Networks and Signal Distribution

Radio Convergence

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Guest Editorial by Szymon Slupik, CTO, Silvair

Szymon Slupik

Every couple of days I'm asked about the future of wireless standards. How is the landscape going to look like  a couple of years from now? Companies are placing their bets. The conventional wisdom has been the number of wireless standards would never be reduced. I strongly disagree with this view.

Actually within a few years we may be down to just four. While there are always niche applications requiring some specific radio features, the majority of applications will converge around these radio families:

  1. LTE / 5G for anything outdoor. Mobile telephony, mobile wide area data (high speed and low speed).
  2. WiFi for generic purpose indoor Internet access for high power devices (such as phones or personal computers).
  3. WiGig for ultra high bandwidth applications such as wireless displays and wireless storage (this may include digital cameras if the industry gets together and defines application profiles, which it should have done 15 years ago).
  4. Bluetooth for anything that is defined as low power (including portable audio, hearing aids, accessories and the galaxy of small or even smaller devices collectively know as the IoT, which will fill the buildings).

Now I'm not saying that LoRa and Sigfox will cease to exist. Nor will 802.15.4, Z-Wave, ANT, UWB and a bunch of others. But they will have a hard time growing or even maintaining their market share and will be pushed to serve niche applications.

Wireless Choices

The reason is simple. Every wireless device at some point benefits from being able to connect to a mobile phone. For commissioning, diagnostics, proximity interaction... plenty of reasons. And there is only so much space on the phone motherboard that vendors are fighting for every tiny piece of it removing (considered valuable) components like 3.5mm headphone jacks. Also there is very little, if anything. not covered by the four.

A phone already has LTE and WiFi and Bluetooth. It will have WiGig in future, because WiFi is too slow for the upcoming mainstream use cases like virtual reality displays. This combo of four radios can today do everything any other radio can do. There is absolutely no reason to add anything else. Especially after Bluetooth has matched (and surpassed) the mesh networking skills of ANT and 802.15.4. And there is no way to convince Apple or Samsung or Qualcomm or Intel to stick anything else into their devices and chipsets either.

If there is anything missing, companies will rather get together and spin an improved variant of one of the four than propose something else. This was exactly the case with Bluetooth mesh: we could either pray to, say, Samsung, to build a 15.4 chip into a phone or define a mesh standard that works on any Bluetooth chip that is out there already. Solving a couple of other fundamental mesh-related problems on the way.

Szymon Slupik is CTO at Silvair, developers of an end-to-end smart lighting platform for commissioning and managing large-scale connected lighting systems in commercial spaces. He also serves as Chair of the Mesh Working Group at Bluetooth SIG, where his Working Group was recently awarded 2017 Working Group of the Year . 

Slupik was also awarded 2017 Committee Chair of the Year and 2017 Outstanding Technical Contributor of the Year. In giving the award for Outstanding Technical Contributor, the Bluetooth SIG noted in its announcement, “Szymon has been the leading contributor and author of the mesh model specification, delivering extremely deep and well thought architecture that has been fundamental to the success of mesh. He has been a co-author of the ground-breaking concept of Mesh Device Properties. On other fronts Szymon has contributed to upcoming significant performance improvements of Bluetooth mesh networking via enhancement proposals to the Bluetooth Core Specification. Szymon has also authored the Beacons for Channel indication and beacon management FRDs. Finally, Szymon led the effort to create the Mesh Professional Lighting Subgroup and has been the co-author and contributor to the IEC 62386 (DALI) Model FRD.”

Go Silvair

Router, Wifi, Firewall, 4G LTE Failover in One Device

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Datto DNA

Lose your internet connectivity and you lose access to business-critical applications, communication and services—and that means losing money, time and customers. When your customer’s business-critical internet connection goes down, they need a solution that can get them re-connected and get back in business, fast.

While the cost of redundant ISP connections may be prohibitively expensive for some small businesses, there is a solution coming in Q4: the Datto DNA.

When your customer’s primary ISP connection becomes unavailable or is intermittently offline, the Datto DNA detects the disruption and automatically fails-over to either a secondary ISP connection or the 4G LTE data network–included right out of the box–with no additional contracts to sign, or overages to pay.

And the best news: it’s built for service providers. This is an easy, attractive product to add in your product offering to customers.

DNA can easily be managed from the cloud. AV service providers can monitor their fleet of DNA devices at various customer locations from a single portal, and then manage and service any individual DNA remotely from the convenience of an easy-to-use web interface. This decreases downtime and provides a better experience for end users with immediate troubleshooting instead of needing to schedule a technician to be onsite, while also saving hours of service time.

DNA has a built-in 32GB industrial grade compact flash storage for fast infrastructure for OS and firmware support.

Go Datto DNA

Murideo Releases Fresco SIX-A & Fresco SIX-G Combo

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 Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combo

Murideo releases the Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combination, giving AV integrators a new standard for testing, analyzing and commissioning HDMI distribution systems, cabling and interconnects to 18G.

The Fresco SIX-G HDMI Signal Generator & HDCP Tester was designed for the AV integration market to confirm HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.2 compliance up to the 18 GBP/sec level.

The SIX-G also troubleshoots distributed HDMI systems and a reference source for video calibration (compatible with CalMAN, Light Illusion, and ChromaPure).

One of the biggest challenges for integrators today is determining what infrastructure to put in the systems they design while verifying all of the components will work together. Over the past few years UHD TVs have been a mix of HDCP 2.2 and 1.4, 300MHz and 600MHz –even to the point of varying by port. HDR also adds some unique challenges like exceeding the 10.2 GBPS HDBaseT threshold-- the SIX-G has a full suite of HDR tools to boot.

The SIX-G takes the guess work out of troubleshooting and provides absolute information about HDMI components that will work and identifies ones that won’t work – all in a hand-held, portable field tool.

“There is not an AV installer that doesn’t need an HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 tool like this—and the MURIDEO Fresco SIX-G costs far less (with more features) than other solutions,” says Matt Murray. Shown in photo at left.]

MattMurray

The Fresco SIX-A 18 GBPS Advanced HDMI & HDCP Tester & Signal Analyzer was designed for the AV integration market to troubleshoot, analyze and commission digital AV distribution systems up to HDMI 2.0x and HDCP 2.2 operation up to the 18 GBPS level.

“Pair the SIX-A with the SIX-G (generator) and you have the perfect "fox and hound" point-to-point troubleshooting system available today,” adds Murray.

The SIX-A is an extremely useful and cost effective field test tool for systems integrators in today's world of mixed systems and multiple flavors of SD, HD and UHD this tool solves problems.

“Consultants will love the SIX-A as a tool for system commissioning and validation – with included PC software for advanced analysis and reporting,” adds Murray.

One user, Ricky Jennings of Kalibrate, says "We use the SIX-A and SIX-G for testing basic and complex switching solutions for maximum capability and performance (including complete high bandwidth HDMI cable testing, HDBaseT and HDIP link testing up to 18 GBPS. We simply love our SIX-A and SIX-G. It's a complete and invaluable tool for our field service teams and has reduced go-backs and replacement on non-defective parts to almost zero."

The Murideo SIX-G HDMI Generator and SIX-A HDMI Analyzer are now shipping as a set. They are also entered in CEDIA 2016's competition for Best of Show Awards. The SIX-G and SIX-A were recently featured at the CE Week UHD TV Shootout in NYC and were used to provide reference test patterns (including HDR) and analysis of source devices.

Murideo (an AVPro Global Holdings Company) is a manufacturer of goods designed to assist in calibration and installation for video distribution systems and calibration.

Go Murideo Releases the Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combo


Panasonic’s DIGITAL LINK with Long Reach Mode

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Digital Link

Digital Link is a connection system based on HDBaseT technology that supports the transmission of HDMI signals, uncompressed 4K (4.2.0) video1, Full HD video, audio, and control commands through a single LAN cable for very long distances—up to 150 m (492 ft) in Long Reach Mode*.

It’s a simple, high-quality digital transmission technology from Panasonic that works to reduce installation cost and complexity in venues of all sizes.

For example, Digital Link is ideal for large auditoriums, supporting 4K video over distances of up to 50m with a single LAN cable. It saves money – fewer cables and receivers means reduced chance of failure and far lower infrastructure costs.

Digital Link system

Some of the advantages of a single LAN cable are obvious but here is a list from Panasonic:

  • Less chance of system failure with fewer cables and receivers
  • Lower Infrastructure Cost
  • Reduces cost of control system upgrades
  • Reduces cost of external receivers
  • Reduces total cost of AV control software
  • Reaches further distances
  • Supports 4K video* over distances of up to 50 m (164 ft) with a single LAN cable
  • Allows 1080/60p signal transmission for up to 150 m (492 ft) via a single LAN cable using RJ45 connectors and in Long Reach Mode*
  • Enables digital connection of uncompressed 4K*1 and Full HD video, audio, LAN, and control commands
  • Minimizes image and sound degradation

Digital Link supports the control protocols of Crestron, Extron, AMX and some others. This makes it easier to configure a wide variety of systems and allows Digital Link to integrate into an existing control setup.

Where more than two display devices are integrated into the network, Digital Link can simplify installation of digital signage networks. DIGITAL LINK is a key plank in Panasonic’s own simplified front-to-back video-wall solutions. Each panel can be daisy-chained via Digital Link, combining digital content and control commands in one cable.

It’s also lets you create a 4K digital display system in locations where cable lengths previously prevented the distribution of 4K content, such as in large casinos, corporate boardrooms, or for retail signage networks.

Go Panasonic’s Digital Link

Watch Video, How to Make a Panasonic Digital Link System

Extron Ships the AV Industry's First 4K/60 @ 4:4:4 HDMI Scalers

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Extron DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A

Extron Electronics introduces the availability of the award-winning DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A and DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi, the AV industry’s first scalers that can process single-path 4K/60 video signals at 4:4:4. HDCP 2.2 compliant HDMI 2.0 inputs and outputs support data rates up to 18 Gbps.

The scalers incorporate the Extron exclusive Vector 4K scaling engine, developed internally by Extron's expert team of signal processing engineers for critical-quality 4K applications. The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi provides the added flexibility of scaling and managing 4K/60 as a dual path signal. The scalers provide many integrator-friendly features, such as on-screen display, stereo audio embedding and de-embedding, internal test patterns, and the ability to display custom on-screen images and logos.

"The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A scalers are the AV industry's first to support 4K resolutions at 60 Hz with 4:4:4 signal processing. They are ideal for critical-quality imaging of full-motion video and highly detailed graphics in the most demanding 4K applications," says Casey Hall, VP Sales and Marketing for Extron. "This industry-leading 4K scaling performance is a direct result of our ongoing commitment to world-class engineering and research."

Extron DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi

The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A and DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi incorporate the Extron-exclusive Vector 4K scaling engine. Engineered in-house for critical-quality 4K signal processing, the Vector 4K scaling engine delivers the power and precision required to manage 4K content. Whether integrating legacy sources with 4K displays, or downscaling 4K content to HD displays, Vector 4K provides processing and clarity for any 4K application

The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A has a single HDMI input and output that support resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 60 Hz. The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi features a pair of HDMI inputs and outputs. The additional input and output allow integration with source devices and displays that support 4K as two columns. The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi can also accept two matched-resolution inputs for side-by-side display on a single screen, or provide duplicate outputs for driving a pair of displays.

In addition to 4K signal integration and processing capabilities, these scalers offer several features that enhance and simplify AV system integration. Custom images can be displayed as a screen saver, HDCP notification, or corporate branding. An image can also be displayed as a logo with full position and keying control. The DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A and DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A xi also feature essential audio integration capabilities, including discrete, selectable analog and digital audio muting, input gain and attenuation, and output volume control.

Watch Product Video, Extron DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A

Go Extron DSC HD-HD 4K Plus A

DVIGear Launches DisplayNet AV-Over-10GbE Platform

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DisplayNet

DVIGear showed its new DisplayNet™ AV-Over-10GbE distribution platform at InfoComm 2016.

A new concept for AV distribution that leverages proven 10GbE Ethernet technology to switch, extend and distribute uncompressed AV signals in real time with resolutions up to 4K (UHD), DVIGear says “DisplayNet provides unmatched image quality with zero frame latency, zero compression and zero artifacts.”

DisplayNet harnesses the technology behind the massive global deployment of 10GbE switches used in data centers across the world: the 10GbE standard by itself is the culmination of decades of collaborative development from the world’s leading IT technology companies.

Since 10GbE is fully duplex (10Gbps upstream and downstream), any switch port can be assigned to a DisplayNet transmitter or receiver unit. I/O arrays of virtually any size are possible by proper selection of the central 10GbE switch. The embedded intelligence in all DisplayNet endpoints enables units to be hot-plugged and recognized by the system within a few seconds. This feature allows systems to be easily reconfigured and/or expanded in the field without the need for extensive programming.

DisplayNet supports a wide range of applications including point-to-point Extension, limitless Matrix Switching, Video Wall Display and MultiViewer*.

Unlike traditional AV matrix switchers based on closed, proprietary designs, 10GbE switches use open technology “proven to provide an extremely efficient and reliable way to move immense amounts of data in real time.” Unlike traditional AV matrix switchers, the number of endpoints in a DisplayNet™ system is only limited by the number of available 10GbE switch ports.

The platform also includes the DN-100 Series transmitter and receiver units controlled by a DisplayNet Server-- which includes DisplayNet Manager software that enables the system to be managed using any third party controller using simple Telnet commands.

Go DVIGear’s DisplayNet

Murideo Fresco SIX-A: The Next Analyzer

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Murideo Fresco Six-A

They are calling it ”the new standard in analyzers.” The Murideo Fresco SIX-A is an 18GBPS 4K Analyzer that can read HDR data at the same time as giving you a live video preview. Paired with the Fresco SIX-G Generator, the set becomes a full calibration and testing system.

With the Murideo Fresco SIX-A Analyzer, you can test HDR signals, metadata, infoframes, and 2-channel and multi-channel audio confidence tests-- as well as read and write EDIDs with its Advanced EDID analysis and tools.

Murideo Fresco Six-A Test Flow

Analyze any HDMI/DVI signals up to 18 GBPS (4096x2160P60 4:4:4). Test HDMI/DVI cables up to 18GBPS, giving you the ability for full TMDS testing.

You can also analyze and report HDMI distribution over time. You choose minutes, hours, days, and you are testing down to the pixel.

Because this test powerhouse comes in a handheld device, it can be used very easily in the field. With its own battery there is no need for a power source (just make sure you charge it before going out in the field).

List of Murideo Fresco SIX-A Analyzer characteristics:

  • Analyze any HDMI/DVI signals up to 18 GBPS (4096x2160P60 4:4:4)
  • Test HDMI/DVI Cables up to 18GBPS, full TMDS testing
  • View up to 18GPBS Video Content & Format Info-Anywhere
  • Analyze & Report HDMI Distribution System over Time (minutes, hours, days) - Down to the pixel
  • Audio Confidence Tests - 2-Channel & Multichannel
  • Advanced EDID Analysis & Tools - Read, Write, EDID
  • Analyze HDR Signals & Metadata
  • Report & Analyze InfoFrames
  • HDCP Tester - 2.2, 1.4, None
  • Portable, Battery Operated

Go Murideo Fresco SIX-A


AOPEN Reveals Engine Core 650

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Engine Core 650

AOPEN Engine Core 650 is a 19" enclosure which accommodates multiple Digital Engine systems for better and more secure storage-- and it can also accommodate Digital Engine-sized KVM switch and RDM.

The Engine Core 650 supports up to 7 systems, 6 if an RDM is included. Incorporating the RDM secures the power supply to all systems within a single Engine Core, while also handling cooling and reporting if an error occurs. The construction allows for integration into any cabinet following the industrial 19” standard.

Stephen Borg, Corporate Director at AOPEN, says it’s ideal for heavy duty surveillance and digital signage control.

Its size (only 4U high), dust filter, two heavy duty fans and universal sliding rail mount make it easy to incorporate in most server environments. It also features a lockable front door and a securable top lid, enhancing the tamper-proof design.

The Engine Core 650 is also part of the AOPEN Digital Security Platform (DSP), using the Milestone Xprotect VMS.

Milestone, a leader in open platform IP video management software, has partnered with AOPEN to offer its XProtect VMS product suite to customers. AOPEN’s compact, industrial grade hardware has enabled Milestone to offer a flexible, modular solution for professional video surveillance.

Go AOPEN Engine Core 650


Murideo Brings Test, Connect and Calibrate Brand to Europe

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Matt Murray

Murideo is exhibiting at ISE 2016 and rAVe EUROPE took the opportunity to visit with this American supplier known for its expertise in test, connect and calibrate. Below our editors pose questions to Murideo’s Matt Murray.

Murideo will be at ISE 2016. What’s the mission? What are you hoping to achieve?

At ISE 2016 we really wanted to just share these new products. Sometimes, simply reading about something is just that. Our products are impacting the entire AV industry and we really wanted to debut this brand to EMEA markets with a physical presence. At this point a lot of people have heard of “Murideo” but we want people to see our products and technologies first hand. As a new brand, we have to prove ourselves and fully intend to make a splash at ISE 2016.

Your expertise is in test, connect and calibrate. Can you tell us how that came about? How did you get into this niche?

This is a really interesting evolution!...I would love to discuss this in detail sometime, but long story short - Collectively, we have 60+ years of experience in test and measurement, T&M has always been a specialty for us, and we work with some of the biggest names in the business to bring high impact test products to them. But what really makes us special is that we actually know, use, embrace and fully comprehend what we sell. We use test gear daily. Connectivity equipment is a natural extension of that because of the fact that we really understand the “test bed” for all of these products that come to market. We are really great at selecting and developing products to represent because we actually “put them to the test” so to speak. We really believe in testing everything we sell, so there are no surprises when stuff goes into our customers’ homes or businesses. Calibration is the final piece of the puzzle – If you don’t calibrate your customer is not getting the full picture. They are getting only a third of it. The calibration of systems is very important to the customer and we think it should be for any serious integrator. Test, Connect, Calibrate is the full picture. If you do those 3 things you will have great success in this business and build lifetime customers on a basis of trust.

SIX Pair

What are the biggest problems today for AV installers in terms of test, connect & calibrate?

Really, the problem isn’t “test, connect, calibrate.” That is the solution. Our industry is fueled by ever changing technology and, by nature, CHAOS. This chaos is really why we are all here. The AV industry need professionals and always will as long as it is one of the most cutting edge businesses in terms of technology it will be chaotic. We have to be able to function in the midst of this chaos, and the only way to do that is to “test, connect, calibrate”. Test your system, connect it properly, and calibrate to your customers wants/needs…It is really that simple, BUT you need the right tools. If you look at our website we mention this statement often “One of the biggest challenges for integrators today is determining what infrastructure to put in the systems they design and further verifying that all of the components will work together. Over the past few years UHD TVs have been a mix of HDCP 2.2 and 1.4 – even to the point of varying by port.” And this is a reality, more so than ever we need proper tools, connectivity products and calibration methods to make all of the legacy systems cohabitate with UHD, HDR, HDCP, HDbaseT, HDIP, and any number of technology currently available. Not to mention the ones coming…

Murideo Fresco SIX-G seems to provide a lot of value for the money. How has it been received? How will you follow it up?

The Fresco SIX-G is the flagship product, and it does pack a punch. It is a very stout generator product and I would not hesitate to put it up against anything else out there. We knew the value proposition would be “too good to be true” for some that is why we offered up our product to scrutiny by third party test labs like DPL Labs and ISF to confirm our claims. The truth is we are pioneers in the 18GBPS HDMI space and have really embraced the importance of this evolution. As far as how folks are receiving it, it has been great! Customers and industry leaders really think it fills a missing gap, it brings high end test gear to everyone. Packing it all into a piece of equipment that is actually feasible to take to the field is a bonus too, not to mention the 6+ hour battery.

As for follow up…Murideo is not a one hit wonder. We are constantly evolving the SIX-G via firmware as we built in some head room intentionally. In addition we are currently launching an analyzer in the same “field size” form factor at ISE, check us out, and have the SEVEN series products in the works. You will also see some pretty unique game changing color processing products coming out. We really want to address HDR the way it needs to be and make all that hard work our friends in Hollywood are doing impress the masses.

Prisma

How does the Prisma video processor differ from what’s in the market?

What is really unique is the customization capabilities and the network access with WebOS. You can store more LUTs than anything else allowing more flexibility among workgroups. The WebOS allows for very simple customization, upgrades and firmware enhancements. We made it to be very flexible for all types of users, from post production to home cinema. The WebOS also allows us to add other proprietary technologies like the Prisma Sight Color Vision Deficiency Compensation Profiles. It is things like this that make the Prisma a truly special product and not just a “LUT Box”.

We know you are active in the new ISF Class, coming to Amsterdam just after ISE 2016. What’s “new” about this ISF Class and why is it so important for integrators and others?

The biggest addition, as you can imagine, is the implementation of HDR. This is a must class for anyone wanting to be ahead of the curve of the UHD/HDR roll out. There is no doubt that this will become a standard, I think anyone who has been to a trade show or has seen 4K HDR content, it’s good…REALLY good. Consumers will latch on to this technology and it is already in Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Sony displays and everyone else is working on it. We already have content sources provided directly from the smart TV’s and external sources like the Nvidea Shield and Samsung has a UHD HDR Blu-Ray that is being shipped on the 12th of Feb. All of this means that we, as professionals, need to have as much knowledge and understanding on how to deal with this technology and make the pictures really perfect. It’s an entirely different process than in years past. It not you “grandpa’s ISF” so to speak!

Anything else you want to mention?

The one thing I would like to reiterate is how passionate we are about these test tools. Even if they are not Murideo products, everyone in the field needs to own SOMETHING to tell them what is happening in the system they are integrating. Sometimes it is the only difference between success and failure. I see it all the time, a system goes up and the integrator plugs in a Blu-Ray player and he sees a picture, so he is done right? Until the customer plugs in his odd ball PC…

That’s just an example – we collectively make the entire industry better if we learn to rely on professional tools, like it or not, they are smarter than we are.

Go Murideo