZ at Blackwire Designs. The curriculum is revamped and better than ever this year, focused on hands-on, real-world experience where we cover the fundamentals of HDMI and setting up and controlling both single room and multi-room/multi-zone distribution systems. Learn how to troubleshoot your distribution system when things do not go as planned. This course was built for today's integrator and is a CEDIA CUE & AVIXA RU accredited training.
You will learn:
This month's class will be hosted by Blackwire Designs in Phoenix, AZ on April 27-28. Make sure to register today and check out where AVPro Academy will be throughout the rest of the year below!
In our new feature, From the Tech Specialist, we will highlight one of our AVPro Edge Support team members as they share their knowledge! Today's article covers some of the most common reasons for tech support calls by Austin Dirks.
General EDID Management: Whether it's with our extender kits or matrices, EDID management is a common question. A common issue we run into is AVRs > Extender Kits > Displays, where syncing issues occur when switching between sources or when initially powering on the zone. Typically, this issue boils down to the AVR not properly negotiating the display's EDID. Setting a canned EDID on the extender kit (or copying the EDID of the display and storing it into the extender - which typically has the best results) will allow the AVR to immediately see and sync with the EDID information when adjusting sources/powering on. This eliminates sync issues and improves switch times between sources.
Matrix Setup and Firmware: One of the most common calls in tech support is when an integrator needs to set up a new Matrix Switcher. This can be daunting; it's the backbone of your video system and needs to be done correctly. Usually, the caller has some general questions like:
The answer to all of these questions is to access the AVPro Edge User Interface. To do that, follow these steps:
You can now click around changing EDID, managing audio, and scaling, but most importantly, your device will automatically check for firmware updates. Once you have done that, you can start plugging into displays and sources. Then, we suggest a power cycle of the switch. Finally, you can navigate back to the User Interface to manage audio, video, EDID, scaling, and the like. But if you still have a question, don't worry AVPro Tech Support is here for you.
Audio Configuration: The last common call on the list is Audio Configuration for Matrix Switchers. This is when an integrator is trying to extract audio from the switcher via the de-embedded audio ports. The best part about AVPro Edge’s audio extraction is that you can set it however you want! There are three main ways to do that:
Some control systems may want a specific configuration, or you might set up your customer to control the audio independently so they can hear the game in a zone showing no video. Whatever the case, you can set up your configuration in the AVPro Edge User Interface. To manage this go to the I/O Configuration > Extracted Audio Output Settings, just as shown in the bottom half of this picture...
Using Control4? Check out this guide: Audio Bindings Using Control4 and an AVPro Edge Matrix
Austin Dirks has been helping integrators install AVPro Edge products for years, with over 1,000 solved tickets under his belt. Austin is ISF Level I certified and has received his Fiber Optic for AV Professionals Certification and contributed to the AVPro Edge newsletter and knowledge base.
What is a Matrix Switcher? Matrix switchers can distribute one or many video sources to one or many displays. What does it do? With a matrix switcher, you can select video sources that you want by distributing them. Check out this quick video...
Seems pretty simple, right? At AVPro we carry matrix switchers for every application, and we set ourselves apart by offering built-in, unique features like...
AVPro's latest 8k product is a 1x4 distribution amplifier that is far from a simple D.A. The AC-DA-14X is an 8K HDMI distribution amplifier, scaler, and signal stabilizer. It connects one HDMI source and repeats that signal throughout the 4 HDMI output ports.
Output ports two and four have built-in scalers allowing users to connect legacy TVs, projectors, or AVRs. Introducing an 8K display and gaming console is the norm in many of today’s installations. With this product, you can do just that without having to upgrade your AVR. Scaling allows you to take 8K down to 4K or 1080p and 4K down to 1080p. Now you can send 8K signals to the connected 8K displays and a 4K or 1080p signal to older models.
Full HDMI 2.1, FRL 40Gbps, and HDR support ensure maximum stability in distributed HDMI systems, even with the newest sources. You can comfortably use all of the latest 8K sources without worrying about headroom with the added bandwidth. Finally, advanced EDID management allows users to select from 16 different settings. This enhances your ability to get the right signal throughout the system and ensures communication with any 3rd party device. Check out these features and more on the new AC-DA-14X.
Vista, Ca, March 17, 2022
Brawn Consulting in association with AVIXA is launching a three-day virtual class (March 29, 30, 31) on the new role of sales and the importance of the salesperson.
Alan Brawn notes that “Every year we celebrate new AV, IT, and digital signage technologies. Today the technologies are different but so are the relationships with our customers. The focus is no longer about a product but rather solving problems and creating an AV experience that adds value beyond the products we sell.”
AVIXA notes “The role of sales takes on a new meaning and importance and we need to be prepared to address the new reality of the seller/buyer relationship with new skills. This new course explores the need for differentiation and that today the difference is “you” the salesperson.”
This course includes:
About Brawn Consulting:
A service-based alternative to the high cost of developing in-house technical resources. It provides outsourced sales, product, and application engineering support, plus systems design, training and follow-up services for AV, IT, and digital signage manufacturers, distributors, and resellers. Brawn Consulting provides market intelligence services plus “Go to market” analysis, strategy development, and consulting to help companies plot a clear path to enter a market. Brawn Consulting also works with manufacturers, distributors, and resellers to create educational programs and content, train their staff, and the sales channels they serve.
MXNet has become the go-to networked AV system of choice for many integrators. Integrators are raving about having a complete ecosystem under one roof, including the network switch and MXNet Mentor, which gives you full control over the configuration and diagnosis of your system. To show everyone the recent updates with MXNet, we are hosting this webinar with MXNet Guru John Tumbleson to break it down for everyone!
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Pioneer Music Company, Inc is AVPro Edge's March Featured Partner! Learn a little bit about the history of this distinguished company and see what they had to say about working with AVPro Edge.
Founded in 1869 in Burlington, KS, Pioneer Music Company started out as a Hardware and Implements retailer. In 153 years, it has maintained ownership by the same family, and in that time each generation has put their spin on the business to help navigate it into the industries we serve today.
Jerod Grieme of AVPro Edge had this to say about working with PMC, "When working with distribution partners, it is key that they exemplify everything that you stand for as a company. Pioneer Music Company strives for excellent customer service, integrity, and ownership, all great examples of what makes them such a great partner of AVPro."
What has been your experience working with AVPro Edge and our products?
AVPro Edge is the definition of what you want as a vendor partner, specifically in the CEDIA channel.
It starts with their products, which perform at the top of their class, consistently. It is improved with their staff and service, they are a vendor partner that understands the importance of relationships and working together to serve the dealer base. It is perfected by their innovation, their investment into new technologies keeps them at the frontier of the industry, which is exactly what the CEDIA channel needs from its vendors.
How has providing AVPro Edge products benefited your customers?
As a company 100% dedicated to its products and technology, our customers have benefited from AV Pro’s consistency, reliability, and constant innovation. This results in our customers having complete confidence in their install when using AV Pro gear. In today’s world, that confidence goes a long way.
CHECK OUT THE MXNET FAMILY FOR YOUR NEXT INSTALL!
In our new feature, From the Tech Specialist, we will highlight one of our AVPro Edge Support team members as they share their knowledge! Today's article was written by Brandon Buol.
Custom integrators use HDMI video distribution equipment (Matrix Switchers, Extenders, AV over IP, or Distribution Amplifiers) in their installations every day. They leave the site, and everything is working great. Then, they get a call from their customer that the video stopped after several hours or days.
The first thing you want to do is point fingers at is the Video Distribution equipment, but how do you know what is causing the problem? Where is that HDMI Handshake dropping out?
I put together this list of fixes I use which has helped other integrators as well:
HDMI Handshake Fixes
(in no particular order because any of these fixes could be the one for the system you are working on!)
HDMI Cable Length
Ensure you are using HDMI cables that are 2 meters or longer, and replace all HDMI cables that are too short!
Unbundle your CAT
When running multiple video runs, ensure your category cables are not bundled together; this will ensure you don’t have interference from cable to cable.
Step-by-Step Elimination of the Problem
Bypass each section of the video distribution chain in order and keep track of your results on paper. This way, you can narrow down where the handshake issues are coming from in your install.
Category Cable Distances
Double-check the distance specifications for the cable you are using (if you are using CAT5 and specs call for CAT6A subtract 25% distance for using CAT5 or 5E).
For more tips check out the HDBaseT Installers Ten Cable Commandments:
Check FW on all devices starting with the source and finishing with each display, and hit every piece of electronics in the middle. HDMI signal technology is in constant flux; the devices you are installing need the latest firmware to ensure a smooth signal flow.
Lower the Resolution
Lowering the resolution will drop the overall bandwidth and allows you to see if you are running into bandwidth issues on a specific piece in the run.
HDMI is constantly changing, and AVPro Edge Tech Support is there for you, but using some of these tactics will help you become an even better integrator than you are now!
Brandon Buol has taken thousands of phone calls helping our integrators. Brandon uses that experience to educate others by sharing his experiences and writing these helpful tips for everyone to use. Brandon is Imaging Science Foundation Level III certified and has earned his HDBaseT Master Program Level II.
In this video Justin from AVD is back, this time showing us how to build custom, mosaic video walls in the MXNet Mentor software! Let's check it out...
Custom video walls are just the tip of the iceberg with MXNet, learn more about the entire MXNet Ecosystem here, or give us a call at 877-886-5112.
You can also find a distributor near you by visiting our BUY page!
In this video, Justin Barnard from AVD (Audio Visual Distributors) down under in Australia walks us through MXNet Mentor, AVPro's proprietary, state-of-the-art, HTML 5 based setup and control software. Let's take a look and learn more about Mentor below!
Mentor is a complete, full featured solution showcasing a large variety of simple, yet powerful features and functions. This essential member of the MXNet Ecosystem, Mentor comes preinstalled on the AC-MXNET-CBOX. Easy to use and understand, MXNet Mentor is designed to eliminate many of the pain points associated with AV/IP systems. Some notable features include:
AVPro Edge is making a splash at the CEDIA Tech Summits across the country this year! At every event, AVPro will be hosting our HDMI 2.1 training class for integrators which covers the ins and outs of 8K and what to expect. Learn about FRL, VRR, eARC, HFR, CDS, ALLM and HDR - if you don't know what these abbreviations mean, you should definitely get yourself to a class!
Registration is free! Check out the CEDIA Tech Summits happening across the country and get registered today!
Recently AVPro Edge was offered a great opportunity to write an article for Connected Magazine in Australia. Matt Murray wrote up a piece discussing 8K and its the benefits, which will be printed in the next issue of Connected.
We have a sneak peek of the article below and make sure to visit Connected's website to check out all of their useful content!
8K is Changing How you Watch TV
HDMI 2.1 delivers new features and signal types to HDMI technology, bringing us closer to that ultimate goal, replicating human vision.
The driving force behind the HDMI 2.1 specification is the demand for higher performance signals; consumers want more color, deeper color, and smoother images. Each advancement to HDMI technology brings us another step closer to accurately mimicking human vision.
In the last specification, HDMI 2.0, we were introduced to 4k resolutions with refresh rates up to 60 Hz. HDMI 2.0's most significant change was the addition of billions of colors using High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR allows us to better refine the amount of light in our image, making our pictures more beautiful and lifelike.
HDMI 2.1 pushes even further, doubling 4k refresh rates, quadrupling the pixel count, and improving HDR, giving viewers a more immersive experience with their displays. In addition, it has forced source manufacturers to advance how the signal gets on screen, creating new ventures unavailable in previous specifications.
Producing these signals requires a lot of bandwidth, and data rates for audio video signals are at an all-time high. As a result, HDMI cables need to be used in different and unique ways allowing for the maximum amount of data to flow. This article talks about why the changes in HDMI 2.1 are exciting for the consumer, making it a great way to maximize sales for all integrators.
Over the last two years, over 25 million HDMI 2.1 sources have been introduced into the world. Microsoft, Sony, and Nvidia are crafting next-generation consoles and PCs. At the same time, all the major players, including Sony, Samsung, and LG, are producing a line of HDMI 2.1 displays. It's up to us in the professional video world to keep up.
Like Will Farrell's character Ricky Bobby says in Talladega Nights, "If you're not first, you're last."
What Makes This Next Generation of HDMI Technology Different?
Smarter HDMI Knows What Your System Can Do (FRL Fixed Rate Link)
HDMI is becoming more intelligent, learning what your system is capable of and providing you with the best signal possible. In turn, it's more important than ever to ensure that your system components are compatible with at least 40Gbps data rates to get the best picture for your customers.
FRL firsts checks your system components by sending out test signals, verifying which one fits down the pipe, and sending that signal. For example, if you have a sub-par cable, perhaps only capable of 18Gbps, only certain types of 4k signals could be sent. Meaning that if you were playing Microsoft's Flight Simulator, or other games capable of 8k or 120Hz refresh rates, FRL technology would tell your PC to send a lesser taxing signal such as 4k at 60Hz, something the cable could handle.
Bonus: Unless the HDMI cable has completely failed, you should always have an image on screen.
Room Size Myth
With 8k resolutions, you can get closer to your TV and still see a crystal-clear image. You may have heard someone say in the past, "Well, that huge TV will not look good on this wall." With 8k, that is no longer a concern; go ahead and place a 100-inch display where your old 65 inch was. Having pixel counts four times higher than 4k, and 16 times that of 1080pHD TVs, allows consumers to get much closer to the screen while retaining a clear and undistorted image.
Bonus: Now, you can sell 100-inch TVs to your clients with improved picture quality over a similarly priced projector!
Increased Refresh Rate (HFR, High Frame Rate)
To deliver crisp video with high-action, fast-moving content like sports or gaming, you need to provide more than the standard 24Hz of movies. No problem! 60hz sports broadcasts have been around for a while. With HDMI 2.1, we can increase our refresh rates from 60hz to 120hz, doubling the number of still images shown in one second. This gives us the potential to have crisper and more fluid sports viewing and game playing than ever before.
Bonus: High-action sports and gaming are becoming more immersive.
Dolby and DTS Lossless Audio via eARC
The enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) brings high-end audio signals like Dolby Atmos and DTS Master Audio to your AVR or Soundbar via an HDMI cable, even when watching a TV's internal apps for streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, or Hulu. Today's content creators are using multi-channel audio signals to bring more depth into the experience when watching TV and film. With the current shift from cable television to streaming platforms, integrators need to have a stable way of delivering sound from the TV to a distributed audio system or even a local AVR. We can do just that using eARC from the newest HDMI specification, even when using the Netflix app from your smart TV. Additionally, game consoles that can deliver these high-end audio signals can now be plugged directly into the TV, reducing input latency and increasing overall immersion.
Bonus: High-end uncompressed or lossless audio signals can now be sent directly from the TV to the AVR!
8K is here, and HDMI 2.1 will be affecting everyone from custom installers like yourself to professional gamers to the average Joe. It is up to us to be ahead of the curve and deliver the latest and greatest advancements in HDMI. So, when you receive a call stating your customer is adding a PS5 to their home, you can rest assured that solutions are available.
This article was written by Matt Murray, CTO of AVPro Edge, Bullet Train Cables, and Murideo.
This month's shoutout goes to H Customs Audio/Video of Fort Worth, TX! Check out one of their latest Instagram posts in which the backbone of the video distribution is an AVPro Edge 16x16 matrix!
You can’t tell how complex this house is because of the simplicity of the install, but a lot is working behind the scenes. These rooms are just four of the 16 televisions throughout the property, plus a complete dedicated theater room.
All of the electronics are hidden in a distribution closet with an 8-foot rack, made possible with key components from some of the best names in the industry.
All video distribution is handled by AVPro Edge utilizing a 16 x 16 HDMI switcher with full 4K resolution and a Control4 automation system throughout the home that consists of dimmers, keypads, control processors, touchscreens, amplifiers, and handheld remotes. Everything is automated - from the lights, door locks, and even thermostats at the touch of a button.
Amazing quality sound is thanks to our friends at TDG Audio for background music and surround sound. Of course, structural wiring, brackets, and equipment racks are from SnapOne, and televisions are top-of-the-line models from Samsung. The master bedroom even has an 85”! Wow! This is just a portion of this 6 figure AV install, and we hope you enjoy and give us a call for your home.
Give H Customs Audio Video a call if you’re in the Fort Worth area to make your home as spectacular as this one! Thanks, H Customs, for being an AVPro customer!
Find H Customs Audio Video on Instagram at @hcustomsav or visit their website at hcustoms.com.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 817-300-1518
Source: Instagram @hcustomsav
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