Article Library


Environmental Considerations and Human Factors for Videowall Design

Environmental Considerations and Human Factors for Videowall Design The ability to present clear, high quality imagery from multiple sources and at large sizes makes videowalls valuable for maintaining situational awareness, as mission-critical information is presented in a working environment such as a control center...  Read more

Font Size and Legibility for Videowall Content

Legibility is very important for any videowall application with sources that include alphanumeric text. Viewers should be able to easily read text at all intended viewing distances without eyestrain. Delivering adequately sized text can be accomplished by scaling up or enlarging the source to make fonts legible, or...  Read more

Plenum-Rated — More Than Just Cables and Speakers

Many of us automatically think of cable or speakers when we hear the word "plenum". It is generally known that Extron has offered plenum-rated cable for years; however, many are unaware that we offer other types of plenum-rated products as well. These products are designed to provide convenience and installation flexibility...  Read more

Digital Video: Are You 4:2:2 Compliant?

Maintaining the original quality of an analog event is paramount in the television broadcast industry. This concern alone drove the development and adoption of the ubiquitous digital recording format referred to using various names: 4:2:2 Component Digital, CCIR 601, D1, or perhaps SDI (Serial Digital Interface). Why is...  Read more

Understanding the Control Project Timeline

This control project timeline presents a best-case scenario for a well-organized AV installation. It proposes a systematic, logical workflow that integrators and project managers can reference during a project, or, ideally, prior to a project’s start. Proposal The proposal phase of the project encompasses the initial...  Read more

Selecting the Right H.264 Solution

Selecting the Right H.264 Solution What is H.264? H.264 is a standard for video compression also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or MPEG-4 AVC. It was developed by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is the product of a partnership effort known as the...  Read more

HD-SDI, HDMI, and Tempus Fugit

HD-SDI (high definition serial digital interface) and HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) version 1.3 are receiving considerable attention these days. "These days" really moved ahead rapidly now that I recall writing in this column on HD-SDI just one year ago. And, exactly two years ago the topic was DVI and HDMI...  Read more

HD-SDI: More Possibilities than Just Television

It seems that the popular concept of digital video among the masses arrived with the DVI connection to the computer monitor. Of course, the DV format for consumer video cameras arrived earlier, but for most it just didn't seem like digital video. Why? I think we've only recognized what digital video can be since the moment...  Read more

HDMI Cable Quality Matters in Pro AV

There’s a popular belief, widely tossed around on the Internet, that all HDMI cables are the same. If there’s a picture at the end of the cable, it’s impossible to tell the difference between a cheap cable and one that costs two or three or ten times as much. I suppose that’s a fair statement if one is connecting a $99... (Login required: ) Read more

VoIP

DMP 128 Plus C V and DMP 128 Plus C V AT models include up to eight VoIP lines, with wideband codec support, that can be configured as individual extensions or with multiple call appearance channels to support local conferencing applications. Compatible with select VoIP systems, any V model of the DMP 128 Plus Series can...  Read more

4K Data Rate Calculator

The 4K Data Rate Calculator is an online tool designed to assist you during the system design phase as well as the installation and setup phase. The basic calculator lets you quickly identify the maximum digital data rate that must be supported by cables, scalers, or other system components based on your selected 4K...  Read more

Digital Design Best Practices - Signal Integrity

This article concentrates on signal integrity, one of the three core components in digital system architecture. The other two, equally important components are content protection and resolution management. Signal integrity relates to maintaining the signal waveforms and sync timing throughout the signal path so that the...  Read more

HDMI Cable Quality Matters in Pro AV

There’s a popular belief, widely tossed around on the Internet, that all HDMI cables are the same. If there’s a picture at the end of the cable, it’s impossible to tell the difference between a cheap cable and one that costs two or three or ten times as much. I suppose that’s a fair statement if one is connecting a $99... (Login required: ) Read more

HDMI: The Short and the Long of It

HDMI, or High Definition Multimedia Interface, is a digital AV interface that supports high resolution computer-video and HDTV as well as multiple channels of audio on a single cable. It is prevalent in flat-panel displays and projectors as well as DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players, and even some laptops and PC graphics...  Read more

DVI and HDMI: The Short and the Long of It

Most DVI input cables for computer monitors are two meters long just like the typical analog VGA input cable. In our world of systems design, two meters is too short. For AV digital interfaces to become commonplace, the norm will not be these simple, desktop hookups. Systems designers and integrators require long run distance...  Read more

HD-SDI, HDMI, and Tempus Fugit

HD-SDI (high definition serial digital interface) and HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) version 1.3 are receiving considerable attention these days. "These days" really moved ahead rapidly now that I recall writing in this column on HD-SDI just one year ago. And, exactly two years ago the topic was DVI and HDMI...  Read more

HD-SDI: More Possibilities than Just Television

It seems that the popular concept of digital video among the masses arrived with the DVI connection to the computer monitor. Of course, the DV format for consumer video cameras arrived earlier, but for most it just didn't seem like digital video. Why? I think we've only recognized what digital video can be since the moment...  Read more

Digital Video: Are You 4:2:2 Compliant?

Maintaining the original quality of an analog event is paramount in the television broadcast industry. This concern alone drove the development and adoption of the ubiquitous digital recording format referred to using various names: 4:2:2 Component Digital, CCIR 601, D1, or perhaps SDI (Serial Digital Interface). Why is...  Read more

HDMI 2.0: Specification Overview & Frequently Asked Questions

HDMI 2.0 was developed by the HDMI Forum to provide new functionality for this widely adopted technology. Released in September 2013, the specification includes support of increased bandwidth up to 18 Gbps, resolutions up to 4K @ 60 Hz, simultaneous delivery of two video streams and up to four audio streams,...  Read more

Calculating ROI

One of the key factors used in determining whether or not to purchase new classroom technology is a calculation of Return on Investment, or ROI. While there are many factors to consider, ROI generally falls into two main categories: hard returns, which can be demonstrated in financial terms, and soft returns that are less...  Read more

Choosing the Best Methods for Control

A device’s control requirements are often dictated by the device manufacturer. AV devices originate from a variety of different manufacturers and access to control functions can vary widely.  Read more

College Achieves New Level of Student Service with Extron TouchLink-Based Control Systems

Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, recently upgraded its primary student services building, College Hall. School officials wanted to use AV technology to streamline student services for all students. With help from Fitch Electronics, the school selected Extron equipment for key functions and...  Read more

Communication Signals & Infrastructure

Once one has determined the equipment to be controlled and the methods to control it, one can take a closer look at the actual control signals and infrastructure required to get those signals from the control processor to the device being controlled.  Read more

Making Choices: Control System Size and Scope

Proper design is a balancing act. Designers must evaluate the goals and needs of the client and weigh them against the client’s budgetary constraints.  Read more

TouchLink GUI Templates and Beyond

Infocomm 2009 brought the introduction of Extron’s TouchLink® product line, the first fully configurable touchscreen interface for the professional AV market. TouchLink was designed from the ground up to enable development and deployment of the most typical AV control installations including room types such as a single...  Read more

Understanding the Control Project Timeline

This control project timeline presents a best-case scenario for a well-organized AV installation. It proposes a systematic, logical workflow that integrators and project managers can reference during a project, or, ideally, prior to a project’s start. Proposal The proposal phase of the project encompasses the initial...  Read more

VoIP

DMP 128 Plus C V and DMP 128 Plus C V AT models include up to eight VoIP lines, with wideband codec support, that can be configured as individual extensions or with multiple call appearance channels to support local conferencing applications. Compatible with select VoIP systems, any V model of the DMP 128 Plus Series can...  Read more

Ceiling Speaker Calculator

The Ceiling Speaker Calculator is a convenient online tool and a valuable resource for estimating the number of ceiling speakers needed for a sound reinforcement system in a room or listening area. Simply enter some basic information including room dimensions, the Extron ceiling speaker model, the type of...  Read more

Class D Amplifiers – Not 'Just Audio'

Yes, I'm a video guy. You've probably heard one of us (not me) disrespectfully downplay the ubiquitous field of aural engineering as "it's just audio". This article is about audio, but don't energize your shields just yet. I'm on your side... veteran project manager of an audio system having CD quality signal-to-noise...  Read more

Design Mecca Overcomes AV Hurdles

The American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Washington, DC, was founded in 1857, and today has nearly 300 state and local chapters in the U.S. and around the world. The AIA strives to meet the needs and interests of the nation’s architects and the public they serve by developing public awareness of the value of architecture and the importance of good design. (Login required: ) Read more

Extron's Patented Ripple Steering Class D Audio Amplifier Technology

Class D Audio Power Amplifiers offer the highest efficiency possible, resulting in cooler running, longer lasting products. They are not without their drawbacks, however, one of these typically being increased EMI - Electromagnetic Interference. Extron's proprietary Ripple Steering technology greatly improves the EMI performance...  Read more

Plenum-Rated — More Than Just Cables and Speakers

Many of us automatically think of cable or speakers when we hear the word "plenum". It is generally known that Extron has offered plenum-rated cable for years; however, many are unaware that we offer other types of plenum-rated products as well. These products are designed to provide convenience and installation flexibility...  Read more

The Mysterious Loudness Control: What Does It Do?

The first really decent stereo audio system I owned had a pushbutton on the front panel called "loudness." I pushed it. I decided the audio sounded better so I left it pushed in; never changed it. OK, occasionally I would push it to the off position; nope, sounded better on. Thinking back, I really didn't care what it...  Read more

Selecting the Right H.264 Solution

Selecting the Right H.264 Solution What is H.264? H.264 is a standard for video compression also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or MPEG-4 AVC. It was developed by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is the product of a partnership effort known as the...  Read more

Avoiding Common Pitfalls Integrating AV Products onto IP Networks

Advancements in audiovisual technology have brought changes to the ways audio, video, and data connect between sources, displays, and control systems. Today, the AV industry is in the midst of a transition to a new digital transmission infrastructure based on DVI, HDMI, and SDI. This transition brings with it many challenges,... (Login required: ) Read more

Selecting a Streaming Codec

Every day, video over IP technology reaches farther into our professional and personal lives. As networks expand and streaming technologies mature, we find ourselves with greater access to information and an improved ability to communicate using video... (Login required: ) Read more

VN-Matrix Combines Real and Virtual Training Cross Country for AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL faced several significant technical and operational challenges when it set out to produce a real-time, real-world demonstration of a training simulation system....  Read more

Eyes on the Roads

The Borough Councils of Greater London have a duty to maintain safe roadways that will support efficient transportation and the economic well-being of the metropolitan area. Residents of Greater London are all too familiar with seeing road work projects that extend longer than their timeframe expectations... (Login required: ) Read more

Training the Future Doctors of British Columbia

Early in 2002, British Columbia was faced with a critical shortage of doctors to serve its approximately 4.6 million citizens. Additionally, the northern, southern, and island regions had a difficult time enticing new doctors to set up practices beyond Vancouver’s metropolitan area. Two primary factors contributed to this... (Login required: ) Read more

A Fiber Optic Connector Primer

Optical fiber transmission of AV signals has come of age and it's time to take another step along this new, adventurous road. A fiber solution may sound like a great idea for those challenging long-haul or highly secure applications, and then reality sets in. The fiber transmission solution is still a serious investment...  Read more

Campus Technology

Universities are centers of research as well as institutions for higher learning. Campuses feature multiple buildings with classrooms, offices, ....  Read more

Courtroom of the Future

The Courtroom of the Future relies on a fiber infrastructure to ensure that future upgrades to the AV system can use the existing cabling. It provides a...  Read more

Digital Signage

This pharmaceutical building has public lobbies for customer access and general admittance to the site. Employee lounges and cafeterias are ...  Read more

Fiber Optic Cables in AV Systems

The combination of light and glass presents some unique properties that give AV professionals powerful tools in common AV applications. A fiber optic cable can be used to send high resolution video, audio, and control signals on a single fiber over 30 km (18.75 miles), and avoids the risk of signal loss or degradation,...  Read more

Fiber Optic Frequently Asked Questions

The following provides you with questions and answers about Extron Fiber Optic products: What is optical fiber? What is multimode fiber? What is singlemode fiber? How is an AV signal transmitted down a fiber? What is a light-emitting diode? What is a laser diode? What is a VCSEL? What is a photodetector? What...  Read more

Fiber Optic Transmission in AV Comes of Age

Folks, the good ol' days are here right now. More technical solutions are available for audiovisual systems designers in both analog and digital equipment than ever before. One of the most exciting new toys for signal distribution is RGBHV digital fiber optic transmission. Most currently installed fiber transmission...  Read more

Knowledge Wall

A knowledge wall is the center of aggregated information used for monitoring and analyzing to make critical decisions related to security, emergency services...  Read more

Multiplexing AV Signals in Fiber Optic Systems

Multiplexing Signals in Fiber Optic Systems TDM combines multiple digital signals into a single serial digital bit stream. A specialized circuit, called a serializer, allocates parallel input streams into time slots in the serial output. In a fiber optic system, the serial bit stream is transmitted as a single wavelength...  Read more

USB Switching in AV Environments

USB is a popular standard that has been around since 1995. Its evolution has extended to the point where each of us utilizes this interface on a daily basis. USB ports are standard fixtures on computers and laptops with further extension recently onto other peripheral devices ....  Read more

Digital Design Best Practices - Signal Integrity

This article concentrates on signal integrity, one of the three core components in digital system architecture. The other two, equally important components are content protection and resolution management. Signal integrity relates to maintaining the signal waveforms and sync timing throughout the signal path so that the...  Read more

HDMI 2.0: Specification Overview & Frequently Asked Questions

HDMI 2.0 was developed by the HDMI Forum to provide new functionality for this widely adopted technology. Released in September 2013, the specification includes support of increased bandwidth up to 18 Gbps, resolutions up to 4K @ 60 Hz, simultaneous delivery of two video streams and up to four audio streams,...  Read more

Extron XTP Systems Streamline AV System Designs

Any successful system design requires careful consideration for managing and distributing video, audio, and control signals. It is also essential to plan for provisioning data and power, to ensure that AV devices can be integrated onto a LAN for system control or Internet access, and that the electrical infrastructure... (Login required: ) Read more

Integration Opportunities with 4K Displays

Displays with 4K, or roughly 4K×2K resolution provide a solution for applications requiring a greater number of pixels on large screens. In 2005, the first 4K projection displays were introduced and began to be integrated into digital cinema, simulation, defense, medical, entertainment, and other environments. Since then,... (Login required: ) Read more

Selecting the Right Scalers

AV systems typically incorporate several input sources such as computers, videoconferencing equipment, cameras, and mobile devices, with different video signal formats and resolutions. It is common, though, for a display not to accept the wide range of video resolutions often found in professional AV environments. When...  Read more

Selecting the Right Signal Processors

Signal processors alter and manipulate a signal in several ways. These can involve converting composite video to S-video, amplifying or peaking a signal, or completely reformatting a signal. Signal processors can improve the quality of an image, make routing and distribution easier, or allow images to be displayed in a...  Read more

Setting Up a Scan Converter

Properly setting up a scan converter can make all the difference in the world in respect to image quality. A little fine-tuning can make the difference between a poor image and a good image. To obtain the best image, certain adjustments should be made each time a scan converter is used in a new application. The sequence...  Read more

Courtroom of the Future - System Design Solution

The Courtroom of the Future relies on a fiber infrastructure to ensure that future upgrades to the AV system can use the existing cabling. It provides a model that can be readily adapted to various applications such as municipal, county, district, or superior courts. The AV system provides a modern means of presenting...  Read more

Environmental Considerations and Human Factors for Videowall Design

Environmental Considerations and Human Factors for Videowall Design The ability to present clear, high quality imagery from multiple sources and at large sizes makes videowalls valuable for maintaining situational awareness, as mission-critical information is presented in a working environment such as a control center...  Read more

Font Size and Legibility for Videowall Content

Legibility is very important for any videowall application with sources that include alphanumeric text. Viewers should be able to easily read text at all intended viewing distances without eyestrain. Delivering adequately sized text can be accomplished by scaling up or enlarging the source to make fonts legible, or...  Read more

Videowall Processor Features

Videowall processors are available with a wide range of features and capabilities. Many of them relate to system performance, image quality, and reliability, while others can help streamline system design and integration needs targeted at specific vertical market applications. Support for these features will vary by...  Read more

Videowall System Control

Videowalls are among the most complex types of AV systems to set up and configure. Most of the operational complexity is within the videowall processor and its many functions, features, and capabilities. Working with a videowall processor will be greatly simplified if an intuitive, user-friendly interface is available...  Read more