Peer Review-Altinex AP445-401
Peer Review-Altinex AP445-401
My Pick: Altinex AP445-401 pro AV+ video scaler with stereo audio, $1,695 MSRP
What I Like About It: Generally, our clients want the benefits of using our solutions to enhance their core competencies without requiring their support staffs to have the many years of experience we've amassed in providing technology solutions. The Altinex AP445-401 takes the mystique out of video scalers for the less savvy video users and provides a very simple means of allowing our clients to easily select the video source they'd like to be displayed on the projector and/or audio source distributed to its desired destination.
The user can also control various video settings (e.g. color, brightness, sharpness) as well as audio settings — either with control buttons on the front of the unit or via an RS232 connected terminal (or similar device) capable of sending ASCII control commands.
I Would Change: It would be wonderful if this unit could have increased maximum resolution capabilities, but considering the unit's ease of use as well as its already significant maximum resolution capabilities (1280x1024), that may be asking too much.
Where I Used It: We used the Altinex AP445-401 scaler in conference rooms, a media room, and classroom podiums at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana.
My Results: In a learning environment, we wanted equipment that wouldn't be intimidating to the user. In a college classroom application, it's essential to use equipment that's simple for the professor to operate. The simplicity of operation, along with the ability to control it using an RS232 interface or an infrared remote were major factors for us in selecting the AP445-401 device. The podium in each classroom contained four sources of video: VCR, DVD, document camera, and PC.
Looking at the front panel, its buttons are almost self explanatory. The four push-buttons on the front panel make selection of the source simple, and an LED indicates which source is active. The layout of the video adjustment buttons and the audio adjustment button is similar to the way computer monitors and televisions are adjusted. Most of us who have used a computer or have a TV have made these adjustments (color, contrast, bright, hue, sharp, and audio). Selecting the function to adjust, and then using the + and - buttons to select the proper level is simple and practical.
The fact that this product handled audio as well as video, and occupied only 1 rack unit helped make our decision. But, perhaps the most impressive feature was the way the output resolution is selected — by continually pressing the same button (not having to go through three levels of menus to change the resolution was great). The maximum resolution of 1280x1024 was more than sufficient for the classroom environment.
Peer Reviewers: Bill Putnam, president, Multilink Solutions, Frisco, TX, and Tyrie Jamerson, president, Near Future, Dallas. MultiLink Solutions is a supplier and installer of audio, video, and control equipment. Clients include corporate, education, religious, hospitality, and home owners. Near Future is a consulting and installation firm that provides clients in the corporate, educational, religious, and hospitality markets with innovative technology solutions.