AV Control Systems
Feb 23, 2012 2:44 PM, By Bennett Liles
Two pervasive trends in AV system control have been centralized monitoring and configuration over IP networks. This can be seen in AV systems for a wide variety of applications including courtrooms, classrooms, and corporate boardrooms. In addition to these capabilities, the systems in our survey add a range of features to increase flexibility while maintaining user friendliness.
The V16 Pro show controller from Alcorn McBride is a programmable rack unit with dual Ethernet ports, 16 opto inputs that are individually programmable for voltages and contact closures, 16 RS-232/422 ports, 16 relay ports, video frame sync, time code reader/generator and a real time clock. The unit is programmed with WinScript Live, allowing changes to show events in real time without compiling or downloading. Compatible with the ShowTouch user interface, the V16 Pro provides a comprehensive array of LED indicators on the front panel, while the back features MIDI in and out connections along with serial and USB programming ports.
Designed by Altinex primarily for use with their MultiTouch line of touchpanels, the CP500-100 Neutron controller is a network connected rackmount or standalone unit with eight sensor inputs, including 12VDC power to drive the sensor devices. The sensor inputs can be used to automatically activate eight bi-directional RS232 ports, eight IR outputs and up to eight contact closures on the relay ports. The controller can work with one or more touchpanels on Ethernet and it can learn IR codes directly from a remote control by way of the front panel sensor window, storing the codes in internal memory. The system includes built-in auto-discovery of units on a LAN.
Suitable for controlling AV resources in a large venue, the NI-3100 NetLinx Integrated controller from AMX is expandable and includes AMX device discovery. The unit provides seven configurable RS-232/422/485 ports, eight relays, eight IR/serial ports, eight digital I/O ports and it communicates on AxLink and Ethernet networks. It can contain 64MB or 256MB RAM and its 2GB compact flash memory is upgradable to 4GB. Front-panel LEDs indicate communication activity, connection status, data speeds and mode information. An ICSHub Out port is provided with the addition of an ICSNet daughter card.
Aurora Multimedia added video preview capability to an in-wall web-based touchscreen user interface and integral controller on the NXT-1330V. The 13.3in. 1280x800 touchscreen has HDMI, VGA, YPbPr, video and S-Video inputs and it enables control of serial, infrared and relay ports. Of the two LAN ports, one is PoE capable and the audio capability includes a front panel speaker with stereo line in and out along with an integral microphone. The 900MIPS processor uses a 256MB flash, 128MB DDR2 memory and the unit features USB 2.0 and micro SD expansion ports. The front panel also features an infrared receiver window.
The ezRoom 5000 series control products from Calypso Control Systems consist of all the components needed to assemble a complete control solution for the K-12 classroom. The ezRoom 5300 includes the CB-5000 networked controller with its 3in. monochrome touchscreen, the CM-3000 networked audio controller and 32W audio amplifier, the Smart Block wire and power control adapter, CP-650 Cat5 wall plate, two 6.5in. 2-way ceiling speakers and Encore desktop control panel software. Multiple systems can be centrally monitored with the Maestro client/server monitoring and control software application. The system components connect on Cat-5 with the amplifier, smart block and power supply normally mounted in the ceiling near the projector.
Packing a lot of capability into a small 1RU chassis, the new CP3 3-Series control system from Crestron runs on a Core 3 operating system and uses the same modular programming architecture as the 2-Series and other Crestron AV controllers. Along with several indicator LEDs, the front panel of the IPv6-ready unit includes a USB 2.0 computer console port. The rear panel features two RS-232 ports with software handshaking, one RS-232/422/485 port with hardware and software handshaking, eight IR/serial connections, eight relay and eight Versiport I/O ports. The controller also features an IIS v6.0 web server, which is backward compatible to run existing programs made with the Crestron SIMPL programming software. Memory includes a 512MB RAM and 2GB flash memory with expandability up to 1TB.
For central operation of the more upscale home AV systems, Elan Home Systems has designed the S128P multi-room AV controller for sources including iPods, CD, MP3, and digital music servers as well as for video switching for DVD, DVR, CCTV cameras and other sources. A single unit can distribute and control up to 12 AV sources for up to eight zones in the house. Interfaces include 12 source-specific IR outputs, two IR ALL ports, six sense inputs, eight zone trigger outputs, a system trigger output, source leveling and an RS-232 control port. Integrated with Elan’s COM 2 Communications Controller, the unit’s capability expands to phone-to-phone intercom, two-way door station communication, music on hold and other features.
The Extron TLP 710CV 7in. configurable, flip-up touchpanel combines AV system control with the convenience of an Extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a flip-up, full-color, 800x480 resolution touchscreen in a metal enclosure that can be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. The TLP 710CV enables integrators to deploy furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power. The unit is configurable with Extron’s Global Configurator and GUI Configurator software using customizable templates. The TLP 710CV and other TouchLink control models operate with the IPL 250, IPL 350, IPCP 505 and other Extron control processors.
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