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Technology Showcase: HDMI Distribution

Jun 4, 2009 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

With broad support in consumer electronics, HDMI is moving on up.

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Kramer Electronics offers the VM-216 HDMI 2x1:16 distribution amplifier with reclocking and equalization on either of two selectable HDCP-compliant input signals, which are distributed to 16 independent outputs. The unit can store and recall a default EDID setting in nonvolatile memory from the output. The unit is RS-232-controllable, and it supports HDMI 1.1 with output status LEDs and handles up to 1.65Gbps of bandwidth per graphic channel. The 1RU rackmountable unit connects directly to 110VAC, and it weighs in at 5.5lbs.

Octava 4x4 HDMI

Octava 4x4 HDMI

The Octava 4x4 HDMI matrix switch sends up to four HDMI 1.3 sources to four displays on HDMI Type A connectors with picture-by-picture or the same picture on all outputs using Octava’s Clear Eye transmission line and intersymbol interference (ISI) reduction design for up to 256 different viewing combinations. For projectors, cable runs of up to 30ft. may be used, and extenders can take the distance up to 100ft. The inputs are DVI-D backward-compatible and support video resolutions of 480p, 720i/p, and 1080i/p at data rates up to 6.75Gbps. The 1RU unit is RS-232-controllable, and it includes a 5VDC, 2.5-amp power supply, rackmounting ears, an IR remote, and an external IR jack for infrared-control extension. The front panel also has indicator lights for local identification of the routing configuration as it is selected.

RTCom HD-D210

RTCom HD-D210

The HD-D210 HDMI distribution amplifier from RTCom allows one or two HDCP-compliant digital input sources to be sent to up to 10 digital displays without signal loss on HDMI Type A single-link connectors for distances up to 50ft. using high-quality HDMI cables. The unit saves EDID data from the displays on EEPROM, and it supports bandwidths from 25MHz to 165MHz and video resolutions of 480p, 720p, and 1080i/p. The unit uses 15W with a 12VDC, 3-amp power supply. The exclusive U.S. distributor for RTCom is Aurora Multimedia.

Providing single-link HDMI operation at the maximum TDMS rate of 1.65Gbps at resolutions up to 1080p and 1920x1200, the HDR4X4 from Smart-AVI is a nonblocking matrix switch designed for routing any four computers to any combination of four HDMI displays through HDMI Type A connectors. The device can send HDMI signals up to 50ft. over high-quality cables and can be controlled from the front panel, from an IR remote, or by RS-232 from a connected computer. The router accepts input signals at 1.2V and 5V DDC. The front panel includes input- and output-selection buttons and a large, easy-to-read series of digital displays and LED indicators. The 1RU chassis weighs a little more than 4lbs., and the unit comes with a 5VDC, 2-amp power supply.

The ST124HDMI distribution amplifier with HDCP from StarTech is designed to distribute a single 1.65Gbps HDMI signal to up to four displays through HDMI Type A connections at computer resolutions from VGA to UXGA and HDTV resolutions from 480i to 1080p. Units can be cascaded for more outputs, and they are HDMI 1.1- and HDCP 1.1-compliant. The front panel has three Type A HDMI output connectors. The back panel has one HDMI output, one HDMI input, a sync light that activates when an HDMI source is connected, and a power LED indicator. The package includes an instruction manual and a 5VDC power adapter.

TV One 1T-DA-658

TV One 1T-DA-658

The 1T-DA-658 HDMI distribution amplifier from TV One can provide eight HDCP-compliant outputs from a single HDMI 1.3 input; 10- and 12-bit deep color; and Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio digital sound. Bandwidth extends to 2.25Gbps, and signals are amplified and equalized for maximum distance capability. Units may be cascaded for more outputs, and the destination monitor EDID is supported. DVI 1.0 signals are supported as well. The rear panel includes all the input and output HDMI Type A connectors, along with the 5VDC power connection and a switch for internal or automatic EDID selection. This dictates whether the device determines the connected display’s EDID number automatically or uses an internal information table. Also on the rear panel, above the HDMI connectors, are removable screws that can be replaced with hex screws to accommodate lockable HDMI connectors. On the front are the HDMI/DVI, HDCP, sync, and power LED indicators, along with a signal indicator for each output connection point to indicate successful connection to the channel’s respective display device.

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