Three steps to building impactful video walls
Step 1: Determine Size, Content, and Processors
Are you going with a standard video wall shape? Or are you thinking outside the box with a custom non-standard display layout? Whatever you choose, knowing beforehand will ensure that the video wall products you chose are capable of creating the type video wall you have in mind.
What are you showing on your video wall? Sports, news, movies, tv shows or other content normally found from cable/satellite boxes? Apple TVs or streaming devices? Or are you going to be playing your own custom content, like menus or digital signage that you develop and produce? If you are choosing the custom content, keep in mind that not all products are set to output custom resolutions or aspect ratios. AVPro has developed solutions to solve this issue by using the Fresco 4 with custom capture regions.
How are you going to split the video signal to be disbursed to each of the displays? There are many ways, but here are the most common:
Step 2: Have a Plan and Measure Twice
The old saying measure twice and cut once rings true when installing a video wall. Draw out a diagram of your set up on paper or on your computer. Show each product laid out with the exact plan for cables, distribution products, video wall processors, mounts and displays. This will ensure that nothing is left to chance once you start the installation. If you need help putting together a video wall diagram, please give one of our AVPro reps a call. We can help you with layout and choosing the correct video wall products for your application, the phone number is 605-274-6055.
Once the layout is complete, make sure you note down the dimensions of the displays. You will need this when you start to hand the panels on the wall. Measure your installation area to make sure everything will fit and start marking on the wall where you will place all the TV mounts. It’s always better to measure twice than drill in a mount that you will have to move later.
Step 3: Connecting Everything Together
At this point you should be able to hang the displays, get power and have a HDMI cable connected to each one.
If you are using commercial displays, you should be able to connect each one to the Fresco 1x16. Set the capture regions using the displays controls. Once the distribution amplifier has a source, you will see the video wall light up. You can manage any adjustments with the controls on each individual display.
If you are using consumer displays just connect each TV in your video wall to the video wall processor. Once connected access the processors controls in order to map out each capture region so the video creates one large image. When using the Fresco 4 you can download the free pc software and connect your computer to the video wall processor via network, USB or serial. Once connected use the software to input the display size and layout, then the Fresco 4 will do the rest of the work. Once a video source is connected you will have an instant video wall.
These are the basic steps for installing a video wall. If you are going to be installing a video wall please reach out to your AVPro rep so we can make sure the process remains stress free and impactful. We will guide you on which products to purchase to make sure your next video wall is a success.
Our ConferX Wall Plate HDBaseT Transmitters have been flying off the shelf, but many installers are not able to download a full manual. So to make life easy for evreryone we have developed a series of Quick Start Guides for our products. You are able to find all QSG’s as well as full manual, CAD file, Application Diagrams and more all on our “index” webpage on AVProEdge.com:
You are able to find quick start guides for every ConferX Wall Plate Transmitter and full Kit. These files are small and easy to download to your phone or computer, they don’t take up a lot of space and you can delete them after you use it knowing you will always be able to find them again on the avproedge.com website.
AVPro Edge has many great partners inside this industry. At InfoComm 2019, we were able to team up with a few partners and create some videos on the show floor. We wanted to take moment to highlight our partners and the great videos they created.
Known as your one stop online shop for Audio Video products BZB Express does a great job of highlighting great products from great brands. We are happy to be apart of the BZB family and love the videos they make. At InfoComm 2019 we took a closer look at the Fresco 4 as well as our ConferX solutions. https://bzbexpress.com/brands/avpro-edge/
Known for their amazing Audio Video podcasts and industry coverage, AV Nation is a resource you will want to pay attention to. We were happy to talk with AV Nation about our Fresco 4 plug-and-play video wall processor as well as our AV over IP alternative, the Cloud 9 Matrix Switcher. https://avnation.tv/
Known as the stable solution for converting your audio/video signal to category cable, HDBaseT always hosts a great booth full of great ideas, topics and solutions that are truly unique. We were happy to sit down with them and discuss the future of AV in their Tech Talk, and then talk about Sports Bars and AVPro Edge's solution. https://hdbaset.org/
AVPro Edge has been doing videos with RAVE at tradeshows for years. RAVE helped support AVPro when we were a fresh, young company. We are always happy to keep up that relationship. This year we highlighted our ConferX Solutions with the Universal Amplifier and the Wall Plate Transmitters. https://www.ravepubs.com/
We are also outputting videos on a regular basis on our Youtube channel, so please check us out as well. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIK3Tm2ae7_OlUf6V1TY5TA
The newest addition to the ConferX family of wall plate transmitters is the AC-CXWP-HDMO-BKT, a basic version of our HDMI wall plate transmitter accompanied by the AVPro Edge basic 70M receiver. This HDBaseT wall plate transmitter/receiver kit is the ideal cost effective HDMI extension product for any office, conference room, or classroom.
This kit comes with a HDMI wall plate transmitter, AC-EX70-UHD-BR receiver, Decora wall plate cover (white) and a power supply.
Ideal for point to point HDMI signal extension, this extender kit is able to send a 4k signal 40 Meters and a 1080p signal 70 meters using CAT6a with HDBaseT technology. With the AC-CXWP-HDMO-BKT you get a sleek look your client will love, a stable connection that lasts, and a product that works seamlessly with any source you throw at it.
Most integrators know the backbone to a multi-zoned video distribution system is the matrix switcher. With today’s modern sources that are outputting 18Gbps 4K video, you need to have a stable solution. Many integrator's favorite choice has been the 8x8 HDBaseT matrix switcher from AVPro Edge (AC-MX88-AUHD-HDBT-GEN2).
This is an ideal switch because it has HDBaseT transmitters built directly into the matrix switch, these outputs can send 18Gbps 4K with HDR over standard category cables by using ICT, an AVPro Edge proprietary compression algorithm. This allows you to send 4K60 (4:4:4) to all the displays in your installation. The built-in scalers allow you to downscale this 4K signal for any 1080p legacy displays or projectors.
With 18Gbps compatibly, built-in scaling, built-in audio delay, built-in HDBaseT transmitters, mirrored HDMI outputs, independent audio control, and de-embedded audio outputs; what more could an integrator need?
Introducing independent volume control on each de-embedded audio port!
Why this is huge?
You now have no reason for using an Audio Matrix. With independent volume control and independent audio control you now have a robust audio matrix built right into the switch.
new Part number
With this upgrade comes a new product number. The AC-MX88-AUHD-HDBT-GEN2 is now the AC-MX88-AUDH-HDBT-PLUS. The plus points out the added volume control, a feature added at no additional cost!
This 2x2 plug-n-play video wall processor simplifies the installation process so much that any entry level tech can install it. The hardest part of installing a Fresco 4 is mounting the displays on the wall. Then simply connect the HDMI cables and you have yourself an active video wall. Check out our latest video to see just how easy creating a video wall for your clients can be!
Truck rolls are nearly impossible to avoid, and time spent at these jobs sites means money out of your pocket. Luckily, equipping your technicians with the proper tools can ensure quicker diagnoses and less time spent revisiting jobs.
Faulty infrastructure can be the death of one or more runs in a system. Proper infrastructure equipment includes:
The HDMI specification for cables is 2-10 meters in length. Cables, whether shorter or longer than this specification, can suffer from voltage irregularities, attenuation, sync issues, and resolution limitations. By having various lengths of cables, you can instantly replace bad cable runs and restock when the truck returns.
Moving on to patch cables, a minimum of 2 meters of Cat6 is recommended. Patch cables following this rule provide a stable, good length for testing extender sets in isolated settings and also can double for running LAN in IP control situations. Standard RJ45 ends provide better stability of both connection and data transfer. Pullthrough and EZ Ends can have inconsistencies in their terminations which can cause shortages and destabilize signals (especially at higher resolutions). Lastly, stock up on common power supplies. Once again these allow you to not only isolate units and gives the ability to instantly switch a bad power supply. Infrastructure can be kept flowing smoothly by diagnosing and fixing the easy problems in one roll.
Sources, switches, and displays can be considered the heart of the installation. Some units can underperform or need specific things to work properly (such as color space and resolution, contained in EDID). Proper field fixes for signal cleanup should include:
Cable boxes are just one of the various sources that tend to underperform in distributed systems. Cable boxes use HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) to prevent piracy. HDCP contains keys (permission to pass the sources HDCP content) and can only give out a certain number of keys. HDCP issues can arise and appear as intermittent video or no signal at all. Distribution amps (like the AC-DA12-AUHD-GEN2), have a repeater inside the unit and allows for a reissue of HDCP keys. This is useful in systems that include extenders and multiple jumps as a key must be issued to each new HDMI connection.
Now, not all blame can be pushed onto cable boxes as some newer displays have issues handling certain types of signals. More advanced displays have been found to struggle with interlaced signals (i.e. 1080i), 24 and 48Hz refresh rates, and needing device specific EDIDs. These struggles can be solved using a scaler. Scalers (such as the AC-SC2-AUHD-GEN2) can provide interlaced to progressive framerate conversion and increased framerate (60Hz), as well as manage EDID. The combination of these functions help sources fulfill the necessary signal needed to work properly with the display.
Finally, audio products such as soundbars or older AVR’s may run into issues with higher resolutions, HDR, and high bitrate audio formats. An Audio Downmixer (similar to the AC-AVDM-AUHD) can take these higher bitrate formats and downmix them to 2 channel PCM. As for higher resolutions and HDR, the AVDM offers a scalable port that not only downscales to 1080p but removes the HDR metadata, allowing audio devices that are not 4k HDR capable to accept the signal.
Let’s consider external devices that are used to relay information such as HDMI testers or USB cables. Proper external tools should include:
The ability to connect to a unit in the field is a necessity. Micro, Mini, or RS232 to USB are all common connection types to communicate to with units. Combined with a Windows PC (compatible with most units), more feedback than ever can be obtained. Being able to connect to these devices can assist in firmware updates as well as accessing specific commands that cannot always be accessed via button press or in a GUI.
Lastly a good HDMI Tester (we recommend the Fox & Hound) can help diagnose problems in a system. A good tester should come with the ability to send and accept HDMI signals and allow you to generate an 18Gbps signal, test HDCP, and read EDID. In addition, having an analyzer that allows you to read incoming signals can be very helpful. Analyzers also work as a mobile test monitor and allow for movement along the runs to help pinpoint where failures are occurring. These tools can drastically decrease time and truck rolls by decreasing guess work.
Time is money and each and every truck roll means time. By properly preparing a truck for a job, labor costs and guesswork can be massively reduced.
Hang the four displays in a classic 2x2 formation.
Connect a HDMI cable from each of the displays into the Fresco 4, be sure to connect the HDMI cables in this order:
Connect a source via a HDMI cable. The Fresco 4 can handle 18Gbps 4K60 (4:4:4) signaling!
If the displays are on and the Fresco 4 is powered up, you will be getting a video wall. You don’t need to select start or program anything. Once you have a source and displays connected, you will be processing that sources image into 4 quadrants and sending the picture to each display in the video wall.
do your displays have a bezel?
If so, we can easily alter the image to compensate for that with our free PC software. Install this software onto any PC and connect to a Fresco 4 unit via Mini USB, RS-232 or though a shared network LAN connection. Once connected you can enter the bezel measurements. Once you have them all entered just select “create video wall” and in real time you will see the complete video wall compensate for the new measurements. You don’t have to power cycle or reset the device, it just works!
Here you can see what the bezel compensation software looks like:
want to get custom?
You have that ability with the Advanced section of the PC software. The Fresco 4 has four independent capture regions, that means each of the displays in the video wall can show any part of the original image coming from a source. This allows you to set up unconventional video walls where displays over lap or are separated from other displays. With the Fresco 4 you control the capture region and can set it in real time via the free PC software.
InfoComm 2019 we were able to demo the Fresco 4 and the PC Software throughout the show. Our partners over at AVNation made this video that will give you all the information you need to fall in love with this simple, easy to use, video wall processor.
Controllable Class-D Audio Amplifier with AV Functionality
This multi-purpose device serves several functions in today’s classrooms, conference rooms and huddle spaces. Not only can you use it as an audio amplifier for any of the inputs including; HDMI, HDBaseT, line In and microphone, it can also be used simultaneously as your presentation switch for video presenting! You can connect an HDMI source, a ConferX HDBaseT Wall Plate Transmitter, a microphone, distributed audio, speakers, and a display for an entire single room solution.
The Universal Amplifier (AC-CX100-RAMP) is an IP controllable 2 channel 25W Amplifier with microphone, line, HDMI and HDBaseT inputs. This ConferX product was built to handle 4K at 18Gbps throughout the HDMI input and outputs, 10.2 Gbps via the 100M HDBaseT input. Outputs are scalable from 1080p to 4K and 4K to 1080p and there are additional audio outputs for recorders, additional amplifiers, audio matrices or other devices. Full EDID management makes setup a breeze and the on-screen display (OSD) provides critical information for the system operator and installer.
The CX100-RAMP supports both ARC and eARC so all high bitrate audio codecs are supported. A built-in circuit for eARC automatically detects delay information from the display and corrects time delay up to 170 msec. All of these functions support collaboration for large and small groups!
Take a look at this connection diagram that shows how you can use a ConferX wall plate transmitter for presenting a screen from up to 100 meters away from the Universal Amplifier:
What is ConferX?
ConferX is a line of products from AVPro Edge that focus on providing unique solutions to conference room, classroom and huddle room spaces. These products maintain the same high quality components and engineering you have come to expect from the AVPro Edge brand. The Universal Amplifier is the newest edition to ConferX's line up and works along side any of our ConferX HDBaseT transmitters.
Products that work with the universal amplifier
AVPro is proud to present all new 16x16 HDBaseT matrix switchers including the world's first 16x16 HDBaseT matrix switch with built-in 7.1 channel downmixing. The AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT and AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM (downmixing version) are the ideal solution for multi-zone setups in both homes and commercial settings.
The backbone of any video distribution inside a museum, office building, hospital or hotel is a stable matrix switcher. With the new 16x16 from AVPro Edge you are able to distribute 16 4K inputs to 16 different independent zones using a category cable infrastructure and HDBaseT technology. Bring your next installation to the forefront of technology with a 18Gbps 4K Matrix Switcher.
The AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT features 8 mirrored HDMI outputs, volume control, built in downscalers, IR, RS-232 and LAN control options, advanced EDID management, full HDR support, independent audio matrixing and the list goes on.
The AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM delivers all the features of the HDBaseT version but really makes this product special is the ability to downmix bitstream audio beyond 7.1 channel into a 2 channel audio signal via all 16 inputs.
This switch allows you to deliver 24+ channels to your Dolby Atmos home theater, at the same time it delivers 2 channel to the rest of the zones. We do this by allowing the downmixing to only affect the de-embedded audio outputs, the 8 mirrored HDBaseT & HDMI ports leave the audio unimpeded, allowing you to distribute full Dolby Atmos and DTS-X through them.
Supporting the full HDMI 2.0 a/b specification and supporting every flavor of HDR, this matrix will ensure you can get the most out of any system. The AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM supports HDR formats Including HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG, BBC and NHK. All of them are supported in up to 4K 60Hz and up to 12 Bit Deep Color and all color space compression is compatible.
Give AVPro a call today to learn more about these unrivaled switchers, 877-885112 or visit their product pages, AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT and AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-AVDM
Please note that demand for these matrix switchers is very high. If interested please contact AVPro Edge at 877-886-5112 to check availability or to be added to the waitlist as soon as possible.