AV Control Systems
Feb 25, 2013 4:08 PM, By Bennett Liles
The new Showmaster XS embedded controller from Medialon is a single rack unit with four serial ports, three digital outputs, and six infrared ports all programmed with drag-and-drop Showmaster Editor software. The heart of the system is comprised of the internal 16GB SSD SATA hard drive, the 1GB SDRAM, and its Intel Atom N270 processor. The Showmaster XS can generate up to three HTML touchscreens on a tablet or PC for controlling video servers, sound processors, and other gear on its own, or as part of a larger Medialon network system. It allows realtime testing and can generate notifications and alarms via email.
Among its array of products for managing home technology devices, Pro Control offers the ProLink.r processor which can wirelessly communicate with the Pro24.r and iPro.8 remotes on a one-way 433MHz RF signal. It is also Ethernet capable for programming and one-way control via tablets, smartphones, and PCs with an activated ProPanel app from iTunes. There are four integrated IR routing ports with adjustable output signal strength, two voltage-sensing inputs, and a USB programming port. The unit is designed with a flip-up panel that allows access for controls and then hides them when flipped down.
The RU2-CS1 serial-controlled interface from Radio Design Labs features eight open collector outputs and eight 0-10VDC outputs for controlling external equipment. When connected to a computer through a serial link, the unit can initiate commands from user software or a terminal program. It can also provide alert activation when an individual status input terminal changes its voltage state. These alerts can be globally enabled or bypassed. LEDs on the front panel show active audio outputs, active status inputs, transmit or receive data activity, errors, and power. The unit can also be set up to provide an alert in response to a defined pattern on all eight status terminals.
With its completely self-contained control system, analog and digital viewing capability, and capacitive touchscreen, the KX7 in-wall color touchpanel controller is the latest entry for commercial and residential AV control from RTI. It includes an RS-232 serial port and its IR port can operate devices up to 1,000ft. away. Installation is simplified with the unit’s PoE capability and the 7in. (800x480) color LCD screen allows screen swiping for page navigation. There are composite, S-Video, and component video inputs and the SURFiR companion remote allows users to employ their Apple and Android touchscreen devices as the graphical interface for the control system.
Savant Systems has laid out the SSC-P025 version of its Savant SmartControl 25 to be powered over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3at) in control applications, such as home theaters, whole homes, hotel rooms, classrooms, conference rooms, and other environments. Its connection ports include six IR, eight serial, three relay, seven GPIO, and an Ethernet port. The 1RU, half-rack chassis includes screw-down connectors on control ports and the front panel provides power and port status LED indicators. There is an optional faceplate that allows two of the control units to be mounted side by side in a single rack space.
The Networked Room Controller from SP Controls is a web-enabled controller for a range of devices and it can be adapted to suit the venue by pairing it with a number of different control pucks with serial, IR, and relay interfaces. The control unit itself features a bi-directional RS-232 port, one IR terminal, four low-voltage relays, and two general purpose sensing ports. The web control is configured through an AJAX powered web interface for use with the SP Controls driver library or custom configured drivers. When used with the Doceri application, it adds interactive whiteboard, screencast recorder, drawing tools, and built-in remote desktop control.
Among the network base stations for AV control from Universal Remote Control is the MRX-1 with two-way IP control, IR, RS-232, and relay (NC, NO, or momentary) along with a sensor port. Part of the MRX-1’s power is in its ability to execute macros based on device status and to track device status via voltage sensor for automation of virtually any commercial space. It can also provide two-way metadata in an installation using the KP-4000 two-way, in-wall network keypad, but it can be used with any URC network compatible remote controller. The unit runs on an external 12VDC power supply.
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