Technology Showcase: HDMI Distribution
Jun 4, 2009 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles
With broad support in consumer electronics, HDMI is moving on up.
The Apogee HDMISP2X4 amplifier/ splitter supports video bandwidth up to 2.25Gbps/225MHz, and it can be placed at the end of a long HDMI cable to regenerate the signal and switch any two HDMI sources into any or all of four HDMI display devices, including monitors and projectors. The units can be daisy-chained to provide more switching over a greater distance and accept a DDC input signal of 5V peak-to-peak. The HDMISP2X4 can support video resolutions of 480i, 576i, 1080i, 480p, 576p, 720p, and 1080p at a 60Hz vertical scan rate. Fully HDMI 1.3b-compliant, the device uses a 5VDC external power supply and consumes no more than 15W. Applications include digital signage, corporate training rooms, data-center control, university classrooms, and security.
Just released in May, the AT-HD88M-SR HDMI matrix switcher from Atlona uses a somewhat different approach in that it distributes the HDMI signals with integrated audio over low-cost Cat-5/5e LAN cable with an IR pass-through. The unit can route any of eight individual HDMI 1.3b signals with 7.1-channel audio to displays and switch them locally or by remote. The IR pass-through allows the IR control on a DVD, Blu-ray, Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, or other HDMI player devices to be used from the location of the display. The fully HDCP-compliant AV signals can extend up to 115ft. at resolutions up to 1080p using an embedded Silicon Image chipset.
The HMX-144 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher from Audio Authority delivers any of four HDMI 1.3-compliant source signals with high-bit-rate audio to any or all of four display devices with 480i, 480p, 1080i, 1080p, or multiple computer resolutions with support for deep color at 10 bits per TMDS channel on HDMI Type A connectors. Functions are controllable on the front panel, with RS-232 on a rear-mounted 9-pin D-sub connector, or IR by handheld remote. The audio supports Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and LPCM. The unit accepts HDMI screw-type locking connectors, and the signals are HDCP 1.1-compliant. The reconstituted output signal is jitter-free, and the compensated signal is clock-phase adjusted with a single-link data rate of 2.25Gbps and TMDS clock speed of 225MHz.
Black Box Network Services allows users to split a single HDMI 1.2-compliant signal from a DVD player, D-VHS player, satellite receiver, digital recorder, or other source among up to four display devices with the AC552A-4 HDMI splitter. The unit provides 1.65Gbps of bandwidth for clear amplification of HDMI signals, and buffered outputs can drive signals up to 40ft. Up to three can be cascaded for additional HDCP 1.1- and DVI 1.0-compliant outputs with video resolutions of up to 1080p. Setup is plug-and-play, and this model has an estimated mean time between failures (MTBF) of 95,000 hours. The unit has an LED power indicator with an autosensing power supply.
Brando offers its 1 In 4 Out HDMI splitter to distribute one HDMI input with a video resolution of up to 1080p to four outputs with a single-link maximum resolution of 1920x1200 and video bandwidth up to 4.95Gbps. The HDMI 1.3, HDCP-compliant unit is plug-and-play, ready to go right out of the box, and it features gold-plated connectors. Power consumption is 5W, and the unit comes with an external 5V, 50mA power adapter and a user manual.
The CE Labs HM81DA HDMI distribution amplifier fits into a 1RU space and distributes one HDMI input to eight HDMI outputs with a video resolution of up to 1080p at a maximum cable distance of 30ft. The unit is HDCP-compliant, and it supports high-resolution displays of UXGA, 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Several units can be cascaded for additional outputs. The unit weighs in at 1.3lbs., and it comes with a 9VDC, 1-amp power adapter.
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