Technology Showcase: IP-based AV Control Systems
Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles
Hardware options for centralized control.
The Mediatech ControlMate can control up to four RS-232, four IR devices, and four contact-closure devices. The MT-444-CM-SL model has the Ethernet port in addition to the standard RS-232 control port. All models come with a Windows-based software application for easy control and configuration setup. On the SL model, an internal web server with pre-configured virtual control panel allows the LAN-based remote control. The unit also contains a built-in IR learner with 60 internal command storage locations and non-volatile storage for all settings and stored commands. Control capabilities include multiple mixed-command sequences, programmable delays, toggling command functions, and time-elapsed auto execute functions such as auto shutdown. Relay functions include set/reset, toggle, timed pulse, and combinations, and the relay states are indicated by LEDs on the front panel. Each unit may be assigned an individual address for future expansion.
The DigiLinX IP-based AV control system from NetStreams introduces centrally stored audio on the Streaming Music Manager, digital conversion of up to four analog audio sources on the MediaLinX Pro MLA4000, and IP audio/video encoding from legacy sources on the MediaLinX A/V MLAV300. The system centrally switches these signals on the SwitchLinX SW208/SW324/SW1024/SW1048 family of fast Ethernet switches using Internet Group Management Protocol (IMGP). The system is powered by the PowerLinX PL750/PL600 intelligent power supplies, which distribute power to components through the system. The TouchLinX TL430 and TL700 in-wall touchscreens can be custom-programmed to meet the demands of any installation using a variety of designer skins to provide a professional appearance. Amplifiers, IP cameras, IP speakers, media players, intercoms, and other devices may be controlled from any location on the system, their signals distributed wherever needed and setup using automatic device discovery.
For lighter and simpler AV control needs, the Sena LS100 control interface allows generic RS-232 control at up to 115Kbps through either a wired 10BaseT Ethernet connection or 802.11b Wi-Fi. Configuration is made on either the serial port or by Telnet on the RJ-45 using the included Windows-based management software application. Front-panel LEDs show ready status, link, and activity for Ethernet, serial receive/transmit, and power. The unit also supports both 64-bit and 128-bit WEP security. Compatible protocols include ARP, IP/ICMP, TCP, Telnet, DHCP client, and PPPoE. The unit includes a quick start guide, external 100V or 230V power supply, serial data cable, and CD-ROM.
Designed for AV control in small- to medium-sized venues or home theater, the Xmonopro from Vity has an imaginative array of control protocols in its repertoire. The rackmount unit can be operated by a Vity touchpanel, such as the Tactum or Tac models, or driven directly by computer by way of its RJ-45 LAN port for 10BaseT Ethernet. There is also the MBC bus for daisy-chaining multiple units, and options include an infrared emitter and even an X-10 bus for device control over existing power lines. The Xmonopro can also sense digital inputs on eight dry contacts using up to 24VDC at 50mA on Phoenix contact connections. There are also eight analog feedback connections using 0V to 36V and six infrared inputs through 3.5mm jacks. There are eight 24V output relays, eight 0V-to-10V outputs with 256 dimming levels, and six infrared outputs. RS-232 serial control exists on six DB-9 connectors, and there are three balanced or unbalanced VCA audio volume controls. Power connections include 12VDC terminals on the rear panel.
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